Jake Adelstein, an American “investigative journalist” for several leftist rags, has set his sights on Japan because the country is not welcoming enough to foreigners he says.
“Japan’s government remains xenophobic. That must change,” says Adelstein.
He has attacked Japan’s ruling party for being anti-LGBT, attacked the president himself for “befriending racists” and being a “misogynist”, and attacked Japanese generally for being… Japanese.
Writing in The Daily Beast Adelstein bemoaned the Japanese term “hafu” for any child with one parent who is not Japanese. Although the term is not controversial, Adelstein believes it should be.
“Japan’s xenophobia runs deep, and it’s something the country will have to conquer if it hopes to be a winning nation — not just an opportunistic fanboy,” according to Adelstein.
But compared to multicultural countries, Japan has been extremely successful as a homogenous nation. With its modestly paid bosses and impressive health statistics, Japan is widely hailed as the most equal major economy in the world.
While Scandinavian countries are often regarded as models of egalitarianism, they have far fewer people than Japan with its population of 127 million.
Universal health insurance and health outcomes that are among the best in the world, and Japanese have a life expectancy of 87 years for women and 80 for men. Infant mortality is among the lowest in the world. Strikingly, Japanese children lead the world in literacy and numeracy.
The country boasts extremely low crime rates and high levels of social cohesion.
Japan’s mixed-race nationals are often shunned. Chelsea Sakura Bailey, the 25-year-old-daughter of veteran Tokyo reporter James Bailey and Yurika Bailey, texted The Daily Beast when the upcoming new half-Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka won the US Open Tournament, “I hope her victory will make Japanese look at people who are not ‘full’ Japanese as an inspiration rather than just ‘different.’”
The country does not allow dual nationality, and under Japanese law, a citizen is required to forsake other nationalities before turning 22 if he or she is to remain Japanese. Japanese citizens who have have been nationalized in other countries and do not renounce their passports, are stripped of their Japanese citizenship.
A group of them sued the Japanese government this March, declaring the Nationality Law to be unconstitutional, out-of-date, and invalid.
Because a Japanese passport is a source of great pride to its holders, loosing it is seen as nothing short of a catastrophe.
One of the eight plaintiffs had moved to Switzerland and obtained Swiss citizenship, a requirement for individuals to take part in bidding procedures. He was not aware at that point that he would automatically be renouncing his Japanese citizenship.
“Both my parents are Japanese, yet one day I lost my citizenship without any warning. I didn’t have the strength to do anything for about two weeks after hearing what happened,” he said. “It was a very painful experience for me,” he explained.
Japan is not the only country which does not allow dual citizenship. At least 55 UN member states do not offer that possibility.
As of 2011, 103 of 195 countries allowed their citizens to retain their original nationality while obtaining citizenship from a second country, according to a UN report published in 2013.
Thirty-seven countries allowed multiple citizenship under specific circumstances, and the remaining 55 banned multiple citizenship.
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