Naomi Osaka choose Japanese citizenship in front of the Tokyo Olympics

Enceladus

Hall of Fame
Two-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka decided to choose Japanese citizenship before the Tokyo Olympics. A tennis player who also has American citizenship from her father must, according to Japanese law, choose only one by the twenty-second birthday and the native of Osaka has already taken the necessary official steps.

"It is an extraordinary feeling that I will represent Japan at the Olympics. I think there will be more emotions in this when I defend my country's honor," said former world one in an interview with Japan's NHK TV.

 

Alexrb

Semi-Pro
I don't know why this bothers me, but it does. You shouldn't be able to just flip flop who you want to play for based on your chances of making an Olympic team or financial incentive. She has lived in the US since she was 3, trains in the US, and has won all of her majors while living in the US. Why should she be able to play for any other country?
 

BH40love

Rookie
I don't know why this bothers me, but it does. You shouldn't be able to just flip flop who you want to play for based on your chances of making an Olympic team or financial incentive. She has lived in the US since she was 3, trains in the US, and has won all of her majors while living in the US. Why should she be able to play for any other country?
She was born in Japan.
Also, I would say she hasn’t been treated with fair amount of respect in US like at the US open vs Serena. I’m sure they love her in Japan and will back her fully.
 

Alexrb

Semi-Pro
She was born in Japan.
Also, I would say she hasn’t been treated with fair amount of respect in US like at the US open vs Serena. I’m sure they love her in Japan and will back her fully.
My father was born in Croatia, I still don't believe I should have the ability to just decide to represent Croatia at the Olympics because my family hails from there. You don't choose where you're born, she didn't choose to leave Japan, but she has chosen to stay in the US. Just all seems very disloyal (to both Japan and US) when I feel like that's what the Olympics is about.
 
Last edited:
Two-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka decided to choose Japanese citizenship before the Tokyo Olympics. A tennis player who also has American citizenship from her father must, according to Japanese law, choose only one by the twenty-second birthday and the native of Osaka has already taken the necessary official steps.

"It is an extraordinary feeling that I will represent Japan at the Olympics. I think there will be more emotions in this when I defend my country's honor," said former world one in an interview with Japan's NHK TV.

Two-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka decided to choose Japanese citizenship before the Tokyo Olympics. A tennis player who also has American citizenship from her father must, according to Japanese law, choose only one by the twenty-second birthday and the native of Osaka has already taken the necessary official steps.

"It is an extraordinary feeling that I will represent Japan at the Olympics. I think there will be more emotions in this when I defend my country's honor," said former world one in an interview with Japan's NHK TV.

This was a no brainer decision obviously.
 

RF-18

G.O.A.T.
I don't know why this bothers me, but it does. You shouldn't be able to just flip flop who you want to play for based on your chances of making an Olympic team or financial incentive. She has lived in the US since she was 3, trains in the US, and has won all of her majors while living in the US. Why should she be able to play for any other country?
She's born in Japan, her mother is japanese, so she has a good reason for choosing Japan and I wouldn't call it flip flopping. Only connection she has to the US is that she grew up there. But choosing to represent America would have been a fine decision also, either way I think it's fine. She has strong reasons to pick any of these 2 that's why I don't understand the debate.

If you wanna apply flip floppers to someone, you should target Johanna Konta and Bedene. Especially Konta. What she did was a disgrace IMO.
 

40-15_forever

New User
I don't know why this bothers me, but it does. You shouldn't be able to just flip flop who you want to play for based on your chances of making an Olympic team or financial incentive. She has lived in the US since she was 3, trains in the US, and has won all of her majors while living in the US. Why should she be able to play for any other country?
Her parents are not from America, and she was not born here. She also seems to be a better fit with Japan culturally. I have no problem with her choosing Japan. This is not the same thing as being a mercenary.
 
She's born in Japan, her mother is japanese, so she has a good reason for choosing Japan and I wouldn't call it flip flopping. Only connection she has to the US is that she grew up there. But choosing to represent America would have been a fine decision also, either way I think it's fine. She has strong reasons to pick any of these 2 that's why I don't understand the debate.

