While in Tokyo for the opening of the Olympic Games, Emmanuel Macron spoke on Saturday with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga about the “extremely tragic situation” of Vincent Fichot.
The Frenchman, whose children were abducted in 2018 by their Japanese mother, began a third week of hunger strike in Tokyo on Sunday.
"It's good that Suga and Macron still talked about my case (...), but that doesn't change the situation in which my children are, so I continue," said the father of the family.
The day before, he was indignant: “France does not even know if my children are alive or not, and the relationship between Japan and France is described as exceptional (…).
It's amazing, it's the
before and our children after.
Elysée advisers met with Vincent Fichot and France affirmed its desire to achieve "results", speaking of a "priority".
A divorce soon to be pronounced
Since July 10, this 39-year-old former finance employee has been wedged day and night on a yoga mat, under the courtyard of a train station near the Olympic stadium.
His health is starting to deteriorate and he says he now suffers from the slightest effort.
After having tried everything before the Japanese courts, he took this action in the hope of pushing Paris to take “sanctions” against Japan for non-compliance with its international commitments on children's rights.
But the principle of shared custody in the event of parental separation does not exist in Japan, an exception among industrialized countries.
Also, parental abduction is a widespread and tolerated practice in the country.
In August 2018, Vincent Fichot's Japanese wife left their home with their two children, now aged 4 and 6.
He hasn't seen them since.
In Japan, local associations estimate that parental abductions affect 150,000 children each year in the archipelago.
Living in Japan for 15 years, Vincent Fichot has become a “spokesperson” for many Japanese in the same situation as him, believes François Roussel, adviser to French nationals living abroad elected in Japan.
A judicial investigation for the removal of minors targeting his wife was opened in France at the end of 2020 and 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. United in 2019. Within "2-3 months", the Japanese justice should pronounce his divorce and from there, Vincent Fichot will have "no more legal ties" with his boy and daughter.