Japanese-Filipino Kids Welcome New Law on Citizenship

The June 4 decision of the Japan Supreme Court will reverse the old law which only grants nationality to Japanese-Filipino children whose parents were married legally. The new law will include children whose parents are not legally married.

Davao Today
Posted by Bulatlat.com
Vol. VIII, No. 30, August 31-September 6, 2008

DAVAO CITY— James Akiyama, 20, has regularly been receiving support money from his Japanese father since he was born.

But under the old law of Japan, Japanese Filipino children like him could never become full-fledged Japanese citizens because their parents never married.

“The June 4 ruling of the Japanese Supreme Court will change this,” said Japanese Lawyer Hironori Kondoh of the Tokyo-based Japanese-Filipino Children Lawyers Association during his visit to Davao early this month.

“The Japanese Supreme Court has pronounced the old ruling as “unconstitutional,” Kondoh told a jampacked room of affected Japanese Filipino children and their mothers. “It’s not the fault of the children that their parents were unmarried.”

Kondoh said that the June 4 decision of the Japan Supreme Court will reverse the old law which only grants nationality to Japanese-Filipino children whose parents were married legally. He said that the new law will include children whose parents are not legally married.

Japanese media expect the Diet (Japanese Parliament) to start session towards the end of August. Although there is some opposition to the law, there is a big chance that it will be passed, according to Kondoh, one of the 60 lawyers helping the Japanese Filipino children in Japan.

Kondoh urged Japanese Filipino children in a forum to take advantage of the new law.

He said children and mothers living in Davao can apply before the Japanese embassy once the law takes effect. He also said the application must be done before the child reaches 20 years old. “Japanese-Filipino children from 16 to 19 years old should prepare their documents as soon as possible,” he said.

Akiyama welcomes the new ruling of the Japanese Supreme Court (SC), saying it will give him a chance to see his father, whom he has never met since he was three years old.

The new ruling is expected to open applications for Japanese citizenship among tens of thousands of Japanese Filipino children abandoned by their fathers.

“All they want is recognition more than anything else,” said Sr. Celine Cajanding, executive director of the Center for Overseas Workers Development Inc. (Cowdi), which has been assisting women with Japanese Filipino children in Davao. “They’re saying that if they can’t go there themselves, at least, their children can.”

Jean Bingcoy, president of the Samahan ng Kababaihan para sa Karapatan ng mga Japanese Filipino Children (Women’s Association for the Rights of Japanese-Filipino Children), said her 11-year-old son has not been recognized under the law, although his father has been sending financial support once in a while.

“The new law will help a lot,” she said, “Parents do not need to get married to have their children recognized.”

She said that if the new law will push through, many children abandoned by their Japanese fathers will be looking for a chance to go to Japan. “Life is better in Japan compared to here,” said Bingcoy.

“Some women are also hoping that through their children, they can get residency and a passport,” said Cajanding. “They are the ones who would take care of the children, so, they’ll be allowed to go there.”

At least 40 members of the SKKJ are living in Davao with their Japanese Filipino children, whose fathers are in Japan. Some of these Japanese fathers are sending them financial support while others are not, Cajanding said.

“We expect the Diet (Parliament) to revise the nationality law in August,” said Kondoh. “But even before the law is revised, the government will start accepting application for nationality before September.”

Naoko Kono, executive director of the Maligaya House, a Manila-based NGOs assisting Japanese-Filipino children and their mothers, said their Manila office has handled 840 cases of Japanese Filipino children in Manila since 1994. The cases included those children abandoned by their Japanese fathers.

“Most of these children have no official legal recognition and have not been supported financially,” said Kono. “They need food and money.”

Most of mothers are already married, she said. “But in other cases their Japanese husbands divorced them without their consent,” she said of the Filipina wives. “Sometimes, the husbands falsify their wife’s signatures; in which case, we help the woman file a criminal case against the husband and require the husband to give financial support.”

She said that their Tokyo office handle 500 cases since they opened about 10 years ago. Most of these cases were endorsed by Maligaya House.

The disparity of the living conditions between Japan and the Philippines pushes more Filipinas to find work in Japan, where they mostly land as entertainers.

Kono said that they’re currently handling 20 to 30 ongoing paternity cases. Of the 843 cases they handled in 10 years, only 20 or 30 per cent were successful.

“Oftentimes, the mother drops the case because she doesn’t want to prolong her agonies. She wants to move on with her life and marry someone else,” Kono said. Davao Today / Posted by (Bulatlat.com)

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  1. Good day.
    I’m glad that they have changed the law regarding the citizenship of a filipino to japan, in the case of being a half fil and half japanese myself. I read the whole article and it says that you must take care of your documents before you turn 20. in my case, i’ll be turning 20 few days from now and I’m still studying for my college degree. after i finish my college degree, i want to move back to japan to study and work. basically to live there. is it possible that i can get a citizenship in japan even I’m above 20 years of age? and if so, would it be hard to get a citizenship in japan? Thank you and have a great day.

