Japanese International Child Abduction Gets Brief Mention at Senate Confirmation Hearing of Ambassador Caroline Kennedy

This is a note I sent to Maryland Senator Ben Cardin (Democrat) today,

Although I am a resident of New York State, not Maryland, I would like to write you today to express my deeply felt and sincere thanks to you for your having asked the new ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy, if she is willing to use her office’s power and influence to obtain the return of an enormous number of American children kidnapped by Japan. It is a matter of tremendous importance to us, parents of kidnapped children, who are now, today, this minute, unable to recover our children and towards whom the government of the United States, both Democrats and Republicans, have remained indifferent for decades. The current state of affairs is such that the Department of State has an office for the management of adoptions which has been delegated the responsibility of overseeing international child abductions known as the Office of Children’s Issues. Please note that there is no equivalent involvement of the U.S. Department of Justice, which exists to deal with criminal matters, such as the kidnapping of children.
All of us, parents of kidnapped children, know what is the true meaning of this assignment: it means NOTHING of substance is being or is intended to be done to save our children. The DOS Office of Children’s Issues will give you a different version of events from that which is the truth. They will tell you that the Government of the United States is concerned (they are not) and is acting, approximately as Caroline Kennedy did at the confirmation hearing. They are all skilled at public communications, and will make the proper expressions of remorse before proceeding to explain their lack of exertion, lack of power and poor attempts, if any, at persuasion. Clearly, if one looks at the legislation offered in the Senate by Human Rights Committee Chair Christopher Smith of New Jersey, a Republican I am ashamed to say(!) who stands more firmly for human rights and children’s rights than any member of the supposedly more compassionate and more beholden to the interests of the people Democratic Party (!), one can see that sanctioning Japan is not only possible, it is the only government-to-government means currently under consideration anywhere to force the return of our stolen children. The DOS Office of Children’s Issues, which is supposed to be an advocate for us on behalf of our children and the violation of our and their rights, is instead, shilling for the Japanese government, and the economic and military interests on both sides, here in the US and there in Japan, who want development money, integration of the militaries of our two countries, and have made the bizarre and immoral political calculation that insistence on stopping the kidnapping and giving back our kids jeopardizes those projects that join the two governments and their economic supporters. Neither I nor any other parent or citizen can or should be convinced by such argument. Therefore I thank you, again , for your courage and willingness to speak up on behalf of our children. Whether we see eye to eye on all issues is immaterial. That would be a truly extraordinary expectation. But I am grateful, as are all parents, for your voice, the only voice we have thus far in the U.S. Senate. I urge you to continue to push this issue to the fore, to help us rescue the children our government has abandoned.

Brian Prager

You can write the Maryland Senator a thank you, here:
Maryland Senator Cardin

See a mention of the Senator’s statement here:
Kennedy confirmation hearing

Kennedy Asked About Japan Kidnappings
September 19, 2013

At her confirmation hearing to be the next U.S. Ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy, gives her commitment to promote and protect the welfare of  U.S. citizens in Japan.

During the hearing she is asked by Senator Ben Cardin if she will use her position to help resolve the almost 400 American cases that will   not be covered under the Hague Convention.

Ms. Kennedy states that as a parent she understands the emotional aspects of this issue and that she has already indicated her concerns to Bureau of Consular Affairs in a meeting in advance of the hearing.

7 thoughts on “Japanese International Child Abduction Gets Brief Mention at Senate Confirmation Hearing of Ambassador Caroline Kennedy

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