What is Nikkei-jin 日系人?



Nikkei-jin is a Japanese term for Japanese emigrants and their descendants who have established communities in recipient coutnries. Currently, there are 2.6 to 3 million people of Japanese descent living throughout the world, most live in the Americas.

In the case of the Philippines, a number of Japanese migrated from the late 19th century to 1945, many of them marrying Filipinos and raising families.

Those children and their descendants are called Philippine Nikkei-jin.


The sufferings of Philippine Nikkei-jin started when World War II broke out in 1941. The Japanese occupation army involved Nikkei families in their operations for their useful local knowledge and abilities. When Japan began to lose the war, many fathers of Nikkei-jin lost their lives. Some survived and were repatriated to Japan after the war. The children of Nikkei families became orphans or were left behind in the Philippines with their Filipino mothers. Philippine Nikkei-jin survived in the post-war Philippines by hiding their real identities as Nikkei-jin so as to avoid persecution against them.



Many Japanese were left behind in the Philippines during the war, leaving them stateless due to the complication of the geo-political environment from WWII. Japan is recognizing this problem, and providing a means for people of Japanese heritage to claim back their citizenship. The PNLSC, under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of Japan, is the main body in charge for assisting this movement, helping reconnect with their identiy as Japanese or Nikkei-jin. The PNLSC has the assistance of the Nippon Foundation in this humanitarian project.

This program opens up doors for Nikkei-jin who are technically stateless, or who have adopted a Philippine citizenship, to gain or revert back to Japanese citizenship. Descendants down the line inherently gain the privilege of doing the same. The PNLSC helps establish the Issei and Nisei lines, in order for this to be possible.

A Japanese Descendant Visa is also acquirable for eligible generations. This entitles to gain “Long Term Resident” visa. This visa doesn’t have any restriction as for the type of work you choose.

There are various official documents that need to be provided in order to prove you are of Nikkei-jin descent, but should be focused primarily on the 1st Generation (Issei) and the 2nd Generation (Nisei). Issei refers to the Japanese who emigrated from Japan into the Philippines. It’s from there that you count on which generation you belong to.

Go to: Resources > Supporting Docs

Yes. For us to be able to process your papers, you need to be part of one of the official local chapters for Nikkei-jin acknowledged by the PNLSC.

For a list, you can go to Resources > Chapters.

Processing, inclusive of legal fees, is FREE for Nisei, which this program is primarily focused on. You don’t have to pay anything, except for the time you allocate in acquiring and providing the proper documents.

Nevertheless, as a non-profit organization, you can help us by becoming a member of PNLSC, from which fees help fund this movement, that benefit Nikkei-jin just like you.


Let's start with the basics - supporting documents!