Keeping on this same topic this week.
I was surprised to see the correspondence going between Congressman Chris Smith in New Jersey and President Obama, regarding the kidnapping of young American children after divorce, by their Japanese parent.
This topic has really gained traction.
Here is Kurt Campbell speaking about this important issue:
What is so surprising is that this issue only gained traction when it finally became a project of a longtime congressman, the dean of the New Jersey delegation. There have been child kidnappings to Japan for many years now. However, men like Chris Savoie and Paul Toland brought the issue home. And I’m convinced more and more, that if you want “Japan” to pay attention, this is how you do it. It’s a lot easier to convince a base within 310 million people that there is a serious problem, than to try and do it as a minority-within-a-minority in a foreign country, where the power people already have the bureaucratic mazes set up.
What is shameful is that the State Department needed a fire set under its collective ass in order to get moving. This says a lot about which Americans “count” in Japan, and who doesn’t.
I know there is a group of Europeans and former Americans who is going around and trying to collect dirt about the individual Left Behind Fathers in the group. However, I think these people don’t understand how law works in Western society. In Western society, law covers everybody no matter their, how shall I put it?, “sin”. This is not a Buddhist culture where you can attain “perfection” in your spiritual life. It is a Abrahamic one where you can never attain perfection. (That is, “perfection” = God.) So I hear these commenters saying, lately: “yeah, well, this Left Behind Father has this bad thing in his past; and this one has that; and this other one, that.” They think they are like slick lawyers or something, who can’t win on the facts, and so turn to smears.
A father can even do time in an American prison, sadly for that, but when they come out of the cooler, they still are the father of a child and they have those rights respected. I think base principals are important, and so I am not impressed by people making up a gossip mill behind the scenes about Left Behind Father Number One, or Number Two, etc.
I think the Japanese started to do this with the Chris Savoie matter (dual-citizen), and had our own government taken him for Japanese and not American, it would have ended with being buried under innuendo and that police detention. Bill Lake (American, kid non-Japanese) in Florida seems to be the victim of that same sort of innuendo and digging into his personal life.
Good for Congressman Smith’s office that he is playing it based on our well-settled notion of how laws work.
[Update 9/24/11: Congressman Smith’s recent statement about the issue, in case you don’t get it as the next item on the above You Tube link.