If you wanna apply flip floppers to someone, you should target Johanna Konta and Bedene. Especially Konta. What she did was a disgrace IMO.
Literally the biggest connection anyone can have to any country. Shapes your entire world view

A kid born on a US base in Germany but grew up in Arkansas does not have a "connection" to Germany any more than she does to Japan
 

RF-18

G.O.A.T.
Literally the biggest connection anyone can have to any country. Shapes your entire world view

A kid born on a US base in Germany but grew up in Arkansas does not have a "connection" to Germany any more than she does to Japan
She is Japanese by blood and was born there. When she was three, her parents moved to the US and she grew up there. That's fine aswell. That's why I said either decision of who to represent is totally fine. I just don't understand the debate. Don't say she has no reason to pick Japan, when she does.
 

BH40love

Rookie
My father was born in Croatia, I still don't believe I should have the ability to just decide to represent Croatia at the Olympics because my family hails from there. You don't choose where you're born, she didn't choose to leave Japan, but she has chosen to stay in the US. Just all seems very disloyal (to both Japan and US) when I feel like that's what the Olympics is about.
I get what your saying but YOU weren’t born in Croatia. She was born there actually so it’s even more of an option for you. The FIFA rules for football are a lot more broad where you can claim a country off your ancestors origin
 
She is Japanese by blood and was born there. When she was three, her parents moved to the US and she grew up there. That's fine aswell. That's why I said either decision of who to represent is totally fine. I just don't understand the debate. Don't say she has no reason to pick Japan, when she does.
Oh she has reason. Money being that reason. She aint going to live in Japan. Better hope those visas keep getting renewed now though.
 

Alexrb

Semi-Pro
I get what your saying but YOU weren’t born in Croatia. She was born there actually so it’s even more of an option for you. The FIFA rules for football are a lot more broad where you can claim a country off your ancestors origin
What difference does it really make? I was born in the states. But what real difference would I feel as an adult if I had been born in Croatia and moved immediately after? I still feel like if I had been born in Croatia and spent 99% of my upbringing in the States I should have a loyalty and more of a requirement to play for USA.

Why don't you think of how different Osaka would be as an adult if she spent those years in Japan instead. Different education, culture, training, etc. She may not even be as successful as she is today as a player. She owes her loyalty to the USA, but that's just my opinion I guess.
 

RF-18

G.O.A.T.
Oh she has reason. Money being that reason. She aint going to live in Japan. Better hope those visas keep getting renewed now though.
USTA abandoned her when she was younger. So much for being American. She is Japanese in and out. Deal with her decision.

This a statement from her parents:

"We made the decision that Naomi would represent Japan at an early age. She was born in Osaka and was brought up in a household of Japanese and Haitian culture. Quite simply, Naomi and her sister Mari have always felt Japanese so that was our only rationale.
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
Two-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka decided to choose Japanese citizenship before the Tokyo Olympics. A tennis player who also has American citizenship from her father must, according to Japanese law, choose only one by the twenty-second birthday and the native of Osaka has already taken the necessary official steps.

"It is an extraordinary feeling that I will represent Japan at the Olympics. I think there will be more emotions in this when I defend my country's honor," said former world one in an interview with Japan's NHK TV.

She's really announced her intention to pass Federer in off court endorsements.:sneaky:
 

Tennis_Hands

Talk Tennis Guru
I don't know why this bothers me, but it does. You shouldn't be able to just flip flop who you want to play for based on your chances of making an Olympic team or financial incentive. She has lived in the US since she was 3, trains in the US, and has won all of her majors while living in the US. Why should she be able to play for any other country?
Why?

Is her occupation somehow different than any other job? If you want to move abroad, live there, pay your taxes there, because there are better financial incentives to do so should the others feel that you are "disloyal", because you received your education somewhere else (i.e. the system put money in your education)?

