Naturalization disapproval ruling, 2006-2008

Court rejects alien's request for mandation of naturalization

By William Wetherall

First posted 3 February 2013
Last updated 21 July 2014

Overview Origin Ruling Chronology Quality of opinion Sources, presentation, commentary
Judgment Particulars Summary of findings Main text Facts and reasons (Appendix) Related laws

Overview of Pakistani man v. Minister of Justice, 2006-2008

I am calling this case "Pakistani man v. Minister of Justice" as the plaintiff was a male national of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The received Nagoya District Court judgment refers to him as "A".


Origin of Pakistani man v. Minister of Justice

In 2005, A, a Pakistani man who owned and ran an import-export and domestic sales company in Japan, and was married to a Japanese woman with whom he had fathered 4 sons, applied for permission to naturalize. A's application was accepted but the Minister of Justice disapproved it, and in 2006 he filed a lawsuit with the Nagoya District Court, demanding that the disapproval disposition be nullified and that approval be mandated.


Court ruling in Pakistani man v. Minister of Justice

In 2008, the Nagoya District Court rejected A's demands, ruling that the Minister of Justice, who has broad discretionary powers in the determination of who is permitted to naturalize, had sufficient reason to conclude that A did not satisfy the condition of Item 3 of Paragraph 1 of Article 5 of the Nationality Law (as revised in 1985), which requires that an applicant for permission to naturalize be a person of good character.


Chronology of Pakistani man v. Minister of Justice

I have only the following district court judgment in this case, which apparently the plaintiff declined to appeal.

First (and apparently only) instance court (2006-2008)
Court:     Nagoya District Court
Case:      Heisei 18 (Gyo-U) 38
Litigants: Pakistani man v. Minister of Justice
Judgment:  12 March 2006
Ruling:    Requests dismissed
Chronology of Pakistani man v. Minister of Justice, 2006-2008

X-day Y-month 1957

The plaintiff, A, a man with Islamic Republic of Pakistan nationality, is born, presumably in Pakistan.

13 December 1984

A establishes a company that exports, imports, and engages in domestic sales of automobiles, automobile parts, household appliances, computers, and cameras, which he and a younger brother managed. A also served as an officer in a religious corporation.

14 September 1986

A receives permission to disembark in Japan (本邦 honō) [this country] and has since been domiciled in Japan.


4 sons born between A and his wife, a Japanese woman born in 1960.

17 August 1996

A acquires the status of residence of a Permanent Resident.

20 April 2005

A files application for permission to naturalize.

Filing applications for permission to naturalize

Applying for permission to naturalize begins with a preliminary interview at a local Legal Affairs Bureau to determine whether the prospective applicant is qualified to apply -- and, if qualified, what forms and documents need to be completed and attached. Preparing the application will usually require a few weeks or months, under the guidance of local Legal Affairs Bureau case officers (possibly more than one). The local bureau will accept an application only at which point all the necessary forms and documents have been collected and vetted. The bureau then forwards the application to the Ministry of Justice, where other officials review it with fresh eyes. Usually everything is found to be in order and the application is approved. However, MOJ officials may query the local bureau about information in the application, and may request additional information.

29 August 2005

A submits written "Immediate [Pakistan nationality] abandonment oath" (即時放棄宣誓書 Sokuji hōki senseisho). Apparently the oath was requested 4 months after the application for naturalization was accepted.

Oaths of abandonment and renunciation

The main text of the judgment states that Pakistan does not adopt a system for its nationals to automatically lose its nationality upon naturalizing in another country, or to renounce its nationality before naturalizing in another country. However, following Japan's guidelines for naturalization in A's case, A submitted a written oath in which he agreed to immediately "abandon" (放棄 hഅki) or "waive" or "relinquish" claims to his alien nationality the moment he naturalized.

In other cases, an applicant for naturalization may be asked to sign an "Instant renunciation oath" (即時離脱宣誓書 Sokuji ridatsu senseisho), on which the applicant promises to "renounce" (離脱 ridatsu) whatever nationality or nationalities are shown as objects of the verb "to renounce" on the oath.

Such oaths, though made to the Minister of Justice, are usually signed in the presence of a Legal Affairs Bureau official at the time an application is filed.

"Sokuji" (即時) as an attributive implies that whatever it qualifies will occur "immediately at the time" -- in this case as soon as one has naturalized, meaning as soon as one has been permitted to naturalize. The adverb generally used in the body of an oath with the verb designation what one promises to do is "tadachi ni" (直ちに) -- which means "immediately" or "posthaste" or "quickly" or "without delay".

