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VISA Q and A on FM COCOLO 76.5 MHz
The Nationality of a newborn
 On Aired Data: Dec. 19, 2000
Summary of
the Aired
Client :
A Japanese male listener, who is married to a foreign citizen

He has recently come up with the suspicion that his child may not be his. He came up with this suspicion because at the time of her pregnancy, he was out of the country, and it was impossible for his wife to become pregnant of his own child. When he finds out that the child is really not his real child, he has plans on divorcing his wife. At the moment, he is wondering what would happen to the nationality of the child, if this divorce is taken into process.

Under the Civil Law, article 772 paragraph1, if the child is born under any of the bellow conditions, the child is legally considered the child of the specific couple:

1) When a child is born during a marriage

2) If the child was born within after 200 days of marriage, and before 300 days of divorce

Under these circumstances, if the father would like to prove that the child is not his own child, he must claim a lawsuit of “denial of legitimacy”.

The lawsuit must be filed within one year after you are notified of the child’s birth. If the father fails to file a lawsuit within a year, the father will not be able to file a lawsuit to determine whether or not the child his or not (Civil Law; article 777).

But when it is quite obvious that the father is not the real father, and it has been after one year of the notice of the birth of the child, the father still has a chance of filing a suit called the “Confirmation of Non-existence of the Partnership”. You are able to file this lawsuit anytime.

When this is the case concerns international marriage, it will be judged under article 17. If the child is considered the legitimate child under either of the parent’s countries law, the child is considered the legitimate child for both countries, unless both of the countries are able to disclaim the child’s legitimacy.


* Deny the legitimacy in both Japan and his wife’s country.

This is the only way our listener can legally say that the child is not his.

If this is difficult

*File for a “Confirmation of Non-existence of the Partnership”.

If by any of these procedures, the child is legally denied of his legitimacy, the child will automatically lose his citizenship of Japan. So the child will be deleted from his father’s family registration (the father is a Japanese citizen). And since our listener has made up his mind that he will divorce his wife, after the divorce is confirmed, the wife will not be able to renew her spouse visa. If she has no other status to stay under, she will have to leave the Japan. This is the same for the child. But if the child is proved to be another Japanese citizen’s child, the child will be granted the Japanese citizenship, and the mother will be granted the long term residency for bringing up a Japanese child.