In December, the Tokyo High Court upheld the Tokyo Immigration Bureau's decision to deport 17-year-old Utinan Won from Japan, the country he was born and raised in his entire life.

Despite the court's ruling, Won, who was born the son of a visa overstayer from Thailand and who lives in Kofu, Yamanashi Prefecture, has never blamed the country he calls home, thanks in part to a core group of people around him who support his desire to remain in Japan.

"My supporters, teachers, and classmates ... have made great efforts to help me stay in Japan even though I come from a different background," Won said during a recent interview with The Japan Times.