Remember, Remember, Remember

“Freud is inviting us to distinguish between something he calls remembering, which is presumably veracious and potentially transformative, and something called an action, a repeated action in which the so-called patient – like an actor with a script, or a figure in a dream – unwittingly performs something from his past. That he knows he is repeating something, but that he doesn’t know he is repeating something from the past means that unwittingly he is living in the present as if it were the past (though it is not an ‘as if’ to him). The patient who repetitively re-enacts something from the past clearly has no distance from it, because for him there is no it from which he could take his distance. Freud is alerting us to the idea that there is nothing that the individual defends himself against more than the construction of distance from the traumatic past. “

Adam Phillips, Close-Ups History Workshop Journal Issue 57 © 2004, Page 142

machico head shot2

Child Abductor Machiko Terauchi

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Child Abductor Midori Matsumoto (Terauchi) and Louis Prager (Rui)

Japan's gift to children

Japan Abducts Children and Contaminates their Food and Water with Radioactivity and Carcinogens

 

 

 

Posted in Brian Prager, 誘拐犯, Japan Child Abduction, Machiko Terauchi, Rui Prager, Rui Terauchi, 寺内るい, 寺内真智子 | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Remember, Remember, Sixteenth of November

I just tell myself: This is part one.
Agonizing even over what  I can say on Rui’s birthday has plagued me for some time.  It sets me an un-meetable deadline every year, along with the anniversary of his abduction in the middle of June. The pressure to speak wisely and feelingly builds, but the truth remains unspeakable. The trauma – abduction itself – is something people no longer have so much interest in hearing about, aside from those of us whose children have been abducted. Even that is a group of people who honestly want and deserve to be relieved of the distress, not have it brought back to their immediate attention.

As if any of us could ever stop thinking about our abducted kids! No, we cannot, in case they are related to you and you’d like to know. The most we usually want to do is to spare others and ourselves the revelation that it’s hurting over here, over there, over there  and everywhere. And that is as much about feeling ashamed of the anger, the sorrow, and the grip that invisible forces like these have on us as it is about knowing that others will feel they have got to do something about it or respond, when truth be told, they are mostly feeling fairly helpless themselves. What can they say dear, after they say, I’m sorry?

Washington Square ABC with Rui 2B

Having crossed a little way into this territory, I can give a reflection of what the thoughts are that most urgently scream at me to be expressed. I write quite often but never enough, and do not publish it. So this one is blather and announces itself as such. They always feel that way, but I refuse to edit or write carefully today, because I’m tired of that sort of constipation! My notebooks and computer files are full of attempts to formulate the problem of Japanese international child abduction and the violation of children’s and parent’s lives (by US and global politics of capital) in psychoanalytic, political, legal, class and state power terms. It would make a great book if it ever got done. (Don’t hold your breath, but say something nicely encouraging please!) And a significant part of that story is the story of the parents’ miseries. Can’t be helped. It’s also the part we can BLOG about.

So, back to the unedited “today.” Today, Japan and the US have both joined a treaty (since April) that has a history. It was drafted by the two countries and a few others in the early days of what we now think of as The Era of Writings about Globalization with a capital W and a capital G. Japan took 35 years to join this treaty, because it conflicts with its nation-state law, in which children cannot be represented in the legal system, and parents must forfeit 100% of their rights as a parent if they and their spouse divorce. Parents must legally abduct their children in order to keep their children. This is what Japanese elites wrote into law, in order to bridge the old family forms with the one “needed” (so they thought) in the 20th century ultra-rapid modernization regime. And now, Japan has joined the convention with this uber-state, controlling,  modern family law intact.

