I learned two new terms today, “Japinos and Japayuki.” Thank goodness that I will never use them! Here is a follow-up to a few stories that I previously blogged on abandoned families in Japan…
Some 70,000 Filipinos live in Japan, most working as entertainers. An estimated 50,000 (some groups put the number as high as 100,000) Japanese-Filipino children — known as “Japinos” — live in the Philippines, often abandoned or orphaned by their fathers after liaisons with Filipino women, who in most cases worked as entertainers in Japan, said Akira Oka, head of the Shin-Nikkeijin Network or SNN.
While some in Japan have probably heard of stories similar to the one above most have not heard of the families abandoned in Japan by USFJ servicemen. This was reported by Stars & Stripes.
…on the land of the rising half-breeds (not my term)…
J-cast includes data to support its observations. According to the ministry, the number of infants born in 2006 with at least one foreign parent came to 3.2 percent, or one child out of 30. This means that about one child in every school class will be of either non-Japanese ancestry or part Japanese.
International marriages are increasing, the site says. The ministry noted that 6.6 percent of couples wed had at least one foreign partner, which makes one couple out of every 15. This is the highest level in the past 10 years. In the central wards of Tokyo and in Osaka and Nagoya, the rate [of intermarriage] has reached the high figure of one couple out of 10.
…and on a revision to the Nationality Law:
The government plans to revise the Nationality Law to remove a provision requiring parents to be married for their children to obtain Japanese citizenship, according to government sources.
The decision came after the Supreme Court ruled in June that denying Japanese citizenship to children born out of wedlock to Japanese fathers and foreign mothers is unconstitutional, the sources said.
Well it seems that the stars are starting to align and progress is being made in the fight to help biracial children and their mothers find a better life, and most probably citizenship, in Japan. Read the Japan Times article below for the rest of the story:Julie Hosokawa and her daughter Miko are all smiles before boarding a flight for Japan and eventually settling in Gifu. Hosokawa’s Japanese husband left them after three months of marriage.
Thirteen Japanese-Filipino children and 14 Filipino mothers left for Japan on Monday, realizing a long-held dream to live in their Japanese fathers’ or husbands’ homeland.
Akira Oka, chair of the Cebu-based Shin-Nikkeijin Network Association, Cebu Inc., said the children, aged 6 to 19, and their mothers, mostly in their 30s, will live in Shiga, Shizuoka, Aichi and Gifu prefectures, and Tokyo.
SNN helps Japanese-Filipino children, known as “Japinos,” locate their Japanese fathers and seek financial support.
Oka said the Japanese Embassy in Manila has approved the travel and working papers of the children and their mothers. Some of the children and mothers were granted visas of up to three years, he said.
“The visa approval for the Japinos and their Filipino mothers is an important big step for them to establish their new life,” Oka told a press conference.
He voiced hope the children and their mothers, who will stay in dormitories that will be provided by their Japanese employers, “will have a brighter future and live a good life” in Japan.
“The mothers will be paid based on the labor laws of Japan,” Oka added.
Mary Aien Sugita, 19, of Cebu, was among the 13 Japinos who took the afternoon flight for Narita.
Like most Japinos, she has sought the help of SNN and hoped to be able to work in Japan so she can continue her studies and support her 43-year-old mother and six-year-old brother Akira in the central Philippines Cebu City.
Sugita, who knows a bit of Japanese, and her brother were abandoned by their Japanese father.
She quit after her first year at the University of the Philippines to help her mother.
“I am bit excited and nervous at the same time,” she told Kyodo News before boarding the van that will take them to Manila airport.
She said she is looking forward to her new home and the people that she will meet.
“It’s a new environment, new people and new culture. I will just have to adjust. It’s for my future,” said Sugita, who last saw her father when she was 13.
She plans to work at a meat processing factory outside Tokyo during the day and attend night school.
She also hopes to meet her father one day.
“But my priority is work, learn the language and study,” she said.
Maryshel Ching Kimura, 35, and her daughter Aiko, 13, are also looking forward to their new life in Japan.
“This is a new chapter in our life,” the elder Kimura said in an interview. Her only daughter Aiko said, “I want to learn more Japanese words. She said she wants to be a computer engineer someday.
Julie Hosokawa, 35, and her daughter Miko, 7, are also looking forward to living in Gifu.
“I am so happy. My husband left us in 2006, three months after we got married,” said Hosokawa. She plans to work as a caregiver so she can send her daughter to school.
Oka said nearly two dozen “Japinos” have left for Japan, mostly in Shizuoka Prefecture, to work in “bento” factories, electronics and even stables, hoping they will find their fathers while they are there.
At least 600 more Japinos have applied to SNN and are waiting for their papers to be processed, Oka said.
While waiting for their papers to be processed, the applicants attend Japanese classes and orientation seminars on Japanese culture.
SNN records show that about half the children can probably go to Japan. But the other half will have a hard time because they lack the necessary documents.
“The whereabouts of their fathers are also unknown,” Oka said.
A majority of the estimated 120,000 Japinos live in poverty in the Philippines. They are often looked down upon for being children of “Japayukis,” Filipino women who went to work in Japan.
By DARIO AGNOTE
Photo: Kyodo Photo