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Tran Aiming to Obtain Japanese Citizenship

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by ice9, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. julieann

    julieann Well-Known Member

    Actually, unlike in the USA, Canada or Russia where you have to earn your place on the team, Takahashi and Tran are the only pairs team from Japan so their place on the worlds teams was a lock. Winning a bronze because two Russian and two Chinese teams did poorly at Worlds was fortunate and if they learn anything from Dube and Davison a medal is much harder to defend than win. Only time will tell if they are good enough to keep the streak going.
  2. sk8kat

    sk8kat New Member

    The issue of changing citizenship should entail far greater consideration than athletic endeavors. Under Japanese law, if Tran were to be granted citizenship, he would be required to renounce his Canadian citizenship. That's a life decision, and a BIG deal - or it should be a big deal. He has never lived in Japan, and doesn't understand the language at even a rudimentary level. He certainly seems to be a fine young man who has demonstrated distinguished service to his sport and his partner. I doubt the Japanese government sees that as translating into distinguished service to Japan. Acquiring citizenship in Japan is notoriously difficult. In Tran's case, I imagine the government would find granting citizenship far more meritorious if, over the course of the last four years, he had demonstrated an intense desire to LIVE as a Japanese man, not just skate as one. I take nothing away from Tran, his accomplishments, and his positive contributions to the Japanese Skating Federation. Representing team Japan at the highest, most gentlemanly level, however, is in and of itself not citizenship worthy.
  3. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

    No, it was not a lock.

    JSF doesn't send low level teams to ISU events.

    They won bronze because they skated two very strong programs.

    Is it not possible to get Canadian citizenship back?
  4. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

    It is possible. According to this article, which was published when Conrad Black, who had renounced his Canadian citizenship, wanted it back, it's likely that Tran could regain it as an immigrant by applying for Permanent Residency -- not sure of the class, and therefore, processing time -- living in Canada for a year as a PR, and then applying for citizenship, which, as of now, has a 19-month lead time under normal processing a 26-month processing time for resumption of citizenship (according to the CIC site).
  5. flowerpower

    flowerpower Well-Known Member

    Yes, he could get it back.

    As per this document, he would have to apply and go through the normal immigration process to become a citizen again. He would certainly be accepted, obtain permanent residency, and reside in Canada while waiting for the citizenship to be reinstated.

    ETA: Here's a document about resuming citizenship. Conrad Black's criminal convictions would have complicated his case, and could arguably have prevented getting citizenship back.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2012
  6. julieann

    julieann Well-Known Member


    Really Ziggy&#8230;

    Who else was Japan going to send? Japan has no other pair&#8217;s team that's why T/T has won the pairs competition in Japan for FOUR YEARS STRAIGHT. That's probably what they chose to represent Japan in the first place. So they had a easy road to competition, it wouldn't have been so easy if they were Canadian.

    It's easy to win a competition at nationals when you are the only one competing! Sending them to worlds was a no brainer! Even for you!

    As I said before; T/T did a good job but P/T, B/L, S/H and K/S all had major mistakes. If one or more of those teams would have hit T/T would have not won a medal.

    Sometimes it's about who wins not about who fails.
  7. Ozzisk8tr

    Ozzisk8tr Well-Known Member

    Did you even read what Ziggy said? Japan does not send low level teams, meaning if the standard of the pairs team was not at a high enough calibre they would not get sent. To laugh and patronise Ziggy is really not very polite.
  8. dinakt

    dinakt Well-Known Member

    Yes, but they are only 20/21. At that age Pairs are rarely more than "promising", and T/T are already World medalists. If they are lucky, have health on their side and can get jumps more consistent ( not impossible at their age), they could become S/S of next generation, and the first Japanese Pair of international prominence. Considering how popular skating is in Japan, it is an important task.
  9. ponta1

    ponta1 Active Member

    Would have, could have, should have.....it's what you do in the moment that counts. Takahashi Tran rightfully earned their bronze.
  10. sammyf

    sammyf Well-Known Member

    Yes, Ziggy is correct. Japan had 4 senior dance teams compete at nationals and 1 junior team. Only Reed/Reed got internationals. Some of the other teams scored quite reasonably, many other countries would have sent them.
  11. walei

    walei Well-Known Member

    Thanks that actually makes perfect sense. Skating is expensive!
  12. julieann

    julieann Well-Known Member

    Japan doesn't have any other pairs teams let alone "lower level" teams to send.

