According to the 2011 figures from the U.S. Department of State, Office of Children’s Issues, since 1994, 374 U.S. citizens have been “…wrongfully retained in Japan”, i.e. Kidnapped. Victims of this crime against children and families ask, “What are you doing about it Mr. President?” They want to know, “If it was your child, what would you do about it Mr. President?” We are talking about at least 374 U.S. citizens illegally held in Japan in contempt of the custodial parent.
International parental child abduction is a solvable crisis. It requires governmental action and strong public statements by the president. In June 2000, then-President Clinton took corresponding measures with Germany, successfully demanding the return of more than 100 children back to the United States. According to reports, in this case the “stolen children” were priority number one when President Bill Clinton arrived in Berlin. Why hasn’t President Obama taken public action to return the 374+ children from Japan?
The U.S. Congress has taken preliminary steps. In September 2010, HR 1326 passed in the House of Representatives 416 to 1 calling “…on the President of the United States and the Secretary of State to continue raising the issue of abduction and wrongful retention of those United States citizen children in Japan with Japanese officials and domestic and international press….” In August 2012, a Senate Resolution (S. Res. 543) on international parental child abduction was introduced.
To date the White House’s response has been effectively sucked into “The Black Hole”. Though we have asked for one, there has been no meeting with victimized parents. There has been no public statement by the President demanding the return of American children kidnapped to Japan. Mr. President, our children need you to be their voice and demand their immediate return home from Japan.