  2. · Edit

    Gud day Sir/Mam,

    I have a son named Keial Aki, he is 15 yrs.of age, my child born here in the Phils.We legally married last 1999.My husband name is Keiichi Matsushita formerly live in Gunma Ken. I would like to ask if its possible for us to visit Japan to search his father if he is still alive or what because since my kid turning two years old no communication coming to his father, or asking him for the support to his child, that’s why we want a help of a Japanese consulate to help us to pursue my child dream to become a Japanese citizen and to visit Japan.Please kindly help us.
    Kindly contact me at this number..09186966885

  3. · Edit

    Hi Sir/Madame…
    I would like to ask about my case. I am 16 years old and i am accepted by my father. My mom and i have already filed a case about changing my status in my birth because written in my birth i have no father. My father accepts me and when we passed the file that had the signature and stamp of my father we were declined for we have just faked the signature and stamp of my father. All the evidences and even the file that we submitted to the judge was all confiscated for evidence that even if we try to apply again, we are just doing forgery. I would like to be accepted by the law and have my name family name change to the family name of my father. i am currently using the maiden name of my mother, my father’s name is “Masami Orita”.

    Please contact me if you have time at this number: +639423983094

  4. Hello po Ma’am, Sir’s im kenji sasaki from Dipolog City I’m 24 yrs Old… i’ve been Wondering.. since i was 3 my father left me for good no phone calls no mails no nothing… i did not understand why… but since then i was eager to meet my father then last 2007-2008 my mother processed my passport and went to japan then arranged a meeting with my father, but when i met him he promised me that if i would go back here in the philippines this time he would support me and accept me as his own son .. help my studies ,help with house rents and other financial support but when i came back home i tried to reach him but there are no replies until today.. none whatsoever… i tried so many times.. and then a news came to me that my father is missing or already dead.. please help me waiting for your reply god bless

  5. hi sir/mam gusto ko pong malaman kung maaari po makasama sa programa ng japanese-filipino ang anak ko,tanggap nman po siya ng kanyang amang hapon na si IKEDA MICHIHIRO,simula po ng ipagbuntis ko ang aming anak sustentado po nya kmi hanggang sa isilang ko sya hanggang sa ngayon. may communication parin kmi hanggang s ngayon. hindi nga lng kami kasal dahil sa may asawa po siya. ganun pa man nakalagda po siya sa birth certificate ng aming anak bilang ama nya. ang anak ko po ay ipinanganak ko noong april 13 2013 at mag iisang taon n po sya ngayon. ano po ba ang maaari kong gawin upang makasali sa japanese-filipino program, sana po ay matulungan nyo ako, nais ko rin pong makasama ng aming anak ang kanyang ama,

  6. I am a Filipino – Japanese, my father is a Japanese Citizen named Akira Imamura and my mother is Alona Lising Imamura. I was born here in the Philippines. I am 18 years old. My parents got married here in the Philippines. I have 2 brothers and 1 sister and I am also they eldest. I just want to know if I am register in my father’s Koseki-Tohon. I do hope to receive your comments and answers about my question as follows;
    1. Is it proper that my father is sending us 20,000 pesos monthly for everyone of us, and unfortunately my mother has no work.
    2. I want to go to Japan to work for my family but my father doesn’t want me to go there. What am I going to do?
    3. what is the other way to go in Japan?


    1. we are looking for a japanese descendants like you and your siblings to work at our company.we can help you

      1. Hi John, I have some questions for you, may i know your email address if its fine with you? More power and thank you.


  8. thanks for having this column.
    i have a japanese filipino children. can i apply at davao consular office or directly to the embassy?
    looking for immediate respond. thank you

  9. Is there any chances for Filipino-Japanese (Nikkei jin) whose beyond 20 years old?

    I think they should give us equal opportunity on this issue. I’m already 24 years old and I am losing hope to see my father.

    1. we are looking for a japanese descendants like you and your siblings to work at our company.we can help you –

      1. Im.megumi can you still help me?im 20 years old already and i want to go to japan and find my fayher

      2. I am Setsura, I want to go to Japan and work there. Can you get me in your company to work?

  10. · Edit

    hi sir/maam
    Im Mc Zenor Ubukata. Im a filipino-japanese who are abandoned when in 12 yrs old, now im turning 19..
    I just want to know if until now they can help us (half filipino-japanese) to get the necessary support for us or atleast have a job in japan? What documents we should bring?