The effects of a declaration of abandonment would be immediate in the eyes of a state that has provisions in its laws to regard such a declaration as legally equivalent to renunciation -- the Republic of Korea, for example -- and, for that, Japan. However, renunciation would not be take place until the naturalized person who made the oath directly renounced one's alien nationality to the concerned state, and it would not be recognized by Japan until the person filed a notification of loss of [foreign] nationality to Japanese authorities. A naturalized person who has made such an oath is expected to endeavor to lose one's alien nationality, but "sokuji" and "tadachi ni" are not specifically defined in terms of a time limit.

20 December 2005

A receives notification of disapproval from Minister of Justice, dated 15 December 2005, through Director of Nagoya Legal Affairs Bureau. disapproves A's application. Some 8 months had elapsed since the application was accepted, and 4 months had elapsed since the oath of abandonment was submitted.

Rejection rates

Disapproval rates have fallen from highs of over 50 percent in the late 1950s to 10-20 percent in the 1970s, then to 5-10 percent in the 1980s, and have been less than 1 to 5 percent -- mostly below 2 percent -- since 1990. The lowest numbers (and percents) of disapprovals correlate with the lowest numbers of approvals in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Recent drops in the number of approvals have been accompanied by increases in the numbers (and of course also the percents) of rejections.

31 May 2006

A instigates litigation in Nagoya District Court requesting (1) nullification of the Minister of Justice's disapproval of his naturalization and (2) mandation of approval of his application.

27 December 2007

Oral arguments concluded.

12 March 2008

Court rejects A's requests.


Quality of district court ruling in Pakistani man v. Minister of Justice

The logic of the ruling is reasonable assuming that the plaintiff had violated the Labor Standards Law and the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Law, as alleged by Ministry of Justice, and that these violations were grounds for the Minister of Justice to conclude that the plaintiff did not fulfill the legal requirement that an alien permitted to naturalize in Japan be a person of good conduct.

Otherwise, the main value of the ruling in this case is the insight it provides into how the court characterized the Minister of Justice's discretionary powers in approving or disapproving applications for permission to naturalize.


Sources, presentation, and commentary


Received Japanese text of ruling

The Japanese text was extracted from a pdf file downloaded from the database accessible through the Japanese government's 裁判所 Courts in Japan website. Most case particulars and a summary were retrieved by a query using minimum case particulars. These particulars and the summary are also shown.

Received English translation

This judgment has not, to my knowledge, been translated.

Structural English translation

The English translations of selected parts of this judgment are mine.

Formatting, commentary, and markup

I have divided the judgment into sections, and have somewhat reformatted the received text and highlighted some words and phrases to facilitate analysis and commentary.


All underscoring in the text of the judgment is as received. Unless otherwise noted, the underscoring of corresponding parts of the received translation is mine. All underscoring in my own commentary is, of course, also mine.


Unless otherwise noted, all (parentheses) in the received text and translation are as received.

Square and angle brackets

All in-line [square brackets] and <angle brackets> -- and everything enclosed in such brackets -- are mine.

Structural translations and commentary

My own closer (structural) translations are generally shown in blue in cells below the received judgment and received translation. At times I have shown closer translations of words or short phrases in-line, between right and left → arrows ← following the amended text.

Editorial [clarifications] are shown in-line. Brief comments are sometimes boxed in the cells of the texts they relate to. Extended comments are generally shown in cells below the relevant texts.

Color highlighting

The received texts of the judgment and translation, and my own commentary, are shown in black. However, to facilitate commentary on the language of the ruling and/or its translation, I have highlighted specific words and phrases in various colors according to the following scheme, which includes in-line editorial clarifications and corrections.

Color Original Translation
Background highlighting
Blue Corresponding parts of two or more texts selected for comparison
Yellow Content added to received text to reconstruct a missing part
Pink Transcription or scanning errors parenthetically corrected in-line (sic = in-line)
Graphic highlighting
Blue [ Clarification ]   (in-line) [ Clarification ]   (in-line)
→ My closer translation ←   (in-line)
My closer translation   (boxed)
Green Presumed true and correct copy of the language of the original text May be too free and a bit off key but represents all elements or original

Nationality Law
Nationality Act   (unconventional)
Law / Act of Nationality   (unconventional)
Korea   (if "Empire of Korea" 1897-1910)
Purple Problematic phrasing or usage in the language of the original text Imprecise or awkward, incomplete or embellished, or otherwise inadequate
Citizenship → Nationality   (as legal status)
Korea → Republic of Korea   (since 1948)
Korea → Chōsen   (as territory 1910-1952)
Japan Proper → Interior   (as territory)
Red Incorrect phrasing or usage ※ Misleading or incorrect
renounce → abandon, relinquish
renounce, separate from
Korea → Chōsen   (as territory)
Cyan ※ When original is incorrect Mistranslation is more correct than original
the annexation of Korea by Japan
→ the union of Japan and Chōsen

※   The example of incorrect 朝鮮 (Chōsen) being mistranslated Korea (韓国 Kankoku), thus "accidentally" correcting the usage in the judgement, can be seen in Kanda v. State 1961.

