Yuka Saso says ‘immensely proud of dual heritage’ as she confirms citizenship switch
MANILA, Philippines—Yuka Saso may have chosen to become a Japanese citizen, but she is never one to forget her roots.
In a statement coursed through her main sponsor Enrique Razon on Thursday, the Fil-Japanese golfer said she will always be proud of her dual heritage and that she will continue to make the Philippines proud throughout her career.
“I am a Filipina, born in the Philippines to a Japanese father and Filipino mother. I was raised both in Japan and the Philippines. I am immensely proud of my dual heritage and that will never change,” wrote Saso.
“Thank you for respecting my choice. I am grateful to both my Filipino and Japanese supporters. I would not have achieved anything in my career without your support. I look forward to making you proud as I continue with my professional golfing career.”
It was revealed Wednesday that 20-year-old Saso, who is currently at world No 6, has chosen to become a Japanese citizen and carry the Japan flag in future international competitions.
Japanese law states those who hold a dual citizenship must permanently choose which country they will represent before turning 22.
“I will be turning 22-years-old on 20 June 2022 and, after much thought and consultation with my family, friends, and advisors, I have begun the process of acquiring Japanese citizenship,” wrote Saso.
In June, Saso became the US Women’s Open champion and tied 2008 Park Inbee as the youngest titleholder of the competition at 19.
Saso also represented the Philippines in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and was a gold medal winner in both the team and and individual competitions of the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia.
“Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!” wrote Saso. “Nihon no minasama kore kara mo yoroshiku omegashimasu! (To everyone in Japan, thank you for your continued support!)”