Via Debito.org, who has been promoting the various abandoned parents[‘] organizations on this issue.
When I attended a Tokyo FRANCA meeting, I wasn’t 100% impressed with the agenda items, but the custody issue that a lot of non-Japanese find themselves in whenever they divorce a Japanese spouse was something that I think should concern everyone.
For the life of me, I don’t understand what the Japanese government thinks it’s getting away with by not honoring joint custody decisions rendered in other countries. This just seems to go to the stereotype or bad image of Japan as a country that wants only the benefits out of any deal, and won’t keep up their end of an agreement. One that burns the candle at both ends One that is always looking for a way out.
I don’t know whether young Japanese are taught that this kind of thing really angers people. What makes it worse, is this uncomfortable “oops” that seems to be part of the back-tracking, when it isn’t that the matter is just stalled for years on years.
The Chinese, who, from what I learned in America, almost to a person believe they understand the Japanese better than we do, deal much differently, as the Senkaku Island incident showed. Japan took the captain, China rounded up 4 Fujita employees, started to shut down the tourism trade, and cut off trade in rare earth metals. Like that. Just like that.
The U.S. Congress passes a 416-1 resolution (where were the other 15 or 16 representatives who abstained?), and Japan will promptly ignore it. Kid gloves. And they’ll even do it a week after China put the squeeze around their necks.
I am confident that the issue is being looked at much more deeply in Nagatacho than the government is letting on. I think whatever group is responsible there is taking it through some decision-making, brainstorming process to figure out how to get the best solution for Japan. But sometimes you have to wonder whether these folks even know what the best interest of Japan would be?
The idea that you let people in international marriages think that the one partner can just abscond with the children to Japan, and that is that, is really dangerous. This is a dangerous world. Not all the gaikokujin victims are going to just sit and take it.
Coverage from Sydney Morning Herald in Australia, via AFP: here.
Quote about Congressman Smith of New Jersey, who has been in front on this initiative:
Representative Christopher Smith, who spearheaded the House resolution, said that parents’ patience was wearing thin as abducted children often suffered severe psychological problems.
“It is the strongest language we could have possibly put into the resolution because, frankly, time is up,” said Smith, a Republican from New Jersey.
Smith flew to Brazil last Christmas and helped another US father bring his son back to the United States after a five-year battle. But Smith said he has received no response from Japan to requests for a meeting.
“Japan’s a great friend, a great ally, with whom we have so much in common. So it’s bewildering, to say the least, how they are mistreating American children,” Smith said.