'Proud of dual heritage' Yuka Saso confirms Japanese citizenship choice

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 4) — Golfer Yuka Saso confirmed Thursday that she has started the process of acquiring Japanese citizenship.

Saso was born in Bulacan to a Japanese father and a Filipino mother.

"I am a Filipina, born in the Philippines to a Japanese father and Filipino mother. I was raised in both Japan and the Philippines. I am immensely proud of my dual heritage and that will never change," she said in a statement.

Saso said she made the decision to comply with the Japanese nationality law — which states that those with dual citizenships shall choose between the nationalities before he or she reaches the age of 22. Saso will turn 22 in June 2023.

"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."

Saso made history last June after capturing the US Women's Open crown, becoming the first Filipino to win in any of the LPGA Tour's major championships. She tied the record with South Korea’s Inbee Park as the youngest champion of the event at age 19.

Saso donned the Philippines' colors in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia where she bagged two gold medals. She also represented the country in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics where she finished in the top 10 of the women's individual stroke play.