Bishop Pascua （General Secretary of UCCP (United Church of Christ Philippines) ）visited our Home of AINOKI HITA in Nakai Town, Kanagawa, on 25th October to stay one night with us. He is the Philippine- side leader of Agape Society to Assist Philippine Culion Island, by AINOKI , but this time he visited Japan by the invitation of UCCJ (United Church of Christ Japan)
It has been about four years since he came to see us last time and we had a nice AINOKI family reunion. Having been worried about our master AIKAWA Oshochi who has been suffering from kidney cancer and malignant lymphomas since June this year, he was very much relieved to see him who has not changed a bit or even more powerful spiritually, in spite of his serious physical condition. And on the following day, he left for Manila, with decisive resolution to step forward in his newly given mission.
On the previous day, we visited the Supreme Court to see the Chief Justice Niro Shimada.
On 4th June 2008, the Supreme Court ruled that the Nationality Law, that denies Japanese nationality to children born out of wedlock to Japanese fathers and foreign mothers, violated Article 14 of the Constitution. Thus, it opened citizenship door to unwed foreign mother’s children.
Rev. Toshifumi Aso of UCCJ and Mr. Cesar Santoyo, delegated by UCCP, who were taking care of Bishop Pascua during his stay in Tokyo were with us too. It happened that both of them were the people who had supported the Japanese-Filipino children who had been long struggling to get the Japanese nationality through this sue.
They were very pleased to see the Chief Justice and expressed their appreciation to him for the ruling on 4th June.
This ruling surely opened the door that had been completely closed to those children.
However, we are just beginning to take steps. There are thousands of children in the same situation in the Philippines. There should be so many things to be ready both materially and mentally for them to come and live in Japan and to settle down well in this unfamiliar place, when they choose to do so.
Mr. Santoyo and his colleagues have worked for the Center for Japanese-Filipino Families (CJFF) and now are planning of educating Filipino mothers to become English teachers for Japanese children. His wife is now teaching English to about 150 Japanese children here and she must have got a lot of knowledge and methods about teaching English in Japan.
At the same time the very important aspect is our heart, our way of thinking. Whether we really regard them as the same Japanese citizens is the matter. If not, the long and severe struggling will be just in vain, or it could become worse than nothing.
Now we are standing on the split point to grow out of the label of being rich but not warm to others and so on…, and to become a warm-hearted, kind and respectable nation. The very time for us to change our path and to step forward is being given, now.
We sincerely hope to make the most use of ourselves for Japan to walk the path to the warm and better society, from behind, quietly