SDGs International Hackathon
Kizuna Child-Parent Reunion NGO was selected as one of 15 finalists in the SDGs Innovation Hub 2020 International Hackathon qualifying round on October 3, 2020.
The final is November 4-6, 2020.
Here is the text of our video submission for the qualifying round on October 3, 2020.
Prospects for human rights improvements for children under administration of PM Suga:
What we can expect and what we should strive for
PM Suga has stated several times in the press that his policies would be similar to those of PM Abe. We might presume this includes policies of human rights.
The rhetoric on human rights policy of Japan does not match actual policy.
We have an explanation of this in Jeff Kingston’s recent article about values-free diplomacy of Japan. There is talk about human rights but no action about it in service of a pragmatic approach to international diplomacy, much of which tries to manage and contain Chinese aggression in Asia. Importantly, this involves the relationship with the US. Japanese domestic policy regarding human rights is similar to its foreign diplomacy--rhetoric but no corresponding policy.
Japan criticizes North Korea on abductions, but ignores its own human rights violations on abductions.
Japan criticizes enemy countries but does not reform itself.
The Emptiness of Japan’s Values Diplomacy in Asia
I asked Minister of Justice Kamikawa about child abductions and rulings in court in December 2017 during her previous tenure. Her response talked about caring for the human rights of children.
I asked a similar question to Representative Kushida in April 2019. He said family court rulings violate the constitution. The legislative branch is not in alignment with the judicial branch, Ministry of Justice, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs on this point.
In Geneva January 2019, I spoke with Mr. Ohtaka after the UNCRC review session of Japan. He was the Head of Mission of the Japan delegation. In the review hearings the overall responses by Japanese officials indicated that Japan was compliant with the UNCRC. He also said that Japan would promote the SDGs.
Likewise, in July 2020, Mr. Ohtaka responded on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the EU resolution regarding child abductions. He said that Japan is compliant with the relevant treaties.
In a disdainful statement by Judge Maezawa reported by Reuters on Nov 21, 2019, he said, “that the UN(CRC) treaty was “merely an agreement to respect” those rights but had no binding power.”
The rhetoric of these officials does not admit but rather denies the human rights problem of child abduction.
The consequence of these repeated denials of the human rights issue within Japan is demonstrated in this recent AERA article.
It states that in a government survey by MHLW in 2016, 55% of parents have no access to their children after divorce. This supports previous research that I have done that estimates 3 million children over 20 years have no access to one of their parents after divorce in Japan.
Then, a recommended course of activity is that we do Social Business with a financial ecosystem so that PM Suga and Japanese Society can implement this as Social Engineering. Besides human rights itself there would be a social benefit in quality of life that might promote an increased birth rate and balanced demographics of age, better mental health of society, and reduced poverty if families are properly protected.
Better social engineering leads to better protection of human rights and realization of SDGs.