Tag Archives: Japan

Ten Years After


Horai Bashi, the world’s longest wooden bridge. The first photo taken by Stack Jones in Japan.

I walked out of law school in January of 2008 having just completed my final, final exams. I was sure I had passed all of them, and would soon receive my juris doctorate, but the employment market was the worst on record since the Great Depression.  I got in my truck and looked at the school one last time. I knew I would never return.

I drove out of the parking lot, and unlike every other law school graduate, I didn’t begin studying for the bar exam, instead, I went to the family’s vacation home on Lake Mead outside of Las Vegas, and began recording a new album.

At that time, real estate deals that were on the table would have permitted me to retire if I had wanted to. Instead, Dick Fuld, Timothy Geithner, Hank Paulson and worldwide secondary mortgage fraud ensured that wasn’t going to happen. To make matters worse, the prior semester not one student who had passed the bar exam, after completing law school hell managed to secure employment at a law firm. After completing my album titled, 13 Rowdy Row (the address of the home on Lake Mead), I began shopping it to labels, and sought employment overseas. I had the audacity to require a home near the ocean, and a car provided by the company. Almost immediately I was offered both in Shizuoka, Japan. I took the job, even though my real goal was wait for a response from the record labels. I thought being located in Japan would provide the perfect opportunity to enhance my photography portfolios. I estimated that I’d be in Japan about one year before moving on. Oh, how time flies!

While residing in Shizuoka I surfed huge typhoon swells, and can clearly recall one particularly day when the waves were massive. Scary big! This chap from Brazil who had managed to get past the impact zone said paddled up to me and said, “Great practice for Bali.” He was right, Bali had waves that huge nearly every day of the year. We were the only ones out as a crowd gathered along the shore to watch us get some great rides as well as take a few good beatings.

After a short stint in Shizuoka I moved to Fukui. I was only in Fukui a couple months when I was offered an indie label deal from a small American record label. The company set up a tour for me with Eric Clapton’s band as my backup. I thought things couldn’t be more promising. The financier of the promotion was the Royal Bank of Scotland, a bank that had lied to its shareholders that it had not “invested” in the secondary mortgage market. It wasn’t long before I learned that RBS bled billions like every other bank. I lost my tour opportunity, and former RBS CEO Sir Fred Goodwin lost his job, and his Knighthood. I obviously wasn’t going any where soon, and had to get serious about earning a living.

Fukui, what a great place to shoot photography. My first “planned” shooting was to locate Tojinbo on the Japan Sea. Not as easy as it sounds as most roads signs are in Japanese once outside the larger cities. I attempted to navigate my way from Fukui City to the sea, but after driving for two hours, I wound up on a road that passed castle ruins and dead ended at a beautiful waterfall. The ruins were those of the Asakura Castle which historians claim had been the sight of a massacre. Samurai whose duty it was to protect the daimyo, pulled their swords and went to fight against the intruders. Sword was met with rifle, and the descendants of Prince Kusakabe, son of Emperor Tenmu were slaughtered. This was the first modern battle that took place in Japan. Thereafter, the Samurai two swords were replaced with rifles and bullets.

It’s hard to fathom that such a horrific slaughter took place where the beautiful castle gates stand today. On that day it was snowing heavily, and knew I was lost, so I stopped someone to find out how to get back on track to my destination, the Japan Sea. I quickly learned that I had driven entirely in the opposite direction, and had actually drove east instead of west and was in the Fukui mountains heading toward Osaka.

From that day forward I made no plans, other than to have a wallet full of money and a full tank of gas. From that day on I just got into my car, and drove down any random street, and kept driving, not at all knowing where I would end up before nightfall. That strategy provided me the opportunity to take some of the best photographs that are in my galleries. It also provided rich experiences, traveling into areas of Japan that I have been told I was the first foreigner to visit.

The Japan Sea’s clear aqua-green water rivals that of the Bahamas. I had no idea that the Japan Sea also had great waves. In my second summer in Japan I surfed more typhoon swells on the Japan Sea than I had any other place in the world during that time of the year. Gorgeous locations along the Japan Sea include the cliffs of Tojinbo (one of Japan’s top three suicide destinations), Kenroku-en Gardens, and Maruoka Castle, Japan’s oldest castle.

All good things come to an end, and that included my stay in Fukui. On yet another whim, I decided to move to Yamagata. As good as the surf was in Fukui, it was all too infrequent. This would not be the case in Sendai which has some of the best surf in Japan. Day trips in Yamagata are plentiful most notably, Yamadera, Ginzan, and Okama. Winding mountain roads filled with monkeys and pristine meandering rivers that flow all the way to the Pacific Ocean via Sendai would be where I spent most of my time for the next three years. I liked the area so much that I decided to build my own business there. That business was to be a two-year, pre-university language program, which enabled graduating students who obtained proficient language skills to transfer to a four-year university with college credit. 3.11.11. resulted in the devastation of that business.


3.11.11. Yuriage, Sendai Prefecture: Minnie, where’s Mickey?

March 11th, 2011, was Japan’s 911. A double natural disaster combined with a manmade one resulted in something I still cannot believe I had witnessed. On that day, I was in a meeting in Tokyo and had just obtained a contract to represent the world’s most powerful, privileged, and politically connected speakers. I watched from a television in Tokyo as the town I lived in was washed out to sea. The roads, fuel stations, buses, trains, planes, all modes of transportation shut down. Regardless, I got in my car, and drove the coastline from Chiba all the way to iwate, sleeping in my car, and shooting reportage and video for NHK, ABC, PBC and MSNBC. When I entered Fukushima, the main road was shutdown. I was not allowed to pass. Being a surfer, I thought, head to the shore and see where that takes you. I ended up walking through town after town of devastation as I made my way along the shore of Fukushima prefecture, from the north end. I cannot put into words what I saw. Animals roaming wild, entering buildings, and houses. Other animals still tethered to ropes as they barely clung on to life. I tried to open a corral that one horse was locked in, but couldn’t. All I could do was pull together as much radiation contaminated grass and hay that I could locate, give it to the emaciated animal, and move on. That day, I made it as far as four kilometers from Namie. Perhaps for the best, I was stopped in my tracks by a river that flowed from the contaminated Fukui mountains into the Pacific Sea. I continued northward that night, and drove through broken roads somehow managing to make my way to Sendai. What awaited me at sunrise, I could not have prepared for. The smell of death was everywhere blowing in the wind. Death was everywhere. I cried as I wandered about taking photos of mass destruction. I searched for friend’s homes, and familiar places and found none. Finally, I located the foundation of a friend’s family home, which was in the ocean community of Yuriage. My friend had operated a surf shop out of the front space of his home. I sat on his steps and drank a beer for him, and his community, which was wiped off of the face of Earth. As I did, an explosion broke out nearby, I stood and as the sun was setting, ran to capture more madness as broken structure after broken structure caught fire, and burned for the next several days. As for my friend who owned the surf shop where I often bought wax for my board, I have never heard from him again.

With Sendai in ruin, I moved again. This time to Moriya City in Ibaraki. One of the best kept secrets of Japan is the summer festival in Moriya. According to the locals, during the Edo period taxation was excessive. The people suffered terribly as a result. Any attempt at protesting the injustice of it meant certain death. Because the locals could not openly protest, they created a festival mocking their plight. The people of Moriya came up with the idea of creating masks that had crude facial expressions. They wore hideous rags which was a symbolic showing of their financial ruin. The Moriya City festival became the first place in Japan where the powerless were able to mock the elite publicly, and symbolically express their dissent. Moriya City is a great place to live. Nearby is a large Brazilian community where I was able to find Latin American foods that I had grown up accustomed to in Miami. But, Moriya was several hours drive to the best surf spots in Chiba.

I moved to Chiba after nearly two years in Ibaraki. Driving along Chiba’s coastline is a great way to get away from everything. At that time, I had a Toyota Fun Cargo, which is a great traveling vehicle. The seats fold down into the floor, providing a great place to sleep after an evening of eating BBQ on the beach with old, and new friends. Often I would toss a futon in the back of the car, pile in my surf and diving gear and spends days at a time parked on the shore, while sleeping to the sound of the wind, rain, and ocean waves. Best sleep ever! One such night includes parked at the beach in Hebara, when a powerful typhoon hit. The car rocked all night long as it got pounded by hurricane force winds. By morning the storm had subsided, and I awoke to the sound of giant surf pounding the beach, which shook after each set wave broke. Only one who surfs can ever understand the terrified feeling of paddling out into a raging ocean that is going to beat you, and drag you to the bottom, and nearly drown you, and do it again, and again, all before even making it out past the impact zone. That particular dawn was one of those mornings.

