• Kyodo News


The decision to deport the Filipino parents of a 13-year-old girl born and raised in Japan stands, but the government will respond swiftly to a request by the U.N. Human Rights Council for information on the case, the Justice and Foreign ministers said Tuesday.

The UNHRC request “is not a request for suspending the deportation process or for granting a special residence permit,” Justice Minister Eisuke Mori said. “There will be no change to the measures for their departure.”

The Justice Ministry has told Arlan Calderon and his wife, Sarah, who both entered Japan in the early 1990s with illegal passports, to decide by Monday whether the entire family of three or just the two of them will leave under their deportation order.

Their daughter, Noriko, speaks only Japanese and has said she wants to stay in her junior high school in Warabi, Saitama Prefecture. The government agreed to give special consideration and possibly issue permission for her residence only.

“After all, illegal entry is illegal and must be handled appropriately in line with the law, although the balance between the issues of illegal entry and the welfare of the child should be considered,” Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone told a news conference.

In response to a reporter’s reference to concerns that at 13 years old, the girl will be too young to be left alone in Japan, Nakasone said: “Of course it would be best for them to live together as a family . . . and I understand the public’s sentiment wishing to realize their wish, but at the same time, the law is the law.”

Nakasone said the Foreign Ministry and other agencies are working on a response to the UNHRC request and hope to submit it within 30 days.

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