Friday, December 05, 2008

In Japan, I didn't hear of this issue very often but it's good to see some reform happening (baby steps yall)
What disturbs me is they take measures to prevent fraudulent cases but what if the Japanese dude says it isn't his kid? Will they do the DNA testing on him or is the kid just screwed.
Article was found in the IHT. Or read the original here:

Japan extends citizenship to out-of-wedlock babies
The Associated Press
Friday, December 5, 2008
TOKYO: Japan approved a law Friday that will grant citizenship to all children born out of wedlock to Japanese fathers who acknowledge them, regardless of the nationality of their mothers. All children of Japanese women are automatically granted citizenship. Before Friday's revision, however, those born out of wedlock to foreign women could claim citizenship only if their Japanese fathers acknowledged paternity before the birth or later married their mothers. The new law expands the ability of those children to claim citizenship, stating that they need only to be acknowledged by their fathers before a claim is filed.To prevent fraudulent claims, the law stipulates that violators will be fined of up to 200,000 yen($2,170) or sentenced to one year in prison. The law also requires the government to study the feasibility of introducing DNA testing.
The revision came after 10 children born to unmarried Japanese men and Filipino women demanded citizenship. In June, Japan's top court ruled in their favor, saying that the previous restrictions on citizenship violated constitutional guarantees of equality.
The plaintiffs are among the offspring of thousands of Filipino women who came to Japan as entertainers beginning the 1970s. Many had children with Japanese men who already had wives. The suits were filed in two waves in 2003 and 2005 by their Filipino mothers who had proved the fathers of their children were Japanese. There are no reliable data on the number of Japanese-Filipino children, with experts estimating there may be anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000. Nationality in Japan is determined solely by bloodline, not place of birth, though foreigners may apply to become citizens. Japan has long been reluctant to host outsiders or grant them nationality for fear of disrupting its tightly knit society. Despite increasing immigration, foreigners still make up less than 2 percent of Japan's population of 128 million, compared to 12 percent in the United States.