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Non-Government Organizations Joint Statement
National Conference, Saitama, Japan
The non-government and other support organizations for Japanese – Filipino children from the Philippines and Japan would like to re-affirm our commitment to continue our work to call attention to the plight of Japanese – Filipino children and to address their issues and concerns. From as far back as two decades ago, many of us have been addressing this issue. Our support for the JFCs never wavered over time, nor in the face of the many seemingly insurmountable challenges faced in the years of struggle on this issue. We provided opportunities and bore witness as the JFCs blossomed into young individuals full of hopes and dreams, and how they thrived in an environment that encouraged them to develop their full potentials as human beings. We watched as they formed bonds with each other, provided support to one another, learned from us and from each other, and absorbed the messages that we were trying to get across to the public. We were there for them and with them.
We reiterate our strong belief that the issue of Japanese – Filipino children is not a personal issue between their Filipino mothers and Japanese fathers. It is an offshoot of their mothers' migration to Japan brought about by the socio-economic conditions in the Philippines which forces millions of Filipinos to try to realize their dreams of a better quality of life for themselves and their families through overseas work. It is also a result of Japan's demand for foreign entertainers to cater to the needs of its male economic warriors. As such, the issue of Japanese – Filipino children is the responsibility of both governments in the context of the Philippines as a sending country and Japan as a receiving country. In the macro context, the imbalance and inequities in the global economic order produces conditions such as those experienced by millions of Filipino people and other developing countries for the benefit of developed nations.
Our support for JFCs and their issues and concerns dared to chip away at the prevailing notion that the issue of Japanese – Filipino children is a personal issue between Filipina mothers and Japanese fathers. We lobbied both the Japanese and Philippine governments to enact equitable policies that will recognize, respect and promote the rights and welfare of Japanese – Filipino children and helped raise awareness on the issue with the peoples of both countries as well.
We will continue to support the JFCs in the realization of their rights and responsibilities, through programs and services that we provide them and their mothers, as well. The assistance we have provided them include, among others, psycho-social interventions, including support to the education and training of the JFCs.
We also support JFCs in their quest for employment opportunities in Japan that guarantee their rights, that provides them with opportunities to grow, to have job security, and to be treated with the same dignity and respect as any other Japanese citizen.
The struggles of JFCs, and our struggles with them, are far from over. A lot more work needs to be done. Amendments to the Nationality Law needs to be taken steps further in order to remove legal impediments to the exercise of JFCs of their right to their cultural heritage, including their father's nationality or freedom of movement in their father's birthplace.
We, the non-government and other support organizations for Japanese – Filipino children from the Philippines and Japan reiterate our support and commitment for the realization of the rights and welfare of the JFCs. We hope that together with the governments of Japan and the Philippines, as well as other international organizations, we can more openly discuss, finally address and better handle the long overdue issues of JFCs both in the Philippines and in Japan, so that we can help them as they strive to find their niche in this world and fulfill their dreams and aspirations.