Presentation 2

gJapanese Filipino Children (JFC ) and Japan : Crossroads of Family, Nationality, Class and  Migrationh

Professor Chiho Ogaya

Professor of Department of Letters, Ferris Unviersity


Due to the strict immigration control policy that does not accept the entrance of so-called gunskilled workers,h the gentertainerh visa has largely become the sole route by which women migrant workers from the Philippines enter Japan since the late 1970s.

The term Japanese?Filipino Children (JFC) literally means the children born to Filipino?Japanese parents. In many cases, these children have Filipino mothers, who came to Japan as entertainers, and Japanese fathers, whom the mothers met at their workplaces in Japan. Many of these children are not acknowledged by their Japanese fathers or are categorized as illegitimate children since their Japanese fathers and Filipino mothers are not legally married. Therefore, the children born out of the Filipino?Japanese wedlock, as well as those who do not have any contact with their fathers, are called JFC, and they grow up in the Philippines.

In 2009, the nationality law in Japan was amended, according to which the illegitimate children having foreign mothers could acquire the Japanese nationality in a more relaxed manner than earlier based on the legal recognition of their biological Japanese fathers. Since then, JFC and their Filipino mothers have been recruited for elderly care sector and manufacture industry in Japan as the new gunskilled workers.h Ironically, JFCfs glegal Japanese-nessh and gsocial foreignnessh make them more attractive to Japanese industries as a new source of cheap labor.

In this paper, I discuss the JFC case as the consequences of the immigration control policy and family system in Japan and reflect on the challenges that have to be faced by both the Filipino and Japanese societies.