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Letters from Tokyo
Japan Ignores Child Abduction because of Racism
By Lee Jay Walker
Tokyo Correspondent
Japan ignores child abduction because of racism

The government of Japan continues to allow international child abduction because it is clear that many national governments have asked Japan to change the legal system. However, the government of Japan just ignores the issue or brushes it under the carpet. Yet one aspect of Japanese law is clear, and this is the racial nature of the legal system and how Japanization is the “heart” of this policy. Therefore, why isn’t Japan deemed to be a pariah in the international community?

Firstly, I want to highlight the case of Shane Clarke, a British national, because The Guardian newspaper highlighted his case on Sept. 15, 2008. Before focusing on this case it is important to mention that The Guardian newspaper is very liberal, therefore, you always get a balanced point of view.

The article, written by Justin McCurry, highlights the problem of child abduction in Japan and the ineffectiveness of the legal system in this nation. Sadly, but only all too frequently, Shane Clarke would soon understand that the legal system in Japan is not based on fairness, equality, justice, or equal rights; on the contrary, he would see the true nature of Japanese family law which is based on racism and inactivity.

Shane Clarke states about his Japanese wife that “From the moment I met her at Narita airport I knew something was wrong.” He continued by stating that “The whole thing had been orchestrated.”

Yet I would add further, that the whole thing being orchestrated literally means “the whole thing being orchestrated.” I am talking about the government, the judicial system, the police, and all major institutions being “orchestrated” in order to preserve the supremacy of Japanese nationals over non-Japanese nationals.

Justin McCurry states the following “Japan is the only G7 nation not to have signed the 1980 Hague convention on civil aspects of child abduction, which requires parents accused of abducting their children to return them to their country of habitual residence. He is one of an estimated 10,000 parents, divorced or separated from their Japanese spouses, who have been denied access to their children. Since the Hague treaty came into effect, not a single ruling in Japan has gone in favour of the foreign parent.

Yes, read again, “not a single ruling in Japan has gone in favour of the foreign parent.” Therefore, no right-minded individual with these statistics can claim that the justice system is based on equality in Japan. The only other possible conclusion can be racism and we are talking about institutional and systematic racism. Also, we are talking about collusions and “done deals” between different institutions in the name of “Japanization.”

Surely this issue must be raised at the United Nations? Yet sadly, many national governments like the British are hypocrites because the government of the United Kingdom understands full well that child abduction in Japan is a major reality. Therefore, how can the British government support Japan over the abduction issue in North Korea, yet remain quiet over the abduction of British children of mixed blood in Japan?

However, the European Union, America, and Canada, are all urging Japan to sign the Hague Convention which relates to children. Of course the British government is too meek and mainly interested in economic issues, therefore, Japan makes the most of its economic clout and the indifference of many national governments.

Turning back to the case of Shane Clarke, he would soon understand that the legal system of Japan is not based on equality but on racism. Also, he would soon find out that the British government is compliant and helping Japan to violate human rights by remaining silent and indifferent.

Shane Clarke states “We are talking about two British citizens, and no one will help me. The message our government is sending out to foreign nationals is that it’s perfectly all right for them to commit a crime on British soil, and as long as they leave the country quickly enough, they’ll get away scot-free.”

Justin McCurry also notes “he can expect little sympathy from Japanese courts, which do not recognize parental child abduction as a crime and habitually rule in favour of the custodial – Japanese – parent.” Not surprisingly, Japan is being rebuked for being “a haven for child abductors” by campaigners.

Therefore, Japan should be taken to the United Nations and a binding resolution should be passed on this nation. After all, 10,000 cases involving a non-Japanese national and a Japanese national in Japan but despite this high number, not one single case where a foreign national won equality or justice? Therefore, racism and a system which loathes the “outsider” is clearly a reality in modern Japan.

The talking must stop because action is now needed and it is vital that this issue is raised until Japan is shamed into acting like a normal developed nation. Clearly Japan will only act if all major powers raise this issue and ordinary citizens must do more to put pressure on national leaders.

Japan is an international pariah when it comes to international child abduction and clearly Japan wants to become a permanent member of the United Nations. Therefore, it is important to focus on Japan’s “weak spot” and raise this issue with the United Nations and to make sure that all national governments know about this important issue.

LEE JAY WALKER



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Lee Jay Walker serves as Tokyo Correspondent of The Seoul Times. He specializes in int'l relations and geopolitics. He is also involved in analyst work and research on business. After finishing BA degree in East European Studies at the University of London, he earned MA degree in Asia Pacific Studies at Nottingham Trent University. Website at http://www.leejaywalker.wordpress.com where work is published.

 

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