Undocumented Families in Japan

by Ryoma Kagawa

In 2009, a 13-year-old Filipino girl who was living in Japan was separated from her parents because they had come to Japan in an illegal manner of fake passports. After arriving in Japan, they had lived for about a decade and the girl knew the Japanese culture better than the Philippine culture; for example, she spoke Japanese as well as the Japanese do. However, the arrest of her mother uncovered their secret, and the girl was made to decide whether she would go to the Philippines with her family or she would keep staying in Japan while her family would go back, which she took the former and the family was separated.

If a family in Japan has been found that they have come illegally and their children were very small and had no choice but to follow their parents on their arrival, what should  be done? There are many arguments among the Japanese whether the government should force such undocumented families to return their own countries, allow those children to keep staying, or some other opinions. In my opinion, the government should allow the parents to keep staying with their children until they are 18 years old and then force the parents to return.

The first reason is that the separation of parents has a big influence on their children when they are adolescent. Adolescent children are usually unstable in minds and the role of parents is of great importance here. In the case of the Filipino girl above, on the day of departure, she missed her parents very much and wanted them to stay with her; they also understood her feelings and knew well that she still needed them because she was young. I think that children who grow up through adolescence without parents might behave badly and it will result in bad effects on society. The second reason is that it is a matter of human rights. For instance, children may suffer from mental illness due to the lack of parents nearby, and it may become difficult for them to be educated. I think that the example describes the violation of their human rights by the government.

While the Japanese government should restrict the entry of people in illegal ways from the point of views such as national security, I believe that it should give more consideration to undocumented families who have already come and lived in Japan from the point of views such as influences on society and human rights.

References

Schoolgirl told to choose: Country or parents. (2009, April 13). CNN. Retrieved June 24, 2013, from http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/04/13/japan.philippines.calderon/index.html#cnnSTCText

 

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