The Hague Convention is (Again) a Neoliberal Response to Neoliberal Globalization

Such is the state of the 35-year-old treaty, one that came into being at the very moment that international capital was going into a major round of destruction of “excess”capital because in an overbuilt, fixed form (the urban form), combined with the coming to maturity of a system of enormously-scaled overproduction of consumer goods, it was becoming less profitable to banks and their sponsors in the state. And capital wanted an astronomical increase in movement of capital into other geographic locations, which brought crisis and change of the form of capital accumulation since the 1970’s (known sometimes as financialization or the final, nearly total break of the exchange value of capital from anything realizable in a real economy – sheer speculation on speculation on bubbles of speculation). Hence the state everywhere was moving to open the gates wider so that capital could freely whip itself on into ever changing, moving spaces where it wanted to speculate. In the US, the result was deindustrialization, the collapse of many major cities, the destruction of the famous U.S. wage-earning “middle class,” and countless grave urban crises: New York City’s bankruptcy first of all, followed by the destruction of all US smokestack industries and most of its manufacturing (Detroit, Baltimore, Cleveland, Gary, Camden, etc., etc.) and the movement of production out to cheap global labor. Capital here in the US then ran to seek profits in property market speculation (housing and mortgages and land rent), encouraged by lax regulation and absurd practices, high levels of abusive lending, and turning house loans into “securities”, all of which pseudo-economy came crashing down around us all finally in the economic crisis of 2007-2008, and which continues today in the form of massive corporate profits for big firms, alongside low wages, high unemployment and precarious labor here.

United Arrows Logo ABDUCTOR

Eh… Abductions?
What’s all this got to do with the Hague abduction treaty? Well of course, the treaty in the minds of its creators and implementers forms just one part of the many managerial moves made by and between globally powerful states to impose some mild, selectively applied restriction on the inevitable more humbly scaled sorts of abuses invited by the system required by global capital as just described: a circuit of mobility for capital, and management of the affected populations (sometimes now superfluous, sometimes not)  affected by the weakening of territorial sovereignty and the global flow of money, guns, raw materials, and persons the banks and treasuries of various states require.

It’s also equally important that even in this context, the movement of people is not only or exclusively affected by capital movement; but by numerous other socially consequential matters which are always and now more than ever undergoing enormous change, again, with all this money-dynamic fluxus as context: the curtailing or end of traditional forms of social life; urban communities destroyed by gentrification; family relationships broken in the context of insecurity and precarious working lives; the loss of public spaces and shared experiences that solidify relationships among people to private utilization, “malled” public spaces with private police at security doors, or in places like NY, semi-barricaded areas in the city – the complete commodification and simulation of “street life”. Every state apparatus from schools to prisons, is being moved somewhere outside of direct state or popular control, with political alliances falling into irrelevance or completely under the heel of profit-seeking and privatization. This upending of the foundations of social reproduction, tossing everyone into the hopper, has also contributed burdgeoning pathologies to the mix of complex problems. And so, now to talk briefly about Rui’s abduction and my inability, to now, to save him from it.

isetan mitsukoshi ABDUCTOR

Rui Forced to Lose His Parents (A family tradition – such as his current Japanese grandpa and his grandmother’s first husband)

Rui was abducted in the immediate aftermath of the economic crisis which began in the US housing market in 2007 and 2008. Between the two of his parents, I was and am a teacher and a reader who wanted to give Rui a cultural education through music & art, books and outdoor adventure, and so on, because that is what I loved, and thought would have the best impact on his person. I was and am a regular reader of NLR and other left journals, so I knew that the economic crisis was looming and that it was being predicted to be a very heavy one. As a precarious employee of Hunter College of the City University for 25 years, I felt it in the fluctuations of demand for my services very keenly.

While Machiko also read voraciously, hers was exclusively done in the fashion business press: Women’s Wear Daily and numerous glossy mags with lurid phantasms of the Ideal Male and Female. Now if you’ve ever read anything in the fashion press , you will have a good idea of the lines along which our difficulties escalated. She claimed to reserve a space of serious resistance to all of this imagery, but I felt that we had begun to drown in it; it was omnipresent, and she worked with it all day, every day. It was becoming a sort of family value, which I tried against my nature to enjoy, but deeply detested.