My jittery feet… I relocated once again. This time it was to Yokohama. There are so many great places in Kanagawa, that I’d have to have a weekly section in a newspaper to write about all of them. From Chinatown to nearly every other station destination, a great day or evening awaits. One of my favorite things to do in Japan is to walk or cycle in the evening from Yamashita Koen, along the Yokohama Bay, to the Sakuragicho station. Along the route is the Red Brick Warehouse, Marine and Walk Yokohama, Shinko Central Park, World Porter, Cosmo World, Yokohama Museum of Art, Rinko Park, and Landmark Towers, just to name a few. This is the where I would finally get hitched, and have a child.

While residing in this area my family took endless long walks, as I pushed a stroller. This is where my child learned to crawl, walk, talk, run, and refuse to do anything I asked. My absolute most enjoyable thing to do in this area is what few “tourists” know exists. Exiting from the west side of Sakuragicho Station, follow along the river heading toward Kannai Station. This is something you want to do with your good buddies at night. Along that river are seedy streets filled with tiny bars. This area is where many feature films are shot, and it’s an area that few non-Japanese residents know about. I’ve walked that route all the way to China Town, and it’s always been a ton-of-fun, with unique events transpiring along the way, every time.

Finally… Chigasaki.

Shonan is arguably the best place to live in Japan. Here, you’ll find Kamakura, Enoshima Island, Fujisawa, Hiratsuka, and the fantastic Tsujido Ocean Park. In Shonan there are a myriad of wonderful places to spend the day. For more than two years my family road our bikes along the ocean front path from Kamakura to Hiratsuka. Each place has its own special attractions. Lately, for my family it’s been the Animal Park in Hiratsuka, where children can handle many kinds of animals, including rabbits, chickens, turtles, sheep and goats. If you’ve never been to Hiratsuka, the Animal Park also has a manmade stream, with fountains and waterfalls to play in. There are also numerous swimming pools that are free to use, and fun for the entire family. This is where my child learned to swim.

For those that love fireworks, there is no place in Japan that rivals Shonan when it comes to resting along the shore, with your feet in the water, watching summer fireworks explode all around you. Each city has its own fireworks festival from Kamakura all the way to Odawara, and they are all visible from Chigasaki.

Placing a pencil on a map of Japan, pertaining to all of the places I have lived, makes a full circle. Many Japanese have told me that I have seen more of Japan than most Japanese will see in their entire lifetime. Perhaps, but after ten years of exploring Japan, it’s time to move on to other life experiences, especially for my child.

I hadn’t realized that writing this article, and reliving some of my experiences would bring a few tears to my eyes. I had initially come to Japan for a short stay, and shoot photography. I ended up riding out a global economic disaster, and one of Japan’s worst ecological catastrophes, all while having fun, discovering new things, and creating a new family. I came for a short stint, yet, I ended up staying for a decade.

I’m leaving the country with a family in tow, and that in and of itself is a miracle. It’s time to move on, get back to studying, obtain a license, and face new challenges. Being from America has its positive and negative aspects, just as living in Japan does. Even so, being an American I can call Cuban food, Mexican food, and Kosher food my own, and of all of the things to miss about home, besides family, it’s the food! And sometimes ya just gotta have it! Not much else will change. As a family, we’ll continue to surf, ride our bikes, enjoy the great outdoors, explore nature, and capture memorable images along the way.

Attached find sample photographs of images Stack Jones has shot of Japan. If you’d like to see more of Stack’s work, it can be viewed at the following link: http://stackjones.com.

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Japan Recognizes Palestinian State


Israel’s attempt to pressure Japan to accept Trump’s decision regarding Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel, has backfired. Instead, Japan notified Israel that they intended to recognize Palestine as a sovereign state, and that it will provide additional aid.

I know the good relationship between your people, and the influence you have with the Palestinians,” Israel’s president Rivlin said during his meeting with Taro Kono, which was held at Rivlin’s residence in Jerusalem. Reprehensibly, Rivlin continued, “They have to understand that we are here, that the Jewish people have returned to our homeland,” he added, stressing that “there is no other homeland for the Jewish people but the State of Israel, the land of Israel.” “For us, Tokyo is absolutely the only capital of Japan, and Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Israel,” Rivlin continued.

Japan voted against Trump, recognizing the State of Palestinian and has increased aid to UNRWA, as reported in Quds Press, a senior Palestinian official said yesterday. Speaking to media, senior aide to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Nabil Shaath, said Japan had pledged to support the Palestinian right to create an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital during the latest talks between the two countries.

Japan, according to Shaath, rejected U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Shaath also noted that Japan would start collecting signatures from MPs who would call for the government to recognize the State of Palestine, then raise its diplomatic representation in Ramallah and conclude with full recognition.

Shaath reported that the Japanese officials, including the Foreign Minister Taro Kono, and other MPs had announced their support for an international peace conference to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on international resolutions. Meanwhile, Shaath said that Japan had pledged to raise its support for UNRWA following America’s announcement that it has cut its aid contribution to the international body. No details were given of what additional contribution Japan would give the UN body.

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Japan Copies Hawaii’s Ballistic Alert


The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. …We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. …In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.”
–– Edward Bernays

The Boy Who Cried Wolf, is one of Aesop’s most famous fables. The story tells about a shepherd boy who repeatedly tricked nearby villagers into thinking wolves were attacking his flock. When a wolf did finally attack the boy’s flock he called out for help, but none came. The villagers ignored the boy’s cries as yet another false alarm. The moral to the story is that liars are never believed even when they are telling the truth.

Hawaii issued a false ballistic missile report on January 12th, 2018. It took Hawaii’s governor, David Ige, THIRTY-EIGHT minutes to let the public know the imminent nuclear attack, was false. The Federal Communications Commission stated its initial investigation into the matter concluded that Hawaii did not have “reasonable safeguards or process controls in place” in its emergency notification process.

After the panic subsided, Ige stated, “Today is a day most of us will never forget.” Nearly everyone familiar with social engineering, or public relations would have immediately recognized the imminent warning as a possible psychological operation, or false flag that leads to other, direr circumstances. Thankfully, it didn’t come to that. This time!

Ige stated, “It’s a terrifying day when our worst nightmares appeared to become a reality. A day where we frantically grabbed what we could, tried to figure out how and where to shelter and protect ourselves, and say our, ‘I love yous,’ and pray for peace.”

Nothing can be more odious than staring at a dated, mustached dotard, wearing a tacky military colored Hawaiian print shirt, as he proclaims such drivel. The official narrative is the Democrat incumbent watched in horror, as the Hawaiian people did for 38-minutes. Simultaneously, Ige’s reelection bid dissipated into the same black hole as the bogus nuclear assault warning.


Social engineering is the process in which those in power use techniques to get those they want to manipulate to respond in certain ways.

Cut to Japan, four days later

Japan is a nation of mostly world illiterate fools that are entirely out of the loop when it comes to what is happening globally. Even so, the Japanese flock to Hawaii, taking the cheapest three day getaways they are able to find. The normally complacent Japanese were entirely aware that Hawaii issued a false alarm regarding an imminent ballistic attack. Even so, Japan’s LPD leadership, and the NHK government propaganda “news” station that it operates pulled off the same ill-advised stunt, broadcasted on January 16th, 2018. As it was inferred in Hawaii, North Korea was blamed for initiating a nuclear assault on Tokyo.

Japan is little more than a copycat nation. The nation’s copy lacks originality in just about every aspect, as in the phony ballistic warning the Hawaiians, and the Japanese were subjected to. Examples of Japan’s failed copying include western foods and music. Japan’s music, and music scene has always been deplorable, mustering up little more enthusiasm than a yawn. Japan’s music, and related scene pale in comparison to those of Miami, Paris or London. In fact, club operators in Japan can be imprisoned for operating clubs that stays open later than midnight.

Japan’s poor counterfeiting is not limited to entertainment. Japanese food equally pales. Nippon’s cheese is unpalatable. Its cakes are tiny slithers of overpriced, and tasteless, cream filled puffs of air. The same applies for the nation’s pizza, pasta, burgers, and a wide array of other inedible, and overpriced, tiny portioned “nutriment.”

