Happy 9th Birthday

Happy 9th birthday, son.  Another year has gone by.  I hope that your day is filled with joy.  It is almost impossible to believe that you, a two year old and the threshold of becoming a 3 year old when you were taken from the UK, are now halfway to adulthood.  Time passes very quickly and the older you get the greater appreciation of this you will get.

When I was about your age one of my uncles bought me a digital watch.  This was back in the late 80s and I even remember, although it did not occur to me to do so at the time, that it was a Japanese brand.  Anyway I hope you like the watch I chose for you; I tried to choose the best one I could find.

In the package, I also enclosed a camera device which you can do lots of things with.  I am sure that you can make much better use of it that I would – there are so many things I cannot do on my phone and PC.  Your great Grandma gave me a camera (her own) around the same time as I got the watch so again I thought that this would be a good time to get you something similar.

I hope the package makes it to you today, if it has not already done so – the tracking (see below) seems to suggest that it has been stuck in Kawasaki since Saturday although based on past experience the tracking service is not properly updated in Japan.

Have a good day.  I will post a message again to you soon.

Daddy

Update:  4 December 2017:  The package was delivered at about 5pm local time on your birthday itself, 28 November 2017 (see immediately below):

Birthday 2017 tracking (2)

 

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Message for Hugo – 6 years on…

Hello Hugo
In London it has just turned midnight on 20 November 2017.
We last saw each other at an airport 6 years ago today.  I, of course, don’t expect you to remember – how could I as you were still a toddler.  The date, however, shall remain with me, as your loving father, forever.
The date coincides with two very different anniversaries.  In the UK the Queen and Prince Philip celebrate their wedding anniversary today (their 70th).  November 20 also marks the anniversary of the signing in New York in 1989 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (itself signed on the 30th anniversary of adopting of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child on 20 November 1959).  The 1989 Convention came into force the following year and included the following provisions:
A child whose parents reside in different States shall have the right to maintain on a regular basis, save in exceptional circumstances personal relations and direct contacts with both parents. 
Article 10, sub section 2. 
States Parties shall take measures to combat the illicit transfer and non-return of children abroad.
Article 11, sub section 1.
These are but two provisions that can be said to relate to us but, as our experience has shown these 6 years, the reality that meets these words is very different.
Earlier this year also saw the passing, on 12 May 2017, of exactly 2,000 days from when I last saw you.
As I did last year, I will leave work early later today to visit the spot at the airport where I last saw you at the time when I last saw you. Also today, as it’s your 9th birthday in 8 days’ time, I will go to the Post Office to send you your birthday package.  I will post here again on your birthday, as I always do, and also later today with a more general update about the blog.
I hope and pray that in a year’s time this will all have changed.  For now, though, please remember that there is not a moment when I am not thinking about you, my beloved and now not so little boy.  May God bless, protect and watch over you this day and all days.
Daddy

Halloween 2017

Hello Hugo

This is just a short message to wish you a happy Halloween.  To mark the occasion I mailed you a package, see below, on 24 October.  Most of it was not Halloween-related as the supermarket was not very well-stocked in terms of Halloween merchandise.  Hope it arrived in time.  It is your 9th birthday in just under a month – I have already got you something special and will choose more later to be sent out to you next month. Hope you are keeping well.

Daddy

End of summer 2017 message

Hello Hugo

Another summer ends.  Your 6th in Japan in a row.  It’ll soon start cooling down again so no more sweltering walks to the station/school until 2018.

Here is a short UK update for you.

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the death of Diana Princess of Wales; it made news around the world at the time and there has been a lot in the media over it this summer.  I clearly remember when I found out; I was back home in Everton for the summer after the end of my first year at university.  My mum told me in the kitchen when I went down to make coffee.

As I posted yesterday, our Prime Minister is currently on a trade mission to Japan.  My repeated requests to the Foreign Office in the UK to lobby the Japanese government much harder and more publicly on the issue of parental child abduction have not to date been heeded and I fear that such issues will not be on Mrs May’s delegation’s visit.  As such I yesterday put in a freedom of information request to find out why this continues to be the case and when this will change.  I will update the blog in the coming weeks as soon as I receive a response.

I spent a couple of days with Dad up in Edinburgh, Scotland, over the late August national holiday. It is a fantastically beautiful city also with much on offer around it in the surrounding, mountainous countryside.  We concentrated mainly on the city centre but did manage to get the bus out to the Royal Yacht Britannia now moored in Leith, a coastal suburb of Edinburgh.

Dad celebrates his 89th birthday next month and everyone is meeting up, as we did last year, at the Boathouse down in Hythe to mark the occasion.  Plans are also being tentatively developed for his 90th birthday in 2018.

Less positively, both my aunt Diana and your Great Grandma have recently been diagnosed with cancers.  Diana is responding very well to treatment as it was caught early – she is expected to make a full recovery – but Grandma is still waiting for a full medical assessment.

Your UK cousin, Olly, is doing well.  He celebrated his first birthday in April and my sister returned to work at about the same time.

I have mailed you the items below in two tranches, one today and one on 24 August.  These include a genuine Edinburgh/Cashmere scarf – I tried it on before sending it to you and it is very soft and fluffy and will, I trust, help keep you warm this winter.