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  • Hey guys!

  • How's it going?

  • My name is Micaela

  • And today I'm here to do one of these talky-video bloggy-type things regarding Naturalisation

  • or becoming a Japanese Citizen

  • This video is inspired by a comment on my last video where i was talking about how I

  • have been in Japan for ten years and a comment asked me if I was considering naturalisation

  • and quite frankly, I'm not.

  • So before I start I kinda want to remind you to not take my word asEverybody's Opinion

  • because I think that Japanese people and foreigners alike, everyone has different feelings about

  • this subject so what I am about to say is entirely my opinion and you can take it with

  • a grain of salt if it doesn't suit you!

  • I think a lot of foreigners who first come to japan, come here with the dream that they

  • are going to work hard and successfully integrate into the culture they have chosen to adopt,

  • and thats not a bad thing, its just a very very hard thing to do, especially in a country

  • like Japan

  • The reason why we have these ideals in the first place is because we come from countries

  • with international backgrounds.

  • For example, I was born in Richmond, British Columbia, and if any of you live in Vancouver

  • or even in B.C, you will know Richmond is..

  • Over 50% of the population identifies as Chinese, it's actually the most international city

  • in all of Canada with over 60% of residents being immigrants.

  • I grew up in an ethnically diverse country and for me, as a child growing up the only

  • way I could properly distinguish visitors from actual Canadian residents, was their

  • accent and the way that they spoke english.

  • If they had an accent, “oh they must be from outside of Canada”, if they spoke English

  • just like me, “oh they were probably born here, they're Canadian

  • It wasn't really that difficult, you know?

  • And because of that it's not too crazy to assume that, you know, "if they can blend

  • in in Canada, why can't I blend in in Japan?"

  • However, Japan doesn't exactly have the same history with immigrants and internationalisation.

  • Japan itself was a closed off and isolated country until the mid 1850s, which is really,

  • in terms of Japanese History, is actually quite recent.

  • And although an ethnically non-Japanese can apply for citizenship here in Japan, the general

  • perception of what defines a Japanese person is not what passport you hold, it's all

  • about your blood and lineage and where you come from, your heritage, pretty much.

  • This is why Japanese citizens who were born to foreign parents, otherwise known as ha-fu,

  • orhalf Japanese citizenshave a hard time being considered fully Japanese as well,

  • even if they've lived their whole life in Japan, even if they have a Japanese passport

  • and are considered a Japanese citizen, even if the only language they know is Japanese,

  • if they have that foreign lineage they end up being considered in a separate category

  • from pure Japanese people

  • And of course not everyone thinks this way, but there is this general consensus that pure

  • Japanese are like 100% Japanese, and then there's the ha-fu and then there's the

  • gaijin, and it's like..

  • That consciousness is always there.

  • Basically having a Japanese passport, having all the paperwork that says you're Japanese

  • isn't what makes you Japanese.

  • What makes you Japanese is your heritage, ultimately.

  • So having said that, I think naturalising or choosing to apply to become a Japanese

  • citizen is totally a personal choice, and there are people who in spite of all this,

  • still think that.. you know maybe they have good reason to do so, but for me.. this is

  • the thing.

  • I look Canadian, there's nothing about this could that could even indicate that I could

  • be Japanese.

  • You look at me and you can tell I was born somewhere else, to parents who were also born

  • somewhere else, and that is just a fact that I can not change.

  • No matter how long I live here, what kind of job I do, what credentials I have, or how

  • much I can speak Japanese, I will always be judged, first and foremost by my appearance,

  • and that i just a fact.

  • That is..

  • After ten years you just, ah there's just nothing you can do about it.

  • It's weird, it does feel strange because, consider it this way:

  • I don't look at myself every day, like when I'm outside, when I'm going places, when

  • I'm at the bank, when I'm at the restaurant, or I'm on the train, or I'm going somewhere..

  • I don't have this consciousness of what I look like to other people.

  • You know how like dolphins, they communicate with echo-location, they have these sonar

  • waves and they're like pew and then the things come back and then they're likeoh

  • now I see.”

