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Thread: Tran's naturalization process hits snag

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    Keepin' it real gsk8's Avatar
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    News Tran's naturalization process hits snag

    Canadian pairs figure skater Mervin Tran's hopes of obtaining Japanese citizenship hit a snag on Tuesday after the justice ministry frowned on making an exception for the world bronze medalist.

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    It's a catch 22. Tran is considered for citizenship on account of his contribution honouring Japan but to do so he had to train outside of Japan, thus not fulfilling the residency requirement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkateFiguring View Post
    It's a catch 22. Tran is considered for citizenship on account of his contribution honouring Japan but to do so he had to train outside of Japan, thus not fulfilling the residency requirement.
    Totally off topic but I have questions!

    What is 'catch22'?
    My guess is this sort of sentence originally came from someone's quotation in a novel or movie. By reading the following sentence, it probably means something dilemma or contradiction. Or else, let me see...dead-end, trap or pitfall.

    My other question is: does this 'catch' always have to be accompanied with '22' in particular?? Or, any other numbers just alright?

    Sorry for the OT and such silly questions, but it's been on and off my mind for the past week...
    We have an old saying in Japan: To ask something you do not know might be an instant shame, however, never to ask is a lifelong shame. (btw, does this make any sense to you? )

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    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    catch 22 is a figure of speech in the west to do all of what you have guessed... in order for it to make sense you have you use '22'... catch 34.5 wouldn't make sense lol

    here's where I guess it came about - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catch_22

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    Quote Originally Posted by deedee1 View Post
    Totally off topic but I have questions!

    What is 'catch22'?
    My guess is this sort of sentence originally came from someone's quotation in a novel or movie. By reading the following sentence, it probably means something dilemma or contradiction. Or else, let me see...dead-end, trap or pitfall.

    My other question is: does this 'catch' always have to be accompanied with '22' in particular?? Or, any other numbers just alright?
    It comes from Joseph Heller's novel, Catch-22. In the novel, Catch-22 is a paradoxical military rule that keeps the soldiers from avoiding their flying missions. Yossarian--the novel's protagonist--wants to be grounded from further combat flights. But, to be grounded, you need to be evaluated and diagnosed as unfit to fly. But, to be evaluated, you need to request an evaluation, and the act of requesting an evaluation proves your sanity making you fit to fly. From Heller's novel, the term "catch-22" now commonly refers to any kind of no-win situation because you're stuck in this contradictory circular logic.

    So, when SkateFiguring describes Mervin's situation as a catch-22, I think s/he is saying that for Mervin to successfully represent Japan as a pair skater, he and Narumi trains outside of Japan, which makes him unable to fulfill the residency requirement for citizenship. But, if he were to fulfill the residency requirement and train in Japan, it is most likely he and Narumi would not have the resources available to them to successfully represent Japan in pairs. This is their dilemma.

    If I remember my high school American literature class correctly, originally, the 22 bears no real meaning and was a publisher decision. I think Heller had another number in mind. But, due to the popularity of the novel, "catch-22" (with the 22 included!) is now an idiom for any paradoxical, no-win situations. It wouldn't work with any other number!

    Sorry for the OT and such silly questions, but it's been on and off my mind for the past week...
    We have an old saying in Japan: To ask something you do not know might be an instant shame, however, never to ask is a lifelong shame. (btw, does this make any sense to you? )
    "Kiku wa ittoki no haji, kikanu wa isshō no haji." I think that's how the proverb goes. You might be embarrassed for a bit to ask a question--especially for me, in a large lecture hall where no one is raising their hand--but that embarrassment usually just lasts a moment, and it's better to have asked your question than to stay ignorant--and potentially have the wrong information! Basically, don't be afraid to ask questions because that's the only way to learn!

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    To: Tonichelle and ohheyskaters

    Thank you so much for the link and explaining it into such details for me!

    Now I know it originally comes from the name of the famous novel by the American writer Mr. Heller, so that should be always accompanied by '22' to make any sense. Its meaning is almost the same as I guessed. Gotcha!

    Quote Originally Posted by ohheyskaters View Post

    "Kiku wa ittoki no haji, kikanu wa isshō no haji." I think that's how the proverb goes. You might be embarrassed for a bit to ask a question--especially for me, in a large lecture hall where no one is raising their hand--but that embarrassment usually just lasts a moment, and it's better to have asked your question than to stay ignorant--and potentially have the wrong information! Basically, don't be afraid to ask questions because that's the only way to learn!
    YES! That's the one. You did write the Japanese proverb PERFECTLY!
    And thank you for kindly explaining what I wanted to say in a more appropriate way; 'embarraassed' sounds more accurate than 'shame' in this case.
    I wrote the questions while LOOKING AT my lunch before me...I was probably hungry and rushed to write it.

