Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The Japanese-Filipino Reparations Movement

At the same time ethnic Japanese started immigrating to the United States and Hawaii there was also a significant migration to countries such as the Philippines, at the time an American Commonwealth. Little is taught in the United States regarding the history of ethnic Japanese in the Philippines.

Prior to the attack at Pearl Harbor, some 29,000 ethnic Japanese-Filipinos made the the Philippines their home. When the Japanese Imperial Army arrived in the city of Davao on December 23, 1941 the colony of 18,000 ethnic Japanese living there (as long as ethnic Japanese on the West Coast) welcomed them with open arms. Many volunteered their services as scouts and translators for the invading forces.

If Japanese-Filipinos with a history in the Philippines as long as Japanese-Americans in America could so quickly side with the invading forces in Davao, who's to say the same thing wouldn't have happened on the West Coast?

With this in mind, the following blurb in today's Japan Times is an interesting read. I'd like to learn more about the forced repatriation of what must have been thousands of ethnic Japanese-Filipinos after the war. It sounds like Issei could legally be forced to repatriate but Nisei could not. Yet, decades later at least seven Nisei are still seeking Japanese citizenship? Why? Also, former Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori received Japanese citizenship as a Nisei. Is the granting of Japanese citizenship to Nisei, Sansei or Yonsei a case-by-case basis?

Another question: If the Philippines at the time was an American Commonwealth what does that make the status of the ethnic Japanese-Filipinos all of whom welcomed the Japanese Imperial Army with open arms? Doesn't that make them American Nationals? Doesn't that indicate thousands of American Nationals who also happened to be of Japanese ancestry openly supported the enemy in a time of war?

There is a lack of consistency regarding this history, one of more than a few major criticisms of mine towards the Japanese-American reparations movement.

Regardless, suffice to say there is no Japanese-Filipino reparations movement.

Japanese-Filipinos seek citizenship

Seven Japanese-Filipinos, who were born in the Philippines before Japan's wartime surrender, visited Tokyo on Tuesday to seek family registration as Japanese.

The seven were left in the Philippines after their Japanese parents were deported following the end of the war. They have not been recognized as Japanese, despite documents about their Japanese parents' forced repatriation and marriage certificates of their fathers and mothers.

The seven will file for registry Wednesday at the Tokyo Family Court. They are also scheduled to attend a symposium before going back to the Philippines on Sunday.

The Japan Times: Oct. 12, 2005
(C) All rights reserved

UPDATE: Follow up article in The Japan Times

Eight Japanese-Filipinos file for citizenship in Tokyo

Eight Japanese-Filipinos file for citizenship in TokyoEight Japanese-Filipinos born in the Philippines prior to the end of World War II applied Wednesday with the Tokyo Family Court to be registered as Japanese citizens.

Japanese-Filipinos born in the Philippines during World War II face reporters Wednesday after filing for registration as Japanese citizens with the Tokyo Family Court.

They were left in the Philippines by their Japanese parents after the war.
Seven have both Japanese and Filipino parentage while one was born of Japanese parents but was raised by a Filipino couple, a group of supporters said.

"It was a difficult path, but now I see hope. I hope we receive good news," said Fumiko Sakamoto, 78, one of the applicants.

She said she can still remember the Japanese words for mother, father and thank you.
"It was a hard living during the war," said Sumiko Arichi, 74, another applicant. "I am grateful I can visit my father's country."

The Japan Times: Oct. 13, 2005(C) All rights reserved


At November 10, 2005 11:33 AM, Blogger Atticus Finch said...

In a word, racist.

At November 14, 2005 9:54 AM, Blogger Friends of Historical Accuracy said...

Care to expound?

At November 15, 2005 7:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can Atticus provide one example of a country or territory occupied by Japan where the ethnic Japanese already living there resisted the Japanese Imperial Army? Of course not!

In every country occupied by Japan the ethnic Japanese living there collaberated with the invaders.

Can Atticus answer your question regarding ethnic Japanese living in the The Philippines prior to its invasion and their status as American nationals?

Of course not!

All Atticus can do is howl accusations of "racism".


At January 22, 2006 10:23 PM, Blogger domingo said...

--"Another question: If the Philippines at the time was an American Commonwealth what does that make the status of the ethnic Japanese-Filipinos all of whom welcomed the Japanese Imperial Army with open arms? Doesn't that make them American Nationals?"--Japan Times

I am a territorial Filipino (a Filipino born during the American Territorial period 1898-1946).

The children of Territorial Filipinos were indeed "American Nationals" AT BIRTH.

But, under American law, Territorial Filipinos AT BIRTH are regarded as "aliens" subject to U.S. immigration laws (and to deportation and Visa requirement for entry to the U.S.), although they were required under the same law to "owe allegiance to the United States."

So, what we have here is the unique oxymoron status of Territorial Filipinos as "aliens owing allegiance to the United States."

They were, in fact, "stateless" AT BIRTH, since the sovereign of their place of nativity disowned them, downgrading them to the status of "aliens."

I need not elaborate how Territorial Filipinos (as USAFFE soldiers and resistance guerillas, regarded as "aliens") validated that "allegiance to the United States" during WWII by defending American territory from invaders of the Land of the Rising Sun.

At February 26, 2006 12:14 PM, Blogger Friends of Historical Accuracy said...

Thank you for commenting.

Were ethnic Japanese who had established colonies in the Philippines many decades prior to Pearl Harbor also considered Territorial Filipinos?

I am currently reading a book titled "We Remember Bataan and Corregidor" by Lt. Col Mariano Villarin USAR (Ret). Perhaps you would find it to be of interest.


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