On January 16th 2018, NHK broadcasted an alert on its TV channel, and sent messages over telephones. Hawaii’s message read: “Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill.” Which governor Ige claimed was due to human error, “It was a mistake made during standard procedure at the change over of a shift, and an employee pushed the wrong button.”

NHK’s falsely alerted the general public at 6:55 PM, stating, “North Korea had launched an attack.” The “alert” urged people to seek shelter inside a building, just as the Hawaii false warning had stated. NHK’s alert was published on its television channel, as well as to subscribers of the news broadcasters phone app. The west must understand that NHK “subscribers” are not voluntary purchasers of that service. It is a “service” imposed on anyone that owns a television set, through court order. Unlike in Hawaii where the phony alert was left dangling for THIRTY-EIGHT minutes, NHK addressed its faux pas in about five minutes. A nuclear strike from North Korea would only take a few minutes to reach Tokyo, as opposed to the 30-minutes it would reach Honolulu. NHK published an apology on its website:

app mess.jpg

NHK app’s warning.


NHK’s TV broadcast.


NHK’s recklessly broadcasted, “North Korea likely to have launched a missile. Evacuate inside a building or underground.” Was the “ballistic alert” really unintentional? NHK, as was the case in Hawaii, claimed the “error” happened during a shift change of staff. Note the identical wording as that in the Hawaii alert.

In the past there have been numerous false alarms that nearly led to imminent nuclear annihilation. In each of those situations officials stood by in fear, panic, and shock awaiting further details so as to order a retaliatory strike, or to make the quick determination, the report was false. Below are a few known examples where mishaps nearly cost all of humanity their lives and total annihilation of the planet we inhabit, known as Earth.

In 1962, a U.S. B-52 bomber accidentally dropped a hydrogen bomb on North Carolina. During a routine flight, a weight imbalance cause a B-52 bomber to break apart in mid-flight. As the plane broke apart in midair, the bombs onboard were released as though they were being dropped over enemy territory. One of the numerous hydrogen bombs  went through all of its arming steps, except for the final step, which malfunctioned. When the hydrogen bomb hit the ground, an actual firing notice was triggered, but the malfunction caused the bomb not to detonate. If it had, an enormous thermonuclear explosion would have detonated over North Carolina, rendering much of the East Coast of the U.S. entirely uninhabitable.

On Nov. 9, 1979, at North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) headquarters inside Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado Springs, Colorado, a radar screen suddenly filled with images of a major Soviet attack on the U.S. It appeared as if the Soviets had initiated an all-out nuclear attack on the U.S. President Jimmy Carter had to make a decision about whether to respond with a nuclear assault on Russia, or not. As everyone at NORAD  remained in a state of panic, and fear, it was realized that other radars showed no signs of an imminent attack. The terrified command made a hasty decision that, “most likely” this was a false alarm. Carter ordered no retaliatory action. It would later be reported that someone had inadvertently put a nuclear attack training tape into a computer, which presented an imminent Soviet attack, playing out in real-time.

In September of 1983, the nuclear early-warning system of the Soviet Union reported the launch of multiple USAF Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missiles from bases in the U.S. Fortunately, the missile attack warnings were identified as false by Stanislav Yevgrafovich Petrov, an officer of the Soviet Air Defense Force. A retaliatory strike would have resulted in full scale nuclear war. An investigation into the satellite warning system later confirmed that the system had malfunctioned.

In another false Cold War attack, Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter’s national security adviser, was awoken at 2:30 AM, and told by his military aide that the U.S. was under attack by 220 Russian nuclear missiles. Brzezinski sought confirmation. His aide hung up, and returned the call “verifying”, “It’s actually 2,200 soviet missiles are coming toward the United States.” At the time, Brzezinski laid in bed with his wife. He decided not to wake her. He would later state that if Washington, D.C. was about to be destroyed, he preferred she die in her sleep. Brzezinski called President Carter, seeking permission to retaliate, during that conversation, Brzezinski aide called back stating it was a false alarm.

Social engineering, or public relations is the process in which those in power use techniques to get those they want to manipulate to respond in certain ways. Edward Bernays, a Zionist, whose uncle was Sigmund Freud mastered, and provided to the U.S. government the techniques to manipulate the general public. See the following videos, as well as others posted on YouTube that cover the topic.

Social engineering, or incompetence? Both are equally unacceptable as to the consequences that follow a wrong determination,

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Japan, Child Abduction, The Hague And Sanctions

The above image was provided by Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. Note: The first image shows a fearful “hafu” child surrounded by foreign children, all with big noses. The image below it shows a foreign man being arrested for committing a crime against a child. The middle image shows a Japanese woman in financial ruin because she married a foreigner, and is unable to provide for her daughter. The top right image shows a foreign male abducting his daughter, with the Japanese mother pleading for her return. The image below that shows a foreign male beating a defenseless child, taken from her mother who remains in Japan. This despicably racist propaganda was designed to aid the Japanese in understanding the implications of Japan ratifying The Hague Convention on Child Abduction. This twisted message exposes the depths of depravity Japanese officials are known for, and the irrational message they desire to portray to their own citizens. In reality, it’s the Japanese that abuse, and abduct children, more than just about any other nation.

Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi married Kayoko Miyamoto in 1978. The following year the U.S. Congressional Subcommittee on International Child Abduction had its first hearing. Japan was one of the nations of main concern during that hearing. Koizumi’s marriage would end four years later in divorce. However, prior to the termination of the failed marriage, the couple had two sons, Kotaro, and Shinjiro.

It’s often said that in Japan custody of the children always go to the mother. The father almost always voluntarily cut ties with his children, and forever. While those in the west would find this arrangement appalling, Japan continues to pretend that this is perfectly acceptable conduct. In the case of Koizumi, his families political connections, along with Japan’s notoriously corrupt judiciary awarded sole custody of both sons to him, allowing his ex-wife sole custody of the six month, unborn fetus that she was carrying at the time of the marriage dissolution. Yoshinaga Miyamoto was born three months later. He became the third son of man who would be prime minister, and to this day has yet to meet his father, who has never acknowledged him. The divorce terms forbade contact between the mother, and her one, and four-year-old children who in reality were abducted from her by Koizumi. Neither of her abducted sons have ever met with their mother again, even though they live less than an hour away from one another. In an article for the L.A. Times Miyamato said, “I’ve been hoping to be reunited with my sons for nineteen years. All I can do is wait.” It’s been thirteen years since that story was published in 2002. The here to link to that article.

When Yoshinaga was newly born, Koizumi failed in a planned abduction attempt of his third son. When he was pressed on the issue Koizumi responded with speech characteristic of political jargon, stating, “It’s a matter of privacy, I’d like to refrain from commenting. However, I thank the Japanese public for entrusting the important duty of prime minister to a divorced politician. I feel a change flowing in Japanese society.” Change occurred indeed. Across Japan the rate of divorce skyrocketed. So did the rate of child abductions.

Kotaro, and Shinjiro are now both adults. One is an aspiring politician; the other is a talentless pop star. Although Yoshinaga has never met his famous father, he somehow admires the man, and continues to hope that one day he would be able to meet him. For Kayoko, seeing her abducted son plastered on billboards, advertisements, and performing on TV shows is too much for her to endure. Yoshinaga became a fixture on morning talk shows with his repeated pleas to meet with his father entirely ignored. Silence! That’s how Japan deals with the myriad of social injustices, and morally reprehensible conduct that continues to plague the nation.

The former prime minister is a man who intentionally, and irresponsibly shirked his duty to raise a son, who loved him unconditionally. Regardless, during Koizumi’s televised campaign for the prime minister’s seat, Yoshinaga, who was a young boy at the time, would be heard by his mother shouting, “Come on, Pop, win this one!” Sadly, those shouts would be absorbed by the wind!

One thing Koizumi, and Jong-il have in common is that they’re both child abductors.

After Koizumi won the office of prime minister, on September 17th, 2002, he visited North Korea to meet with Kim Jong-il to address the issue of Japan’s claim that North Korean agents had abducted hundreds of Japanese citizens, to train spies so they could communicate in Japanese, and to understand the culture. Unlike Koizumi, and every prime minister that would follow in his footsteps, North Korea would admit culpability to a handful of abductions, apologize, and return five victims. Japan, on the other hand has never acknowledged any of the thousands of kidnappings its responsible for, and has yet to return any of the known victims that have been abducted from nearly every nation on the face of the planet. In the U.S. alone, and ever since congress began holding hearings on child abductions, those kidnappings amount to more than four thousand.

