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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

LIFELINES

Support network backs Japanese-Filipino kids abandoned by fathers


We regularly receive emails from Japanese-Filipinos searching for their Japanese fathers. Many of these adults were abandoned as children, along with their Filipino mothers, while others were forced to leave Japan for various reasons.

Though the circumstances are different for each family, many of these children (and mothers) lack the support of the father (financial or otherwise). So, in answer to these inquiries, the following nonprofit organizations may be of help:

The Citizens' Network for Japanese-Filipino Children primarily offers support to abandoned Japanese-Filipino children (JFC). Their services include locating fathers within Japan and providing legal assistance, in cooperation with the JFC Lawyers Association, with issues such as paternal financial support and acquisition of Japanese nationality.

JFCNet also holds regular seminars and provides informative publications.

In the Philippines, JFCNet offers services for JFC and their mothers at the Maligaya House including a scholarship program for children, legal and psychological counseling, Japanese language classes and workshops, a research and publication program, and an advocacy and networking program.

An important point to note, says JFCNet, is that JFC born out of wedlock can acquire Japanese nationality if their Japanese father legally recognizes them before their 20th birthday, even if the JFC resides outside Japan.

For more information or to receive help from the Citizens' Network for Japanese-Filipino Children, please visit or contact them in Japan at: JFCNet Tokyo Office, Nishishinjuku High-Home 206, Nishishinjuku 4-16-2, Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo 160-0023. Email: jfcnet@jca.apc.org. Telephone/fax: (050) 3328-0143.

In the Philippines: Maligaya House, 18-A Cabezas Street, Project 4, Quezon City, Metro Manila, 1109 Philippines. Email: maligayahouse@gmail.com. Telephone/fax: (+63) (2) 913-8913.

JFCNet services are offered in Tagalog, English and Japanese.

The Center for Japanese-Filipino Families (CJFF) is a sister organization of JFCNet, supported by the United Church of Christ in Japan, United Church of Canada and the Evangelical Mission in Solidarity, or EMS, of Germany.

They offer a variety of services, which include: temporary housing; school and employment opportunities for JFC who travel to Japan to locate their fathers; counseling services; cultural activities; psychological support and related services, particularly for those unable to locate their fathers; regular workshops for JFC; and a youth development program.

For more information about CJFF, you can find their website at youthjapan.net/cjff.html.

Or, contact CJFF at: CJFF, Room 32, Japan Christian Center, 2-3-18 Nishi Waseda, Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo 151-0069. Email: cjffinfo@gmail.com.

The Development Action for Women Network (DAWN) is "a nongovernment development organization created on February 6, 1996, to assist Filipino women migrants in Japan and their Japanese-Filipino children (JFC) in the promotion and protection of their human rights and welfare."

Similar to the organizations mentioned above, DAWN provides a wide range of services for JFC and their mothers, including counseling, travel assistance to and from Japan in necessary cases, temporary shelter, health care assistance, educational support and legal help.

DAWN also works to provide other community services and opportunities to rehabilitate women and their children. Their website is at www.dawnphil.org

You can also visit or contact DAWN at: DAWN-Philippines, Room 514, Don Santiago Building, 1344 Taft Avenue, Ermita, Manila, Philippines 1000. Telephone: (+63) (2) 526-9098. Fax: (632) 526-9101. Email: dawnphil@i-next.net.

For DAWN-Japan, email dawnjapan@hotmail.com

The Batis Center for Women, located in the Philippines, also assists women and their Japanese-Filipino children. Most of the cases they handle involve "returned women migrant workers from Japan with young children who have been abandoned or are separated from their Japanese husbands or partners."

The Batis Center primarily works to rehabilitate women and children after they've returned from Japan, and their services cover counseling, education, financial assistance, advocacy, legal assistance, and health and medical support, among others.

Additionally, they partner with Batis-YOGHI, a youth organization devoted to providing ongoing support to JFC.

To contact The Batis Center, email batis@pacific.net.ph or call (+63) (2) 925-7843. You can contact Batis-YOGHI via the same email and phone number — ask for Lala Javier.

The Batis Center also has a regularly updated Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/Batis-Center-for-Women/136570526371270.

If you know of any other organizations or services, especially any located in Japan, that provide support of any kind to Japanese-Filipino children, please email us.

Ashley Thompson writes survival tips and unique how-tos about living in Japan at www.survivingnjapan.com. Send all your questions to lifelines@japantimes.co.jp


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