Jul 18 2021

Japan’s shame: State-sanctioned child kidnapping

By Fred Varcoe 

The Olympic Games were meant to highlight what a fabulous place Japan is, how its economy is not really shit, how the streets are clean, the people friendly and life is just a fantasy.

Well, the reality is most of that is just a fantasy.

Just 100 meters from the new, unspectacular Olympic Stadium, a Frenchman is staging a hunger strike. Vincent Fichot’s wife stole their children and he hasn’t seen them for three years.

While Japan loves to promote its cuteness and fluffiness, the reality of life in Japan is that it has serious flaws, most notably in its judicial system. Carlos Ghosn fled not because he thought he might be found guilty of what was a minor crime, but because the judicial system sets out to pre-judge and pre-punish those who cross the invisible line of social wrong. If you are the nail that sticks up, you will be smacked down into submission.

To say the rulings on family matters are odd would be an insult to odd. They are inhumane.

Japan does not subscribe to the notion that divorced parents can jointly raise their kids. In most cases, one parent gets to keep the kids, the other is told to fuck off forever.

When former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s wife was pregnant with their third child, the slimeball politician decided to get a divorce. Usually, the mother gets to keep the kids, but as Koizumi is a slimeball politician, his sons were delivered to him. Then, slimeball that he is, he tried to grab son No. 3 as soon as it came out of the womb. This time, he was unsuccessful, so he cut off son No. 3 and has refused to meet him ever since.

As a married man, I can imagine the need for some parents to divorce, but as a father, I can’t ever imagine divorcing my child.

Vincent Fichot is not alone. Some 150,000 children are divorced from a parent every year in Japan. Australian Scott McIntyre was jailed for 45 days just for going to his in-laws’ apartment as he searched for his kids.

Fichot has sought help from French President Emanuel Macron, the EU and the United Nations. All have condemned Japan for its heartlessness. Japan’s response: “We don’t care.” The Justice Minister even refuses to acknowledge the issue.

When Japanese citizens were kidnapped by North Korea, it was a massive issue. How ironic that it was Father-of-the-Year and de facto child kidnapper Junichiro Koizumi who helped get some of Japan’s citizens returned. When two Americans helped free Carlos Ghosn from its penal hostage justice, Japan threw a tantrum and demanded Ghosn was returned. When that failed, it demanded the people who freed Ghosn be effectively kidnapped to Japan to face its unjust justice system.

When children are kidnapped against the law, Japan turns a blind eye to justice.

When I was young, comic books depicted Japanese soldiers as the most evil people on the planet. In Japan, old soldiers never die; my guess is they join the Justice Ministry.