:cool:
 

Enga

Hall of Fame
If she feels more japanese than american I can understand the decision. As someone who has a dual citizenship myself, having been born in the US to a Filipina mother, I do not feel as connected to the Philippines as I do the USA despite living in the Philippines for 13 years of my 26 year long life. My upbringing probably has a lot to do with that. If I had to decide at age 21 what country I needed to be a citizen of, it would have been the USA for sure. I imagine she speaks Japanese and knows the culture well.
 

Alexrb

Semi-Pro
Why?

Is her occupation somehow different than any other job? If you want to move abroad, live there, pay your taxes there, because there are better financial incentives to do so should the others feel that you are "disloyal", because you received your education somewhere else (i.e. the system put money in your education)?

:cool:
I don't think there's anything wrong with her moving to Japan and continuing her career as a professional tennis player. I do believe there is something wrong with A) remaining in the US and representing Japan or B) moving to a country the year before the Olympics and representing them when 90%+ of your life has been spent in another country.
 

ABCD

Hall of Fame
I don't think there's anything wrong with her moving to Japan and continuing her career as a professional tennis player. I do believe there is something wrong with A) remaining in the US and representing Japan or B) moving to a country the year before the Olympics and representing them when 90%+ of your life has been spent in another country.
Do you think that Osaka should be deported from the USA if she takes Japanese citizenship.
 

tigonian02

New User
My father was born in Croatia, I still don't believe I should have the ability to just decide to represent Croatia at the Olympics because my family hails from there. You don't choose where you're born, she didn't choose to leave Japan, but she has chosen to stay in the US. Just all seems very disloyal (to both Japan and US) when I feel like that's what the Olympics is about.
Would you say the same thing about Sharapova?
 

Tennis_Hands

Talk Tennis Guru
I don't think there's anything wrong with her moving to Japan and continuing her career as a professional tennis player. I do believe there is something wrong with A) remaining in the US and representing Japan or B) moving to a country the year before the Olympics and representing them when 90%+ of your life has been spent in another country.
Isn't in the case of

A) better for the US, since she would be adding to the economy of the country while being there instead of moving somewhere else?

B) a one time one way opportunity anyway? She won't be able to repeat that, so it is her first and final decision on that matter. It is not like she has represented USA in previous Olympics and is moving to play for Japan in a bid to find a place on the team or some such.

:cool:
 

a10best

Hall of Fame
Good for her. She was born in Japan, respects their customs and is taking all the right steps to become a Japanese citizen. thumbs up
 

Alexrb

Semi-Pro
Would you say the same thing about Sharapova?
Yes. I don't know much about the Olympic rules governing how you switch representation, but I feel current place of residence and where you've spent the large portion of your existence should play a factor. Otherwise why have it associated with the flags at all?
 

Grinch

New User
She could become a Haitian citizen, and then “defend” that nation’s “honor” by winning Haiti’s first gold medal EVER in ANY event. That would be cool. But If respective laws allow her to choose any of three countries, then why not accept her right to decide on her own, whether it’s for money or any other combination of motivations. Maybe she likes fish and rice better than hamburger and fries. I’m more curious about what nationalistic honor she intends to defend in Tokyo. Is that a weird quote coming from someone who fired her coach because he wasn’t making her practice sessions “fun”? Will she become a spokesperson for a renewal of more imperialism in Asia? Will her rallying cry be that Yonex are the only rackets not made in China? Tennis is so entertaining these days, especially since politics is so complicated now. Now basketball, on the other hand ...
 

Alexrb

Semi-Pro
Isn't in the case of

A) better for the US, since she would be adding to the economy of the country while being there instead of moving somewhere else?

B) a one time one way opportunity anyway? She won't be able to repeat that, so it is her first and final decision on that matter. It is not like she has represented USA in previous Olympics and is moving to play for Japan in a bid to find a place on the team or some such.

:cool:
A) I've been specifically talking about the Olympics. How is it good for the US in the upcoming Olympics if one of the best womens tennis players in the US is playing for a different country?

