Tokyo Olympian and reigning US Women’s Open Champion Yuka Saso bared on Wednesday her decision to choose Japanese nationality once she turns 22.

/ 4 November 2021

“It is true that I chose Japanese nationality,” Saso revealed the news at a press conference ahead of this week’s Toto Japan Classic in Shiga Prefecture.

“I was wondering if I would choose Japanese nationality in the future. Twenty one years old, I knew that there was a Japanese rule that I had to choose a nationality,” she continued.

The 20-year-old was referring to Japan’s Nationality Law that whoever holds dual citizenship must choose one before turning 22, or two years after acquiring the second nationality.

Saso, who won’t turn 22 until June 20, 2023, revealed to Japan media outlets her decision to switch nationalities.

Born in Bulacan to a Japanese father and a Filipino mother, Saso has been raising the Philippine flag ever since her jungolf days.

She bagged two gold medals for the Philippines in the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia and represented Team PH at the last Tokyo Olympics where she finished in 9th place after a closing 65.

Last June 2021, she then became the second teenager to win the US Women’s Open.

Meanwhile, Sato seeks to surpass last year’s runner-up finish in the Toto Japan Classic beginning on Thursday.

“I thought I had to decide whether or not there was an Olympics. But whichever I choose, I am both Japanese and Filipino. It is in my heart,” Saso said.