[Question] I have been living in Japan with my family for a long time. I want to be naturalized. Is it possible? What are the requirements and formalities? Where can I get advice?

 Article 5 of the Nationality Law says that a person wishing to obtain Japanese nationality by “naturalization” needs to fulfill the following eligibility requirements:

1) a person must have domiciled in Japan for five or more consecutive years;
2) a person must be 20 years of age or over and of sound mind according to the law of his or her country of origin;
3) a person must be of upright character;
4) a person must be able to secure a livelihood by his or her own property or ability, or those of a spouse or other relatives with whom the person lives and shares living expenses;
5) a person must be stateless or be prepared to give up his or her original nationality on becoming a naturalized Japanese citizen;
6) a person must, since the enactment of the Constitution, never have 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 the existing government.

You can apply for naturalization at the appropriate Legal Affairs Bureau that serves your area by submitting required documents. If you are married to a Japanese or if you were born in Japan, for example, requirements for naturalization are relaxed.

Once your naturalization is granted, your new family registry is made. You can consult with and apply at a legal affairs office of your area.