Friday, February 27, 2009

You can stay, but your parents have to go

13-year-old Noriko Calderon, born in Japan to undocumented parents from the Philippines, was told that she is allowed to stay in Japan by the Justice Ministry.

The catch? Her mother and father, Sarah and Arlan, must return to the Philippines as they have violated the immigration law by either entering the country illegally or over-staying their visas.

Mrs. Calderon spent nearly a year in prison for immigration-related violations back in 2006 and 2007, so this case has been brewing for quite some time.

Mr. and Mrs. Calderon were ordered to report to immigration today, Friday February 27th, for deportation. The Justice Ministry has been very inflexible in this particular case despite the fact that there is a precedent of giving lenient treatment to individuals with extenuating circumstances.

A group of politicians from the ruling LDP have publicly requested that the Justice Ministry issue special residence permits to the family.

In 2007 when the Calderons were first sentenced with deportation, the Justice Ministry granted special permission to stay in Japan to 7,388 illegal residents. 20% of them had originally entered Japan illegally.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I can hear them clearing their throats (a day without my iPod)

Left the apartment yesterday without my beloved iPod. It wasn't on purpose, it just happened. Before getting on the train I debated returning home to retrieve it, but I decided against it.

I decided that it might be a good experiment for me to attempt to make it one full working day without the aid of my mp3 player.

Boy was that a stupid idea.

  • The whole ride to work I got to listen to people sniffling and sneezing like there was a ragweed patch in the middle of the train.
  • In the shops I had to navigate the incessant "Welcome to our humble store!" and other sales-related, but automated, jingles that routinely assault shoppers' aural faculties here.
  • In Vie de France (a bakery/cafe) I was treated to a teenager barking into her phone at her obviously at-fault boyfriend. For 25 minutes.
  • On the return trip home, the business guy sitting next to me repeatedly cleared his throat as though he was intending to spit something large down a drain that I couldn't immediately perceive. However, the drain appeared to be in my general direction.

So let's just say that I learned my lesson. If I happen to leave the apartment without my music again, then I'll be scurrying back home before you can say, "Christopher is a lame-ass twerp". But even if you do say it out loud, which some of you will, it won't matter because I'll be listening to Murs.