The Tokyo District Court on Friday allowed a 16-year-old Filipino girl to stay in Japan but said her parents, who entered Japan illegally 18 years ago, must leave the country with her younger siblings.

Nullifying a deportation order handed out by immigration authorities, Judge Hiroyuki Kanno said, “The eldest daughter has led her life just like Japanese do for a long time, and it will be very difficult for her to live in the Philippines, where the languages and customs are completely different.”

Kanno ruled that the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau’s decision to deport her parents and three younger siblings was legal, saying, “The children with little ability to make decisions should not live separated from their parents.”

Edem Marinn Jomein, the eldest daughter, will be allowed to stay if she wants, the court said.

The family of six lives in Saku, Nagano Prefecture. The children were born in Japan after their parents entered the country on fake passports in spring 1986.

The immigration bureau issued the deportation order in May last year after discovering the parents’ illegal status in 1999. Edem said she was worried about living alone.

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