Hirofumi Kurino of UNITED ARROWS abductor copy

There was more however. From her businessperson’s perspective, the way forward was always, always, to commodify yourself, entrepreneurialize yourself and twist yourself into a commodity that had such obvious value to your chosen industry that it could hardly escape your inevitable rise and its equally inevitable need for you. This mythology is the neoliberal paradigm, par excellence; and Machiko more and more began to live it. She sought contracts with the biggest clothing retail firms, and she was certain that it was worth anything, any life change, any alteration of her priorities and those of everyone around her to obtain them, including mine and especially Rui’s. Machiko’s talent and obssessive workaholism worked. She found success, contracted by large corporations and smaller rising-star fashion firms (Lord! What a lot of god-awful boring people!): United Arrows Ltd used her as their primary and only United States-based representative and consultant, a fact which opened many, many other doors for her. Steven Alan, the NYC shirt salesman and store owner who had designs being made for him and successfully sold on both coasts and was penetrating the hyper-profitable and obssessional world of Japanese clothing shoppers. She had contracts with Joi’x Corporation and with Isetan Mitsukoshi.  She was on friendly and business terms with every designer of her generation in Tokyo, and made even more certain of it if they had a connection with New York. The list is long and wouldn’t interest most of my blog’s friends; but most importantly, she kept close to her Tokyo PR firm, Steady Study which I believe continues to support her abduction of my child to today. If you are working with any of these people, please know, they supported her move “back to Japan” and assisted her in some instances more, in others less directly, in a child abduction for which there is still now an international kidnapping arrest warrant. They should know, and certainly their customers should, that people don’t like to see the abuse of children.

Steven Alan United Arrows Beauty & Youth Label Abductor

Triburbia

Rui’s chilidhood began in the world’s most culturally diverse multi-ethnic urban enclave, not far from the East River in Queens. Not a perfect community (this is New York!) and not a particularly beautiful place, but nonetheless one where he had possibilities – to  become a worldly young person with extraordinary love of his parents. This was not enough, however, for the ambitions of Machiko Terauchi (then, Machiko Terauchi Prager). She felt increasingly pressured by her commitment to the Big Firms in Japan she was contracted to, demanding so much from her, and yet who tended to be boys’ clubs that treated her as a disposable, female commodity, easily replaced if they even wanted to maintain the expense of having such an employee in New York. As the economy and market in fashion worsened, they began to think they could send their own people from time to time to do the job Machiko slaved over in New York. Denigrated in this way, resentment with not a little racist tension in it began to replace her previous appreciation of the ethnically diverse Western Queens communities; she longed instead for the non-temporality of the clean, Bloombergian class-prestige of hyper-corporate, predominantly white, suburbanized Tribeca, where huge treeless, concrete blocks with heavy truck traffic, a block-long Whole Foods Market, enormous Bed, Bath & Beyond megastores, and Barnes and Noble stuffed with plastic wrapped toys and trinkets had replaced the grime of the old warehouse, industrial district of the pre-Giuliani era. The New Tribeca, which was really a group of steel, glass and granite buildings stuck into the grounds of the Western edges of the financial district near the hole in the ground that had been the World Trade Center, was garish, loud, and as bland as any suburb, such as the Texas one I grew up in. Cultural diversity, class diversity, were yesterday there. Long before our catastrophic move downtown, everything I had once loved about New York had been in the process of being rooted out by speculation and finance capital, and replaced with cheap, temporary, community-less, class unconscious shlock for the aspirationally rich. Now, my wife wanted to force me and my son not only to live near it, but to be inside of it, part of it, and aspire to its hollow claims. I protested, but out of fear I tended to emphasize the cautionary, the economic difficulty of moving to the richest neighborhood in the world during a global economic crisis which was real, and put less emphasis on the complete cultural and political betrayal she was forcing us into. She claimed that she would move herself and our son there, and told me I could come with them or stay miles away in Queens, alone. She had declared her indifference to the deeply transformative experience of father-and-son-hood her husband and child were locked into.  It was with this that I began, I can now see in retrospect, to become rather sick with worry for our well-being.

Steady Study Staff w Makeup company Machiko Terauchi 2

My spouse transformed herself very rapidly; her artistic and creative nature, her enjoyment of beauty, her easy laugh, and the lovingkindness of her nature, disappeared. They were replaced by a new voice and demeanor; it was a staggeringly rapid development. Had I known her Japanese life before she came to the US to temporarily escape it, I would no doubt have recognized better what she was becoming. The repressed had truly returned. But this reality was unknown and unknowable to me.