    Pls do answer,
    my contact no. 09359675945
    Email: mac2x_ubukata@yahoo.com

    Thank you and god bless…

    1. ma’am/sir

      I’m Maya Cawaling Suzuki, 19 years old, i’m also a Japanese-Filipino. from Altavas, Aklan. Philippines. I’m looking for my father Kemio Suzuki he stopped supporting me when i was 1 year old when my mother got committed with other man. My purpose of searching for him is to see him and to have the right to receive the support from him as my father.i’m still hoping that someday i can find him.

      Please help me!
      my # 09391925759

    2. we are looking for a japanese descendants like you and your siblings to work at our company.we can help you –

      1. Can you help me go to Japan and work there?

  11. please do inform us if there is any development regarding this new law..I do hope also through your help we can find justice to all rights of our children in there Japanese father. For them also to enjoy the life privileges given to all Japanese children. Thank you and God bless….

  12. good day everyone!
    i just want to share my situation also..
    i have a japanese bf before,and we live together for couple of years,
    we have 2 kids now,2yrs.old boy and 1 yr.old girl.
    but we separate when im 4months pregnant to my youngest..
    the time he left our home he tell me,he just want to be alone to concentrate his
    job. he supporting us even he is far from us,but after 1month i discover that he’s living with girl in batangas..
    he ask me to accept it,if i want him to continue supporting us
    and because i really need his support for the kids i accept that he has another girl even if its pain for me..

    but his girlfriend making story that im fighting at her in fone,and my kids father believe her than me. but her girlfriend is lying. i never fight with her,infact im in silence with a lot of disatisfaction,but i cannot do anything
    i dont have rights to react because my kids father said that if i do something to disturb both of them,he will stop supporting us..

    and finally he stop,he never give us any little bit of support,even i told him that our son is in the hospital because of pneumonia,he just ignore us..
    he never send us any little bit of support..

    i want a justice for us,i do love the father of my kids,
    i love him so much before but he become bad to us..

    i hope the japan government can give a justice for us
    and for everybody who has same situation like me..

    god bless all of us!

  13. · Edit

    hi i have son 2 years old,, the father was a japanese we live in cebu..
    i met his father online and after knowing i get pregnant he abandon us never communicate us i know his still in cebu cause i saw his facebook try message but no rply,,, i get pregnant 17years old i want to get support my son cause as now he grow up his need get bigger,,,
    im really hoping to know u can help me to know wat should i do so i can get support from japanese imbassy and can i make him a case rape cause dat time im still 17…..thanks god bless all my son face was really look like his father facebook,,kinz_gabriel@yahoo.com

  14. hi everybody Iam a filipino nikkei-jin this is what they call us in japan,we were in japan 4 about 10 years ,thru the help mr. carlos teraoka ,he is the honorary consul of baguio city to japan w/ offices at 502 3rd floor metropolitan towers mabini st. malate manila .the office is called philippine nikkei jin foundation inc.or the the filipino japanese descendants in baguio city.I am hoping that info can help all of you.May GOD bless us all.thanks

  15. wala manlang response, alam kuna inaalam lang nila kung gaano tayo karami na anak ng mga japanese na inabandona ng mga magulang natin.

    hindi rin itong site na ito ang makakatulong satin.

  16. hi! i am hideaki kikutaka, i can’t imagine that you are all about to abandoned you’re father also, i suppose that i’m the only one who not deserved to see my father but we’re all deserved to see each our father because that is the rights of all mankind. my mother says that my father and her does not legally married, because of their merriage contract doesn’t pass and was no authorized with the right one.

    i’m 18 year old

    My no:09061239583

    I’m from philippines, nueva ecija, san jose city

    information about my father is: his name is TORU KIKUTAKA , worked at hotel okura tokyo japan.

    I guest, have response. thank you so much for this site.

  17. since birth i can see my father and also not giving me support and my mother

  18. hi im toshiaki also son of japanese.. my father name is toshiaki nakano he is japanese military.. he abadone me since birth my mother died on 2005.. i want to see my father hope you help me a soon as possble.. this my contact no. +639216505078

  19. I have read a lot of comments. And it made me confused. IF your parents are LEGALLY MARRIED, same as my parents are, then you are considered a Japanese Citizen also. My brothers and I have Japanese passport and Filipino passport. We also have a document stating that our birth are registered in Japan. We used to go to school in Nagano back in 1990 to 1993.
    But then, I’ve read comments from children of married Japanese-Filipina couples asking on how to get a Japanese citizenship. why???

  20. · Edit

    hi sir/madame…
    i am also half japanese half filipino child,my parents got married. but since i was born i’ve never seen my father… he never send any kind of support for me. i’d just like to know if i have privileges and if i can still ask any kind of support to my father and how am i suppose to have those.

    thank you..
    i am expecting for your kind response…

    please contact me:+639105021936

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