Duterte ready to embrace second-generation Fil-Japanese

Published October 7, 2019, 7:42 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte is willing to recognize the second-generation Filipino-Japanese who might be stateless as Filipino citizens.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (ROBINSON NIÑAL JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO)
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (ROBINSON NIÑAL JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO)

The President said he would “embrace” these individuals as Filipinos and would not make it hard for them to gain citizenship.

“Those born to, born of Japanese fathers and Filipina mothers? Of course, they are all Filipinos. Those whose mothers are citizens of the Philippines, so it becomes a fait accompli,” he said during a press conference following his return to Davao City after his Russia visit.

“Maski sino ang tatay mo kung ang nanay – nanay mo Pilipino, I will embrace you as a Filipino. Bakit papahirapan ko ‘yung tao? [Whoever is your father but if your mother is a Filipino, I will embrace you as a Filipino. Why will I make it difficult for the person?],” he added.

Duterte, former mayor of Davao City, said he was certain that there were a lot of Japanese descendants in Davao.

“Davao City has the most popu – number of Japanese descended Filipinos. It used to be the territory of the Japanese long before Sec – earlier, long before the Second World War,” he said.

The President issued the remarks when asked if the Philippine government would help these persons to get Japanese citizenship.

Duterte initially said he was “really ignorant” about the issue. “I do not even know what’s the topic all about,” he said.

Senator Leila de Lima had earlier urged the government to help 103 war-displaced Japanese orphans obtain the United Nations-recognized stateless status to boost their citizenship claims in a Japanese court.

These individuals have reportedly claimed to have been orphaned or separated from their Japanese fathers after World War II. They were reportedly denied of Japanese citizenship and also do not possess Philippine nationality.

 
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