  • ..I feel like in a way, I'm a dolphin?

  • Stay with me.

  • I feel like I'm a dolphin in the way where it's like, I go out there and I do things.

  • I do things and then judging by the reaction that comes back at me,

  • the things that I say and the things that are said back at me,

  • that's kind of how I have developed this consciousness of who I am in relation to everyone

  • else.

  • My identity as a Canadian has been only made stronger by the way that people react when

  • I'm outside this house, basically.

  • The fact is that having a Japanese passport, or doing all the paperwork thattechnically

  • makes you Japanese, will never change the perception of the people around you, they'll

  • never be likeoh well now that you're Japanese, I see you differently.”

  • It's never going to happen, so what's the point?

  • It's taken me so long to understand this, but

  • It's normal in CANADA to be multiculturally diverse, that's just you know, that's

  • just the way that we Westerners were raised.

  • But are we really entitled to walk into a different country and decide what's normal

  • and what isn't?

  • Maybe there are people out there who want to naturalise because they think it's going

  • to prove a point, likehey, non-Japanese heritage people can become Japanese citizens

  • too!”

  • But is that really what's best for Japan?

  • I'm not saying Japan hates foreigners, nono, they love tourists, they love tourists and

  • they love having people come and enjoy Japan as it is, but they don't need people coming

  • here and changing Japan, and that's what they're afraid of.

  • You know, Japan's dedication to preserving traditional ways, that's what makes it a

  • unique and wonderful country, and that's what makes people come from all over the world

  • to visit it.

  • It's not, you know, “oh, well they should make it easier for us to live because we're

  • different and we came in and this is how we want it.”

  • we can't, I feel like, we can't just say that.

  • I am Canadian, and I'm really really okay with that, because I think that rather than

  • trying to get Japanese people to accept me as a Japanese person, I'd rather they learn

  • to accept me as a Canadian.

  • For all that that is.

  • You know, I grew up somewhere else, I have parents that were not born here, but I sure

  • as hell worked hard to learn, and study , and learn how to speak and communicate, and it

  • is what it is.

  • And it's worth noting that Japan doesn't allow dual citizenship, meaning that becoming

  • a Japanese citizen would mean not being a Canadian citizen, and, for me, that doesn't

  • make sense!

  • I love living overseas and I love being abroad, and being in Japan has granted me so many

  • amazing opportunities that I'm thankful for, but at the end of the day, if I can't

  • go home to the country that feelsnormal”, that accepts me and treats me like everybody

  • else, if I can't have that comfort, what else, what do I have?

  • Besides, in the mean time, for people who want to stay in Japan long-term, there are

  • visa options for that!

  • Visa options that allow you to live in Japan for a long time, pay taxes just like a regular

  • Japanese citizen, and do all those things without having to relinquish your own identity

  • or citizenship, and marry yourself to a new country.

  • I feel like the end-game isn't being accepted as one of them, it's having them accept

  • you for who you are, and recognise that you're trying really hard.

  • That would be the happier ending in my opinion.

  • Sorry this is so boring but I kinda wanted to like, answer that, and get my feelings

  • out there and kinda start a conversation because I think that there are tons of different opinions,

  • and I am prepared to read them all in the comments so yeah go ahead and write below

  • how you feel.

  • Do you think it's worth giving up your citizenship to become a member of a different country

  • even if it means that you're like, not really treated like a member of the different country?

  • Hmmm.

  • Thank you very much for listening.

  • I also want to thank you for being really really nice to Tatsu because I like him a

  • lot, and it really means a lot to me that you guys also like him a lot.

  • And I think that I'd also like to have him make a video and have him talk about his experiences

  • because he was not born in Japan either, and um, although he is technically a Japanese

  • citizen and he kind of has an interesting perspective on it as well, but that's of

  • course, when he's ready to talk about it, or if you even want him to talk about it.

  • Yeah.

  • I will talk to you soon!

  • Thank youuuu!

  • Bye!

Hey guys!

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B1 japanese canadian citizen citizenship born passport

About Japanese Citizenship | 帰化について思うこと

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    Summer posted on 2020/10/30
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