1. While 朝鮮 (Chōsen) in the judgment is factually incorrect, the correct translation is "Chōsen" because that is what the original text says. Because the translators conflate "Chōsen" (朝鮮) with "Korea" (韓国 Kankoku), they habitually translate "Chōsen" as "Korea" -- which constitutes a "mistranslation" that in effect accidentally "corrects" the factual error in the original -- i.e., a double negative becomes a positive. But two wrongs don't make a right. Translators are not supposed to "edit" the content of legal briefs. They might flag a problematic expression for comment in a footnote, but the translation itself should be faithful to the original.

2. Note that where the judgment precisely paraphrases the phrasal logic of the expression "Nik-Kan heigō" (日韓併合) [Japan-Korea union] as "X to Y to no heigō" (XとYとの併合) [the union between X and Y], the received translation incorrectly represents the syntactic logic of the paraphrase as "the annexation of Y by X" -- which constitutes an interpretation of the effects of the union, not its formal description in Japanese law -- which I underscore, because the court is making a legal, not political, argument. Historiographic "opinion" external to received text of the original judgment, and its attempt to deal with the letter and operation of Japanese law is irrelevant. A translator might say that the past is past. Treaties, laws, and ordinances of the past -- though no longer enforced -- may continue to have effect in court reviews of what I call "legacy" cases, which involve status actions in the past.


Main judgment in district court ruling in Pakistani man v. Minister of Justice

The main judgment is divided into the following major sections.

No. 1.   Requests
No. 2.   Summary of matters
  1. Pre-existing facts
    (1) Concerned party
    (2) This case's disapproval disposition and institution of litigation
    (3) Conditions of Items 1, 2, and 4-6 of Paragraph 1 of Article 5 of [Nationality] Law
  2. Point of dispute
   (Assertions of plaintiff)
    (1) Constitution of judgment of illegality in naturalization disapproval disposition
    (2) Regarding presence of illegality in this case's disapproval disposition
   (Assertions of defendant)
    (1) Regarding constitution of judgment of illegality in naturalization disapproval disposition
    (2) Regarding presence of illegality in this case's disapproval disposition
No. 3   This court's ruling
  1. Regarding constitution of judgment of illegality in naturalization disapproval disposition
  2. Regarding presence of illegality in this case's disapproval disposition
  3. Conclusion

The plaintiff's attorneys argued that the Minister of Justice's disapproval of his application for permission to naturalize was illegal on the grounds that he had fulfilled all of the requisites, including the requisite that he be a person of good conduct -- Item 3 of Paragraph 1 of Article 5 of the 1950 Nationality Law as revised in 1985.

Ministry of Justice attorneys countered that the plaintiff, in the course of running his company, had violated a number of laws, specifically (1) the Labor Standards Law regarding clearly indicating wages, working hours, and other working conditions on labor contracts (Article 15, Paragraph 1), not working an employee more than 40 hours a week excluding rest periods (Article 32, Paragraph 1), failing to establish appropriate rules of employment when employing 10 or more employees (Article 89), and (2) the Immigration [Exit-enter-country] Control and Refugee Recognition Law regarding the engagement of a foreign national in illegal labor activity (Article 73-2, Paragraph 1, Item 1).

In the following presentation, I will translate only the few parts of the judgment that relate to the court's perception of the nature of the Ministry of Justice's discretionary powers, related both to permission of naturalization and action taken to cause loss of nationality.


2008 Osaka District Court judgment in
Pakistani man v. Minister of Justice

Japanese text, partial English translation, and commentary
Osaka District Court






Court and division: Osaka District Court, Civil Division No. 9

Case number: Heisei 18 [2006] (Gyo-U) 38

Case name: Naturalization application disapproval disposition nullification request case

Decision: 12 March 2008 [Heisei 20-03-12]

Ruling: Suit dismissed. Other requests rejected.


判示事項の要旨 Summary of findings
Received Japanese text Structural translation


Example of case in which the naturalization disapproval disposition toward an alien male of Pakistan nationality was held [by the court] to be lawful as sufficient reason to cause harboring of doubt in the applicability of the behavioral condition of Item 3 of Paragraph 1 of Article 5 of the Nationality Law was recognized et cetera [by the court].


