American Dad in Japan Jail Backwash

I’m done with the he-said-she-said about this case. But I happened to find out from Debito’s website that there is a lot of discussion about it in diplomatic-oriented media.

This one presents the biggest chuckle (well, chuckle for what you can find funny about the situation). According to the Foreign Policy magazine website, the U.S. State Department advised Chris Savoie to try and get the kids to a U.S. consulate where they could obtain passports, and implicitly, be helped.

Woo hoo! Chris must be feeling like Charlie Brown after Lucy pulls the football out from under him! I don’t know if he gets to read comics while he is eating bean paste in the Japanese jail.

Here is the relevant part of the article:

Even before Savoie traveled to Japan, he contacted the State Department’s Office for Citizen Services to ask for advice on how to get his children out of Japan. State Department officials advised Savoie that because a U.S. court had awarded him sole custody on Aug. 17, he could apply for new passports for the children if he could get them to the Fukuoka consulate.

On Sept. 28, Savoie drove alongside his ex-wife and children while they were walking to school, forced the children into his car, and headed for the consulate. By the time he got there, his wife had alerted the local police, who arrested him on the spot and placed him under investigation for “kidnapping minors by force,” according to the officials.

U.S. consular officials met with Savoie the next day, gave him legal advice, and passed some messages back to his family in the States. Since then, State Department officials have brought up the Savoie case “at the highest levels” of their interactions with Japanese officials, including between the embassy in Tokyo and the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, officials said, but to no avail.

Some of the commenters at that website question the validity of that whole account. They don’t think the State Department involves itself very much at all in these unabductions.

I have rather sarcastically pointed out that it does upset these guys’ quasi-vacations in their exotic postings overseas. You might call me jealous because the only postings I’m involved with overseas are the ones you read on this blog.

But you would think either the local U.S. government anything would be four-square behind you as a citizen, or they would give you an honest game plan if they aren’t going to be involved at all. This sort of half-assed, “well, if you could get the kids to the consulate, we’ll get them passports”—if true that it was said—is really sad. Because when Savoie got there, they wouldn’t let him in!

It isn’t just the 82 abductees here in Japan. There are a whole slew of equal rights and equal protection issues, mostly going to labor and contract matters, that the U.S. does squat about here. The game plan is that there is no plan!

Well, that’s not too good, is it?