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Japan: Children of Japanese Who Emigrated to Philippines before WWII

(Nov. 2, 2007) All Japanese people have records in the Family Register. Therefore, it is easy to prove that a person is Japanese by submitting an official copy of the Family Register. A few hundred Filipinos whose fathers were Japanese had a hard time to prove that because they could not find their fathers' records in the Family Register. Some lost relevant records while they hid information about their Japanese fathers, because anti-Japanese feeling was strong in the Philippines for a while after World War II.

On September 28 and October 4, 2007, the Tokyo Family Court, for the first time, admitted the Japanese nationality of two children of Japanese fathers whose Family Register records were not found. The Court found enough indirect evidence that proved the fathers' Japanese nationality: descriptions of marriage certificates in the Philippines, prisoner of war records of the United States, and a Japanese magazine article that introduced one of them as a pioneer of Japanese immigration to the Philippines. (Hi Nikkei 2sei hutari ni "nihon seki" ["Entries in Family Register" for Filipino/Second-Generation Japanese], YOMIURI ONLINE, Oct. 9, 2007, on file with the author.)