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Frenchman stages hunger strike at Olympic stadium to reclaim children

Vincent Fichot receives support from a Japanese friend during his hunger strike 5th day near Tokyo Olympic Stadium to see his “abducted“ children. (ANJ/Pierre  Boutier)
Vincent Fichot receives support from a Japanese friend during his hunger strike 5th day near Tokyo Olympic Stadium to see his “abducted“ children. (ANJ/Pierre Boutier)
Vincent Fichot, a Frenchman on a hunger strike in Tokyo to get the government to act and help him see his son and daughter “kidnapped” allegedly by his wife. (ANJ/ Pierre Boutier)
Vincent Fichot, a Frenchman on a hunger strike in Tokyo to get the government to act and help him see his son and daughter “kidnapped” allegedly by his wife. (ANJ/ Pierre Boutier)
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14 Jul 2021 09:07:07 GMT9
14 Jul 2021 09:07:07 GMT9

Arab News Japan

TOKYO: Vincent Fichot, a father of two, has been on a hunger strike for five days near the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo in an attempt to pressure the Japanese government to help him to see his two children, claiming his Japanese wife “kidnapped them three years ago.”

With the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games just over a week away, Fichot told Arab News Japan he hopes to draw the attention of the international media to his plight and that of children separated from their parents. He said he tried all legal steps to solve the problem and even met French President Macron to discuss abducted children, but his efforts have failed to move the Japanese government or legal system.

“This is why I have decided to go on a hunger strike; it is not an act of desperation,” Fichot said.  “I have been receiving a lot of support from French residents, bi-national parents, Japanese and foreigners facing the same problems.”

The United Nations have issued resolutions on children’s rights, requiring joint custody or the right to visit separated parents. Recently, a European Union resolution on this subject said that Japan refuses to apply its own laws, creating desperate situations for parents separated from their kids.

Each year nearly 150,000 children are denied access to one of their parents due to Japan’s laws and legal judgements. Embassies in Japan are educating their nationals about the kidnappings but have failed to influence Japan to comply with international child custody rules.

Arab News Japan learned that the Japanese authorities are watching this case nervously as it brings another issue to the government, after receiving criticism  for staging the Games during a pandemic and for not dealing swiftly with problems arising from the pandemic.

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