Now I know that the path to abduction was there long before I became part of it, and is still being set for others.

In order to relate that story, we need history and theory.

-end-

November 17, 2014

Postscript:

Rest assured, none of this would need telling if Rui had not been abudcted. He is growing up without the father who loves him, if indeed he is even still alive. No one, not ONE of the former students, friends, fellow travelers and supposed friendly presences in our old lives in New York, so many of whom are now  in Japan once again, or still in some way able to find her or stay in contact with her and who know where Rui is… NOT ONE of them has taken it upon themselves in all of these years to contact me, to let me know where Rui is, to reassure me or send me photographs or reports of his goings on or his development. And all of them saw with their own eyes how deeply Rui and I loved each other, despite all of the trouble and difficulty that Machiko’s demands and cruelty made on us. Not ONE of them has bothered to reach out to me, to help my son recover his father.
This curse on all of you who lied, and who still lie every day by failing to do the one, only, obvious, decent thing there is to do.

 

Posted in Brian Prager, 誘拐犯, Hague Convention, Japan Child Abduction, Japanese Child Abduction, Joint custody, Machiko Terauchi, Parental abduction, Parental Alienation, Rui Terauchi, 寺内るい, 寺内真智子 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Japan and the Results of the Hague Convention, 2014: A second child returned to Japan without protection.

<Below these notes of mine is a story from today’s Yomiuri Shimbun. In it, the Japanese newspaper reports that an American father has been ordered by Japan’s new Hague court to return his child to Japan where the mother resides. >

The Hague Convention does exactly for Japan what it says it should; but does nothing but damage to everyone else; especially to children.
Why?
Because Japan provides ZERO protection for children by “family court” and “family law.” In this instance, the second case of a child returned to Japan under the Hague Convention since Japan ratified it in April, the child once returned to Japan will inevitably *NEVER* see his/ her father ever again.
Why?
Because that is what is dictated by Japanese family law. Children of divorced parents are given to one Japanese, Japan-registered parent. The other parent has ZERO rights to access and visit and raise and participate in his/ her child’s life. The law requires it: complete elimination of children’s and parents’ rights. No alternative is possible because no alternative exists. Not in Japan.

So a return to Japan under the auspices of the Hague Convention is a sentence of ELIMINATION of the parent from the child’s life (which explains why children may now have been abducted in the first place; as there is NO means to both parents’ obtaining the right to raise the child where the alternatives include Japanese residence.)

Judges from Switzerland to the United States now make it clear that they give the children back to Japan because they believe – wrongly – that Japan is a “normal” part of a semi-regularized reciprocal system of 20th & 21st century family law where the *possibility exists* of obtaining basic protection of rights and protection of vulnerable citizens (aka children). They are wrong.

Japan is not a component of any such system, regardless of the international treaty it has signed. Such treaties, which have no superordinate authority to enact or enforce principles or law over that of the state in which the treaty has been ratified or adopted, are symbolic affairs serving the political purpose of providing a form of external coverage. In this case, the end is to disavow that abductions are now enabled with less difficulty for the Japanese parent, for whom, no legal limitation exists on the privileges of “custody determination” achieved by abduction. The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of the International Abduction of Children contains no enforcement clauses; no requirements that joint custody or other conditions conducive to equal parental rights or protection of children’s rights exist in the country. One can waste months, even years, and attend joint “conciliation” and “mediation” sessions under the falsely encouraging auspices of this treaty. But the decisions made under these arduously drawn-out conditions are  meaningless and have no binding provisions or characteristics. They are as disposable and as likely to go missing as a promise written on a paper napkin. Why would anyone with a modicum of sense engage in them?
Anyone who tells you otherwise, or makes the excusing remarks that not all Japanese are bad people, is wrong. Of course this is NOT because Japanese are all bad people. But Japanese subjects MUST abduct their children in order to obtain a legally recognized custodial right/ aka/ the only existing form of which is total control of their children. Otherwise, if they do not abduct, if they allow the child to maintain relations with both parents, the RISK of losing all contact with the child via court-sponsored abduction is extremely high. 65 to 70% of all children of divorced parents in Japan have NO ongoing relationship with their parent. The explanation – or rather, the description of this state of affairs is multifaceted, involving everything from the structures of work/ family division in Japanese society to ideology, such as the cultural ramifications of Japan’s family registration system, and a set of state-education and market-inflected, culturally-induced, dreary sex-role expectations; but the fundamental characteristic, universal throughout the Japanese state and its territory of jurisdiction is state sponsored child abduction; the alternative of NO ALTERNATIVES.

