British-Japanese pop star Rina Sawayama ‘ineligible’ for Mercury prize

‘The arts shouldn’t create their own border control’ says singer who has indefinite leave to remain but no UK passport

The British-Japanese pop star Rina Sawayama has expressed her frustration that her debut album was ineligible for this year’s Mercury prize because she does not hold a British passport, Vice reports.

Sawayama, 29, has lived in the UK for 25 years and holds indefinite leave to remain. Since Japan prohibits holding dual nationality, she has retained her Japanese passport in order to feel close to her family, who live in her country of birth.

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