Osaka Dumps America to Represent Japan at 2020 Olympics

Osaka giving up U.S. citizenship to play for Japan in 2020 Olympics

Osaka giving up U.S. citizenship to play for Japan in 2020 Olympics

According to Japanese law, those with dual nationality must chose one before turning 22 years old.

World Number Three women's tennis star, Naomi Osaka, has said she will give up her U.S. citizenship to represent Japan at next year's Olympics in Tokyo.

Tennis star Naomi Osaka has made a decision to choose Japanese over American nationality with an eye on the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, public broadcaster NHK reported Thursday.

Osaka added she wants to aim for the gold although she is also anxious as expectations will be high.

October 16 is Naomi Osaka's birthday, and this year she had a bigger decision to make than what kind of cake she wants.

Get the latest sports news updates. While she lived and trained in the United States for the vast majority of her life, Osaka has deep cultural ties to Japan and started representing the country in junior tournaments when she was just 10 years old, according to a Wall Street Journal profile.

Japan has never taken home a gold medal for tennis at the Olympics, but that may change with Osaka's debut at the 2020 Games.

But she has faced controversies over her dual heritage in a nation that is fairly racially homogeneous, as well as scrutiny for her imperfect Japanese language skills - though others insist they add to her charm. But prejudice remains against "haafu", or half-Japanese, including cases of bullying against mixed-race children. She won the Pan Pacific Open in Osaka, Japan, in mid-September, and beat world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty in the final of the China Open last week.