And let it not be missed that territorial jurisdiction in Japanese family matters does not end at the geographic border of Japan, particularly as long as Japan has the full cooperation of superpower sponsor, the United States. Anywhere and everywhere on Earth a child is born to a Japanese parent is a place from which a child can be abducted; the Hague Convention and the protective umbrella of US military power provide elements of a multitude of constitutive guarantees.

Try convincing a mediator / defender of Japanese systemic child abduction otherwise; and you are likely to hear rising emotional or psychological defenses and moralistic claims about bringing out parental trust and the flowering of warm, familial good intentions. You will not however receive a means by which to recover or protect your children; because none exist. Having abducted my son and kept him away from the father to whom he was so close and who loves him so deeply and tenderly, should Machiko Terauchi now be trusted to hold to a non-binding family mediation agreement? Having made the choice induced by the Japanese family law to abduct my son, should one now expect that love and concern for my son’s well-being has somehow flowered in her severely damaged heart, the very same heart that allowed her to inflict the ultimate pain and punishment on father and son, and to try to hold down the drowning corpse of our father-son relationship until she hoped it would suffocate?

Until one is acclimated to this remarkably brutal counter-intuitive system of the dominance and decisionism of the state , one cannot judge or make a “right decision” about what to do as a marriage unravels or a family is dissolving. Hence, even those of us who have long been quite skeptical of the system of “liberal” state neutrality and responsiveness, ambivalent at best about the interest and reliability of the liberal-democratic form of guarantee of law and the (false, feeble, generally weak, economic and social class-privileged) assumptions of impartiality that it promises, are all nonetheless vulnerable and likely to be unable to act with sufficiently vigorous resistance to the state’s inducement to Japanese child abduction.
Even, it should be noted, in the several most extreme cases I know of in which non-Japanese parents knew in advance of the extent of Japanese parental abduction-as-state-practice, in such cases in which parents eager to defend their children took the spouses and children to a non-Japanese court, convinced a judge of the risk posed by Japanese state policy, had the children’s passports removed and right to travel abroad subject to the non-Japanese parent’s decision  by court order -[a draconian measure for anyone who is hopeful that there is a potential for some form of decent home-life and a peaceful parental upbringing for one’s loved children – a harsh and costly requirement that one use the power of the state to impose one’s will on one’s own spouse and child – a horrid and inhumane requirement] – even in such cases, the reluctant but successful imposition of court orders to protect the children from being abducted has resulted in the children being abducted anyway. See the cases of my friends Christopher Savoie, Jeffrey Moorehouse and Randy Collins. Each of them had the law on their side in the United States where they and their children and spouses resided. Each of them lost their children to Japanese state-supported child abduction anyway, through ruses and defiance and law-breaking with the help of Japanese consulates and official “procedures” while US officials looked the other way.  Each of them lives lives of grief, sorrow and loss no conscientious parent should be subjected to.

I had no such prior court order, although I was warned by a lawyer with expertise in this area prior to the abduction. I could see signs of the impending tragedy; but I wanted to keep a roof over Rui’s head with the love of both his Momma and Daddy readily available to him. I wanted him not to suffer from having his identity, his security, his self-structuring and process of identity formation ruptured. I wanted him to remain close, where he could enjoy his mother’s love, and mine, and where I could balance his mothers’ obsessions and control with the acceptance and loving presence I could offer. I wanted to model a spirit of  curiosity, inquiry, creativity and freedom of choice for him, such as it might be.  I see now that indirectly, without my being able to absorb its impact in advance, this was a gamble in which I could not accept the gravity of the stakes; and thus I lost. I will take this enormous life-engulfing weight to my grave with me.
**********
In 1939, Sigmund Freud made a last-chance exit from Austria, just months before the German,  Nazi dominated government set out to invade Poland and militarily occupy nearly all of Europe. Freud believed to the end in the liberal democratic state to which he was devoted, the state which as the harbinger and guarantor of the Enlightenment and Emancipation had ensured that the legal status of citizenship in the state was sufficient and rigorous enough protection. He was forced to flee when the Nazis invaded, and invade they did. He lost his sisters to the Nazis, who murdered them. Had he known, or been able to acknowledge in advance, to what extent the human drive to destruction was as real in the action of massed people as he had theorized it be in the individual, perhaps he could have saved the rest of his family.

