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Citizenship blog

De jure and de facto tolerance of dual citizenship in Japan: lessons from the Renho controversy

The public understanding is that dual citizenship is not allowed in Japan: The reality is that dual citizenship (nijyu kokuseki) it is tolerated in some cases and forbidden in other cases which leads to the interpretation that it is neither allowed nor forbidden in current Japanese Nationality Law. [1]. The question of dual citizenship becomes a critical one for those in positions and occupations for which the Japanese law explicitly states a Japanese citizenship requirement. 

When the right to vote and the right to run for political office do not coincide

Ignazio Cassis’ renunciation of his Italian citizenship has re-launched the debate on the meaning of political rights – and, in particular, the right to run for political office – in Switzerland. According to Cassis, his decision was necessary – politically, although not legally – in order to be elected to the Federal Council. At the same time, Cassis did not see dual citizenship as an obstacle to vote or to run as a candidate to the Federal Parliament. This episode shows that the right to vote and the right to run for political office are not necessarily aligned. 

Form over substance? Foreign citizenship and the Australian Parliament

As foreshadowed in our earlier post, the High Court of Australia has now delivered its judgment in a case concerning the eligibility of dual nationals to serve in the Australian parliament. At issue was section 44(i) of Australia’s Constitution which renders ineligible any person who (in addition to being an Australian citizen) is a citizen of a ‘foreign power’.

Can Elected Politicians Have Two Passports?

On Wednesday, 1 November, Ignazio Cassis formally replaces outgoing federal councilor Didier Burkhalter as the seventh member of the Federal Council of Switzerland. Born to Italian parents in the Swiss canton of Ticino, Cassis gave up his Italian citizenship just weeks before being elected. His decision sparked a heated debate on whether elected politicians should surrender their foreign passports and renounce their dual citizenship, once elected to a post. In Switzerland, there is no legal obligation to do so. 

In Defence of National Identity: The Dual Citizenship Debates in Singapore

As reported by Singapore media (Straits Times) on 8 October 2017, the country celebrated the 60th anniversary of the establishment of Singapore citizenship through the 1957 Singapore Citizenship Ordinance. The ordinance was significant because it laid the foundation of the single citizenship regime in the country, which has remained in force in contemporary Singapore.