A celebrated history of child abduction

Japan’s first shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu whose descendants ruled Japan until the Meiji Restoration, was a victim of numerous abductions. Ieyasu was the son of Matsudaira Hirotada, the daimyo of Mikawa of the Matsudaira clan, and Odai-no-kata, the daughter of a neighboring samurai lord, Mizuno Tadamasa. The majority of Ieyasu’s family had ties with the Imagawa clan. Family feuding over regional pacts resulted in the murder of Ieyasu’s paternal grandfather. Tokugawa Iemitsu, the third shogun of the Tokugawa dynasty, and grandson of Ieyasu ruled from 1623 until 1651. Iemitsu was responsible for shutting off relations between Japan, and the rest of the world for two centuries. In the process, Iemitsu destroyed thousands of families, separating fathers, and mothers from their children by not allowing Japanese citizens who were overseas to return home, under the threat of execution. This decree commonly called the Sakoku Policy did not only affect Japanese families, foreigners caught up in the irrational decree were also forbidden to leave Japan, thereby affectively cutting them off from reunification with their wives, and children as well.

The abductions of Ieyasu

In 1548, when the Oda clan invaded Mikawa, Hirotada, Ieyasu’s father turned to Imagawa Yoshimoto, the head of the Imagawa clan for help to repel the invading forces. Yoshimoto agreed to help under the condition that Hirotada sent Ieyasu to Senpu, where he would be held as a hostage to assure Ieyasu’s father remained loyal to Imagawa. Hirotada agreed to this unconscionable term. Oda Nobuhide, the leader of the Oda clan learned of this arrangement, and had Ieyasu abducted while he was en route to Sunpu. Ieyasu was merely six years old at the time. Nobuhide threatened to execute the child unless his father severed all ties with the Imagawa clan. Hirotada replied that sacrificing his son’s life showed his determination to remain loyal to the Imagawa clan. Despite Hirotada’s refusal, Nobuhide chose not to murder Ieyasu, but instead held him hostage for the next three years at the Manshoji Temple in Nagoya. Ieyasu would never be reunited with his father, or mother ever again.

By 1549, when Ieyasu was seven years old, his father died of natural causes. At about that same time, Oda Nobuhide died during an epidemic outbreak. The death of Nobuhide weakened the Oda clan. Imagawa Sessai sent an army to lay siege on the castle where Nobuhide’s first son now ruled. With the castle about to fall, Sessai offered a deal to Nobuhide’s second son, Nobunaga. He promised to end the siege if Ieyasu was handed over to the Imagawa clan. Nobunaga agreed. Ieyasu was once again abducted, and taken to Sunpu, his original abduction destination. There the boy was held hostage until the age of fifteen when his abductor passed away.

I had a chance to visit Ieyasu’s remains, which are housed in a lavish shrine in Tochigi Prefecture. I had gone to Tochigi to write an article for Tokyo Weekender on Nikko’s National Park in autumn. The following is a link to that article: http://tokyoweekender.com/2012/11/nikko-in-autumn. I shrugged off taking the time out of my schedule to visit Ieyasu’s final resting place. I was not interested in visiting the grave of man who through fraud, had faked his own royal lineage to persuade Kyoto’s religious leaders to sanction his appointment to shogunate.

Today, Ieyasu is celebrated as the man who ended Japan’s Warring State Era. In reality, Ieyasu, and his offspring were mass murderers; sociopaths responsible for the destruction, and pillage of an entire nation, as well as the continued policy of abducting children to ensure the Tokugawa’s remained in power. Ieyasu was also responsible for the mass beheadings of those who sought refuge in Osaka Castle when he took siege against a child he had sworn an oath to protect. The Tokugawa’s were also responsible for the genocide of Christians who joined forces with peasant farmers known as the Shimabara Uprising. Both Christians, and peasants were executed en masse because they refused to bow to the Tokugawa’s as deities, and refused to pay excessive taxes, that in reality were causing the peasants, and their children to starve to death.

No doubt Ieyasu’s childhood trauma played a significant role in his inability to understand the importance of family relations, and his vow to protect an innocent child that was incapable of protecting itself. Ieyasu would write the Buddha’s name ten thousand times in an attempt to absolve himself of the lack of integrity that was a clear part of his character. He could have written the Buddha’s name a million times, it wouldn’t change the fact that he was a liar, and a murderer of children who were incapable of defending themselves. Ieyasu’s lack of integrity remains an inherent aspect of the Japanese mindset, as Japan continues to dishonor international treaties the nation has ratified, including The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

Regarding the folklore, and myth known as the Japanese honor code, made famous in books, poetry, and movies, it holds no real position in factual history. There simply is nothing honorable when it comes to the nation’s refusal to address the myriad of child abductions that continue to stain the nation’s xenophobic reputation. Unfortunately, that lack of integrity, and the lack of honor is the true “way” of the Japanese, where the samurai, or “warrior” code has long been exposed as for what it really is, a fallacy.

A painting of Tokugawa Ieyasu, Japan’s first shogunate, and victim of multiple abductions as a child.

Japan’s irrational ideology on child abduction

U.S. congressional committees on international child abduction have been going on since 1979. With Japan being one of the most egregious violators in bilateral relations regarding this subject matter. H.R. 3212 was passed into law in the U.S. to ensure nations complied with the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction by countries with which the U.S. enjoys reciprocal obligations to establish procedures for the prompt return of children abducted to other countries, and to impose stiff sanctions on nations that do not comply with this law. Japan signed this agreement in April of 2014, and is subject to sanctions as a result of being in violation of these terms.

U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (NJ) spent five years fighting for the passage of a law known as The Sean and David Goldman International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act of 2014. Smith stated, “Many children, and parents have tragically lost years separated from each other in violation of U.S., and international law,” He added, “They have missed birthdays, holidays, and family time that they can never get back. H.R. 3212 ensures that they will now receive significant help from the U.S. government in their fights to recover their children. Every day a child is separated from his or her rightful parent, and home in the United States brings immense suffering to both parent, and child. The Goldman Act is designed to right the terrible wrong of international child abduction, and heal enormous pain, and suffering, and bring abducted children home.”

More than one thousand international child abductions are reported to the State Department’s Office on Children’s Issues each year. Between 2008, and 2013, at least 8,000 American children were abducted, according to the State Department. Earlier this year, the National Center for Exploited and Missing Children reported that there have been at least 168 international child abductions from New Jersey alone since 1995.

In a March 2015 hearing on Capitol Hill, Congressman Smith stated that, “Japan is breathtakingly unresponsive on U.S. child abductions.” He called for immediate sanctions. Smith stated that unless sanctions are imposed, which are the consequences of The Goldman Act, for non-compliance, the law would be toothless. Smith called on Tokyo to comply with its international obligations.

Despite Japan ratifying the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, it has yet to comply with any aspects of the treaty regarding the return of the more than four hundred known U.S. cases of child abduction. The accord requires the Japanese government to set up processes for legal appeals from foreign parents seeking either visitation or the return of their children to the country where those children were abducted. Ironically, Japan has used the treaty to have five children returned to Japan, yet continues to fail to acknowledge parental rights abroad, even where abductors have been placed on Interpol, and the FBI’s Most Wanted List. This double standard is repugnant, and harmful to international relations, and national security. Further, Japan has received sixty-seven requests for the return of abducted children since ratifying The Hague terms, from the U.S. alone, and has yet to take any action. As of this writing, the FBI Most Wanted List include Japanese child abductors, Ryoko Uchiyama, and Reiko Nakata Greenberg-Collins both have international warrants out for their arrests.

There are currently more than four hundred known cases of children kidnapped to Japan since 1994 from the U.S., a number Smith called “unconscionable.” What is equally unconscionable is during that same hearing on Capitol Hill, Representative Smith requested the actual number of children returned from Japan to the U.S. Susan Jacobs, the Special Advisor for Children’s Issues at the State Department responded by saying, that she didn’t know representative Smith was going to “ask for numbers.” Smith ridiculed Jacobs for not having that information readily available. The truth is that Jacobs knew exactly what those numbers were. None! No child has been returned to the U.S., which proves that Jacobs is entirely inept in handling the responsibilities of the position that she holds, and should be removed from office for gross incompetence, and for failing to take adequate steps to address this with Japanese officials. Ridiculously, Jacobs would also state, “I talked to Ambassador Kennedy yesterday, and she is energized and she is ready to launch.” Kennedy has been the Ambassador to Japan since November 2013. Did it really take this long to get energized on one of the major topics of friction between U.S., and Japanese relations? Jacob’s empty rhetoric has been going on for several years now. Smith was obviously frustrated at Jacob’s inability to understand the gravity of the situation. Jacobs would then tell Smith that she “shared his frustration”, and was planning to visit Japan in June, where she, and Ambassador Kennedy would discuss the annual report with Japanese officials.

