• Tokyo


The Oct. 1 AP article “American held in failed bid to snatch own kids” brought up a contentious issue I have heard about over and over again — whether Japan should conform to the 1980 Hague convention on international child abduction. My heart empathetically goes out to the father who comes home one day to find his children gone, and though it may be beyond his wildest imagination, they are thousands of miles away.

I might have attempted to listen to the mother’s story had she remained and fought, since she knows she is right, but why run? I won’t attempt to inject a moral perspective to this particular situation, as we should leave it to a court of law, especially one that can synchronize the conflicting laws of countries, but oops, almost slipped my mind — Japan doesn’t conform to the 1980 Hague convention!

Japan’s argument is that Japan’s women and children are abused by their foreign husbands and thus Japan seeks to protect them. Am I the only one seeing a massive stereotyped view seeping to even the highest echelons and dictating a socially baseless law? What if the husband is actually the one being abused? What’s so hard about entrusting the case to an international panel that considers all parties and actually awards custody to the person who deserves the children? Are we fighting for the women or the children?

dennis ntara

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