Japan deports Filipino couple leaving daughter behind

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Filipino couple were deported from Japan on Monday, leaving their 13-year-old daughter behind in an immigration row that has drawn wide public sympathy for the family.

Arlan Cruz Calderon, 36, and his wife, Sarah, 38, left Tokyo's Narita airport for the Philippines, seen off by their daughter Noriko and a crowd of reporters, said public broadcaster NHK.

The couple were forced to leave because they entered the country on false passports in the early 1990s, but they had pleaded to be allowed to stay so their Japan-born daughter could finish her schooling in the country.

The government has allowed the daughter, who speaks only Japanese, to stay on humanitarian grounds but warned the family several weeks ago it would deport all three unless the parents agreed to leave voluntarily.

"I feel sad," Noriko earlier told reporters at their home in Warabi, north of Tokyo. "I won't have delicious food made by my mother any more. I feel full of uncertainty."

Noriko will stay in Japan in the care of a relative of her father.

The case has drawn intense media coverage in Japan, and more than 20,000 people signed a petition asking the government to allow all three to stay.

The case has also attracted the attention of Amnesty International as well as the UN Human Rights Council, which has asked Japan for information about it.

But Justice Minister Eisuke Mori, in charge of immigration matters, has said the government had done its utmost to help the family.

source: ph.news.yahoo.com

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