Getting naturalized as a Japanese citizen

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Having been in Japan for over 20 years - getting on to the length of time I have spent out of Japan, and already longer than I have spent in my "home country" - and partly at the urging of my partner, I decided to apply for Japanese citizenship.

Japanese Ministry of Justice Office in Tokyo.
Ministry of Justice Tokyo Office

The process of naturalization (called kika in Japanese) is administered by the Ministry of Justice, so I went down to the Tokyo office of the Ministry of Justice in the Kudan district of Tokyo, just north-east of and across from the Imperial Palace, and next to the Chiyoda Ward Office.

Applying to be naturalized as a Japanese requires a lot more than just taking away a form and coming back with it filled in. I had to make an appointment for an interview, and bring to the interview my passport (and any old passports I have), my gaikokujintorokusho (i.e. foreigner ID card), and driver's license.

I will then be interviewed and, I presume, be assessed as to whether or not I qualify to simply apply, let alone to get citizenship. The interview is still some weeks away, so news of it will be slow, but we will keep you up to date.


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