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Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2005

Readers Write Back

Readers respond to our articles on foreign mothers fighting in the courts for the rights of their half-Japanese children, and Korean victims of the atomic bombs.


Japan is so worried about it's declining birthrate, yet they are so stingy in granting citizenship to those who clearly should have it. Madeleine, Saitama

No sympathy

I wonder just how much sympathy can be generated for someone having two children out of wedlock on her road to achieve her "dream."

Not only did her immoral behavior destroy this dream, but it jeopardized her children's future.

The article indicated that this is the fault of a strange law.

I contend that her behavior was the impetus for application of the law, not the fault of the law.

Coming to Japan to start a new life by getting pregnant twice in the process certainly does not influence the law designed to establish citizenship to rule in her favor.

Having children out of wedlock with no evidence of the father's citizenship being Japanese, and then automatically granting it without the required evidence will set a precedent for the immigration authorities that will not meet the spirit or intent of the law. John, Chiba

Time for change

I agree that it is ridiculous for a child's legal future to be determined by whether or not the natural father is willing to "accept" the child as his own, but several questions come to mind.

Firstly, the law should not rely on the father's "willingness" to accept the child.

While it may have been written on the assumption that all men are ready and willing to promptly recognize the progeny of their own acts, in fact there are many cases where a man refuses to do so simply out of spite.

Rather, the law should be based on scientific findings, ideally a DNA test that could be administered any time from pre-birth through the end of the child's minority, although I'm not sure that DNA has even been accepted for determination of paternity in Japan's courts.

Finally, my understanding is that recognition of paternity does not place any pressing legal financial obligations on the father.

Maybe stronger action needs to be taken to codify and/or enforce the paternal obligations. Stephen, Yokohama


The article on Korean victims of the atomic bombings was enlightening about past atrocities of war and the ramifications that still exist.

Considering that the loss to Koreans never made it into American history books, I wonder if knowledge of this issue would cause any Americans to change their minds about the justification of using nuclear weapons.

Had the U.S. dropped the atomic bomb on Germany over a concentration camp killing 50,000 Jews, would the rationale still be that the end justified the means? -- M

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