Japan doesn’t have citizenship-by-birth like the US, leading to
stories like this:
A Filipino couple facing the threat of deportation have decided to
leave their 13-year-old daughter behind in Japan and return to the
Philippines following advice from the immigration authority, the
family’s lawyer said Friday.
Arlan Calderon, 36, and his wife Sarah, 38, both undocumented, intend
to leave the country on April 13 and entrust their daughter Noriko,
who was born and raised in Japan, to the care of Sarah’s sister who
also lives in Japan, lawyer Shogo Watanabe said.
“(Deciding to) go home was the only choice left for us,” Arlan told a
press conference. He was released for the first time in four days
after being detained at the detention facility at the Tokyo Regional
Immigration Bureau on Monday.
The family conveyed its decision to the immigration authority when the
mother and daughter reported to the bureau on Friday, according to the
In light of the family’s decision, the immigration authority issued a
new provisional release status for Arlan and extended the status for
Sarah and Noriko, both until April 14.
The justice ministry, meanwhile, revealed Friday that it intended to
grant Noriko, who only speaks Japanese and attends a junior high
school in Warabi, Saitama Prefecture, special permission for residence
later this month so she can continue to go to school in Japan.
“I am not happy at all,” Noriko said, explaining that her true wish
was to stay in Japan with her parents.
Noriko has lived in the country since birth, and only speaks
Japanese. What’s really surprising to me about this story are the
intense protests going on; while there are plenty of people supporting
her, there are also a large number visciously attacking the girl.:
Walking behind a van blasting out high-decibel venom at the local
government, the Hinomaru-waving protesters filed noisily past Noriko’s
junior high school. “Shame on Filipinos,” shouted one middle-aged man
who held a sign saying: “Kick out the Calderons.” Takehiro Tanaka said
they would be back every month until Noriko was put on a plane to
Manila. “We can’t allow her to stay or foreigners will exploit our
softness. It sends the wrong message to other countries.”
Counterdemonstrators brandishing placards saying: “We are all human,”
and “Let the Calderons stay” were kept far behind until the cops
swooped in and arrested a man, forcing them to detour to the police
station. “They never touch the rightists, only us,” said one angry
protester, who declined to give his name. He condemned Japan’s
immigration policies, which he said treated foreigners as “disposable
and deportable commodities.” “Immigrants like the Calderons work hard
and contribute to our society by paying taxes, so they should be
forgiven, no matter how they came in,” he said. “In other parts of the
world, people live together in diversity and in mutual respect. Why
can’t we be the same?”
Demonstrator Iori Uchida said he would allow “limited” numbers of
immigrants in depending on which country they come from. “Europeans
and Americans are acceptable, but not Koreans or Chinese. Wherever
Koreans go they cause 100 times more crimes than other races,” he
said, a claim with no basis in fact.
Although viewed around the Warabi streets as extremists, the
nationalists claim they are swimming with the popular tide. Some point
to the popularity of nationalist-themed comics like the best-selling
“Hate Korea” series, and praise the ministry of education for last
week authorizing a revisionist high school textbook that the Seoul
government says whitewashes Japanese war crimes.
(from The Japan Times)
A video of the protest, courtesy of Japan Probe:
This is disgusting. The nationalists remember when lifetime
employment for everyone in the country was a sure thing, and blame
immigrants for the crashing economy. They’re afraid of change, which
is perfectly human, but they need change to fix their
Exchange students and tourists see the lighter side of Japan: clean
streets, a smiling, helpful populace, trains that run on time, jovial
drinking parties. It would do us well to remember that there are a
good chunk of foreigners here for whom life is much less merry.