In 2013, Representative Cardin (Maryland), of the Foreign Relations Committee spoke to Kennedy on the topic of child kidnapping, and Japan, and the four hundred pending cases of American abductions. Mr. Cardin asked Kennedy if she would use her office to help resolve those open cases. Kennedy stated, “As a parent I certainly understand the emotional aspect of this issue,” and “That everyone at the State Department is really committed to making that happen, and to bring these issues forward, and resolve these cases.” This comment was made nearly two years ago, yet Kennedy has not taken any steps in dealing with this matter. Kennedy did Tweet regarding other inhumane conduct the Japanese engage in, and which is internationally condemned, the Taiji dolphin slaughter.

Cases of child abductions prior to April 2014 fall outside of the scope of The Hague Agreement on child abductions, which Smith blasted as outrageous. Parents in those situations may still apply to Japan for visitation rights, but almost no parent has ever received such rights, and when they do, they are treated as if they are an imprisoned felon, with police, lawyers, Japanese officials, and the other bawling, and objecting parent in a separate adjacent room doing their best to interrupt the reunion, while all view the short visitation through one-way glass. Children who haven’t seen their non-abducting parent in several months, to several years, and probably have been brainwashed with horror stories, and may no longer be unable to communicate in their native tongue, no doubt would cry due to the high level of stress associated with the circumstance. If they appear detached, Japanese officials take that as a sign that the child wants nothing to do with the non-abducting parent. Anyone that has obtained even basic child psychology knowledge would immediately recognize that a child who had been separated from their parent for such a long time, needed an adequate adjustment period, and most likely psychological counseling as well. Thirty minutes or so just doesn’t equate as an adequate parent-child reunion.

Is the State Department assisting parents in the return of their abducted child?

Unfortunately, history has taught us that if anyone wants to get something accomplished, they have to take matters into their own hands. The recent action of the State Department proves that if the U.S. government is not willing to assist citizens whose lives are in peril in Yemen, they certainly aren’t going to aid someone to get their abducted child back, despite laws that are written regarding the scope, and degree of the State Department’s duties in such matters. U.S. citizens stranded in Yemen had to resort to filing a lawsuit against the Department of State for abandoning them. Meanwhile, other countries including, China, Russia, and India, have conducted large-scale evacuations, including aiding in evacuating numerous U.S. citizens.

On August 24th, 2011, 14 year-old Mary Lake, a U.S. citizen, who was kidnapped by her mother, and taken to Japan in 2005, in one of the most high-profile international kidnapping cases in U.S. history, walked into the U.S. consulate in Osaka, and asked to be rescued, after being held captive in Japan for six years. Indifferent, and incompetent consular staff refused to aid in the child’s rescue, and instead sent her back to her kidnapper. Mary’s father, William Lake, would later be informed of his daughter’s attempted rescue by caseworker Virginia Vause from the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues. Lake would learn that the consular office attempted to make only one call to him at his residence. They didn’t leave a voice message, nor did they contact him on his cell phone, or send an email. When Lake brought up the issue of why his daughter was turned away, he was told that the consulate would not assist in his daughter’s escape because they needed to have his written authorization to take her into custody. Furthermore, if his daughter were taken into custody the consulate would have to assign a staff member to stay with her until she was returned to the U.S., an inconvenience that the State Department refused to accept. They also required an agreement in advance for Lake to repay any airfare costs. This was the third episode of gross negligence on the part of the Department of State toward Lake, and his daughter. Twice previously they illegally issued passports for his daughter without obtaining his required signature, even after it had been established that her father was the lawful parent, and the mother was wanted for kidnapping. Generally, all cases involve at least one parent who is Japanese. In Lake’s case, neither the victims, nor the abducting mother are Japanese. It’s should be harshly apparent when it comes to the crime of child abduction that the Department of State clearly values the relations with foreign nations over the safety, well-being, and lives of U.S. citizens being held captive in Japan.

Jeffrey Morehouse has spoken on Capitol Hill numerous times regarding child abduction. He was granted sole custody of his son in 2007 due to his former wife’s alcohol abuse, psychological issues, violence, and because she was a flight risk. Restraining orders against the mother traveling with their son were in place when she fraudulently obtained a passport from the Japanese consulate in Portland, after being turned away in Seattle. U.S. consular officials have refused numerous requests to pursue prosecution, and adamantly refuse to aid in the return of Morehouse’s son based on his former spouse’s violation of both Japanese, and U.S. laws regarding child abduction. Since Morehouse’s son was abducted, all communication ceased between them. The boy’s whereabouts, mental, and physical condition remain unknown. In March 2014 Morehouse was granted sole custody by a Japanese court. Yet, he still has no contact with his son, and has no knowledge as to where he is being held. Morehouse operates an organization called BACHome: Bring Abducted Children Home. In the following link, Morehouse testifies before a congressional hearing that took place in March of 2015, regarding child abduction, Japan’s ratification of The Hague Convention on Child Abduction, The Goldman Act, the facts regarding the disappearance of his son, as well as the imposition of sanctions on Japan: https://youtube.com/watch?v=4eHITnrRMFA.

On March 11th, 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed House Resolution 125 by a vote of 418-0, condemning Japan for its actions on International Child Abduction. This congressional resolution described Japan as “a United States ally which does not recognize intra-familial child abduction as a crime, and though its family laws do not discriminate by nationality, Japanese courts give no recognition to the parental rights of the non-Japanese parent, fail to enforce U.S. court orders relating to child custody or visitation, and place no effective obligation on the Japanese parent to allow parental visits for their child.”

On May 21st, 2009, the U.S., the UK, France, and Canada released a joint press statement condemning Japan for it’s inaction regarding international child abduction, and called on Japan to sign the Hague Convention. These four nations acting with one voice stated, “left-behind parents of children abducted to or from Japan have little realistic hope of having their children returned, and encounter great difficulties in obtaining access to their children, and exercising their parental rights, and responsibilities.” These countries urged Japan “to identify, and implement measures to enable parents who are separated from their children to maintain contact with them, and to visit them,” and described the “failure to develop tangible solutions to most cases of parental child abduction in Japan particularly troubling.”

On July 13th 2003, Erika Toland was abducted from her home at Negishi Navy Family Housing in Yokohama, Japan. Her mother, the abductor, Etsuko Toland, subsequently died of suicide on October 31st, 2007. Since the death of the child’s mother, her maternal grandmother, Akiko Futagi, has refused Erika any contact with her father. The child’s father is, Commander Paul Toland, a highly decorated U.S. Naval officer. Since his daughter’s abduction he has been trying to see Erika, to no avail. On June 25th, 2009, Congressman Chris Smith discussed Erika’s case on the floor of the House of Representatives. He stated, “The international movement of our service members make them especially vulnerable to the risks of international child abduction. Attorneys familiar with this phenomenon estimate that there are approximately 25 to 30 new cases of international child abductions affecting U.S. service members every year.”

More than a decade later, Erika remains held as a hostage from her father, as government officials tasked with the duty to address these issues remain staggeringly indifferent. Toland has spent his life savings trying to have his daughter returned to him. His Japanese attorney told him via email, “Please understand that your case is not a piece of cake due to the racism, and irrationality of the Japanese legal system. It might be like defending the Taliban in the U.S.” Toland said while speaking at a congressional hearing, “I flew to Japan, and waited on a street corner to greet Erika on her way home from school, because this is the only contact with dignity that is possible. I knew that if I had tried to take Erika to the embassy, and attempted to get a passport, I would likely meet the same fate as Christopher Savoie, when he attempted to retrieve his children from Japan. I would likely be blocked at the gates of the embassy by a state department that was more interested in preserving a relationship with Japan, over the welfare of U.S. citizens. I’d likely end up in a Japanese jail, as Christopher Savoie did.

In the following link, Navy Commander Toland testifies before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission of the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington D.C. on December 2nd, 2009: https://youtube.com/watch?t=23&v=f9lfTWFX0f8.

