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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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    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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    Tripping on the Podium
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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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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    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 would probably be easier for Takahashi to get Canadian citizenship . . . 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.
    Yes. Agreed.

    Looks rather impossible for Tran to become a Japanese citizen, and, quite rightly, JSF's job is to promote skating in Japan. But adding to this perspective, JSF and skaters in Japan should feel some gratitude to Tran and Takahashi because they represent a big first break-through in pairs skating under the Japan banner. They are the "it" pair in Japan right now, at least for the forseeable short-term, and because of them, other pairs skaters in Japan will be inspired. If for anyone, surely there is an argument that they deserve continued support.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gsk8 View Post
    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 exceptionfor the world bronze medalist.
    Who didn’t see that coming?

    Quote Originally Posted by gsk8 View Post
    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.
    It would be much easier for her but even if she started now she probably won't get citizenship until after 2014 and that's IF they make the Canadian Olympic team.

    Quote Originally Posted by eyria View Post
    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?
    Yuko was a different story, her former partner (Markuntsov) couldn't get Japanese citizenship either; so she decided to become Russian long before she and Smirnov started winning big medals. It was her only option if she wanted to go the Olympics and since it was her dream to skate at that competition. She gave up her citizenship verses just skipping it and skating for two separate countries, which is what they could have done. It's too bad, they were so close to a medal.

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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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    nefertiti..reincarnate
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    Please correct me if I'm wrong, ..... 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.
    Like I wrote before, it's by "Article 9" of the Nationality Act of Japan that Tran is being planned by a large number of Diet members to be given citizenship, and this Article 9 DOES NOT require Tran to lose Canadian citizenship at all. Moreover, it even doesn't require Tran to apply for it.
    This type of Japanese Citizenship, though never put in act before, is determined solely by the will of the Diet, formally speaking, as a "gift".

    If it were obtaining Japanese citizenship using the other clauses, then yes Tran would lose Canadian citizenship, but those other clauses won't let him apply because of language and residence.
    But no, this is nothing about losing Canadian citizenship.

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    Maybe there are a few politicians backing citizenship for Tran, but I can't imagine the entire Diet would go for granting citizenship to a person who doesn't speak or write Japanese, has no Japanese ancestors, and has never resided in Japan, and at the same time allowing this new 'citizen' to have dual citizenship, which is NOT allowed for any other Japanese citizen.

    NOT going to happen.

    If Tran were a volcanologist or seismologist who had a foolproof method of predicting earthquakes and ways to prevent damage from same, maybe that would be valuable enough to grant such an anomaly. A pie in the sky Olympic medal is just not any incentive at all.

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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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