Noriko Calderon, who attends a junior high school in Warabi, Saitama Prefecture, said she had believed she was Japanese until her 38-year-old mother, Sarah, was arrested in July 2006 for not having a visa and the family was ordered to leave Japan.

“Leaving Japan, the country where I was born and raised, is not something I could ever imagine,” Noriko Calderon said at a news conference in Tokyo, wiping away tears with a handkerchief.

If Calderon is deported to the Philippines, she would have to start elementary school over because she does not understand Tagalog, according to Shogo Watanabe, a lawyer representing the family. (Japan Times)

Immigration authorities Thursday extended the temporary permission to stay for a Filipino girl and her parents to Jan 14, while holding off a decision over their request that the government issue them a special permission for residence. The Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau’s decision comes after Arlan Calderon, 36, and his wife Sarah, 38, neither of whom has a legitimate visa, submitted petitions to the government last week, seeking special permission for residence so that their 13-year-old daughter, Noriko, who was born and raised in Japan, can continue her studies in Japan. (Japan Today)

Noriko Calderon said, “I would like to continue staying in Japan and open a dance school with my best friend from school and become a dance instructor in the future.” (Associated Press)


Filipino girl born and raised in Japan faces deportation (Japan Probe)
Filipino girl asks gov’t to let her continue studying in Japan (Associated Press)
Filipino girl born and raised in Japan submits petition to avoid deportation (Mainichi)
Filipino girl petitions to stay, keep studying (Japan Times)
Filipino girl gets extension of stay, but yet to gain residence permit (Japan Today)
Noriko Calderon allowed to stay in Japan (for now) (Japan Probe)

Update: Justice Minister Eisuke Mori, who oversees immigration, told reporters: “I have decided not to grant a special residential permit to the entire family.”

A leading human rights lawyer handling the case said the immigration bureau had told the parents they had until 27 February to choose a departure date.

Source: BBC


The Japan-born daughter of a Filipino family that has been ordered deported, held a press conference Monday in the wake of her father’s detainment by immigration authorities.

“I want my father back now,” Noriko Calderon, 13, said through tears at the judicial press club. “I still want all three of us to stay in Japan. That hasn’t changed.”

Source: Japan-born daughter pleads for Filipino father’s release by immigration authorities (Mainichi)

Update 2

Japan: Filipino girl sees her parents deported (Global Voices)
Schoolgirl told to choose: Country or parents (CNN)

29 thoughts on “Filipino Girl Born and Raised in Japan Faces Deportation

  1. I don’t see why she gets her mother’s flak…

    another weird thing is that she thought she was Japanese with a Spanish last name.

    Interesting case of conflict between ethnicity/nationality, it really makes visible the farce of both ethnic and national absolutism.

    Gilroy would be outraged.

  2. Certainly, a foreign last name might raise the question, but I am sure there are people who are Japanese citizens with such names.

    Japanese actually updated the nationality law recently. The US has relatively good system, and I wonder if Japan will ever move in that direction.

    That was a nice talk, thanks. I especially liked the point about ignorance as a systematic product.

  3. Living in Saitama, I really hope she can stay. Perhaps they can think of some other punishment for her parents than deportation. Garnish their wages in exchange for permanent residency or something…

  4. I believe that a person which is born in a country acquires the nationality of the country where she was born. Therefore, she is a real Japanese except for her parents. That’s how it goes in the Philippines as far as I know.

  5. Ōkami-Sensei,

    I also hope she can stay in Japan with her parents.

    – – –


    Yes, the same system is in the US, but it is different in Japan.

  6. Hmm.. i think it’s her parent’s fault for not teaching her how to speak Tagalog, i mean, she’s not even half japanese! that’s like, depriving her of her own nationality. well, i think her parents are just using her to get a permanent residence.
    I feel sorry for Noriko-chan though, i hope she gets to stay here in Japan permanently.

  7. Since Noriko herself has done nothing wrong, I hope that they allow her to stay in Japan, which I believe is her own country.

    Hopefully they will deport the parents for breaking the law….They have been irresponsible in every way…Entering Japan on fake passports like terrorists, and not making any alternate plans for their daughter….This case has been in the courts for a couple years now…You’d think they would have started teaching their daughter Tagalog by now…

    Perhaps there are some other relatives in Japan who can take care of Noriko?

