I am a little drained this evening, because I had a heavy amount of commenting today, as you can see to the lower right, or via this link.
[Update 12/29/11: To sum it up for you–and I’m sure I’ve mentioned it–there is a group of Left Behind parents whose children are somewhere in Japan. For the most part, they are the children of divorce. The Japanese parent has either taken them to Japan, or has kept them in Japan and not let the other parent see the child.
Many countries are affected by this social problem, but it does affect American Left Behind parents a lot. Some of the parents have become active in raising awareness about the issue. Unfortunately, there have also been some splits among these groups, and some animosity is out there, on the net, as a result of these splits.
I do not want to focus on the animosity, because there is plenty of that in the world. What seems to me a tragedy is that in all these instances:
1) Parents (fathers, mostly), Japanese and non-Japanese, in Japan who can’t see their children;
2) Parents in America who whose children were abducted to Japan; and
3) Parents who were on American military bases in Japan, whose children were brought into Japan proper;
none of those parents can see their kids.
This is real human loss, and the fact that the different groups of men are bickering with each other over the internet makes everyone lose sight of the fact that none of them get to see their kids. Some are more responsible; others are more the target than the aggressor. But overall, they really should go back and find that common ground so that they have a stronger political force to keep carrying on the battle.
To be fair to everyone who has an international relationship, many, many of them do work out well, without this sort of impasse. Even in cases where the couple split up, they work something out. And a number of the victims of abduction to Japan, which are estimated at about 170 for America, aren’t as visible on the internet and do their suffering in silence–good or bad. (I actually think it’s bad, in a way, because the small group of advocates then tend to get more attention. Their human foibles, which we all have, then get magnified by the people doing the fighting.)
I hope you all get to see your children someday soon.
[Update 12/29/11 #2: Coverage on the child abduction issue in the Japan Times today, coincidentally . . . ]