Readers in Council,
The Japan Times,
5-4, Shibaura 4-chome,
Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0023
Emma Dalton’s impassioned response to Richard Cory’s story of his struggle with Japanese family courts to gain custody of his daughter during the disintegration of his marriage to a Japanese wife (“A one-sided, offensive rant,” October 19, 2010) is really off the mark. Her commitment to women’s and children’s safety through networks of shelters seems admirable, but I don’t sympathize with her mood of offended righteousness. In Cory’s case I have to wonder if she properly knows what she is writing about. I read both of Mr. Cory’s installments (Zeit Gist September 21 and September 28, 2010) and rather than being “an utterly one-sided” rant I found his account very agitating because his voice bore a terribly authentic and accurate ring to it. It felt like a reasonable fit to the situation in Japan where fathers, especially foreign fathers, have little or no voice or consideration in the disposition of their children during a marriage break-up. Foreigners who live in Japan are familiar with the bureaucracy and culture he describes. Is Ms Dalton familiar with it at all? I don’t mean to be rudely stepping on her toes if she is familiar with the situation in Japan. It’s just that her letter sounds like it’s written by a person whose ideas are forged from afar and in a different cultural climate, like in Australia. I mean, incongruous with the facts of Richard Cory’s case, the plight of his daughter at the hands of a criminally abusive and scheming mother and a rigid, deaf and blind family court culture.
If I am in the wrong I will apologize.