Success Story: Homecoming as Two Philippine Nisei (2nd Generation) travel to Okinawa

December 14 to 19, 2023. Two Nisei (2nd generation) Nikkei-jin traveled to Okinawa with the last hope of locating their relatives on their father’s side. Each of them has an Okinawan father. They are Ms. Rosa Kanashiro (80 y/o) from Davao and Mr. Samuel Akaiji (81 y/o) from Palawan. Hon. Ayaka Shiomura, a member of the House of Councilors, who visited the Philippines and met war-displaced Japanese descendants, was the one who planned and started Crowd funding “for GOOD”, together with Norihiro Inomata, Representative Director of PNLSC, to generate funds for Nisei’s temporary Homecoming to Japan.

By the end of November, more than the targeted amount had been donated from all over Japan.
At the same time, advanced research, and thanks to the news report seeking information about their father, prompted both relatives to come forward. Finally, after some discussion, they agreed to meet 2nd gen in Okinawa in person. This could be the most memorable occasion for two 2nd gen.

For a 2nd gen who has no old records to start with like Samuel Akaiji, whose birth certificate had just been filed a month before his travel, faced difficulties and was almost not able to join the homecoming. With so little amount of time to prepare, every process had to be sped up, which would not have been possible without the Japan Embassy’s enthusiasm to assist even with sudden meeting schedules. The Japan Embassy helps the PNLSC in explaining the situation through a meeting with the DOJ, DFA, and Immigration. Starting from getting a stateless recognition of the DOJ, the interview happened on Dec.7, with Atty. Suarez with Mr. Inomata and Atty. Zuniega on their hurried timetable to go to Coron, Palawan personally. Based on this interview, the DOJ RSPPU issued a Notice of Stateless Recognition to be forwarded to the DFA and Immigration. Next, the issuance of Travel Documents. Third, issuance of departure and re-entry to the Philippines, and lastly, the Visa of Samuel Akaiji.

Let us take a look at the memorable happenings on Homecoming Tour 2024.

“I am very grateful to everyone who helped me go to Japan. To all those who donated, Hon. Ayaka Shiomura of Japan, Minister Hanada of the Japanese Embassy in the Phil., for the support and assistance, the DFA, DOJ, and Immigration for the needed documents. I am very very happy to see my relatives in Japan. Thank you very much.”
– Samuel Akaiji
81 y/o, Nisei from Palawan
“I did not expect the warm welcome from everyone in Japan and I am very grateful for everything I have experienced these past few days. From the bottom of my heart, I would like to give my thanks to all of the people who gave me the chance to meet the relatives of my father. Thank you very much! I will forever remember the special gift of meeting my father's relatives and it made my heart full.”
– Rosa Kanashiro
80 y/o, Nisei from Davao

PNLSC wants to convey our heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to the Minister and Consul-General Takahiro Hanada, Consul Yamaguchi, and the Japanese Embassy, for the precious time given not only to all the unexpected meetings with the participating Philippine government but also for recognizing the importance of the situation and the need to expedite practically almost all the process for Samuel to successfully participate in the homecoming.

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