Who will be the judge and point the finger of blame at Freud for his naivete? Now we know, but could we all have known it then? Perhaps, the Nazis always do march in.

Rui & Daddy DC 11-11 3

Rui & Daddy DC 11-11 3

Below is the story from Yomiuri Shimbun:

Swiss court returns boy under Hague pact

Shimbun chart

The Yomiuri Shimbun 

October 02, 2014

An American father living in Switzerland was ordered by a Swiss court in late September to return his child to the Japanese mother residing in Japan under the Hague Convention, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.

The 8-year-old boy has already returned to Japan.

The Japanese mother asked the Swiss government for the return of her child via the Japanese Foreign Ministry, claiming that her American husband took the boy to Switzerland without her consent.

There have so far been 17 cases in which parents have applied to the ministry for assistance regarding the return of their children based on the convention, which took effect in Japan in April. The Swiss case is the first in which a return order was issued by a foreign court with the ministry’s assistance.

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction aims to settle disputes over the parental custody of children in such cases as failed international marriages. It stipulates that a parent who takes a child aged under 16 overseas without the other parent’s consent must, in principle, return the child to the country where he or she was living. As of May, 92 countries were parties to the convention.

In the Swiss case, the couple and their child had been living in Japan. After the convention took effect in Japan in April, the American father took the boy to Switzerland. The Japanese mother applied for ministry assistance in August to recover her child.

The ministry then asked the Swiss central authorities for their cooperation on the matter. The Swiss side identified where the boy lives and aided the mother in judiciary proceedings. Ultimately, a Swiss court ordered the American father to send the boy back to Japan.

In July, a Japanese woman living in Britain was ordered by a British court to return her child to the father residing in Japan under the Hague Convention. In this case, the Japanese father directly asked Britain to make judicial arrangements for the return of the child and did not request assistance from the Japanese Foreign Ministry.

Even before the convention took effect in Japan, it was possible to directly ask a foreign country to help make judicial arrangements for the return of a child. In the latest case, Japan’s accession to the convention made it possible for the Japanese Foreign Ministry to provide assistance, which helped realize the boy’s return to Japan from Switzerland.

According to the ministry, of the 17 applications seeking assistance for the return of children that were filed in the six-month period from April 1 to Oct. 1, nine cases involve parents who asked for help with the return of children who were taken away from foreign countries to Japan.

The aforementioned case involving the Japanese couple is not included among those 17 cases. There have also been 56 cases in which parents applied for ministry assistance to see their children.

Posted in BACHome, Brian Prager, Hague Convention, Japan Child Abduction, Japanese Child Abduction, Jeffery Morehouse, Machiko Terauchi, Ohnuki Kensuke Child Abductor, Parental abduction, Parental Alienation, Randy Collins, Rui Prager, Rui Terauchi, 寺内るい, 寺内真智子 | 6 Comments

The Dilatory State: Stand Back and Watch From the Shadows

*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
fromtheshadowsmovie.com

“Japan is a safe haven for parental child abduction.”

Colin Jones, Professor Doshisa University Kyoto, Japan

“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.”

Jeremy Morley, International Family Attorney

“Japan needs international child support law.”

Tommy Thompson, Secretary of Health and Human Services

“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.”

Murray Wood, Left behind father

“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!'”

Steve Christie, Left behind father.

.
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.

Posted in Brian Prager, 誘拐犯, Japan Child Abduction, Machiko Terauchi, Ohnuki Kensuke Child Abductor, Parental abduction, Rui Prager, Rui Terauchi, 寺内るい, 寺内真智子 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment