Japanese ex-wife of Mr. Vincent Fichot, a Frenchman living in Japan, took away his two children in August 2018. Since then, he hasn’t been able to see his kids.
Since July 10, 2021, he has been on a hunger strike in front of Sendagaya Station in Tokyo, calling for the introduction of a joint custody system and legal amendments to prevent parental child abduction.
When He Got Home, His Wife And Children Evaporated.
In August 2018, when he returned home from work, his Japanese wife then took their children away and fled. His Japanese wife fled to DV shelter with children, complaining of a false DV.
After that, his wife refused to contact him and did not let him see the children at all.
Legal Battle and Lobbying
Mr. Fischot hired lawyers and lobbied the Japanese government and the United Nations. However, he wasn’t successful in meeting his children. He petitioned The French President, Emmanuel Macron, about the parental child abduction.
With his efforts, diet deliberations were held in March 2020 to introduce a joint custody system. However, we do not know if the law reform will really happen. Only the discussion on the law revision has begun.
Direct Appeal to The French President
On July 23, 2021, French President Emmanuel Macron will visit Japan to participate in the Olympic ceremony in Tokyo. He is aiming to make a direct appeal to the French president at Sendagaya Station in front of the Olympic Stadium.
Throw It All Away And Fight Againt Injustice
Mr. Fischot used to be an elite banker with a high income and a respectable house. But when his ex-wife took the children away and he lost everything. He sold the luxurious home, quit his job, and went on hunger strike.
He is currently unemployed and homeless, but he hopes to make a petition that the French president sues the Japanese prime minister.
The Last Resort, But With An Expectation
“This is not about despairing. I’m doing the calculation. We may not be changing Japan. But France could put pressure on Japan instead of me. Ms. Fischo said. “France will not abandon me here. 」
Mr. Fischot’s supporters visit him every day. Many of the Japanese victims of parental child abduction also visit him.
Japanese Civil Law
Japan’s divorce and separation legal system does not have the concept of joint custody. Japanese courts give sole custody to a parent who happens to be caring for their child when a custody battle arises due to divorce or separation. This encourages parental child abduction.
Few developed countries do not have a joint custody system. As a result, tens of thousands of children in Japan are suffering from the loss of one parent.
In July 2020, Mr. Fischot’s lobbying efforts were successful. The European Parliament has criticized the Japanese government for allowing parental child abduction. The European Parliament has adopted a resolution calling on Japan to modernize its legal system and enforce international rules on child protection.
Basic Knowledge of Hunger Strike
Humans don’t die immediately even with fastings. Humans survive for weeks, even if they fast.
After a few days of fasting, you enter a system that maintains life for the remaining nutrition in your body. In two weeks after fasting, you will have the possibility of permanent damage to your body. For example, damages such as loss of vision and failure of internal organs may remain in the body.
And it is said that about 45 days after fasting, you will starve to death. In other words, hunger strikes enter the danger zone in the second week followed by death a month and a half later.
Adjustment To Internationalized Society
Japan has been in a state of isolation since ancient times. In Japan, the Galapagos-like evolution and outdated malpractices tend to remain for a long time. In general, it’s hard for Japanese society to keep up with the changes of the new era.
With regard to social structures such as laws and traditions, there is a principle of non-interference in internal affairs. Therefore, it is difficult for Japan to adopt changes in social structure and laws that are occurring in many other countries.
In Japan, it is important to read the air (tune in to the surroundings). You need to read the air outside the country, instead of reading the air domestically.
Will Mr. Fichot’s hunger strike be the catalyst to change Japan?