• Akita


At this point, not signing the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction would put Japan out in the cold among the leading nations of the world. And at this point, taking a critical view of it would put a person like me (a foreign-born, noncitizen permanent resident) out in the cold among my fellow expatriates. But I wonder if the convention really does place the well-being of the children first, as it claims to.

The general viewpoint on divorce in the United States today can be summed up as: (1) it’s normal; (2) kids just have to deal with it; (3) in principle, both parties deserve equal consideration; and (4) the state can always step in and fix everything if the two parties cannot agree. But this is sort of an ideal — one that certainly can’t work in all parts of the world.

In the end, it’s just a shame that so often two people who decide to create and raise children together wind up unable to work things out by themselves and resort to relying on the state (or worse, two states) to solve their problems for them.

When children are involved, how can a blanket set of rules like the Hague Convention adequately address all possible circumstances, including individual and cultural differences, while placing the well-being of the child at the forefront? It simply can’t.

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.

donald wood

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