• Auckland, New Zealand


The July 17 AP article “‘Widow penalty’ immigrants finally allowed back in U.S.” tells the story of Miwa Neal, a Japanese woman who married an American man but who was denied permanent residency in the United States because her husband died after less than two years of marriage.

Mrs. Neal had lived in the U.S. with her husband and their baby for just six months when her husband was found dead in the Ohio River “under circumstances that remain mysterious.” The article describes the widow penalty as “widely viewed as cruel and unnecessary,” noting that it was eliminated by Congress two years ago after being repeatedly challenged in court.

Widely viewed as “cruel” where?

Would an American woman under the same circumstances have been able to get permanent residency in Japan?

Two wrongs don’t make a right, but isn’t it even more cruel that many Japanese women in international marriages abduct their children to Japan, where their foreign husbands cannot even get access to visit them?

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

joergen jensen

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