French justice has issued an arrest warrant against the Japanese wife of Vincent Fichot, a Frenchman living in Japan and whose two children were abducted in Tokyo by their mother in 2018, AFP learned on Tuesday, November 30.
This internationally disseminated arrest warrant was issued for acts of subtraction of minors and endangering a minor, declared Vincent Fichot as well as a source close to the file.
Read also Frenchman Vincent Fichot on hunger strike in Tokyo to see his children again
This procedure is part of a criminal complaint filed by Vincent Fichot in Paris in 2019 for these two offenses, and which had given rise to the opening of a judicial investigation at the end of 2020. This former employee in finance, who seeks to recover his son and daughter, now aged 6 and 4 respectively, publicized his case last summer by leading a three-week hunger strike around the time of the Tokyo Olympics. His action had freed the word of many parents in the same situation as him in Japan, foreigners as well as Japanese, fathers and mothers alike. Joint custody of children in the event of parental separation does not exist legally in Japan, so parental abductions are common there and tolerated by local authorities.
How can a Japanese judge award custody to an internationally wanted mother?
French President Emmanuel Macron, who came to Tokyo for the opening of the Olympics, had not visited Vincent Fichot as he hoped, but had raised his case with the Japanese government.
Even if he hardly expects his wife to be arrested in Japan, Vincent Fichot, 39, hopes that this arrest warrant will weigh on the decision of the Japanese judge due to rule in a few months on the attribution of custody of their children, at the time of the divorce.
"How can a Japanese judge award custody to an internationally wanted mother?"
asked Vincent Fichot.
It would be
, he said, recalling that he still wanted to apply the principle of shared custody for his two children, of whom he has not heard from for more than three years.
Read alsoThe stolen children of Japan
“Divorce proceedings are underway. We have no intention of fighting outside the court, ”
“Divorce proceedings are underway.
We have no intention of fighting outside the court, ”
reacted to AFP the lawyer for Vincent Fichot's wife, Hatsuko Tsuyuki, refusing to comment specifically on the arrest warrant for his client.
The French Embassy in Japan, for its part, declined to comment on a particular case.
Vincent Fichot is part of a group of ten parents from four different countries who filed a complaint against Japan with the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2019 about parental abductions in the Japanese archipelago.