*You* can now buy the DVD of From The Shadows: A documentary about Japanese international child abducton.
Awarded an honorable mention at the 2012 Philadelphia Film Festival.
All persons, advocates and otherwise, concerned with globalization and international law, with family law, with respect for children’s human rights – including the right to their parents, with respect for parents’ rights to raise and protect their children;
with the obligation of the State, not only to assert the principles of children’s protection and preservation of family unity, but to act on those assertions in a speedy and judicious way:
All of these, all of us, can learn more about this:
State Supported Child Abuse;
State Sanctioned and Supported Child Abduction.
The withdrawal of the state from concern for the welfare of people.
University libraries, public libraries, personal copies, educators. All can obtain this DVD now, while its availability lasts.
Like the children massed at the US border, suffering the abuse they suffer at the hands of the National Guard, Rick Perry and the vigilantes, victims of drug cartels, the US War on Drugs, and the cruel indifference of State institutions, equally deserving are children who are slipped out of a country and hidden from view by so-called “friendly” (national) states, whose violations are hushed from the top down by means of (and served by) their close relations with Washington.
Obama, Kerry, Clinton, Roos, the Bushes before them, Clinton and Reagan before them… all of them, and their administrations they headed, have known the full story more or less, and have failed to act. They dissimulate and wring their hands while responsible agents and agencies of the state under their command remain silent, manage and suppress dissent, and while another several hundred children have been slipped away from their families with the blessing of the Japanese state.
A few hundred more; cumulatively, a few thousands.
Every major news outlet that looked in this direction blinked, and provided comfort to abductors by soft-pedaling the roles played by the US and Japanese States in condoning and deferring resistance to this crime for as long as they could hold out. Today, 3 million children in Japan alone do not have ongoing relationships with their parent.
Grave violations of human dignity are not only committed with a gun, a drone, a tear gas cannister, and an Airforce bomber.
Excruciating damage is also done to lives every day by the dilatory state which terminates the right of citizens to be citizens, the right to have rights, and diminishes the meaning and application of citizenship every day.
When States act *in concert* to fail to deliver on the promise of due process, it is very difficult to find the right noises to make to draw attention to what is happening.
Please help. Learn about our plight. Inform others.
Build connections between us for our mutual needs.
This is one set of stories. There are thousands more:
From The Shadows Movie | From The Shadows
“Japan is a safe haven for parental child abduction.”
“In Japan, the parent that has physical possession of the children is guaranteed legal custody. It is ‘finders keepers, losers weepers’ in its rawest and most cruel form.”
“Japan needs international child support law.”
“I just want my children to know that their family in Canada will always love them. The Japanese courts have refused to acknowledge the damage that has been done to us and, more importantly, to Takara and Manami.”
“When my son finally came out of the house, I yelled, ‘Kento, are you OK? ” then the gangster pushed me away and eventually jumped on my back. The whole time he was repeating in English ‘This is Japan!'”
It is not in any way hard for some of us, parents of kidnapped children, to understand why the protester who set himself on fire in Tokyo this summer did what he did. He couldn’t tolerate the indifference, and wanted to be heard.
How can one live among the dead?
I did not know that this DVD release of the film, From The Shadows, is a new edit since the Washington DC screening of the film I attended in 2011. It is markedly different in some of the details and focus. It is notable that the entire story of one parents’ beating (with bricks) by gangsters after waiting outside of buildings trying to see his children was cut. On the other hand, there was a clearer explication, from my p.o.v. of the ways in which families, more than one, but several generations, drive the process in complete and utter ignorance of the children’s interests, inner lives, and existence as persons. The portrayals of Paul Toland and Paul Wong’s ex-wive’s families, and the obvious energy and decency of the two father/ survivors of their wives’ deaths, could hardly be more eloquent. The earnestness of Murray Wood in trying to see his children, despite the absurdly petty, self-embarassing behavior of his ex’s family, is apparent. (Can any scene in the film be more eloquent than the ex-Mrs Wood climbing out an upper floor window to shoot a photo of the father of her children pleading at the door for his last chance, rather than speaking to him like an adult?)
The Terauchis really must see this film, and recognize themselves in each of them.
I also know more now than I did then; and it’s clear to me now that what the law says has little impact on what police (who don’t give a shit) and courts (which operate on such an arbitrary basis that it is hard to call them a judiciary) and **utterly** sham institutions of child welfare working for pay for the previous two, all do. I could not help but be moved by Paul Wong’s story, as his ex-wife’s parents fabricated horrid lies – no doubt with the help of lawyers similar to those Machiko hired to help her abduct Rui- about his relationship with his daughter, making totally unsubstantiated claims that the courts, the mediators, the judges and the child welfare agencies could not be bothered to investigate, despite their transparent falsehoods and destructive impact on the children and father. It is more than scandalous; it is unbearable for the skimpy, thoughtless, mindlessly vacuous basis on which the structure operates, with no discernable prinicples other than that the children and parents should just shut up and go away while lawyers earn, bureaucrats grow deaf and old, and families turn into multi-generational abusers of their own children’s minds, memories and perceptions in the interest of preserving their false self-deceiving sense of dignity, all the while believing that somehow, their shabby reputations have better survived intact by lying and by scheming and gaming the lousy system, rather than by seeking the real dignity that could only come from truth-telling, earning respect for themeslves and their children.
Thank you, a Big Thank You, to Matt and David, the filmmakers, for making the film, and (not inconsequentially for me) for including my name in the thanks & acknowledgment credits at the end of the film. I came to one of the world’s saddest parties long after all of this was already shot, and in process of production. But I believed we might yet prevail, and I also fought, and in the end, overmatched, I lost.
But perhaps the last bell hasn’t tolled quite yet.