Why Is This England’s Fault, And Not Japan’s..?

British-Japanese pop star Rina Sawayama says she was “heartbroken” to find she is ineligible for The Brit Awards and The Mercury Prize.

The singer has lived in the UK for 25 years, after her family moved from Japan, and considers herself British.

Although she had indefinite leave to remain, she does not hold a British passport, ruling her out of the country’s biggest music prizes.

This is well known as a condition of entry:

Under competition rules, solo artists must have a British or Irish passport to enter the Mercury Prize.

So…why doesn’t she hold one?

Sawayama, however, has retained her Japanese passport in order to feel close to family members, including her father, who live in her country of birth. Japan does not allow dual citizenship.

So, the answer’s simple. It’s not the fault of Britain, it’s the fault of Japan. Start blaming them, not us.

Sawayama has previously benefited from funding from the BPI Music Export Growth Scheme, a grant that supports and celebrates British musicians, and her album is littered with references about growing up in London.

You’ve taken our money, so comply with our rules.

3 comments for “Why Is This England’s Fault, And Not Japan’s..?

  1. August 5, 2020 at 10:38 am

    This is an interesting problem.

    How about a swap of status. Rina Sawayama gives up her Japanese citizenship in return for indefinite right of residency in Japan (optionally starting at any future time, never and/or repeatedly for multiple time periods). Then she can apply for and get UK citizenship and be eligible for winning these additional UK prizes.

    Let’s just hope she does not also desire to retain the ability to enter for Japanese-based prizes and awards. Let’s also just hope that her desires for citizenship for any of her children (natural or adoptive; or spouse, civil parter, etc) – present or future – make the problem more complicated.

    Keep safe and best regards

  2. Mona
    August 5, 2020 at 12:03 pm

    ” Much ado about nothing”, Give bungling Boris Ballsup a call, I’m sure he can help in some way.

    • mikebravo
      August 7, 2020 at 4:18 pm

      A call may not be enough. Sime form of rub may be called for!

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