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Japan court rejects law denying citizenship to illegitimate children of foreign mothers

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Japan [official website] Wednesday struck down part of a law which denied Japanese citizenship to children born out of wedlock to Japanese fathers and foreign mothers. The Court found that Article 3 of the Nationality Law, which restricts citizenship based on the parents' marital status, violated equal protection guarantees in Article 14 of the Japanese Constitution [text].

The 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. AP has more. AFP has additional coverage. Mainichi Daily News has local coverage.

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