‘From the Shadows’ Documents Japanese Child Abduction as a Way of Life


I don’t know for how long this film will be up on Youtube, but it is up now!
This was an important film for us; extremely important.

Its production overlapped with Rui’s abduction to Japan in a period when I did not fully understand the extent and the political significance of Japan’s arrangement of convenience with the United States Department of State to allow Japanese to abduct children to obtain custody in Japan, in order to deny parental and familial contact from that day forward through a series of fraudulent and dishonest techniques which manipulated and violated international law.

I’ve thought often enough of the importance this film could  have had had it achieved a more general visibility, and sooner. But the cost of film-making and marketing of film prevented it from penetrating into the public consciousness to the degree it deserved.

All the same, thanks to the participants in the film, so many of whom are my friends and fellow parents, it was released at what ought to have been a crucial moment. A screening in Washington DC made the film available for members of the United States Congress to see.

That was a powerful event, successfully arranged by activists. But it was not attended to by the members who ought to have been present. It then entered the film festival circuit. It was honored there.

I’m pleased but heart-sore to link to this film myself here via my webpage. Small but hopeful community of viewers, please share this with your friends and families. And understand that the steps taken by the U.S. Department of State did not help. Neither did the international agreements and Japanese state authorities who might have appeared to be active in this period or its aftermath.

Japan Abducts Children: as true today as it was at the time of this film’s release. I hope that you will give yourself and your friends the opportunity to drink in the perverse and counter-intuitive message of Japanese family law, as depicted here.

Japan’s family law does not secure or safeguard families. It breaks them.

The United States government and the government of Japan are complicit and collaborative in the loss of children to child abduction, alienation, and loss of identity via the ruses of law in Japan, and its mythologies of nationality, membership, belonging, and of community. The government of the United States makes arguments on behalf of Japan to ensure that the abductions of our kids and theirs succeed. (Such arguments as, “Japan is a sovereign country” and therefore within its rights to claim jurisdiction over any child that a Japanese national is able to bring to Japanese territory, and to assist and sanction the abduction and custody-violation of children.)

How long, how long, how long, how long?


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