This thing gets more and more attention in our expat corner of the blogosphere. I really wanted to go back and talk about the Muppets or something.
I saw the question put somewhere, whether Christopher Savoie is a bigamist under Japanese law. This is because he married someone else without having the Japanese marriage annulled first. It’s so wacky. Does Japan recognize Tennessee (i.e. U.S.) divorces? My sense is that it would.
Do two people who are divorced, where both come to Japan, get treated as married here? No, right?
So I wonder about this. But it’s like, why should we waste any time on it even?
The pro-Chris people point out that, based on American law, he did everything in the right and is 100% right. And we all know that the U.S. embassies and consulates here have a crappy reputation for helping the average American. They seem, however, to have this inordinate fixation with pleasing Japan in any way they can. I don’t think the Japanese ruling class can just go in and grab any woman (or guy) they want, but it’s about one or two removed from that.
Now a bit of a digression.
This whole “kiss their butts for our military objectives” is a weak cup of coffee, too. When South Korea had trouble with us there around 2002, we handled it differently. I think some servicemen ran over two teenage girls with a tank. All the evidence was that this was an accident, but there was a sudden rash of anti-Americanism.
The Bush Administration told the South Koreans that we had no trouble moving the troops out of South Korea.
When the Chinese satellites would pick that one up, and North Koreans inevitably find out just with binoculars, man, that would have changed things.
So shortly afterward, the South Korean President said it was OK for the troops to stay.
I mean, that’s our ass in it. You know? And man, I am an American. But unlike the yahoos or the eehaw-types, I want to know: what’s in it for me? And if it’s really in the end just a waste of our money, manpower and time, then I want our asses out of it.
We are not going to solve the world’s interpersonal problems. We were never set up as a Republic that would have our noses in everybody else’s shit things going on. In fact, President Washington warned about foreign entanglements. He said, we should avoid them.
If you have stuff named after you, and your picture has been on the dollar bill since from way back when it actually bought stuff, you would think your words carry a certain weight.
Whatever the issues the Japanese might have with us here or feeling like they are shown up or whatever, the Embassy should just politely record this stuff. And if it’s too much for us, then “take ’em all”, which means we totally leave.
I have no problem with this, if we aren’t wanted. America should not be where it’s not wanted. Plain English. The world is a big place and if the Japanese think the Chinese suddenly love them, well go for it.
This way, I save tax money. So does my family, friends, and community. We can put the Seventh Fleet back down in Brisbane if the Aussies still want us, and China can go to town.
This is like France. Once about 1960 or 1965 rolled around and they weren’t afraid of the Germans anymore, they told us and the Brits to kiss off and pulled out of NATO. They would still have nukes and cooperate with NATO activities. But they were France and France does only as France sees fit.
I think Dean Rusk or one of those 1960’s guys remarked about whether we should dig up the graves at Normandy and bring our fallen troops home, too.
So whatever the American military establishment has going on with the embassy and the Japanese, I really think they need a new approach. No more Japanese guy goes in and the American representative kisses the left cheek of his ass and then the right cheek. Then they go hang out at Tokyo-American Club. I think this has been going on a little too much. Nobody kisses my ass at the embassy, and I pay tax to have an embassy.
I hope John Roos is changing some of that. But I have a feeling he might be more likely to follow along with the program for a “successful ambassadorship”. “We’re here for you and we want to see you succeed there, ambassador. And congratulations by the way!” Stuff like that.
So these are other things I wonder about.
Back to Christopher Savoie.
Wasn’t his big screwup getting the Japanese citizenship? I mean, really, this guy had enough weight and konne to easily get PR (permanent residency). What’s the deal about a passport? I know there are a couple of other jerks around who are trying to do this “dual” thing. To me, it just confuses matters horribly. Especially when it involves Japanese bureaucrats, who are going to try and throw as many shades of gray into even the plain vanilla issues.
But I think what even really grates more, is that there are the heavy issues we deal with everyday. Not just the gratuitous anti-Americanism within a populace that learns a bizzaro-world 20th century history. But serious labor and contract issues. And, yes, the divorces where the non-Japanese tries to play by the rules here and gets burned for it anyway. These vastly outnumber the Savoies.
So now a schemer and plotter comes along and distracts everyone’s attention from the more weighty situations where remedies are more easily put in place. The dual national with family issues. Oh, great!
I have a feeling that Chris Savoie was just too clever by half. He had this great Japanese educational and business career, and as it started curving down, probably around 2007, he decided to plan out his return to America.
How he played it out, he obviously held the upper hand. He was the one who had to pay the $800,000 over to Noriko in the divorce, so he probably had the financial control. But Noriko always had the advantage where she could just leave with the kids, and even the court testimony seems to suggest that she was aware what the alternatives were.
So it’s safe to say that Noriko Savoie was aware that she wasn’t bound by any American law, no American nothing. So she did her gaman, and then headed back to Japan.