A Frenchman goes on hunger strike in Tokyo to get his two sons back

 A Frenchman who claims to have been kidnapped by the Japanese mother of his two children in 2018 began a hunger strike in Tokyo on Saturday, in a protest he hopes will draw international attention to his fight to win back his son and daughter. President Emmanuel Macron of the country.


"I have nothing left, I lost my job, my house and my savings in the past three years," Vincent Vicho told AFP, sitting at the entrance to a train station in Tokyo near the new Olympic stadium. I currently weigh 80 kilograms and am even ready to give up every gram in my body.”

Fishu, 39, who has been living in Japan for 15 years, said he will not stop his hunger strike until his son and daughter (six and four years old) return to him.


He added that in the event of failure, he wants the French authorities to show that they "really want" to defend his two children and "impose sanctions on Japan," which, he says, violate its international obligations.


Fishu noted that his wife accused him in court of domestic violence, but later "retracted" this claim, and now "the Japanese justice system has no reason to take me."
"I tried everything, I tried to convince my wife by telling her that what was happening was bad for the two children," he added. At the moment, I don't even know if they are alive."


Joint custody of children in cases of divorce or separation does not exist legally in Japan, where kidnapping of children by parents is common and often condoned by local authorities.
There are no official figures, but rights groups have estimated that about 150,000 minors are forcibly separated from one parent each year in this East Asian archipelago.

Among them, some children with dual citizenship, such as the two children of Vishu, who reached an impasse with the Japanese authorities, have now turned to France and international bodies.


He plans to continue his hunger strike and says that if the police chase him, he will go somewhere else.

Members of the Tokyo-based support committee, which includes other foreign parents with the same problem, will bring water and clothes and charge him his electronic devices.


Vicho intends to publish daily a video on Facebook to present his case and keep his followers informed and aware of his health condition.

It is expected that French President Emmanuel Macron will be in Tokyo on the 23rd and 24th of this month to attend the opening of the Summer Olympics.


During his previous visit to Japan, Macron expressed his support for French parents separated from their children in Japan, denouncing "totally unacceptable situations of distress."


Vichaux's attorney in France, Jessica Fennell, told AFP his decisive steps were "a cry of despair from a father who did everything he could three years ago to get his two sons back".

"But what is required today is effective diplomatic measures," such as recalling the French ambassador to Japan, or suspending the "strategic partnership" agreement between Japan and the European Union, which France has just ratified, she added. "Only concrete actions can compel the Japanese authorities to act," she concluded.

 

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