Japanese Filipinos is an Philippine ethnic group of Japanese people|Japanese descent, including, but not limited to, mestizos. They include descendants of the Japanese traders/merchants who settled there in pre-Spanish territorial period and descendants of Catholicism in JapanJapanese Catholics who fled from the religious persecution imposed by the shoguns and settled during colonial period.
Many of them also intermarried with the local Filipina women (including those of mixed or unmixed Spanish descent), thus forming the new Japanese mestizo community. A sizeable population settled in Manila, Davao, the Visayas and in the 1600s in Dilao, Paco, and along Lingayen Gulf, where notable settlements dating back to the 12th century exist, and Ilocos Norte Province. This hybrid group tend to be re-assimilated either into the Filipino or the Japanese, and thus no accurate denominations could be established, though their estimates range from 100,000 to 200,000. Many have been killed or expelled after World War II. Many Japanese mestizos tend to deny their Japanese heritage in order to avoid discrimination.
During the American colonial era, the number of Japanese laborers working in plantations rose so high that in the 1900's, Davao soon became dubbed as a Ko Nippon Koku (Little Japan in Japanese) with a Japanese school, a Shinto temple and a diplomatic mission from Japan. There is even a popular restaurant called "The Japanese Tunnel", which includes an actual tunnel made by the Japanese in time of the war.
Because of discrimination encountered, some fled to the mountains after World War II while many others changed their names in the attempts to assimilate. Many were also killed (c. 10,000 Japanese Mestizos and Japanese) while other were deported following World War II as an act of retaliation. Their sense of Japaneseness may take on extremes, some have completely lost their Japanese identity while others have "returned" to Japan, the homeland of their forebears. There is also a number of contemporary Japanese-mestizos, not associated with the history of the earlier established ones, born either in the Philippines or Japan. There are believed to be between 100,000 and 200,000 Japanese-mestizos in the country, but no accurate figure is currently available. Thousands of war-displaced ethnic Japanese still live in the country and are denied of recognition as Japanese nationals in order to return to Japan.
The recent Japanese-Filipinos are descendants of 1980s and 1990s Japanese settlers, most of whom are men, businesspeoples, and even married locals (mostly females). Many are children of thousands of Japayukis who went to Japan mostly as entertainers, helpers, and maids. As the Japayuki Filipina mothers return to the Philippines, most take their children. A significant number in the US today are the product of Filipino- and Japanese American intermarriages mostly in California, Hawaii and other US territories in the Pacific, while others are Filipinos of Japanese ancestry who migrated to the United States.
Several foundations today such as the Federation of Nikkeijin Kai Philippines exist throughout the country through the efforts of prosperous Japanese descendants and expatriates to assist Filipinos of Japanese ancestry to travel in Japan to trace their roots and visit relatives, and also charity purposes such as offering working visas and educational scholarships of impoverished children of Japanese descent. Similar organizations exist in the Visayas to commemorate and signify the historical migration of peoples of Japanese descent in the region.