The Department of State and Japan’s nuclear debacle

After the third nuclear explosion at the Daiichi Nuclear Facility in Namie, Fukushima, the U.S. consulate finally made the determination that American citizens were in peril. If U.S. citizens wanted to leave the country, they could board planes that were available at Narita airport. At the time I was appearing on MSNBC with Brian Williams, and my photography, and videography was appearing in several media outlets. I contacted the U.S. Embassy, and inquired into the conditions for U.S. citizens to board one of those planes. I stated that April was the beginning of the work year in Japan, and there were thousands of new teachers stranded, and probably unable to pay for flights back home, as they had just arrived, and most likely were recent university graduates. The embassy staff told me that if citizens were unable to pay for the flight back to the U.S., their passports would be confiscated, and unless they paid the State Department back the airfare, plus interest, they would never be allowed to leave the U.S. again. I was shocked, and couldn’t believe what I was hearing. The entire nation was shut down including all forms of transportation, store shelves were empty, and Tokyo’s water spiked with high level of radiation contamination. It was finally disclosed that Daiichi was using MOX Fuel, and high levels of plutonium were released into the atmosphere, as Japanese officials played the silence game, telling everyone to remain calm, and that there was “no immediate threat to life.” Professor Koide from Kyoto University, a nuclear physicist, and long time adversary of the reckless, and grossly negligent energy company, TEPCO stated that the plutonium alone released from those three explosions were the equivalent to 200,000 Hiroshima bombs. I had a friend who had direct contact with Nancy Pelosi. I informed them what was happening, and they immediately notified her as to what the embassy was scheming in Tokyo. The next morning it was one of the top news story that Pelosi had gotten planes on Narita’s tarmac, and they were available for free to any U.S. citizen who wanted to leave the country. The threat of passport confiscation ended, as well as turning U.S. citizens into homeland prisoners due to no fault of their own.

The Department of State’s complicity in kidnapping children

Julian Assange’s trouble began when WikiLeaks released thousands of classified documents that exposed not only U.S. war crimes that were occurring in Iraq, but also diplomatic communications that were taking place at the State Department. I took an interest in the topic as most Americans did. The government’s position was that the release of those documents “placed American overseas in imminent danger.” Some of those documents I read exposed communications between U.S., and foreign diplomats, exposing U.S. involvement in the abduction of third world children, and turning them over to foreign diplomats, who were pedophiles, so those children could be used as sex slaves. In exchange for those “favors”, the foreign diplomats engaged in “international cooperation”, and assisted those U.S. officials who worked for the State Department in business transactions they would benefit from. None of those diplomats have ever been brought to trial, as they enjoy immunity from prosecution. Yet, Assange who exposed these outrageous crimes remains on self-imposed lockdown in the Ecuadorian Embassy of London, which is monitored around the clock by U.S., and UK government agents. Private Manning who turned over those documents to WikiLeaks was convicted for violating the Espionage Act, and sentenced to thirty five years imprisonment, forfeiture of all pay, and dishonorably discharged. Ironically, Assange, who is not a U.S. citizen, and who was guilty of nothing more than what the mass media often does, did exactly what the corporate media would have done with that information if it had been turned over to them, which was to publicly expose that very same information, except they would have profited nicely from it, and continued to enjoy their freedoms. American officials, and media hacks continue to call for Assange to be extradited for “aiding the enemy”, and for “treason”, a crime that is exclusively reserved for citizens of that country, which Assange isn’t.

Prejudicial double standards

Parental child abduction is not a crime when Japanese nationals do it, yet when foreigners attempt to have contact with their children it’s handled as a felony

Chris Savoie, who had custody of his two minor children left them with his former spouse Noriko for visitation purposes. That was the last time he would see them in the U.S. Noriko defied a Tennessee state court order, which barred her from leaving the state, and ordered her to turn over her passport to officials. This order occurred after Savoie received an email from her, which read, “It’s very hard to remain here watching my children lose their Japanese identity.” Savoie filed a restraining order. He subsequently contacted his former father in law, who told him the children were in Japan. Savoie’s only hope to ever see his children again was to go to Japan, and try to get them back in the same manner his former spouse had taken them. As his children were walking to school he placed them in his car, and drove off to the U.S. Embassy. The media would say that the Japanese police arrested Savoie as he was about to enter the American consulate. But, the true facts are the U.S. Embassy officials turned Savoie over to the Japanese police, who treated the case as a kidnapping. Savoie struggled with Japanese police, who literally ripped the terrified, and screaming children from his arms. Savoie was handcuffed in front of his children, and taken into custody at one of Japan’s notorious Daiyo Kangoku detention centers where the use of torture, and coerced confessions are daily matters with corrupt police, prosecutors, and a judiciary that sanctions all of it. Savoie was charged with abduction of a minor, and faced five years in prison for merely attempting to enforce a U.S. custody order. Savoie’s story was the last one that made international headlines regarding Japan, and child abduction. International, legal, and media pressure forced the prosecutors to release Savoie who returned home, and filed a false imprisonment action against his former wife. Savoie was awarded a 6.1M verdict. He said the money was a hollow victory. “Anything about this just reopens a lot of wounds. It’s bittersweet.” Savoie said he hasn’t been allowed to speak to his children in more than a year. That was back in 2011. “At the end of the day, I’d much rather have one afternoon in the park with my kids than one penny of this judgment.”

The return of an abducted child to the U.S.

No thanks to any intervention on the part of the State Department, Caroline Kennedy, or Susan Jacobs, one Japanese abductor got a taste of American style justice.

Emiko Inoue being led into court where she faced 25 years for child abduction.

Emiko Inoue thought she was clever when she abducted Moises Garcia’s daughter Katrina to Japan. After three years, and only one visit with his daughter in Japan, Garcia caught a break. His ex-wife flew from Japan to Hawaii to renew her U.S. green card. Inoue was unaware that her U.S. immigration file had been flagged because of a Wisconsin arrest warrant issued a few months earlier. Inoue was arrested, and extradited to Milwaukee, a city she once called home, where Karina was born, and where she, and Garcia were married. Milwaukee prosecutors ordered Inoue to return Garcia’s daughter to the U.S. within 30 days, or risk spending the next twenty-five years in prison. After eight months in prison she plead no-contest to felony child custody interference by a parent for fleeing America with Garcia’s daughter. Karina, was six at the time, and Inoue’s decision to circumvent U.S. family court set in motion an unprecedented criminal case, making her the first Japanese citizen to be arrested in the U.S. for child custody interference. It’s a felony in most states, but not considered a crime in Japan, unless the parent happens to be non-Japanese. Garcia gained full custody of Karina shortly after Inoue left the country in 2008. Eventually, he would also be granted full custody by a Japanese court, although it would reverse that decision, saying it was in the best interest of the child to remain in Japan.

Garcia successfully convinced the Milwaukee prosecutor’s office that although he had legal custody in both countries, there was no way for him to get his daughter back or even get visitation rights. The Milwaukee police department then issued a warrant for Inoue’s arrest in February of 2011, even though it was unlikely that Japan would agree to extradite her to face felony parental child abduction charges in the U.S. Unlike Japan’s Ministry of Justice, known for its corrupt, and prejudicial determinations against foreign nationals, the prosecutors in Inoue’s case allowed her to remain in the U.S., instead of deporting her for having a felony conviction. Inoue could also travel freely outside of the country with permission from the court, but not with her daughter. Inoue’s attorney in Japan, Haruki Maeda, said that Inoue only “very reluctantly” agreed to the deal. Under the plea bargain Katrina was sent back to her father, who had remarried. Maeda questioned whether, “Separating Katrina from her mother, and forcing her to live with her father, and stepmother, will lead to the well-being of the child?” Unlike in Japan, where a child has no right to make any self determination, in the U.S., when Karina turns twelve, she has the right to tell a U.S. judge what parent she desires to live with.

Garcia arranged for a Japanese tutor for his daughter, and for psychological counseling to help her cope with the transition. On the other hand, foreign parents that haven’t had any contact with their abducted children have noted that, when they do manage to obtain contact, the child can no longer communicate with them, and that no measures were taken to ensure the child smoothly integrated into Japanese society, which in reality calls children with two nationality parents, “hafus”, racist jargon meaning the child is somehow defective because they are not fully Japanese. Another well-known fact about Japan is that Japanese children will almost never associate with hafus, who suffer varying degrees of bullying, and are ostracized by Japanese children who can only learn such level of xenophobia, ignorance, and hatred from the parents who raised them that way.

Are parents of abducted children doing enough to gain custody, or visitation rights with their children?

