As the requirements for permanent residency (PR) application have become stricter, we receive more inquires about naturalization than before.
Naturalization （帰化 kika）: more common words for readers might be "getting passport", I guess.
Here are the very basic conditions you need to satisfy in order to apply for naturalization.
Very Basic Conditions
1. 5-years stay in Japan consecutively
Leaving Japan for vacation for a few months would be no problem, but not too often. Generally, working visa holders need to have at least 3-years working experience in Japan
2. 18 years or older
Children under 18 could apply with parents.
3. Good behavior
No criminal records both in Japan and in your country. Small traffic rule violations could be ok with well explanation and apology, but not too often.
4. Financial capability (skill, career, or assets) for living independently as family
The total amount of family income is taken into consideration. Those under Seikatsu hogo have little chance.
5. Being able to give up your current nationality
Japan basically does not allow dual nationality. If your country does not allow you to renounce your nationality, special consideration might be given.
Please remember giving up your current nationality means you might need visa as a foreigner in order to stay in your home country.
6. Not having been involved in any activities to destroy the Constitution of Japan or the Japanese government
No chance for boryokudan or terrorists, for example.
7. Japanese language ability
You need to have basic conversation skill, and writing/reading ability of at least 3rd grader level including kanji. You will talk with the officer in Japanese and all the documents given to you are written in Japanese. You will generally need to pass Japanese language tests at some point of the procedure.
There are some special rules for those with special conditions, such as Japanese descendants, spouses of Japanese nationals, stateless people, etc. Contact us for details.