GOP Lawmaker Urges Japan PM to Address Abduction of US Children

Congressman urges Japan's PM to address hundreds of American children abducted by parents, straining US-Japan ties. Calls for action to reunite families and resolve this pressing issue.

Salman Akhtar
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GOP Lawmaker Urges Japan PM to Address Abduction of US Children

GOP Lawmaker Urges Japan PM to Address Abduction of US Children

Republican Congressman Chris Smith has personally delivered a letter to Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, urging him to address the issue of hundreds of American children being abducted and held in Japan by parents who took the children from the other parent without their consent. In the letter, Smith stated that more than 500 American children have been abducted to Japan by one of their respective parents and remain separated from their American parent. These abductions often occur against pre-existing court orders and, in some cases, with the passport assistance of the Japanese government.

Smith emphasized that this issue threatens to derail ongoing efforts to strengthen the democratic, economic, and security ties between the two countries. He cited several specific cases, including Jeffery Morehouse, who has been fighting for the return of his son Mochi since 2010, and other parents who have testified before Smith's congressional committee. Smith pointed out that the U.S. House of Representatives has passed resolutions and laws to address this issue , but Japan has not assisted in any notable returns of abducted children.

Why this matters: Child abduction is a serious issue that causes immense trauma to the children and families involved. The failure to resolve these cases strains the relationship between the U.S. and Japan, two important allies in the Asia-Pacific region.

Smith emphasized that child abduction is a form of child abuse, causing serious mental trauma to the children. He requested the Prime Minister's public commitment to reunite these families and create a process to do so, noting that Japan's failure to resolve 30% of abduction cases pending more than 12 months requires the U.S. Secretary of State to take action. Smith expressed hope that these Japanese American children can become a source of strength between the two countries rather than a testament to ongoing injustice.

The Japanese government has stated that it has been taking appropriate measures to deal with cases covered by the Hague Convention on international child abduction, and has explained its position to U.S. officials, including Congressman Smith. However, Smith maintains that more needs to be done to address this pressing issue and reunite the affected families.

Key Takeaways

  • GOP Rep. Smith urges Japan PM to address 500+ US child abductions
  • Abductions often violate court orders, with Japan's passport assistance
  • US-Japan ties threatened by failure to resolve these cases
  • Child abduction causes trauma, Japan has not aided notable returns
  • Japan claims taking measures, but more action needed per Smith