How could I have forgotten Berezhnaya/Sikharulidze? Thanks for adding them to the list.
I remember once when I was riding a taxi through a city. I got to chatting with the cabbie. It turned out he was originally from Yemen. He said that his father was a guest worker in Saudi Arabia for ten years and would never have qualified for Saudi citizenship. (Keep in mind that both Yemen and Saudi Arabia use the same language and have the same majority religion and similar cultures.) But after seven years in the U.S., this cabbie was able to become an American citizen. He married an American and brought up his children here. I'm glad we're able to have such a setup in this country. I understand Japan's inability to welcome all and sundry to their tiny islands with so little arable land, but it's too bad they can't find some way to allow double citizenship. After all, it wouldn't affect a huge number of people. It's not as if the world would descend on them or anything.
I have just looked at the World Bank statistics for the past decade, and they say that the population in Japan has roughly stayed steady at around 127million (+/-1million) for the past 15 years. So, as yet, there is no “de-population”.
The problem is not that the population is decreasing; the problem is make-up of the population. Usually, a country’s population pyramid starts off wide at the bottom (lots of youngsters) and gradually gets narrower as people get older to a point at the top (not so many elderly). Japan was like this in 1950.
Population Pyramids for Japan (source UN): http://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/populatio..._abs/Japan.png
In 2010, the pyramid for Japan does not follow this pattern until you reach the over 60’s. Between 65 and 35, the population varies between 4 and 5 million for each gender in each age group. And below 35, it gradually decreases down to about 3 million for each gender in the 0-5 age group.
Admittedly, it was about 8 years ago that I finished school, but the population pyramid for 2010 is similar to the 2000 population pyramid we were studying.
So, I agree with you that the aging population is going to cause problems as, if the population continues to change the way they expect, there will be far more older people depending on support, and far less people of working age paying taxes to fund the support.
But that still does not alter the point that I was making. Physically, Japan is a group of mountainous islands where there is a limited amount of space that can actually be utilised for habitation or cultivation. The habitable areas are already densely populated. So, if the population is staying steady (as it has for about 15 years), the Japanese government are hardly going to want an influx of immigrants putting extra pressure on the limited resources. Hence, they are continuing the policy of limiting who can have Japanese citizenship for now.
However, if the population changes in the way that is expected, this approach cannot continue forever. Once the population starts falling, and there are less people of working age to support those that are not economically active (i.e. the old and young), then Japan will have to have a re-think and encourage immigration. And, one way of doing this is relaxing the rules on who can have Japanese citizenship a bit.
So, until we get to that time, I can’t see Japan changing their current policy. But, I still feel that it is wrong to prevent people who are born in Japan or have Japanese ancestry from having dual nationality.
But, this discussion is now getting too far away from the topic of Narumi and Mervin splitting up. So, let’s get back to it!
first message in this topic is that in situations like this, where somebody wants to actively do something to help Japan, there should be some lee-way.
More important is insisting that the immigrant is able to speak (and, preferably, read and write) the language of the host country. Like, how can you manage to live somewhere if you can't communicate?
Finally, I think “let`s talk” and “Olympia” have summed up most of the issues raised about nationality/citizenship in this thread perfectly in the last 2 posts. So, perhaps this should be the end of this aspect of the discussion, so that we can concentrate on Mervin and Narumi’s futures.
In the US, there is no 'official language'. Most of the US speaks English, but there is a significant Spanish-speaking population. In some large cities, there are areas where the majority of the inhabitants speak little or no English. In the NY-NJ area, you can take the written driving test in many languages.
Yesterday, the JSF figure skating director Ito commented on Takahashi's new partner. Selection is underway in preference to Japanese citizens. They want to make a new team until next February when Takahashi can resume training.
There are so many talented Japanese men in men's singles. Shame a few cannot try pairs.Quite a few top skaters may not be big enough but Kento Nakamura is listed as 5'9, and Ryuichi Kihara 5'8.
I think this is the kind of situation in which the national federation needs to take the lead. The JSF is a powerful federation, and it should be making pairs training available and encouraging young skaters in that direction. The incentive is simple in Japan: there are not enough singles spots on the national team for every good skater. Six more skaters can go to Worlds in pairs spots.
This might not get Narumi a good partner by 2013, but the next Narumi to come along will have a partner worthy of her skills.
And in my experience, it actually takes the guy longer to come up to speed than the lady. Isabella Brasseur was making a splash at Canadian Nationals & went to Olympics in 1988 in her first season-it helps to have Lloyd Eisler as a partner.
The only example of a quick study for the man in the pair would be Rodnina Zaitsev-but she didn't do throw jumps...& in general requirements were very different pre 1980.
There is physical strength in the upper body that the guys need to build up that might have been neglected a bit as singles, IMO.
Your statement reminds me of how Yuka Sato became a pairs skater late in her career to skate with her husband, Jason Dunjen. She didn't skate in eligible competitions, but she did skate competitively, and pretty well, too. The thing that pairs ladies have to possess, or somehow attain, is the highest degree of courage in the figure-skating world. The stuff that ladies have to do in lifts these days is closer to being a trapeze artist than it is to anything in singles skating. The fact that Yuka was able to come to terms with all that stuff well into her twenties made me admire her even more than I originally did (which was already quite a lot).
I usually reply to a thread after scanning through before posting - but I'm gonna post first this time: I'm so sad! Their chemistry was SOOOO cute together!
I'm worried now with the Korean ice dance pair with their nationality issues - although this time, the Korean fed is trying to convince the government and ISU, who knows what will happen?