主文 Main text of the judgment
Received Japanese text Structural translation

1 本件帰化の許可の義務付けを求める訴えを却下する。

2 原告のその余の請求を棄却する。

3 訴訟費用は原告の負担とする。

1. Dismissal of suit seeking mandation of permit to naturalize in this case

2. Rejection of other requests of the plaintiff

3. The plaintiff will bear the costs of litigation


事実及び理由 Facts and reasons
Received Japanese text Structural translation

第1   請求

1 処分行政庁が原告に対し平成17年12月15日付けでした帰化不許可処分を取り消す。

2 処分行政庁は,原告に対し,平成17年4月20日付け帰化の許可申請に基づき帰化を許可せよ。

No. 1   Requests

1. Toward disposing government agency [Ministry of Justice], nullify [its] disposition of disapproval of naturalization dated 15 December 2005

2. The disposing government agency [Ministry of Justice], toward the plaintiff, approve naturalization based on application of approval of naturalization dated 20 April 2005

第2   事案の概要


1 前提事実(争いがないか,証拠上明らかである。)

(1) 当事者




(2) 本件不許可処分及び本訴の提起

  法務大臣は,原告が平成17年4月20日付けで名古屋法務局長を経由してした本件帰化申請に対し,同年12月15日付けで本件不許可処分をし,同月20日ころ原告にこれを通知した。 原告は,平成18年5月31日,本件不許可処分の取消し及び帰化の許可の義務付けを求める本件訴えを提起した。

(3) 法5条1項1,2,4~6号の条件





  エパキスタンにおいては,同国人が外国に帰化することによって国籍を自動的に喪失するという制度又は外国への帰化前に国籍を離脱することができるという制度を採っていないが,原告は,日本人であるAと婚姻関係にあり,本件帰化申請の手続において,日本に帰化したときはパキスタン国籍を即時に放棄することを宣誓した平成17年8月29日付け「即時放棄宣誓書」を作成して提出した。 オ原告は,日本国憲法又はその下に成立した日本政府を暴力で破壊することを企て,若しくは主張し,又はこれを企て,若しくは主張する政党その他の団体を結成し,若しくは加入したことがない。 カ以上の事実に照らせば,原告は,法5条1項1,2,4~6号の条件(5号の条件につき,同条2項により許可条件が認められる場合を含む。)を満たし,又は満たす蓋然性が高い。

No. 2   Summary of matters

 In this case, the matters are that the plaintiff, having effected an application for permission to naturalize (hereafter "this case [said] naturalization application) based on the Nationality Law (hereafter "Law"), received a disapproval disposition (hereafter "this case [said] disapproval disposition") from the Minister of Justice (disposing government agency), and in addition to seeking its nullification, is is seeking a mandation of permission of naturalization toward the Minister of Justice.

The content of the Nationality Law cited in this judgment is as [shown in] the appendix of related laws.

1. Pre-existing facts (without dispute, or clear from evidence.)

(1) Concerned party

 The plaintiff is an alien male who possesses Islamic Republic of Pakistan (Hereafter "Pakistan".) nationality, of X-day Y-month 1957 (Shōwa 32) birth, [and he] married Japanese Z (born X-day Y-month Shōwa 35) [1960], and produced 1st son B (born X Y Heisei 3) [1991], 2nd son C (born X Y Heisei 7) [1995], 3rd son D (born X Y Heisei 9) [1997], and 4th son E (born X Y Heisei 13) [2001].

 The plaintiff, on 13 December Showa 59 [1984] established a Limited Company I (Capital 8 million yen. Locality of main office same as plaintiff's status address. Hereafter "I Company".), which makes it purpose the export and import and domestic sales inter alia of automobiles and automobile parts, household appliances, computers, and cameras, and [he] works (serves) as its representative director, and A and [his] actual younger brother F (Born X Y 1962.) work (serve) as its directors.

 And, the plaintiff works (serves) as the representative officer of Religious Judicial Person (Corporation) J.

(2) This case's disapproval disposition and institution of litigation

[ Omitted ]

(3) Conditions of Items 1, 2, and 4-6 of Paragraph 1 of
    Article 5 of [Nationality] Law

[ Omitted ]

2 争点


2. Point of dispute

The point of dispute in this case is the presence or not of illegality in the this case's disapproval disposition, and the assertions [of the plaintiff and the defendant] concerning this are as follows.


 (1) 帰化不許可処分の違法性の判断の在り方





  (2) 本件不許可処分の違法性の有無について

  ア(ア) 被告は,第3回口頭弁論期日において,本件不許可処分の理由は,原告が代表取締役を務めるI社の銀行取引及び労務関係が問題となり得ることを指摘した。



  (イ) したがって,法務大臣は,本件不許可処分当時,I社の銀行取引又は労務関係に何らかの問題があると判断していたのではなく,他の理由に基づいて本件不許可処分をしたものといわざるを得ない。





  (ア) I社に係る労働基準法違反について





  (イ) I社に係る不法就労助長行為について


  (ウ) その他の事情

  a 原告の前科・前歴関係


  b 原告の納税等の関係


  c 原告の職業,経営する会社の状況



  d 原告の家族関係・日常生活



  (エ) 以上のとおり,原告は,日本において遵法精神に富み,社会的義務を十分に果たし,日本社会に根ざした良好かつ安定した生活を送っており,原告は素行条件を満たすものである。



(Plantiff's assertions)

[ Omitted ]


