Jaja Santiago still far from getting Japanese citizenship | Inquirer Sports

Jaja Santiago still far from getting Japanese citizenship

/ 04:32 PM June 30, 2023

Ageo Medics' Jaja Santiago. SAITAMA PHOTO

FILE – Jaja Santiago. SAITAMA AGEO MEDICS PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Back in January, it was revealed that Filipino volleyball superstar Jaja Santiago was on her way to acquiring Japanese citizenship.

Five months later Santiago explained there’s still a long way to go in the process of her changing nationalities.

“Right now, there’s still no assurance. I just need to collect residency days or years because if you’re going to change nationalities, you need to be there for like five or seven years,” Santiago revealed in Filipino during a TV interview on CNN’s Sports Desk.

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The star middle blocker, who got engaged to  Japanese volleyball coach Taka Minowa last year,  also clarified that her inclusion in the Chery Tiggo lineup will also depend on her time in Japan.

“Actually, there’s still a chance for me to play for Chery but I really need to get back here (Japan) because I’m really collecting days for my naturalization.”

After being included in the Crossovers’ roster for the 2023 Premier Volleyball League, the 6-foot-5 athlete was also officially announced as the newest member of the JT Marvelous in the Japan V.League.

“As a new member of JT Marvelous, I am sure this season will be an exciting and challenging year,” Santiago said.

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“I would be happy if you could continue to cheer and support me everywhere I go. This season, I will do my best to work hard together with my new teammates and show the best performance I can.”

While the naturalization process is still incomplete, Santiago once more assured that her switch to another citizenship does not mean turning her back to home soil.

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After all, she will, to her words, always be a Filipino.

“It doesn’t mean that if I get to play for Japan, I’m not a Filipino anymore. I still represent our country. I may not wear the Philippine colors but in my blood and in my mind, I’m still a Filipino.”

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TAGS: Jaja Santiago, Japan V.League

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