Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Mr. Uemoto: first FSM National to become FSM Citizen under changed immigration law

On October 25, Mr. Sei Francis Uemoto became the first National of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) to obtain his citizenship under a changed immigration law.

Mr. Uemoto was born in Pohrasapw Village, Kitti Municipality in Pohnpei on September 17, 1930 to a Pohnpeian mother and a Japanese father.  He had twelve siblings who were born in Pohnpei, most of whom had passed on.

Sei Uemoto returned to Pohnpei in 1983 and took up residency ever since. He eventually became very active in the private sector area as a farmer of Pohnpei pepper and owner of a coffee shop, a restaurant and a number of business ventures. He would occasionally return to Japan to visit family. He has been living in Pohnpei for over 35 years.

On May 28, 2013, Mr. Uemoto lodged his declaration of intent to become a FSM citizen.  On August 20, his application was approved, and he was informed that citizenship will be bestowed upon proof of his renunciation of his Japanese citizenship and a letter from his country accepting the renunciation.  On the same day, Mr. Uemoto renounced his Japanese citizenship and on October 21, a letter from the Japanese embassy in Pohnpei was received confirming that he had renounced his Japanese citizenship.

President Manny Mori administered the pledge of allegiance on October 25 and handed a FSM passport to affirm Mr. Uemoto’s new citizenship status, making him the first FSM National to have taken advantage of the latest immigration law.

The process was made possible when the Fifteenth FSM Congress put in place what became public law 15-28 on March 20, 2008.

According to the FSM Department of Justice, the law allows for FSM Nationals to become citizens following set procedures that included the renunciation of their former citizenship.

The event for Mr. Uemoto was witnessed by Pohnpei Governor, Mr. John Ehsa, Senator McGarry Miguel from Pohnpei State Legislature, Senator Berney Martin, FSM Congress, Secretary of Justice, Ms. April Dawn Skilling, Deputy Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Samson Pretrick, Assistant Secretary of Resources and Development, Mr. Hubert Yamada, various staff members from the Department of Justice, family members and Mr. Martin Jano, Uemoto’s attorney.

For further inquiry, call the department of Justice at 320-2644 or email


  1. It is sad that he had to pick between this two cultures/nationalities. I hope my kids will not have to make that decision and the FSM will allow dual citizenship for its citizens of multi nationalities.