(1) 帰化不許可処分の違法性の判断の在り方について






  (2) 本件不許可処分の違法性の有無について




  (ア) 原告は,I社の労働基準法違反の程度は軽微であると主張するが,そもそもI社が違反した労働基準法15条1項,32条1項及び89条は,いずれも罰則をもって担保されている使用者に課された法令上の義務であり(32条1項違反につき119条1号,15条1項及び89条の各違反につき120条1号),当該各違反事実をもって,その違反の程度が軽微であるとは到底いえない。

  (イ) 原告は,愛知労働局作成の「平成18年監督実施状況及び措置状況」を根拠として,I社の労務関係が通常の会社に比べて劣るとは到底いえないと主張するが,定期監督等の実施対象は,過去の監督指導結果や労働者からの通報等の各種情報等に基づき選定されていることからすれば,これをもって「通常の」会社と比較したものとして論ずるのは,そもそもその前提を誤るものである。そして,すべての業種のうち,労働基準法15条違反が認められた割合は8.2%,同法32条等労働時間関係の違反が認められた割合は28.2%,同法89条違反が認められた割合は17.3%であるから,単純計算ではあるが,これら3種の義務すべてに違反が認められた割合は0.4%となるのであり,I社の労務関係が通常の会社と比較して劣るとは到底いえないなどという主張は成り立ち得ない。

  (ウ) 原告は,I社の労務関係について,最古参の従業員であるHに任せていたことは,外国人である原告としては十分に合理性があり,法規違反に気が付かないまま継続するのもやむを得ず,直ちに原告の素行と結びつけることはできないと主張するが,労務関係の事務をその従業員に分担させることはともかくとしても,労働基準法15条1項,32条1項及び89条に基づく義務の名あて人は使用者であるから,従業員にその事務を分担させたことにより生じた同法違反の結果については,使用者である当該会社の代表者がその責任を負担すべきものである。また,我が国において,事業を営もうとする以上,我が国の労働関係法規を遵守することは当然のことといえ,I社の労働基準法違反の事実をもって,直ちに原告の素行と結びつけることはできないなどとは到底いえない。

  (エ) 原告は,労働基準法違反の反社会性の程度は,刑法及び租税法違反とは明らかに異なると主張するが,そもそもその主張の根拠が不明な上,労働基準法は,労働条件の最低基準や使用者が遵守すべき職場規範を設定する法であって,その主たる目的が,労働条件や職場のルールに関する使用者の単独決定に枠をはめ,それを通じて労働者の健康,安全,人間に値する労働条件の実現を図ることにあることからすれば,原告が主張するように労働基準法違反の反社会性の程度が,刑法や租税法違反とは明らかに異なるとは到底いえないのである。

  (オ) I社は,「短期滞在」の在留資格しか有していないGを雇用していたところ,原告は,Gの不法就労について,I社の取締役であるFが独断で雇い入れたものであるなどと主張するが,原告において,Gに就労資格がないことを認識したにもかかわらず,FやGからいずれ就労資格を得られるとの説明を受けたことにより,雇い入れることを受け入れ,むしろGの不法就労を容認していたのである。もとより,原告は,I社の代表取締役で,資本の過半数を有する実質的なオーナーでもあることからすれば,資格外活動を行おうとする外国人の不法就労を打ち切ることが可能な立場にありながら,あえて4か月もの間,不法就労を継続させたことには何らの合理的な理由は見いだせず,この点についても,原告の「素行が善良である」とはいえない。

  (カ) 原告が提出した平成18年11月29日付け陳述書(甲60)には,I社が本件是正勧告を受けた事実が記載されていないが,同陳述書中に,雇用契約書を作成して雇用条件を明示していること,就業規則を作成,変更して名古屋西労働基準監督署長に届け出ていること,就業規則には労働時間として1週間に平均42時間,土曜日も勤務と規定されていたが,平成15年10月からは週40時間とし週休2日制に変更していることなどを記載している上,I社の労務関係については,原告に報告される体制であったとのことであるから,原告が上記陳述書を作成した時点で,労働基準法違反の事実を認識していたにもかかわらず,これを記載しなかったことが明らかである。

(Defendant's assertions)

[ Omitted ]

第3   当裁判所の判断

1 帰化不許可処分の違法性の判断の在り方について



2 本件不許可処分の違法性の有無について

 (1) 法5条1項1,2,4~6号の条件について


 (2) 法5条1項3号の素行条件について


  (ア) I社は,平成14年6月当時,15人程度の従業員を雇用しており,そのうち9人についての雇用契約に係る文書が存在するものの,他の者についての雇用契約に係る文書が存在しておらず,I社は,これらの者のうち少なくとも4人について,雇用契約書によって労働条件を明示することなく雇用した(甲65の6,68~76,105,証人A,原告本人)。

