Japanese-Filipino war orphan seeks details about long-lost father

Kyodo

A Filipino pastor born to a Japanese father and a Filipino mother will make his first visit to Japan on Tuesday to visit his father’s hometown after finally making contact with relatives in Japan.

David Honda, 67, said in an interview Monday that he was filled with emotion upon learning a Japanese-Filipino support group had determined the hometown and identity of his late father.

“I never imagined I would one day find out my father’s identity,” he said.

According to the Philippine Nikkeijin Legal Support Center, Honda’s father, Torao Honda, was a Kumamoto native who died in 1979.

Torao was in the Philippines during World War II and served as an interpreter for the Japanese military. He was captured by U.S. forces at the end of the war and sent back to Japan.

David said that his mother died five years after the war ended, and that he and his elder sister were brought up in the Philippines by her relatives.

David said he does not remember living together with his father and would like to hear from his relatives in Kumamoto about what he was like.

According to the Philippine Nikkeijin Legal Support Center, there are an estimated 3,000 Japanese or Japanese-Filipino children who were left behind in the Philippines after the war. About 600 of them have been unable to trace their Japanese origins.