    What they do next season will be telling, to see if they can defend it. Plenty of teams only have one bronze because they were only lucky once. Ask Jessica Dube.

    We are discussing the problem with pairs not dance.
  13. sk8kat

    sk8kat New Member

    1. Renunciation of Canadian citizenship requires a bare minimum of 3-4 months processing time.
    2. In order to even begin the processing of renouncing one's Canadian citizenship, the applicant must not live in Canada.
    3. The Canadian government will not accept an application for renunciation of citizenship unless the applicant already has dual nationality (certainly not Tran's case with Japan) or has an acceptance of nationality from another country pending renunciation of Canadian citizenship. Canada will not allow renunciation if the applicant would, in effect, become stateless.
    4. If Tran is not well into the process of applying for Japanese citizenship at this point, he is seriously behind the cue ball for 2014 - for both Japanese acceptance and Canadian renunciation. ...and he cannot do one without the other...
    5. While I have no personal insight into his legal standing with either government, it would certainly seem that if he is still living and training in Canada that he still has a long way to go.
  14. ice9

    ice9 Active Member


    LDP to support Mervin Tran's citizenship case

    The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) gathered today for the Sports Promoting Conference, and decide to support Mervin Tran's citizenship case so that he could compete in Sochi. They will be working with the bipartisan sports caucus to enable Tran to get special treatment.

    Having never lived in Japan, It is highly unlikely for Tran to get granted citizenship at the moment, but there is an article in the law that permits, with the approval of the Diet, the naturalization of foreigners who have provided special service to Japan. Although this exemption has never been used before, Seiko Hashimoto, JSF president and also a LDP member of the House of Councillors, emphasizes Tran's achievement for the past five years. "I would really like him to compete at the Olympics," she says, "We will try hard to get the Diet's approval."

    Tran and his partner Takahashi placed third at the World Championships this past March and earned the first paris medal for Japan.

    I have no idea how promising it is, but at least there seems to be some action from the government to support his case.
  15. Ozzisk8tr

    Ozzisk8tr Well-Known Member

    You answered every statement made about your comments with a deflective argument. I thought as much. Basically your comments were wrong, you know it but refuse to admit it. End of story.
    Kasey and (deleted member) like this.
  16. julieann

    julieann Well-Known Member

    No, I answered them with facts, but please correct me if you know of any other pairs team Japan could have sent to Worlds this year besides T/T. If you think my comments are wrong I would like to see the other team if I have somehow missed them.
  17. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

    If Japan had another pairs team at any level, if the were age eligible and could qualify the TES minimum score, T/T could earn a pairs spot for Sochi in London, and if the JOC approved, they'd have a pair for the team competition. One or seven points is better than zero.
  18. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

  19. Birdseye

    Birdseye Member

    What they should be doing is trying to lure the Shibutanis with funding and corporate sponsorships to get them to represent Japan. Quick question, theoretically could the shibutanis represent the USA right up until the olympics, and by virtue of citizenship switch to representing Japan only for the OG?
  20. allezfred

    allezfred Master/Mistress of Sneer Staff Member

  21. Proustable

    Proustable New Member

    They would have to wait two years, so that time has passed.
  22. AJ Skatefan

    AJ Skatefan Well-Known Member

    The Shibutanis seem to be doing quite well skating for the US. There would be no reason to change countries.
  23. Ozzisk8tr