  (イ) I社は,平成14年6月当時の勤務時間が,平日が午前9時~午後6時(内1時間が休憩時間)の8時間であったが,土曜日の午前9時~午後4時(内1時間が休憩時間)の6時間についても,従業員が交代で電話番のために勤務しており,土曜日の勤務については時間外手当を支払っていなかった(甲104~106,証人A,原告本人)。

  (ウ) I社は,平成14年当時常態として10人以上の従業員がいたにもかかわらず就業規則を作成していなかったところ,本件是正勧告を受けたことを契機として,就業規則を作成し,従業員の代表者と労働基準法36条1項に基づく時間外労働に関する協定をした上,平成14年9月10日,名古屋西労働基準監督署長に対し,従業員の代表者の意見書を添付した同就業規則と,時間外労働に関する協定書を届け出た。I社は,その後,就業規則の一部を変更し,同年12月2日,従業員の代表者の意見書を添付した同就業規則を同監督署長に届け出た(甲57の1~3,58,59の1~3,60,65の1~12,105,106,原告本人)。





  (3) そうすると,原告は法5条1項3号の素行条件の該当性に疑問を抱かせる十分な理由が認められることに加え,法務大臣が法5条1項各号の条件を備える外国人に対しても,なおその帰化を許可するか否かについて,上記1のとおり,諸般の事情を総合的に考慮して決することができる広範な裁量権を有していることにかんがみれば,原告が素行が善良であるとして主張する前記第2の2(原告の主張)(2)イ(ウ)の事情を考慮してもなお,法務大臣が本件不許可処分をするに当たり裁量権の範囲を逸脱し又はその濫用があったものとは認められない。

  (4) なお,原告は,本件訴訟の進行の経緯に照らして,法務大臣が本件不許可処分当時I社の銀行取引又は労務関係に何らかの問題があると判断したのではなく,他の理由に基づいて本件不許可処分をしたものであって,裁量判断の方法又はその過程に誤りがあるといわざるを得ず,法務大臣は原告がイスラム教信者として活動している一事をもって本件不許可処分をしたものと容易に推測できる旨主張する。



The (numbers) and highlighting in the following text are mine, to facilitate identification with similarly marked parts in my structural English translation (above right).

  このことに加え,法務大臣が帰化の許否の判断をするに当たっては,上記1のとおり, (1) 諸般の事情を総合的に考慮して決することができる広範な裁量権を有していること,(2) 原則として国家がいったん与えた国籍は後にこれを一方的に剥奪することができないこと(3) 帰化の許可申請に対し,何らかの不安要素があれば今しばらく当該外国人の生活状況を観察することとして当該申請を不許可にすることも許されると解すべきことを併せ考慮すれば,仮に,法務大臣が,本件不許可処分時において,本件訴訟で明らかになったI社の労働基準法違反や不法就労助長の具体的な事実関係を把握していなかったとしても,そのことから,直ちに,本件不許可処分が,その裁量判断の方法又はその過程において誤りがあるとはいえない。また,法務大臣が原告のイスラム教信者としての活動を根拠に本件不許可処分をした旨の原告主張も,これを認めるに足りる証拠はない。

  (5) したがって,本件不許可処分は違法であると認めることができないから,本件不許可処分の取消請求は理由がない。


No. 3   This court's ruling

1. Regarding the constitution of a judgment of illegality in a naturalization disapproval disposition

[ omitted ]

2. Regarding the presence or absence of illegality in this case's disapproval disposition

[ omitted ]

 (1) Regarding conditions of Items 1, 2, and 4-6 of Paragraph 1 of Article 5 of [Nationality] [Law]

[ omitted ]

Article 5 lists the 6 general conditions which must be met by aliens other than those who qualify for mitigation of one or more of the conditions. The conditions, in short are as follows.

  1. Domiciled in Japan for
      5 or more consecutive years
  2. Age 20 or older and has
      legal capacity in home country law
  3. Conduct is good
  4. Able to support oneself by self or
      with spouse or relatives
  5. Has no nationality or
      naturalization in Japan will
      cause loss of foreign nationality   6. Has never plotted or advocated
      or belonged to an organization
      that has plotted or advocated
      overthrow of Japanese
      Constitution or government

 (2) Regarding Item 3 of Paragraph 1 of Article 5 of [Nationality] Law

[ omitted ]

 (3) Then, in addition to sufficient reason to cause [the Minister of Justice] to embrace doubt in the applicability (該当性 gaitōsei) of the conduct condition [doubt that the plainfiff satisfies the good conduct condition] of Item 3 of Paragraph 1 of Article 5 of the [Nationality] Law being recognized [by this court] . . . [ omitted ] . . .

 (4) The plaintiff asserts purporting that, illuminated in the events of the course of this case's law suit, the Minister of Justice did not at the time of this case's disapproval disposition judge that there were some problems in I Company's bank transactions or labor relations, but effected this case's disapproval disposition based on other reasons, that one has to say that there are errors in the method of [the Minister of Justice's] discretionary judgment and its process, that one can readily surmise that the Minister of Justice effected this case's disapproval disposition by means of the single matter of the plaintiff being active as an Islam believer. . . . [ omitted ] . . . .

