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Page last updated at 10:41 GMT, Tuesday, 14 April 2009 11:41 UK

Girl chooses Japan over parents

Noriko Calderon (R) with father in Tokyo (10 Feb 09)
Noriko Calderon and her parents fought - and lost - a long legal battle

A teenager in Japan whose parents are being deported to the Philippines has decided to stay in Tokyo with her aunt.

After the family lost a three-year battle to remain in Japan, Noriko Calderon, 13, had to choose whether to stay in Japan or go with her parents.

She said an emotional goodbye to them at Tokyo's main airport.

Filipinos Arlan and Sarah Calderon used fake passports to enter Japan in the early 1990s, and their daughter was born and raised in the country.

Immigration officials arrested Mrs Calderon in 2006, and since then the family has been fighting to stay together.

Emotional decision

The Calderons fought a three-year legal battle to remain in Japan, saying that Arlan had a stable job there and their daughter only spoke Japanese.

But the family lost their case in the High Court in February, and Noriko was then faced with a difficult choice.

"Japan is my homeland," Noriko told CNN when asked why she decided to stay behind when her parents were deported.

Her parents say her life will be better in Japan than the poor farming community where they will be living in the Philippines.

But Arlan Calderon told CNN: "We won't be there when she needs us the most... She has to protect herself on her own. I'm sorry about that."

Activists claim that Japan's rigid immigration laws violate human rights.

Under Japanese law, the Calderons will not be allowed back into the country for five years.



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