    Ozzisk8tr Well-Known Member

    In a team event they may have the chance of scoring a Gold medal at Olympics. Still, who knows what country will be on top in two years. It's not like the US is that far behind. I wouldn't change if I were them though (not that anyone has said they are at all).
  24. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

    D&W would most certainly get the dance spot barring injury. Whether the US has a shot at gold won't do much for the Shibs.
  25. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

    It all depends on the scoring, and how the scores from the SP/SD. USFS might skate the Shibs in the SD -- it's the Finnish Quickstep,at which they might excel -- and D/W in the FD.
  26. carriecmu0503

    carriecmu0503 Active Member

    Pairs and dance teams only have to wait one year to switch countries. The Shibutanis could have an excellent chance at a team gold if they did switch, especially if Tran manages to get citizenship.
  27. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry, but you are mistaken.

    Check out ISU Rule 109.

    Individuals, like Tatiana Volosozhar, who have skated dance or pairs for one \federation can skate with a different partner for another federation after sitting out for twelve calendar months.

    Pairs and dance couples, however, are treated exactly the same as singles skaters and have to sit out two whole seasons if they have skated in an ISU Championship in their last season for their first federation.

    In other words, leaving aside the problem of citizenship and any possible change in the ISU Rules, the earliest they could skate for another federation is July 1, 2014, which is after Sochi.
  28. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

    There is no problem of citizenship for the Shibutanis. Both are dual citizens through their mother father, and can remain dual until their 22nd birthdays, at which point, they must decide. Alex Shibutani must decide by 25 April 2013 in any case. There was a long discussion when they were younger about whether they should start competing for Japan instead of the US, with the field looking too deep at the time for them to break into.

    I don't see in Rule 109 where pairs and dance couples are treated the same as individuals for the waiting period.

    109.2.c states

    in the case of a pair or an ice dance couple, one partner at least must be a citizen of the country of the Member for which the pair or dance couple competes. The other partner may be a citizen or resident of a country of any other Member. The residence and permit requirements and the waiting periods stated above in paragraph 2.b, (i), (ii), and (iii) and in paragraph 3 do not apply to such partner. However, if such partner has already represented another Member, regardless of the discipline, the permit from the Member the Skater represented is required and the waiting period 12 months from the day of the last competition in which the Skater represented another Member applies;​

    In the case of the Shibs, at least Maia Shibutani will be a citizen of Japan through Sochi, since she can hold dual citizenship until July 2016. I don't see anything requiring one member of the couple to have competed for Japan as a first federation. Apart from after the breakup of the Soviet Union, it's rare for a couple to hold dual citizenship and switch, a la the Duchenays.

    If I've missed it, please point out the paragraph in Rule 109.

    Paragraph 5, however, can be used to reject an application to switch countries:

    The Council may also reject an application from a Member for a permission that a Skater who has or had foreign citizenship may compete for that Member, although the formalities and requirements stated in this Rule have been met, if in the opinion of the Council granting such application would be contrary to the purpose and spirit of the Rule. (e.g. in case that a Member tries to &#8220;import&#8221; several athletes with foreign citizenship, in particular when such athletes should form a new national team of such Member or its substantial part);​

    Since the Shibs have held Japanese citizenship since birth, and at least one will have Japanese citizenship in Sochi, while the ISU could invoke paragraph 5, it would be hard to argue that they are being imported with foreign citizenship. (Of course, for Sochi, Alex Shibutani's citizenship choice in 2013 rules.)

    The Shibs would have to wait out a season if USFS released them, which for their singles career going forward, doesn't make much sense. If USFS didn't release them, as would be expected, it would be two years before they could apply for an ISU exception applied for by the Japanese Federation to overrule USFS objections.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012
  29. Cherub721

    Cherub721 YEAH!

    Interesting. I've never heard of this. If anything, they would probably invoke this against Azerbaijan first. :shuffle:
  30. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

    Since that wording was added between the 2008 and the 2010 versions of the ISU Constitution, it sounds like the "Azerbaijan Rule."