The (numbers) and highlighting in the following highly structural translation are mine, to facilitate identification with similarly marked parts of the Japanese text.

  このことに加え,法務大臣が帰化の許否の判断をするに当たっては,上記1のとおり, (1) 諸般の事情を総合的に考慮して決することができる広範な裁量権を有していること,(2) 原則として国家がいったん与えた国籍は後にこれを一方的に剥奪することができないこと(3) 帰化の許可申請に対し,何らかの不安要素があれば今しばらく当該外国人の生活状況を観察することとして当該申請を不許可にすることも許されると解すべきことを併せ考慮すれば,仮に,法務大臣が,本件不許可処分時において,本件訴訟で明らかになったI社の労働基準法違反や不法就労助長の具体的な事実関係を把握していなかったとしても,そのことから,直ちに,本件不許可処分が,その裁量判断の方法又はその過程において誤りがあるとはいえない。また,法務大臣が原告のイスラム教信者としての活動を根拠に本件不許可処分をした旨の原告主張も,これを認めるに足りる証拠はない。

 In addition to this, with regard to the Minister of Justice deciding to approve or not a naturalization, as stated in 1. above -- when considering together (1) that the possession of broad discretionary authority (広範な裁量権 kōhan-na sairyōken) according to which [the Minister of Justice] is able to determine [whether to permit naturalization] comprehensively considering various circumstances, (2) that, in principle, as for a nationality the state has once attributed (granted), [the Minister of Justice] cannot later unilaterally revoke (rescind) (剥奪する hakudatsu suru) it, [and] (3) that toward a naturalization permission application, it is understood that if there are any apprehensive factors [the Minister of Justice], having for a while observed the living conditions of the said alien, is permitted to disapprove the said application -- even if, provisionally, the Minister of Justice, at the time of this case's disapproval disposition, did not grasp the concrete factual relationship of I Company's Labor Standards Law violations and its encouragement of illegal employment [of aliens] that became clear in this case's lawsuit, it cannot be said, from that, directly, that this case's disapproval disposition had errors in the method of the [Minster of Justice's] discretionary judgment or its process. Moreover, the plaintiff's assertion (claim), purporting that the Minister of Justice effected this case's disapproval disposition on the basis of the plaintiff's activities as an Islam believer, also lack evidence sufficient to recognize this [assertion (claim)].

 (5) Therefore, because [this court] cannot recognize that this case's disapproval disposition is illegal, the [plaintiff's] request for nullification of this case's disapproval disposition is without reason (grounds). . . . [ omitted ] . . . .

3 結論



裁判長裁判官  松並重雄
       裁判官 前田郁勝
       裁判官 片山博仁

3. Conclusion

In accordance with the above, [this court] holds that, because the appeal seeking toward the Minister of Justice mandation of permission concerning said naturalization is unlawful, [it] is dismissed, and because the plaintiff's other requests have no reasons [they] are rejected, and rules as [stated] in the main text.

Nagoya District Court, Civil Division No. 9

     Presiding Judge
         Justice Matsunami Shigeo
         Justice Maeda Ikukatsu
         Justice Katayama Hirohito


(別紙)関係法令 (Appendix) Related laws
Received Japanese text Received Ministry of Justice translation (Free translation)



4条   日本国民でない者(以下「外国人」という。)は,帰化によつて,日本の国籍を取得することができる。

2項  帰化をするには,法務大臣の許可を得なければならない。

5条   法務大臣は,次の条件を備える外国人でなければ,その帰化を許可することができない。

  1号   引き続き5年以上日本に住所を有すること。

  2号   20歳以上で本国法によつて行為能力を有すること。

  3号   素行が善良であること。

  4号   自己又は生計を一にする配偶者その他の親族の資産又は技能によつて生計を営むことができること。

  5号   国籍を有せず,又は日本の国籍の取得によつてその国籍を失うべきこと。

  6号   日本国憲法施行の日以後において,日本国憲法又はその下に成立した政府を暴力で破壊することを企て,若しくは主張し,又はこれを企て,若しくは主張する政党その他の団体を結成し,若しくはこれに加入したことがないこと。

2項   法務大臣は,外国人がその意思にかかわらずその国籍を失うことができない場合において,日本国民との親族関係又は境遇につき特別の事情があると認めるときは,その者が前項第5号に掲げる条件を備えないときでも,帰化を許可することができる。

6条   次の各号の一に該当する外国人で現に日本に住所を有するものについては,法務大臣は,その者が前条第1項第1号に掲げる条件を備えないときでも,帰化を許可することができる。

