In case you have not read the news lately, left is a picture of Christopher Savoie and his children, Rebecca and Isaac.
Post-divorce, their Japanese mother, Noriko, abducted the children and fled to Japan. Following a court order in Tennessee granting him sole custody, Christopher went to Fukuoka, Japan to get his kids back. He was subsequently arrested and remains in jail.
Interestingly, both Christopher and his children have Japanese passports and are Japanese citizens. This does not seem to help. In the eyes of the government, he is a gaijin, no different than any other.
On one hand, I want to say that Japan is outwardly very polite and civilized, but inwardly a shockingly racist country with a xenophobic hatred of non-Japanese. Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara regularly publicly demonstrates his racism through comments about how he believes foreigners, particularly Southeast Asians and Chinese, are responsible for all of the crime in Japan. He is the kind of guy who would have been very comfortable with Unit 731 or the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. Even long-term residents of Japan such as myself (15 year resident) know that no matter how much tax we pay, or how fluent our Japanese, we will be denied even basic human rights anytime the authorities think they can get away with it.
Don't believe me? Ask David Aldwinckle, naturalized Japanese citizen living in Hokkaido. His case against the Otaru government in Hokkaido on racism is legendary among old Japan hands. Despite the fact that in the US his lawsuit would have made him a millionaire (at least), he was quickly swept under the carpet by the Japanese government even after they conceded his case was valid. Read his blog here. The Japanese are somehow fascinated with us, but like a TV show, would like to turn us off when they are done with us. They detest having us live in japan, despite wanting us to teach their children "Engrish". They love our tax dollars, but they don't want us living in their neighborhoods. We can buy their cars, but they don't want us in their onsens. We can bring fashion, music, food, and art, but don't get a house loan.
This is another case of Japan living an isolated, protectionist life away from the progress of the modern world. It is especially sad to see that the victims most affected by this ignorance are the children, who are blameless. The Japanese government should be deeply ashamed of protecting a woman whose felony child abduction would carry a lengthy prison sentence in the US or any other modern country. In Japan, I guess she will be heralded as the hero of every angry Japanese wife for saving her children from the evil foreign devil. Some things never change.
There but for the grace of God go I. If you are a foreign man with a Japanese wife, and you love your children - BEWARE!! If she gets upset and takes them to Japan they are gone and you will never see them again. No Japanese lawyer would dare represent a gaijin against a Japanese mom. The police, the government, and society will be against you. If you go to Japan to seek your legal rights you will be arrested and jailed. Justice does not only not prevail, it does not even exist. Sad but true. Still don't believe it?? Check here: or here:
NB: Here is the latest update. Chris rots in jail while the case is sorted out, has only limited access to the press, and only strict rules about what he can or cannot say.
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