[JURIST] Japan's Ministry of Justice [official website] indicated Thursday that it would revise a law which denied Japanese citizenship to the illegitimate children of Japanese fathers and foreign mothers. The Supreme Court of Japan [official website] ruled [JURIST report] Wednesday that Article 3 of the Nationality Law violated equal protection guarantees in Article 14 of the Japanese Constitution [text]. Japanese Justice Minister Kunio Hatoyama Thursday instructed local legal offices to accept citizenship applications [Mainichi Daily News report] from children born to one Japanese and one foreign parent in accordance with the Supreme Court's ruling. The Japan Times has more.
The Supreme Court's decision came in two cases brought by children born out of wedlock to Japanese fathers and Filipino mothers. Under Japanese law, a child born to a Japanese father and a foreign mother could only gain Japanese citizenship if the father admits paternity before the child is born or if the parents were to marry. Mainichi Daily News has local coverage.