When people discover how long I’ve lived in Japan,
they inevitably ask me the same question “Which do you like?”. I’m sorry but I find this a stupid and sometimes offensive question. If I meet a mother with 2 children I NEVER feel I must ask her “Which one do you love?” The answer is obvious” I love both my children! I confess I don’t love them equally but there are different things I love about each of them and there are other things that drive me crazy about each of them.
The same is true for one’s country. Those of us who are lucky to have experienced two or more countries, understand it. We cannot love only one country. We love both. We love them differently: we hate them differently. There are things about my homeland I miss more than anything but there are things I never miss about it too. There are things about Japan that I LOVE yet there are things that make me soooooo angry too.
Like my children, I love both in different ways. For this reason I cannot become a Japanese citizen. Japanese law requires that I give up my Canadian citizenship in order to become Japanese. Japan claims that I can only love one country. Canada lets me have dual nationality. Until Japan is willing to allow the same I cannot ask for Japanese citizenship.
I would like to wish a similar dilemma on the lawmakers of the Diet. They should be required to experience this same difficult decision. They should all be required to chose the child they “love” most and give up the others as love is finite in their world.