Hi Blog. I think this is probably the good news of the month. The US seems to have formally linked and exposed the cognitive dissonance found in the GOJ’s victimhood status regarding the abductions of Japanese by North Korea and the abductions of children into Japan by Japanese citizens after an international divorce. (Note the GOJ even resorted to the ultimate excuse, “Japanese culture”, below. Was that the last straw?) Bravo. Submitter PT puts it best, so I’ll include his commentary. Arudou Debito in Calgary.
PT writes (February 8, 2010): Another breakthrough today. For years now, going back to the release of the Megumi Yokota movie back in late 2006/early 2007, we have been trying to point out the hypocrisy of the Japanese government in insisting that the United States support their efforts to get back their 17 citizens abducted to North Korea between 27 and 33 years ago, while continuing their ongoing state sponsored kidnapping of hundreds of American children to Japan. Well, it looks like we have finally reached the point where the United States Government has once and for all pointed this hypocrisy out to the Japanese Government.
An article in Kyodo news service was released [February 6] titled “U.S. warns Japan of effect of custody treaty on N. Korea abductions.” The article states that Assistant Secretary Campbell, in meetings with Japanese counterparts, warned that failure to sign the Hague “may have adverse effects on Washington’s assistance to Tokyo in trying to resolve the issue of North Korea’s abductions of Japanese nationals.” The article also states that Campbell “noted that there is something in common in the sorrows felt by Japanese people whose children were abducted by North Korea and by Americans whose children were taken away by their Japanese spouses.”
Although the article contains much of the common Japanese verbage that we don’t like, including putting the word abduction in quotations and that Noriko Savoie, “allegedly” took the children from the United States to Japan against a U.S. court decision.” There’s no “allegedly” involved in that situation. Anyway, the important point is that this represents a policy shift in United States foreign policy toward Japan that is likely to make waves throughout Japan. This is good news in moving forward. PT
U.S. warns Japan of effect of custody treaty on N. Korea abductions
Kyodo News/Breitbart, Feb 6 2010, Courtesy of PT.
TOKYO, Feb. 7 (AP) – (Kyodo)—A senior U.S. government official has warned Japan that its failure to join an international treaty on child custody may have adverse effects on Washington’s assistance to Tokyo in trying to resolve the issue of North Korea’s abductions of Japanese nationals, diplomatic sources said Saturday.
Kurt Campbell, U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, made the remarks to senior Japanese Foreign Ministry officials during his visit to Japan in early February and strongly urged the Japanese government to become a party to the treaty, the sources said.
The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is aimed at preventing one of the parents in a failed international marriage from taking their child across national borders against an existing child custody arrangement.
The U.S. government has urged Japan to join the treaty due to an increasing incidence of Japanese parents “abducting” their children to Japan even though their spouses of different nationality have custody over the children in the United States.
Other countries such as Britain and France are also stepping up their calls on Japan to join the international convention.
Japan has been largely reluctant to do so, with a senior Foreign Ministry official saying, “It does not suit Japanese culture to treat parents, who have brought back their children to the country, as criminals.”
But the government has begun considering the possibility of becoming a party to the treaty in response to the urgings from other countries.
According to the sources, Campbell explained to Japanese officials that taking children from those who have custody over them is called “abduction” in the United States and criticism against Japan over such cases is increasing in the country.
He noted that there is something in common in the sorrows felt by Japanese people whose children were abducted by North Korea and by Americans whose children were taken away by their Japanese spouses, the sources said.
While reaffirming that the U.S. administration and Congress have made clear their positions on seeking a resolution of North Korea’s abductions of Japanese, Campbell expressed hope that the Japanese government would give consideration to the child custody issue so as not to damage this willingness to support Japan.
Japanese officials responded that they need to think carefully about the question of whether to join the treaty while keeping in mind Japanese public opinion, but the U.S. side was not convinced, the sources said.
Late last month, Campbell met in Washington with about 30 people seeking to see their children who have apparently been “abducted” by their Japanese spouses and promised them that he will express his concerns over the situation to the Japanese government.
The issue drew attention last year when a man from the United States was arrested in Japan after trying to take his children back from his divorced Japanese wife, who allegedly took the children from the United States to Japan against a U.S. court decision.