  8. I guess Noriko has no idea(she’s now in high school and I bet she has)of what “LAW” means,this family is pathetic for they don’t know who they are.
    I admire their “GUTS” of their word “petition for a special permission to stay”?I don’t think they know what they are talking about..In nihonggo,..”amai” is the word.
    Why can’t Noriko stay in the Philippines??does she have any choice?she was born by an undocumented people and she herself is.Not any of these people have the right to insist on what they want,..they are illegal!!

    1. Yes, Noriko had no idea that her parents entered the country illegally.

      Noriko was born in Japan and does not speak Filipino. If Jus soli was implemented in Japan, she would have been a citizen.

  9. Hope US immigration laws are like Japanese laws.

    “If Calderon is deported to the Philippines, she would have to start elementary school over because she does not understand Tagalog, according to Shogo Watanabe, a lawyer representing the family.”

    Not knowing native language doesn’t prevent Filipinos from migrating(legally or illegally) to ohter parts of world. Why this should be consideration in case of this girl? Don’t Filipinos claim that Philippines is cosmopolitan country and they are worldly people? Girl should do fine in Philippines.

    Parents are leaving girl behind in Japan, this shows how irresponsible they are? It’s all about money. It shows what Filipinos will do to stay out of Philippines?

    1. Yes, Noriko will do fine eventually in Philippines, but it will take a while to adjust. She’ll have to learn the language and attend grades below her current level in school.

      Irresponsibility of parents was in coming to Japan illegally in the first place. Deportation is a natural consequence of such choice. Even though she’ll be separated with her parents, life in Japan might be better for her. She’ll be living with her relatives and parents are allowed to visit her.

      I updated the post with some recent news.

      1. Lives of 90 million citizens of Philippines will be better in Japan, let all of them come to Japan.

        I am sorry, I have no respect for this family. They are using Japanese people’s sentiments for their petty agenda.

        While Japanese authorities are at it, they should check background of relatives who are going to host girl.

  10. I’m surprised that she can’t speak Tagalog? I’m also assuming she can’t understand it, either. I myself cannot speak Tagalog, but can understand it. Hopefully Noriko will get through this!

  11. oh my her situation is frustrating,though i dont understand any single word she said, just look how she struggle to keep her parents in japan.

  12. hey,what if gawan kaya nila yan ng j-drama o k-drama. maganda ang story nila ha…sad but true to life talaga ang tema

  13. I have no sympathy to the parents, they are a total idiot! . what is more, when they arrived in the philippine airport they refused to speak the local language, they did not even answer filipino reporters when they were questioned, BUT they entertain Japanese reporters and only spoke nihonggo.

    for one, the parent should at least tell their daughter the real them,

    two, both idiot parents put their daughter in harms way, leaving her behind is like leaving your pet cat with your neighbor.

  14. Oh! come on! I have nothing but hatred towards this couple! F_ _ _ YOU! You deny your race as a Filipino.. and come on of all races to adopt.. Japan? ew! OK. so you get deported back to the Philippines. First thing you did? Ignored the Filipino press and only entertained Japanese interviewers (you’re sick man!) then the next day your fagot face is on national TV begging the government to help you go back to Japan (and talking straight Filipino… T_ _ _ ina mo! pare!). Now about your daughter.. Really she wanted to stay in Japan.. hmmm or perhaps you told her to stay in Japan so you will have a poor excuse to.. stay in Japan or now that you’re back in the Philippines you’ll have a reason to go back to Japan.. You are pathetic man! You should be declared a Stateless person! You disgust me man!

  15. Her parents seriously have inferiority complex and identity crisis. Funny how all these years she thought she was Japanese. They even gave her a Japanese first name!

    I could understand the lack of proficiency in Tagalog-or-whatever-her-parents’-native-language-is but thinking that she was Japanese(I think, she thought she’s ETHNICALLY Japanese)? Come on! Dinaig pa mga Fil-Ams who can’t speak Tagalog. At least, most Fil-Ams, even though many cannot speak or understand Tagalog, know their ancestry.

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