Rabble rousing and Japanese racism
The First Amendment guarantees:
“…the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
I just witnessed this first-hand in Washington, DC. In fact, I spent the entire day with the protesters and rolled cameras before, during and after the protest.
These were normal, cogent people with real lives and careers: a publisher, a military officer, an art dealer… All gathering to facilitate change.
You see, the government of Japan harbors and protects kidnappers, and these American parents are fighting back. They’ve asked me to document their efforts.
Japan is one of very few industrialized nations that denies visitation rights to non-Japanese parents. Whether the parent is a mother or father, they are protected from prosecution by the Japanese courts if they kidnap a child to Japan. To illustrate:
A Japanese man, working in the US on a Visa, marries an American woman and they have a child together. The marriage falls apart, and the husband returns to Japan in the middle of the night and takes the child with him, without the mother’s consent. He immediately petitions the Japanese courts for full custody and receives it; in Japan, ‘possession’ of the child is 100% of the law.
Back in the US, the mother files a report with the local authorities, the FBI and State Department. The husband is charged with felony kidnapping and a warrant is issued. The mother then spends four years and one hundred thousands dollars of her savings to force the father to allow ONE visit with the child. The father hires a Japanese lawyer that specializes in hiding children, and the Japanese government shrugs its collective shoulders and says “Divorce and custody issues are personal matters. There’s nothing we can do.” The State Department makes a few feeble attempts at mediation, but the Japanese courts circle the wagons and protect the father with double talk, legalese and cultural mumbo-jumbo. Japan is an openly racist country and its people are instilled from birth with a sense of cultural superiority. It’s an ancient and repulsive custom, and their courts are skewed to favor Japanese citizens in all matters. Say what you will about the US Courts. At least all persons, citizens or not, are afforded due process under the Constitution. Incidentally, the kidnapping warrant is all but ignored by the Japanese, since their law considers this a private, civil matter.
So the mother is then forced to take time off from her job and travel to Washington, DC to protest at the Japanese Embassy. The Japanese are obsessed with ‘saving face’ and social embarrassment is traumatic and devastating. Considering all legal channels have been exhausted, this last-ditch effort may prove to be the most effective.
It’s an absolute travesty that these parents, who only want to see their children, are forced to use embarrassment at the diplomatic level to enforce justice.
More to come…