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.