TOKYO - The Tokyo District Court ruled Friday that a Filipino man should not be deported for illegally staying in Japan because his child who suffers from Down syndrome needs him.
"There is a need to care properly for the child. But if the father is deported, the family he leaves behind will be in an extremely difficult position" financially and find it hard to do so, Presiding Judge Yutaka Taniguchi said in the ruling.
The man, 47, sought nullification of deportation by the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau. He was found in 2009 to be illegally staying in Japan and the bureau in May 2012 began the process to deport him.
Taniguchi granted permission for the father who lives in Ichihara, Chiba Prefecture, to remain in the country because the "opportunities are very limited for the child to receive the necessary treatment in the Philippines."
Citing a shortage of schools and teachers for children in need of special education, Taniguchi said children with Down syndrome need special treatment and education based on their physical and mental needs.
According to the ruling, the man illegally entered Japan by ship sometime in April 1997 and started living around 2005 with his Filipino wife, 44. His wife has permanent resident status in Japan.
They have two children, with his 4-year-old child suffering from Down syndrome.
The child goes to a kindergarten catering to children with disabilities and visits a hospital once every three months to receive a thyroid medication.
Down syndrome is a genetic disorder associated with diminished cognitive ability and distinct facial characteristics.
The immigration authorities argued that the child was at an age when it was possible to adapt to life in the Philippines but the judge dismissed that argument.
The authorities said they will study Friday's ruling before deciding how to respond.