Expect Hague spirit to be abused

After reading the March 12 editorial, “Preparing for the Hague Convention,” and realizing that “domestic violence” is covered as a grave danger to a child, I felt I must comment.

Many Japanese women immediately claim domestic violence as a reason for running away from marriages, and many of them go to the police to make these claims — even if the claims are totally unfounded and untrue.

The Japanese police take claims from such a person seriously and record them as fact without collecting evidence. Japan’s culture of presuming guilt until innocence is proven and the habit of crawling through every loophole possible with regard to laws on international matters will lead to the bypassing of the Hague Convention through false claims of domestic violence. The terms should have included a condition along the lines of: “If the person claiming the child under the Hague Convention has previously been convicted of domestic violence-related crimes in a court of law …” Since Japan appears to have almost deliberately created this loophole, it might as well not join the convention at all, as I guarantee that the spirit of the convention will be abused.

False accusations against a person for things like domestic violence go unpunished and, most of the time, are not investigated. There is no deterrent in place to prevent one partner from making false claims. And most Japanese partners know that if they make a false claim, it will be recorded immediately as if it was a proven crime and nothing will happen if nobody is charged.

robert sleight

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.