From The Shadows is a documentary film highlighting several parents who have had their children abducted to Japan, including Paul Toland, and Regan Haight. I’ve contacted the producer, and directors Matt Antell, and David Hearn numerous times attempting to receive a viewer copy of the film for this article. I’ve never received a response from either of them, and the website http://fromtheshadowsfilm.com doesn’t seem to be a valid link. I can’t find this documentary anywhere, and it seems those that took the effort to produce it don’t consider it important enough to promote it. Another film titled, Sayanara Baby, which is an Australian News Special can be found online. The following is a link to the film: http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNDA2MzE2Nzcy.html.

Regan Haight, a mother of two who’s featured in both documentaries mentioned above was married to Shuta, Japanese national. Haight returned home one day to find her children, and her husband gone. He abducted the children to Japan, and they weren’t ever going to return. Haight soon discovered that Japan, which claims to always award custody to the mother, wasn’t about to here her legal argument. The perverted Japanese family courts are always stacked heavily against those who are not Japanese, and those who are not the abductor. The Japanese officials sided with her former spouse, the abductor of her two children. Haight turned to a former British military special forces operative, Steve Johnson who is known in the business as a child recovery specialist. Johnson told Haight that Japan has the reputation of being impossible to recover children from. Johnson joined Haight in Japan, and Shuta claimed the children had been abducted a second time by their Japanese grandmother who was holding them for ransom. Haight said “At one point she told me that I had to sign over the house, and that I could see the kids. So, I did that. Then she wouldn’t let me see them. Next, we had to pay her fifty thousand dollars to see the kids. I didn’t have that money.”

The legal definition of kidnapping is the unlawful carrying away of a person against their will, usually to hold them for ransom, or in furtherance of another crime. Shuta, and his mother engaged in a conspiracy to extort as much as they could from the grieving mother. Captured on videotape, the children’s father was handed an ultimatum from Johnson, release the children to Haight or the matter would be turned over to the media, the police, and Interpol. Shuta, and his mother, realizing that they could be imprisoned for criminal extortion, and kidnapping, turned the children over to Haight. Today, the children enjoy a safe, and loving relationship with their mother. Haight is the only woman who has ever succeeded in having her children returned from Japan, a nation that would rather protect kidnappers, and extortion conspirators, than to protect abducted children who are in imminent danger, while being held for ransom. Japanese officials never brought charges against the criminal monsters the children had previously called, Otousan (father), and Obaachan (grandmother).

Australian Chayne Inaba, a trauma medical specialist had been battling the system in Japan to gain access to his daughter Ai. He tried to negotiate with his wife, and her family for visitataionrights, but they threatened him with violence if he didn’t stay away from her. One evening upon returning home from work, Chayne was attacked from behind in his own home, and beaten nearly to death with a brick. “I walked inside, closed the door, walking down towards the living room and I was attacked by a brick from the bathroom. I had two black eyes, skull fractures, a lot of damage”. Chayne has strong suspicions about who was responsible, and the message they were trying to send. “There’d be major problems if I went to the house where my daughter is being held. The police would be involved, a lot of nasty things would happen.” “The brick had skin, hair, and blood on it, and (the police) told the Australian consulate that the brick wasn’t the weapon”.

Craig Morrey, a man who defines the word hero perhaps more than any other person in the history of humankind became a single parent, sacrificing everything to care for his profoundly disabled son, after his pregnant wife ran off. She abandoned her disabled son, and abducted the healthy child, with no intention to ever allow Morrey into the child’s life. Morrey first saw his infant daughter in a courtroom when she had already reached six months of age. Morrey was attempting to gain visitation rights to his daughter. Although Morrey’s wife had abandoned her fist child, the Japanese court awarded her sole custody of Morrey’s daughter. The following link provides more information about Dr. Morrey: http://childrenfirst.jp/content/dr-craig-e-morrey. Dr. Morrey also operates a website in honor of his children, and other children that have been abused by Japan’s morally bankrupt judiciary: Forever Your Father. The following link is a CNN article about the life of Dr. Morrey, and the son he cherishes, Spencer: U.S. Father’s Japanese Custody Heartache.

After nineteen years in Japan, Alex Kahney packed his bags to return to the UK, leaving behind everything he cared for, which were his two beautiful daughters who were abducted by their Japanese mother. “I thought she can’t kidnap my kids, I’ll just go to the police. The first two or three months I was shattered, the first six months I was numb. I’ve been disowned. I might as well be a ghost.” In the documentary, Sayonara Baby, it’s painful to watch Kahney attempt to speak to his two daughters who were clearly being brainwashed to fear their father, and who are seen running away from him as they walk home from school. Two children that once adored their father were being taught by their Japanese mother to hate, and fear the man that spent years trying to regain them into his life, and to be the father that he always wanted to be for them. The following link is a BBC article on the ongoing plight of Mr. Kahney: http://bbc.com/news/world-asia-pacific-12358440.

Support groups for parents of abducted children

Bruce Gherbetti is the father of three children who were abducted to Japan in 2009. Since that time, he has moved to Japan to maintain contact with his children. He has also helped to form two organizations to fight for children’s rights in Japan, and has lobbied Diet members including former Justice Minister Satsuki Eda. Apparently, his efforts have been fruitless. Regardless, he presses on. The following link is a website Mr. Gherbetti operates in honor of his son: Bring Sean Home Foundation.

John Gomez, chairman of Kizuna Child-Parent Reunion, a group of Japanese, and non-Japanese parents, friends, and supporters advocate for the right of children to have access to both parents. Mr. Gomez understands that Japan simply ratifying the Hague Convention will not solve anything if the nation continues to take a one-sided approach to domestic custodial rights. The Kizuna Child-Parent Reunion website is located at: http://kizuna-cpr.org.

Eric Kalmus helps to operate Children’s Rights Network. The website is a major source of exposing the depths of Japanese injustice, and is located at the following link: http://crnjapan.net. Kalmus’ ceaseless work related to child abduction resulted in his own daughter, who had been abducted to Japan several years ago, discovered his work online, and reunited with him shortly thereafter.

I’m betting you didn’t know that it took thirty two years for Yoko Ono to be reunited with her kidnapped daughter. During the period when Richard Nixon was attempting to have John Lennon deported permanently from the U.S., the famous couple was enduring another legal battle, and that was over the abduction of her daughter, Kyoko. The children’s Rights Network has posted a link to that story here. John, and Yoko discuss the kidnapping on the David Cavett show, and videos of this interview can be found on YouTube.

Applicable U.S. laws

A 1993 U.S. federal law makes it a crime to prevent a person from exercising their parental rights by removing a child from the U.S. or keeping a child outside the country. A federal grand jury in Virginia charged Walter Benda’s former wife with kidnapping, a felony offense that carried with it a penalty of up to three years in prison, or a $250,000 fine. Japan refused to extradite the abductor stating that it does not treat parental child kidnapping as a criminal offense, and is not covered under the U.S.-Japan extradition treaty.

Article 766 of the Civil Law, revised in 2011 specifies that visitation rights, child-support payments, and other matters must take into consideration the welfare of the child first.

Section 19 of The Goldman Act addresses pattern of noncompliance, and defines the term pattern of noncompliance as the persistent failure to inter alia, abide by provisions of the Hague Abduction Convention, and where thirty percent or more of the total abduction cases in such country are unresolved, and where the judicial or administrative branch of the national government of a Convention country or a bilateral procedures country fails to regularly implement, and comply with the provisions of the Hague Abduction Convention or bilateral procedures, and where law enforcement authorities regularly fail to enforce return orders or determinations of the right of access rendered by the judicial or administrative authorities of the government of the country in abduction cases.

Under Title II of The Goldman Act, Subsection, Actions by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of State has an obligation to promote the best interest of the abducted children, and to ensure enforcement for their prompt return. It’s been over a year since Japan joined the rest of the G8 nations regarding The Hague. Japan’s dawdling can no longer be tolerated. Sec. 202 of The Goldman Act addresses nations such as Japan that are in noncompliance with the terms of international child abduction. Actions that must be taken by the State Department include public condemnation, delay or cancellation in bilateral working, official, or state visits, withdrawal, limitation, or suspension of United States development assistance in accordance with section 116 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, withdrawal, limitation, or suspension of United States security assistance in accordance with section 502B of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, a formal request to the foreign country concerned to extradite an individual who is engaged in abduction and who has been formally accused of, charged with, or convicted of an extraditable offense. Currently, Susan Jacobs, and John Kerry are in the position to handle the abduction issues, and both are well aware of them, yet neither has taken any action to aid U.S. citizens to have their children who were kidnapped returned to them. These useless career politicians need to resign, and get out of the way. There is however, one champion in Washington that has the best interest of the abducted children at heart, and that is Representative Chris Smith from New Jersey, who, for years has been a thorn in the side of nations like Japan.

