TOKYO (March 9) — Filipino Arlan Cruz Calderon, father of 13-year old Noriko Calderon who was born in Japan and speaks only Japanese, has been detained and threatened to have the entire family deported next week.
The mother, Sarah, was not detained
Shogu Watanabe, the family’s lawyer and a human rights activist, had earlier anticipated this would happen prior to the February 27 deadline if the family opted to stay together. He reiterated that the family’s stance of staying together has not changed.
“The parents just cannot leave their 13-old daughter alone here.”
More than 20,000 people in Japan have signed a petition asking the government to allow all three to stay.
The couple entered Japan with illegal passports in the early 1990s and lived undetected until two years ago when the mother was arrested. Last September, the Supreme Court rejected their appeal to stay.
Justice Minister Eisuke Mori, however, said last week Japan may allow parents to visit their daughter in the next five years even though deportees are usually barred from returning during that time.
Meanwhile, the UN Human Rights Council has asked Japan for information on the case. London-based human rights group Amnesty International said in a statement last week that deporting the girl’s parents would be a breach of the Convention of the Rights of the Child.