Japanese ties to the Commonwealth run so deep that there is even Japanese blood that runs in the veins of many of Northern Marianas descent, according to Japan Consul to the Commonwealth Kinji Shinoda.
During the consulate’s birthday reception for Emperor Akihito at Grandvrio Saipan on Tuesday, Shinoda said the most impressive fact is that there are many of Japanese descent in the CNMI and he has met some young CNMI people who have told him that their grandparents or great-grandparents were Japanese.
Shinoda said that NMDs with Japanese blood is Saipan and Japan’s greatest asset in further strengthening their ties.
“They inherit the blood of both Japan and the CNMI. These Japanese descent surely makes Japan and CNMI a family forever,” he said.
According to Lt. Gov. Victor B. Hocog, that bond is vital and, to preserve it, his office is working to create an organization for NMDs with Japanese heritage to ensure that they will be recognized in the Commonwealth community.
“I want our people to recognize that there is a community of locals with Japanese ancestry,” he said.
Hocog is working on this project to bring intermarried Japanese and Chamorro families together to create their very own organization so they can be recognized because Hocog believes they can also play an important role in bringing Japanese tourists back to the island.
This will also help these individuals pass their knowledge of their Japanese and local heritage to future descendants.
“We’re going to make the Japanese descendants here play the important role of promoting their ancestors as part of our integrated culture,” said Hocog.
Hocog said he wants to get that organization chartered.
“Maybe this group can tie us to the Japanese because they have heritage that they need to keep strong,” he said.
Hocog’s staff is working on getting an estimate of how many Japanese Chamorro intermarried families currently live in the Commonwealth.
As of now, there are 735 Japanese individuals living on Saipan, with the exclusion of those who have married into the community.