Japan’s racist immigration policies and the deportation of responsible parents

”Dear Walter, please forgive me for leaving you this way,” read the note from Walter Benda’s Japanese wife. Benda’s unsuccessful efforts to get information from his wife’s family, the Japanese police, and his children’s schools, left him feeling as if he was trapped in a Kafka novel. After months of unsuccessfully searching for the whereabouts of his children, his visa expired, and he was forced to return to the U.S. Mr. Benda, and Brian Thomas, a Welshman involved in a similar abduction case, began fighting back. They identified a dozen cases of child abduction by Japanese parents. In most cases, they were Japanese women married to foreigners, but there were also several involving Japanese men, and foreign wives.

Deportation laws are often what former Japanese spouses rely on to get the other parent out of the way, and Japanese authorities are more than willing to accommodate. Deportation proceedings mean the children’s foreign parents may never be allowed to return to Japan. These “legal” measures are criminal, and violate human rights, and the right of parents, and children to be able to continue in their relationship undisturbed by a vindictive former spouse, or racist, segregationist, immigration policies. Just as in the days of the Tokugawa’s, Japan continues to act as a vile, and repugnant isolationist state that seems to enjoy participating in the destruction of families, instead of preserving them, which is another farce the west has become accustomed to believe about the primitive, and world illiterate island nation.

Repugnant terminology

Often the term “spirited away” is used to describe a child that has been kidnapped. Writers, and advocates should stop using this aesthetic jargon, and use the terms kidnapping, or abduction instead, because these are legal terms that don’t trivialize the severity of the unconscionable criminal conduct. “Left behind parent” should also fall by the wayside, because hundreds of responsible, and caring parents were not forgotten, as if this was another release in a serious of “Home Alone” flicks. These grieving parents had their child kidnapped, and their life entirely destroyed as a result, often with the entire contents of the home, accompanied by the pilfering of the family bank account. The criminal perpetrators don’t just “leave behind” an unwilling participant, they ruthlessly destroy that person, and trash the fundamental rights they share with their child. This is a sure sign that the abductor is also engaging in systematic psychological abuse of the kidnapped child, and perhaps even physical violence. Terminology such as those stated above trivializes the harsh realities of child abduction, and they should no longer be associated with this form of criminal conduct.

The Civil Rights movement as the paradigm to address Japan’s unwillingness to end abductions

I’ve viewed numerous documentaries made on this topic. I’ve read countless articles, and interviewed scores of damaged parents who have lost their child due to abduction. I have watched hours of congressional hearings on international child abduction, and met with those at the forefront of the movement to end Japanese officials condoning conduct that violates international law. I have taken juvenile law, and family law courses in law school, and worked in both adult, and juvenile public defenders offices in southern California. I also worked at a family law clinic inside the Pomona Court while attending my final year of law school. Government officials, on either side of the issue are not doing enough, that, or they are not doing anything at all to help grieving parents to be reunited with children who each day grow further apart, due to the loss of communication, and physical closeness. The only recourse a non-abducting parent has is going the route Regan Haight did, hiring professionals to aid in the return of her children. Or is it? My suggestion to those whose children have been abducted is to follow the paradigm set by Martin Luther King. Fill Japan’s prisons with parents who are no longer willing to wait around for a disinterested third party to intervene.

If my child were abducted, I’d join ranks with approximately thirty other parents, and engage in collective civil disobedience. I’d prepare safe houses set up in various communities scattered about Japan where the children are being held. In groups of ten, I’d head for Japan, and I’d go after my child. I’d use whatever force was necessary to take back possession of my abducted child. If anyone failed, and the police got involved, I’d make sure to know enough Japanese language to inform them that this was a family matter, not a criminal matter, and remind the police what they have always claimed, which is that they have no jurisdiction over the matter. If the police arrested any of these individuals anyway, they’d be in good company, as certainly others in the group would be detained as well. I’d have a full statement prepared for the consulate officials, and the media. I’d have lawyers in the home country demanding the release of the children who are being held as hostages, and have those legal advocates demand the release of the parent who are being illegally detained. As soon as that first group’s story hit the media, I’d send a second wave of determined parents in another group of ten, and continue in the same manner. Surely, some would make it to a safe house, while those that were detained, and threatened with criminal prosecution, trained in civil disobedience, refused to participate in any police, or prosecutorial proceedings against them. They should also refuse to wear any prison garb. This would place extreme external pressure on the humiliated Japanese officials, forcing them to finally kowtow, and address the international consternation, and political ramifications for failing to address the matter after signing the child abduction aspects of The Hague. I’d have the arrested parents go on a hunger strike, and refuse to submit to legal proceedings, staunchly claiming the nation had no subject matter jurisdiction. Collectively, these parents would demand Japanese officials release the whereabouts of every child that had been intentionally hidden from their non-abudcting parent. Finally, I’d send the third wave of parents, and initiate the same procedures, crushing Japan’s illegitimate claims of sovereignty over the fundamental rights of non-abducting parents, and their children who remained in hostile conditions of psychological, emotional, and possibly physical abuse by their abducting tormenters.

Japan is no Goliath. Japan is an occupied nation that is nearly always on the wrong side of international disputes. Japan has proven over the past seventy years that it cannot be trusted as an autonomous, and rational behaving nation, and should remain occupied perpetually, as a result.

There is nothing more powerful than the bond between a parent, and a child that relies on both parents for security, love, and assurance. I believe there is nothing more honorable than a parent who is willing to sacrifice their freedom, and go to prison for the right to hold their child in their arms again, and to let them know what they were willing to resort to in order to hear their voice again, to listen to their laughter, and to smell the scent of their hair, and the very breath that they breathed. I believe this is a parent’s ultimate duty. Those who sit overseas, licking their wounds, and endlessly copying, and pasting articles that we’ve all already read, to the few “friends” on Facebook that may, or may not even bother to look at them, will continue to wait as the years pass without any contact with their children who may no longer even have the ability to communicate with them in their native tongue.

Preemptive protection of parental rights

Before marrying, and having children with a Japanese spouse, enter into a prenuptial agreement that include terms where neither parent could seek, or obtain sole custody of the children if the marriage were to be dissolved. Include a clause that states that neither party could abduct the children, nor prevent the other from having access to their children. Include another clause that states, if the children were abducted by one parent, in violation of that agreement, the non-abducting parent would determine, which country had both subject matter, and procedural jurisdiction over the matter. These kinds of agreements are binding in Japan, as well as most western style, civilized nations. Be sure to have two witnesses sign that agreement, and supply both parents with their own copy. Always obtain birth certificates for your children, and ensure they have citizenship in the non-Japanese parent’s country. Also, always have a valid, non-expired passport for your child at all times.

I conclude this article with a conversation that I had with former public prosecutor Hiroshi Ichikawa. Ichikawa became infamous when he was working for the city of Yokohama as a public prosecutor. Ichikawa had threatened a foreigner with death if he did not sign a false confession that Ichikawa had prepared for him to sign. When this matter was exposed, Ichikawa faced criminal charges, and was forced to resign. After that, he found a conscience, and began to publicly speak against the depths of government corruption that exists in Japan’s Ministry of Justice, and the fact that foreigners are not considered human beings by Japan’s prosecutors, and judiciary. When we spoke he admitted that foreigners have no human rights in Japan, and prosecutors are taught this as part of their training. In fact, foreigners are not even considered human beings. Foreigners that have had their children abducted should drink deep from this filthy well of knowledge, and never permit themselves to be subjected to any court proceedings in Japan, due to the prejudicial outcome of the proceedings that is sure to follow. Finally, retired judge Hiroshi Segi who recently released a book exposing the depths of depravity, and corruption in Japan’s judiciary, said the entire Japanese legal system should be scrapped because of its inherent, and systematic flaws. Segi also stated that every prosecutor, and judge in the nation should be removed from office, and that Japan should follow the model of justice as proscribed in the U.S., and the UK. Perhaps then, grieving parents, and their abducted children would finally have their fundamental human rights properly addressed in a court of real law, and their pleas for reunion granted with a binding judicial decree, and the banging of a gavel.

© 2015 Stack Jones All Rights Reserved.
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