Citizenship in Japan Residence Rules
Becoming a Citizen of Japan is not easy, and requires a specific residence requirement, together with Language skills and sufficient income.
You are required to have a valid visa (Status of Residence) from the Immigration Bureau of Japan at the time of application and you must have been living in Japan for at least 5 years. Also the bureau confirms whether you have been living in Japan at least 80% of the 365 days every year.
The time spent on a Student visa cannot be counted in this 5 year period.
You need to have sufficient income: whether you can work and earn an income will be checked.
You need to have Japanese reading and writing skills at least equivalent to an ordinary 7 to 8 year old Japanese primary school student.
You need to be a person with no nationality or else forfeit your foreign nationality when approval is given for your Japanese nationality.
The Ministry of Justice, The Nationality Law – Article 5.
The Minister of Justice shall not permit the naturalization of an alien unless he or she fulfills all of the following conditions:
(1) that he or she has domiciled in Japan for five years or more consecutively;
(2) that he or she is twenty years of age or more and of full capacity to act according to the law of his or her home country;
(3) that he or she is of upright conduct;
(4) that he or she is able to secure a livelihood by one’s own property or ability, or those of one’s spouse or other relatives with whom one lives on common living expenses;
(5) that he or she has no nationality, or the acquisition of Japanese nationality will result in the loss of foreign nationality;
(6) that he or she has never plotted or advocated, or formed or belonged to a political party or other organization which has plotted or advocated the overthrow of the Constitution of Japan or the Government existing thereunder, since the enforcement of the Constitution of Japan.