War has caused a lot of damage to society and to individual people alike. War-displaced immigrants are stakeholders in such a misfortune, and it is important for them to reconnect with their heritage in order to see parts of their identity and cultural background.
In 1945 during the height of World War II, a Filipino-Japanese woman named Margarita Hiroko Koyama was left in the Philippines after her father was deported to Japan. Tomaho Koyama, her father, came to our country before the war and married a Filipina woman whom he had kids with including Margarita.
Margarita is considered to be the first war-displaced descendant of a Japanese migrant here in the Philippines. With that said, it is important for Margarita to reclaim her Japanese nationality, which she did back in 2017. She hoped to go to her father’s home country, but the Philippine Immigration is likely to charge a large sum of fees.
At 82 years old, with the help of the Immigration Memorandum Circular No. 2023-004: “Guidelines on Philippine Nikkei-jin” (Nikkei-jin being the term for people like Margarita), she finally went to Japan last September 10, 2023.
Before she took off to Japan, she held a press conference to tackle her experience after years and years of waiting, finally getting what seems to be one of her biggest wishes.