B) I'm not arguing playing in the Olympics for any country is a huge opportunity (and potentially once in a lifetime). I keep saying I don't feel she should be able to represent Japan, despite her 'feeling Japanese'. Lots of men 'feel like women', but I don't support them competing in the womens divisions. Just difference of opinion, not sure this is going anywhere tbh.
 

Grinch

New User
I don't think there's anything wrong with her moving to Japan and continuing her career as a professional tennis player. I do believe there is something wrong with A) remaining in the US and representing Japan or B) moving to a country the year before the Olympics and representing them when 90%+ of your life has been spent in another country.
In theory, I see your point. But realistically, most of these top players have residences in AT LEAST three countries. They live in hotels most days of the year, and the location of their houses is often based on the advice of their accountants and their parents. Where they live? Meh.
 

Tennis_Hands

Talk Tennis Guru
A) I've been specifically talking about the Olympics. How is it good for the US in the upcoming Olympics if one of the best womens tennis players in the US is playing for a different country?

B) I'm not arguing playing in the Olympics for any country is a huge opportunity (and potentially once in a lifetime). I keep saying I don't feel she should be able to represent Japan, despite her 'feeling Japanese'. Lots of men 'feel like women', but I don't support them competing in the womens divisions. Just difference of opinion, not sure this is going anywhere tbh.
Yeah, but faced with such circumstances that you propose (either stay where you are and play for USA or if not you have to move out of the USA), she will undoubtedly rather move out of the country, so she still won't play for the USA, but the economy will be worse for it.

You didn't understand what I said. I didn't say that her decision is due to the once in a lifetime opportunity (it probably isn't true in her case anyway) to participate in the Olympics. I said that her decision, as prompted by the Olympics as it might be, is actually consistently moving her in one direction, which has nothing to do with the mentioned from you "flip-flopping". She isn't flip-flopping on her choice of citizenship. She straightforwardly chose one citizenship, so basically there is no reason to blast her on choosing her allegiances. To top it off, tennis is a pretty international sport, so whether she stays in another country than that of her chosen citizenship for the two months when she is not playing tournaments is the least relevant part compared to almost any sport.

:cool:
 

Grinch

New User
Yeah, but faced with such circumstances that you propose (either stay where you are and play for USA or if not you have to move out of the USA), she will undoubtedly rather move out of the country, so she still won't play for the USA, but the economy will be worse for it.

You didn't understand what I said. I didn't say that her decision is due to the once in a lifetime opportunity (it probably isn't true in her case anyway) to participate in the Olympics. I said that her decision, as prompted by the Olympics as it might be, is actually consistently moving her in one direction, which has nothing to do with the mentioned from you "flip-flopping". She isn't flip-flopping on her choice of citizenship. She straightforwardly chose one citizenship, so basically there is no reason to blast her on choosing her allegiances. To top it off, tennis is a pretty international sport, so whether she stays for the two months when she is not playing tournaments is the least relevant part compared to almost any sport.

:cool:
I don’t understand. Who forces you to move out of a country when you change or declare new citizenship? I know at least 7 people (non athletes) who changed their citizenship but kept their houses in the country they “abandoned”. Does the U.S. force you to sell your house or make you move if you change citizenship?
 

Alexrb

Semi-Pro
If Olympic eligibility was based on where athletes live, then Monte Carlo and UAE could be 6th and 7th most successful Olympic medal winning countries in recent history.
Not saying current residence should be the sole factor, just one of many. My main point is that it's going to be weird seeing Osaka holding the Japanese flag next to say, I don't know, Sugita for example (knowing Sugita has spent the majority of his life in Japan).
 

Tennis_Hands

Talk Tennis Guru
I don’t understand. Who forces you to move out of a country when you change or declare new citizenship? I know at least 7 people (non athletes) who changed their citizenship but kept their houses in the country they “abandoned”. Does the U.S. force you to sell your house or make you move if you change citizenship?
No one. It is what the poster "felt" was the right frame for that particular situation, and I simply described what the consequences would be, if such frame was really in place.