  1号   日本国民であつた者の子(養子を除く。)で引き続き3年以上日本に住所又は居所を有するもの

  2号   日本で生まれた者で引き続き3年以上日本に住所若しくは居所を有し,又はその父若しくは母(養父母を除く。)が日本で生まれたもの

  3号   引き続き10年以上日本に居所を有する者

7条   日本国民の配偶者たる外国人で引き続き3年以上日本に住所又は居所を有し,かつ,現に日本に住所を有するものについては,法務大臣は,その者が第5条第1項第1号及び第2号の条件を備えないときでも,帰化を許可することができる。日本国民の配偶者たる外国人で婚姻の日から3年を経過し,かつ,引き続き1年以上日本に住所を有するものについても,同様とする。

8条   次の各号の一に該当する外国人については,法務大臣は,その者が第5条第1項第1号,第2号及び第4号の条件を備えないときでも,帰化を許可することができる。

  1号   日本国民の子(養子を除く。)で日本に住所を有するもの

  2号   日本国民の養子で引き続き1年以上日本に住所を有し,かつ,縁組の時本国法により未成年であつたもの

  3号   日本の国籍を失つた者(日本に帰化した後日本の国籍を失つた者を除く。)で日本に住所を有するもの

  4号   日本で生まれ,かつ,出生の時から国籍を有しない者でその時から引き続き3年以上日本に住所を有するもの

9条   日本に特別の功労のある外国人については,法務大臣は,第5条第1項の規定にかかわらず,国会の承認を得て,その帰化を許可することができる。

【Determinations of the Nationality Law】


Article 4   A person who is not a Japanese national (hereinafter referred to as "an alien") may acquire Japanese nationality by naturalization.

2.  The permission of the Minister of Justice shall be obtained for naturalization.

Article 5   The Minister of Justice shall not permit the naturalization of an alien unless he or she fulfills all of the following conditions:

  (1)  that he or she has domiciled in Japan for five years or more consecutively;

  (2)  that he or she is twenty years of age or more and of full capacity according to the law of his or her home country;

  (3)  that he or she is of upright conduct;

  (4)  that he or she is able to secure a livelihood by one's own property or ability, or those of one's spouse or other relatives with whom one lives on common living expenses;

  (5)  that he or she has no nationality, or the acquisition of Japanese nationality will result in the loss of foreign nationality;

  (6)  that he or she has never 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 Japan or the Government existing thereunder, since the enforcement of the Constitution of Japan.

2.  When an alien is, regardless of his or her intention, unable to deprive himself or herself of his or her current nationality, the Minister of Justice may permit the naturalization of the alien, notwithstanding that the alien does not fulfill the conditions set forth in item (5) of the preceding paragraph, if the Minister of Justice finds exceptional circumstances in his or her family relationship with a Japanese national, or other circumstances.

Article 6   The Minister of Justice may permit the naturalization of an alien notwithstanding that the alien does not fulfill the condition set forth in item (1) of paragraph 1 of the last preceding Article, provided that the said alien falls under any one of the following items, and is presently domiciled in Japan:

  (1)  One who has had a domicile or residence in Japan for three consecutive years or more and who is the child of a person who was a Japanese national (excluding a child by adoption);

  (2)  One who was born in Japan and who has had a domicile or residence in Japan for three consecutive years or more, or whose father or mother (excluding father and mother by adoption) was born in Japan;

  (3)  One who has had a residence in Japan for ten consecutive years or more.

Article 7   The Minister of Justice may permit the naturalization of an alien who is the spouse of a Japanese national notwithstanding that the said alien does not fulfill the conditions set forth in items (1) and (2) of paragraph 1 of Article 5, if the said alien has had a domicile or residence in Japan for three consecutive years or more and is presently domiciled in Japan. The same rule shall apply in the case where an alien who is the spouse of a Japanese national has been married with the Japanese national for three years or more and has had a domicile in Japan for one consecutive year or more.

Article 8   The Minister of Justice may permit the naturalization of an alien notwithstanding that the alien does not fulfill the conditions set forth in items (1), (2) and (4) of paragraph 1 of Article 5, provided that the alien falls under any one of the following items:

  (1)  One who is a child (excluding a child by adoption) of a Japanese national and has a domicile in Japan;

  (2)  One who is a child by adoption of a Japanese national and has had a domicile in Japan for one consecutive year or more and was a minor according to the law of its native country at the time of the adoption;

  (3)  One who has lost Japanese nationality (excluding one who has lost Japanese nationality after naturalization in Japan) and has a domicile in Japan;

  (4)  One who was born in Japan and has had no nationality since the time of birth, and has had a domicile in Japan for three consecutive years or more since then.

Article 9   With respect to an alien who has rendered especially meritorious service to Japan, the Minister of Justice may, notwithstanding the provision of Article 5, paragraph 1, permit the naturalization of the alien with the approval of the Diet.