    Today's proverb for me:
    "Isogaba Maware.(急がば回れ!)" = "Make haste slowly!"
    Last edited by deedee1; 05-23-2012 at 09:01 AM.

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    The Zamboni Rocks!!! sillylionlove's Avatar
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    It will be interesting to see if he does get citizenship and what will happen if he doesn't.

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    Simply the best. l'etoile's Avatar
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    It's a long shot anyway. It just doesn't make sense to get a citizenship for a country which you have no personal connectio with.

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    Skating is art, if you let it be. Blades of Passion's Avatar
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    He doesn't speak the language. If he spoke the language, that would go a looooong way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by l'etoile View Post
    It's a long shot anyway. It just doesn't make sense to get a citizenship for a country which you have no personal connectio with.
    Tell that to the immigrants here in the States. It doesn't make sense ONLY in Japan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sillylionlove View Post
    It will be interesting to see if he does get citizenship and what will happen if he doesn't.
    He won't get citizenship, I said before this was all just a political move by the JSF to save face for their own ineptitude. Life will go on in Japan as it does everyday if he doesn't.

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    I did a bit of research. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but as I understand it, Japan isn't generally a country that welcomes new citizens. It's small in terms of available land, so it's not really looking to build its population, and it's not multi-ethnic, multilingual, or multicultural as the U.S., Canada, Australia, and some other countries are. From what many on GS have said, granting citizenship to non-natives with no Japanese ancestry is a rare event. I haven't been able to find any statistics showing how many new citizenships Japan grants each year. Also, apparently Tran would not be able to retain his Canadian citizenship if he were to become a Japanese citizen. I believe a GS poster mentioned this point earlier, and I found an article that confirms this.

    It would probably be easier for Takahashi to get Canadian citizenship than for Tran to become a Japanese citizen, though of course the pairs situation is much more favorable for these two in Japan. This might turn out to be one of those times when wishes don't come true, at least in terms of Olympic eligibility. Well, you can't fault Tran for trying.

    I think the JSF would be better off nurturing a young Japanese pair for the future--something they should be doing anyway. They obviously have many wonderful skaters and coaches. Their next step is to branch out from singles.
    Last edited by Olympia; 05-16-2012 at 02:55 AM.

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    You are right, Olympia! It's so difficult to apply for Japanese citizenship. I don't think Japan will open this door for this reason. It's JSF's move to just prove that they've done their best. And there is nothing more they can do.
    Last edited by Bluebonnet; 05-16-2012 at 09:42 PM.

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    [QUOTE=Olympia;643014
    It would probably be easier for Takahashi to get Canadian citizenship than for Tran to become a Japanese citizen, though of course the pairs situation is much more favorable for these two in Japan. [/QUOTE]

    It'll be interesting to see what happens if Tran can't get citizenship in Japan. Would Narumi Takahashi then consider applying for Canadian citizenship?

    I'm guessing there are big financial considerations involved. I assume (though I don't know for sure) that the Japanese federation is probably a lot richer than the Canadian federation and provides better support for them financially. But I'm guessing the biggest barrier is political. It's not that big of a deal for a Canadian skater to switch to America or vice versa; it's been done numerous times in recent years. But I think it's a very, very big deal for a Japanese skater to renounce citizenship for another country. The only example of this is Yuko Kavaguti, and IIRC, I don't think she changed citizenship until she and Smirnov had won medals at the highest level (Euros/Worlds). Narumi is now in a similar situation to Yuko; would she make a similar change?

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    It's not that big of a deal for a Canadian skater to switch to America or vice versa; it's been done numerous times in recent years. But I think it's a very, very big deal for a Japanese skater to renounce citizenship for another country. The only example of this is Yuko Kavaguti, and IIRC, I don't think she changed citizenship until she and Smirnov had won medals at the highest level (Euros/Worlds). Narumi is now in a similar situation to Yuko; would she make a similar change?[/QUOTE]

    Rena Inoue also gave up her Japanese citizenship to compete in the Olympics with John Baldwin. I remember the commentators saying at 2006 Nationals that giving up Japanese citizenship was a very hard decision for her.

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