“No one can say without being comical that he is getting ready to overturn things. He must overturn, and that is all.”
– Georges Bataille, The Accursed Share, p.10
The terms of the Hague Convention’s adoption in Japan are set. The U.S. Ambassador and Department of State and the Japanese Ministers of Justice and Foreign Affairs are all in agreement. They each got what they wanted.
You and I, non-Japanese, will never have parental rights under this convention. No children will be returned to their families. You will have the privilege of applying to a Japanese court – with Japanese judges, educated in Japan, directed to uphold Japanese laws – created for the purpose of serving the treaty cases, which will decide whether or not you will be able to look at your child without breaking the law. For parents of internationally abducted children, there will be no change in the status of state-condoned child abduction, and our children will remain imprisoned where they are now. The implementing law transfers the courts’ right to abuse children, parents, and extended families to the new Hague courts which they’re supposedly going to create. Rules of evidence, fake charges, nationalist, gendered justice… impunity and immunity from criminal charges for the abduction … All this is in the works for the new, Liberal Democratic Party/ United States-sponsored accession by the Japanese state to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of the International Abduction of Children, set for a ceremonial signature in January 2014 and to go into effect as law in April.
One really must not expect Caroline Kennedy and the U.S. Embassy and Department of State to become different institutions from what they have been to now. They represent the positions decided in Washington, D.C. and send people like Kennedy and Roos to play golf, attend parties and enjoy life in Japan while giving photo-ops and showing everyone that irradiated food is good for you, more or less. She shakes hands and smiles with whichever government official the GOJ sends her way, just as Obama, Biden and all previous Republican and Democrat U.S. administrations have done:
Put people in jail and deny them rights or access to a lawyer? Shake hands. Torture confessions out of everyone the police arrest? Shake hands. Enact new secrecy laws that fly in the face of any concept of right? Shake hands. The policies of the two governments converge and mirror one another to a great extent anyway.
The Prime Minister of Japan is no better than the average Holocaust denier¹ ², as is the Minister of Finance and most all of the top leadership of the LDP, which has the USG’s full support, as does the Saudi Royal Family and essentially every tinpot military dictator the world has known since the 2nd World War. The U.S. supplied Suharto’s Indonesia, Pinochet’s Chile, Apartheid South Africa, and military dictatorships all over Africa, Asia, and Latin America. They armed Saddam; they armed the Shah; they armed the Taliban. They bombed the hell out of Yugoslavia, supported the Mafiosos who took over Kosovo; they support the Turkish government as it cracks down and bloodies the population… No justice comes from the US / Japan relationship; only hardship – for the mass of Japanese people and for us.
Let us continue to advocate for our kids, to analyze and expose the situation honestly and without veils over our eyes; and without sucking up to officials on both sides who will have extensive well-funded institutional support to naturalize and rationalize their practices and prevent justice or care for children from becoming law. Let us oppose them! It’s unequal warfare, but we must. That’s basically what we can do.
Keep in mind, by the time most people find their way to a web-page like this one, or a group like Kizuna CPR, BAC-Home, or CRN-Japan, they have already lost their children to the Japanese state, which very nearly instantaneously terminates our parental rights in a blink, as a matter of course.
Not that we can do something miraculous; of course not. Still I would like us to be arguing from a point of view that sees the part our countries play in enabling, facilitating and pushing this policy and rigid lack of change. The Japanese people indeed have to be the source of policy change; so one asks why they haven’t. Japan has a literate and educated population, so the direction should be clear and the mindset that is needed should have become obvious. The lessons of psychological well-being, childcare and support for parents are known; but they can’t be disseminated unless they have the opportunity to develop such a dialogue, and the power to create an enforceable law to protect children. To maintain the hosting of U.S. military bases, real reform-minded political parties are driven from power and marginalized. Massive military and economic support upholds the neo-fascist ruling elites with family and institutional ties to the right wing of the old regime – the emperor-fascists, Yakuza, and Zaibatsu and more, unchallenged and entrenched. Revanchist politicians win, and drive the education and social policies to the right, over and over again. The media are well aware, and are institutionally required to toe the line or lose their press passes and ability to work entirely. Now they’ve got TPP coming to drive down wages and benefits even further and make social supports and economic rights “unaffordable” as Americans always say they are here in the U.S., and they’ve got increasing power passing to the unfolding Japanese military/ national security state – with the U.S. egging them on, their political fortunes tied together.
Honestly. U.S. officials are about as responsible for the rigiidity and horror as Japanese are; and more so, in some areas. This is what has developed.
Our interests lie in the decoupling of the U.S./Japan stranglehold. Japan has been twisted and perverted by the U.S.’ timeless “postwar” – which in turn makes of Japan a place of denial, disavowal and fantasizing about what makes Japan special and different. The past and present have to be simultaneously whitewashed together. Our task is to tear down this wall of dishonesty and betrayal.
1 See: Abe Shinzo, a Far-Right Denier of History, http://www.japanfocus.org/-Narusawa-Muneo/3879
2 Sorry, But Japan Still Can’t Get the War Right / Abe’s Statements on War Responsibility Anger China, South korea