It is the end of a battle, but not of his fight.
This Friday, Vincent Fichot, a French father whose two children were abducted by their Japanese mother in 2018, stopped the hunger strike he had been leading for 21 days in Tokyo, in the hope of seeing them again.
A decision motivated by the fact that he must prepare for a surgical operation "with general anesthesia", which requires him to be hospitalized and to refuel before this operation, he told AFP.
Very weakened physically by his action, which he led day and night in front of a station near the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo, he had polyfractured a finger during a fall on Wednesday.
Claiming to have lost 13 to 14 kilos when he weighed 80 at the start of his hunger strike on July 10, this 39-year-old man had been suffering more and more dizziness from the slightest physical exertion for several days.
" The fight goes on "
"The purpose of the hunger strike was really to put myself in critical condition, I think I was only a few days away from that, in order to sensitize" the French authorities and encourage them to take a "strong decision" against Japan for non-compliance with its international commitments on the rights of the child, he explained earlier this Friday to the press.
"The fight continues", he assured on social networks after announcing the end of his hunger strike.
Shared custody of children in the event of parental separation does not exist legally in Japan, so parental abductions are common and tolerated by the authorities.
No official figure exists, but local associations estimate that 150,000 children are abducted each year by one of their parents in the archipelago.
Vincent Fichot's action has freed the voice of many parents in the same situation as him in Japan, foreigners as well as Japanese, fathers and mothers.
Dozens of people came daily to support him, and sometimes shared their own personal stories in his company, in the press or on social networks.
Japanese parliamentarians also met him.
This former finance employee, who has exhausted all his remedies before Japanese justice, had waited in vain for a support visit from Emmanuel Macron, who came on July 23 and 24 for the opening of the Olympic Games.
Advisers to the French president then met him, and the head of state raised his case during a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.
Complaint envisaged against France
"It is a concern which is shared by all (of the ambassadors, Editor's note) who have nationals in similar situations", declared on Friday the French Ambassador to Japan, Philippe Setton, who came to support Vincent Fichot with nine other European diplomats, before the end of his action.
"But whatever the dramatic and painful circumstances in which Vincent Fichot finds himself in particular, we do not want to interfere in a debate which must be a Japanese debate," he stressed.
The visit of these ambassadors helped to attract more Japanese media, many of them having so far hesitated to speak about this action and the very controversial way in which Japan interprets international texts on human rights. child.
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The lawyer for the mother of the children did not wish to react to AFP last week, contenting herself to denounce "partial" press articles in favor of Vincent Fichot.
According to the Frenchman, his wife allegedly alleged domestic violence before the judges, but then "retracted".
No judgment in their case refers to any violence on his part.
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 Human Rights Council. United Nations in 2019. From now on, he says he is also considering a complaint against France before administrative justice for breach of its obligation to protect its nationals.