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Offline M.Capestro

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Press Conference On Child Abductions to Japan - 5/5/10
« on: May 07, 2010, 08:37:52 AM »
Press Conference On Child Abductions to Japan At the US Capitol, May 5, 2010 House Resolution 1326
May 5, 2010
RE: CONGRESS URGES JAPAN TO RETURN KIDNAPPED AMERICAN CITIZEN CHILDREN BACK TO THE U.S.

U.S. Representatives Jim Moran (D-VA) and Chris Smith (R-NJ) are introducing a Resolution and held a press conference on May 5th 2010 at 1:30 p.m. at the US Capitol to urge Japan to return kidnapped American citizen children to the United States.

This is House Resolution 1326. Congressman Xavier Becerra, who is Melissa Braden’s  US Representative, and who is the Vice Chairman of the Democratic Caucus, is an original Co-Sponsor of the legislation. Rep. Becerra has been engaged on the issue since March of 2006.

Japan has never returned a kidnapped child to U.S. or any other country. Per capita and in real numbers, Japan ranks second in the world in international kidnapping, behind Mexico and ahead of India, which has nine times Japan’s population.

H Res 1326 marks another milestone in the multi-year efforts of members of Global Future: The Parents Council on International Children’s Policy. The group is comprised of parents across America and the globe whose children were kidnapped from U.S. soil and taken to Japan in violation of previously established custody, travel ban and passport surrender orders. The group’s children remain in their legal custody and under the jurisdiction of U.S. courts. All of the children mentioned in H Res 1326, are the children of parents who were first involved in lobbying Congress, at the invitation of, and under the leadership of Global Future founder Patrick Braden.

Three days after meeting with the parents, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell issued a landmark statement in Tokyo on behalf of U.S. parents whose American citizen children were kidnapped and remain held in Japan. Campbell addressed the plight of parents whose cases fall into two categories: those whose children were kidnapped from U.S. soil in violation of previously established custody orders and criminal statutes, and retain legal custody and US jurisdiction, and those whose children lived in Japan under Japanese jurisdiction and are denied access to the children by Japanese law and custom.

Global Future’s founder and chief executive officer is Patrick Braden, who has lobbied over 300 days on Capitol Hill and held well over 1,000 meetings with Congressional representatives, executive department staff, law enforcement and NGOs for over the past three and one half years. Over the last 3 ½ years, he has met with Secretary Clinton, Ambassadors Roos, Schieffer, Fujisaki, Kato, and Hill. Mr. Braden is the father of Melissa Braden, now age five, who was criminally kidnapped from Los Angeles and taken to Japan in 2006.

Several Global Future parents attended Campbell’s confirmation hearing and met privately with the then-nominee. Campbell promised at the confirmation hearing to maintain regular contact with the Global Future parents and to hold meetings with the large group of U.S. parents whose children remain in Japan. The statement also follows Braden’s personal meetings with Secretary Campbell, U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos, Japanese Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki, and former U.S. Ambassador to Japan Thomas Schieffer. Ambassador Roos and Secretary Campbell have also met recently with American parents living in Japan, who are denied access to their children by Japanese law.

Twelve members of Global Future worked with influential Senators prior to Campbell’s and Roos’ confirmation hearings. The first question Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) asked Campbell in the confirmation hearing pertained to kidnapping to Japan. Campbell’s statement also follows Global Future’s securing of the signatures of 22 U.S. Senators on a letter to President Obama, urging the chief executive to advance the issue at the November 2009 U.S.-Japan summit in Tokyo. Global Future parents worked closely with Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), who authored the letter and submitted it to Obama.

Campbell’s groundbreaking statement also follows inquiries from the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission of the U.S. House of Representatives on December 2, 2009, where Mr. Braden and other parents representing abduction cases to Japan, Brazil and Austria testified.

Global Future parents and their relatives regularly meet with Congressional representatives and work with Congress on legislative action. The work of Mr. Braden and other parents resulted in the introduction of HR 3240, the International Parental Child Abduction Prevention Act of 2009, introduced by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) in July 2009.

In March 2009, the House of Representatives, in a 418-0 vote, passed House Resolution 125, which condemned the records of Brazil and Japan on child abduction, citing the Sean Goldman and Melissa Braden cases, respectively. In interviews upon the heartwarming return from Brazil of Sean Goldman,  Congressman Smith said ”now is the time to turn the focus onto Japan. “ Today’s Resolution builds on Smith’s leadership on the issue and work on the Brazil model, and now focuses exclusively on Japan.

Braden also expressed special thanks to Rep. Jim Moran for his leadership on this current Resolution.

“I first came to Congressman Moran’s office in February of 2007. I visited the office numerous times alone for over two years. Then I found three constituents of Congressman Moran who had the same problem I do, and took them with me. Jim Moran finally said to us, “ how many times will you take yes for an answer? “ “

“We thank Congressmen Jim Moran and Chris Smith for their leadership and hard work on this issue,” said Mr. Braden, “and we look forward to continuing to work with the Congress and the State Department on this issue. There is still a lot more work to do“.

“This situation is urgent. Kidnapping and parental alienation are serious forms of child abuse. One more day that any abducted children remain in Japan is one day too many,” said Mr. Braden.

Contact;
Patrick Braden 213-392 5872
Global.Future@yahoo.com
Scott Sawyer 323-877-9185

Offline phillyone

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Re: Press Conference On Child Abductions to Japan - 5/5/10
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2010, 09:41:30 AM »
Question:

Should we also be pushing HR 1326 as well when talking to our congressmen?

Offline M.Capestro

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Re: Press Conference On Child Abductions to Japan - 5/5/10
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2010, 09:58:22 AM »
I'm will be maintaining primary focus on H.R.3240 in my communications to our target population; with a mention to H.Res.1326 and the bipartisan partnership it has re-established in our fight against international parental child abduction.

In a separate communication, I will begin reaching out to the folks who have already co-sponsored H.R.3240, H.R.3487 and last year's H.Res.125, introducing them to H.Res.1326 and asking them to co-sponsor.

I feel a need to keep a strong focus on H.R.3240 because this bill will help ALL LBPs regardless of what country their child is in.

Offline UD_student

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Re: Press Conference On Child Abductions to Japan - 5/5/10
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2010, 11:34:49 AM »
It is sad that a Congressman can be considered engaged on international parental child abduction while still choosing to not co-sponsor HR3240. The legislation does have bipartisan support, even from other California lawmakers. It is good he was willing to co-sponsor HRes1326, but clearly we also need laws with teeth in them to make additional progress on bringing all kids home to their country of habitual residence prior to their abduction.

Offline UD_student

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Re: Press Conference On Child Abductions to Japan - 5/5/10
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2010, 03:24:01 PM »
It is sad that a Congressman can be considered engaged on international parental child abduction while still choosing to not co-sponsor HR3240. The legislation does have bipartisan support, even from other California lawmakers. It is good he was willing to co-sponsor HRes1326, but clearly we also need laws with teeth in them to make additional progress on bringing all kids home to their country of habitual residence prior to their abduction.

I have been educated that some Congressman cannot co-sponsor legislation due to their positions in the House of Representatives, such as Rep. Becerra who is the Vice Chairman of the Democratic Caucus and other leadership positions in political parties. I recommend people take that into consideration when trying to get someone to co-sponsor HR3240.