No, I’m not taking up Japanese citizenship. At least I have no intention to do so now. But I recently met a guy from China who is in the process of ditching his Chinese nationality for Japanese nationality.
OK, “ditching” is not a good word. Let’s go with “dumping.”
As with any nosey concerned person, I asked why he chose to dump his citizenship with the world number 2 economic mammoth. He stated without batting an eyelid (I think batting an eyelid is called a wink) winking, that one of his concerns is convenience of travel. Not surprising given that Z-cup Hollywood actress Gong Li probably took up Singapore citizenship for the same reason. But the other more interesting reason was, he felt that wherever he went, people look at him differently when he says he’s from China. That took me by surprise, not because of his awareness of how many people look at Chinese nationals through tinted glasses so they look 3D, but because he actually has the misconception that a change of citizenship on paper would change the fact that he is Chinese.
I totally understand where he’s coming from. China, right? But I believe that the change will only make visa matters much easier and not change much else. Reason being he is already 30 and not 3. The Chinese in him has been deeply rooted, just as how the Singaporean in me is. No matter how I try to blend into the Japanese crowd, I will always be a Singaporean. Just look at how people at home treat the new citizens from China. Most don’t view them as a part of us. It’s not even a stretch to say no one does. Perhaps it’ll be better for the 2nd or 3rd generation. If they grew up here, they’d be more Japanese, even though it’s not uncommon for ostracism to take place for students who look different.
So what’s the point of this post? I have no idea.