:cool:
 

Alexrb

Semi-Pro
In theory, I see your point. But realistically, most of these top players have residences in AT LEAST three countries. They live in hotels most days of the year, and the location of their houses is often based on the advice of their accountants and their parents. Where they live? Meh.
Understood, and I'm not saying I have all the answers. Djokovic would be a good example of that. Spent a lot of his formative years in Serbia, but his current 'residence' is Monte Carlo for likely taxation reasons. Though I'm sure he has homes all over the world, including Serbia. I think Osaka's situation is far less in the gray area.
 
If Olympic eligibility was based on where athletes live, then Monte Carlo and UAE could be 6th and 7th most successful Olympic medal winning countries in recent history.
I think its funny you think those people are actually spending most of their time in either Monte Carlo or the UAE

Its like using South Dakota as a permanent address to avoid taxes. My neighbor has as South Dakota plate and a PO box there. They are breaking at least 10 parts of the IRS code but no one will ever care.
 

Tennis_Hands

Talk Tennis Guru
Not saying current residence should be the sole factor, just one of many. My main point is that it's going to be weird seeing Osaka holding the Japanese flag next to say, I don't know, Sugita for example (knowing Sugita has spent the majority of his life in Japan).
There is a difference between saying that you will feel weird seeing Osaka representing Japan on equal terms with an athlete that has spent his/her life in Japan, and saying that you think it is "disloyal" from Osaka to play for any other country than USA.

:cool:
 

Alexrb

Semi-Pro
Yeah, but faced with such circumstances that you propose (either stay where you are and play for USA or if not you have to move out of the USA), she will undoubtedly rather move out of the country, so she still won't play for the USA, but the economy will be worse for it.

You didn't understand what I said. I didn't say that her decision is due to the once in a lifetime opportunity (it probably isn't true in her case anyway) to participate in the Olympics. I said that her decision, as prompted by the Olympics as it might be, is actually consistently moving her in one direction, which has nothing to do with the mentioned from you "flip-flopping". She isn't flip-flopping on her choice of citizenship. She straightforwardly chose one citizenship, so basically there is no reason to blast her on choosing her allegiances. To top it off, tennis is a pretty international sport, so whether she stays in another country than that of her chosen citizenship for the two months when she is not playing tournaments is the least relevant part compared to almost any sport.

:cool:
You really think she would move if not allowed to play for Japan in the Olympics while living in the US? I think she would opt to stay and not play in the Olympics versus moving. There is a reason so many players live and train in Florida. Not saying it's impossible elsewhere, but she would be risking her future career as a tennis player over what many consider an 'exhibition'.
 
You really think she would move if not allowed to play for Japan in the Olympics while living in the US? I think she would opt to stay and not play in the Olympics versus moving. There is a reason so many players live and train in Florida. Not saying it's impossible elsewhere, but she would be risking her future career as a tennis player over what many consider an 'exhibition'.
Nishikori doesnt even live in Japan

Hell he should really be a US player too
 

Alexrb

Semi-Pro
There is a difference between saying that you will feel weird seeing Osaka representing Japan on equal terms with an athlete that has spent his/her life in Japan, and saying that you think it is "disloyal" from Osaka to play for any other country than USA.

:cool:
Why can't I feel that it's weird and disloyal?
 

Grinch

New User
At the 2018 Olympics, roughly 6 percent of the athletes, or 178 Olympians, are competing for a country they weren’t born in. The only requirement in the Olympic Charter is that an athlete “be a national of the country for which he or she is competing.”
6% is smaller number than I would have guessed.
 

Tennis_Hands

Talk Tennis Guru
You really think she would move if not allowed to play for Japan in the Olympics while living in the US? I think she would opt to stay and not play in the Olympics versus moving. There is a reason so many players live and train in Florida. Not saying it's impossible elsewhere, but she would be risking her future career as a tennis player over what many consider an 'exhibition'.
She absolutely will. The citizenship is only the natural progression of her tying her earnings with sponsorship deals from Japanese companies. The Olympics might be an exo (the opinions on that matter vary), but the money from sponsorships are real. She is not as marketable and useful to her Japanese sponsors as an American citizen as she is as a Japanese citizen.

:cool:
 
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