|The story below is originally published on Mainichi Daily News by Mainichi Shinbun (http://mdn.mainichi.jp).|
|They admitted inventing its kinky features, or rather deliberately mistranslating them from the original gossip magazine.|
|In fact, this is far from the general Japanese' behavior or sense of worth.|
Japanese wives in the US endure physical abuse for a green card
Shukan Jitsuwa 10/13 By MARK SCHREIBER
Although wife battering is a serious issue in Japan, the problem may be even more severe for the Japanese women who marry Americans and take up residence in the United States.
According to Shukan Jitsuwa, the telephone hotline run by the "California Women's Legal Center" has been flooded with calls from Japanese women claiming to be victims of physical abuse by their husbands.
Roberta Ikemi, a lawyer who works at the center, tells the magazine that "Since the arrest of O. J. Simpson, the mass media has raised the public's awareness over the issue of domestic violence.
However, there's still a lot of impertinent information being disseminated, such as the idea that men are also the victims of domestic violence."
Shukan Jitsuwa cites statistics from the U.S.Department of Justice that show that males instigate 93 percent of the cases of violence against a partner.
About 4,000 women a year are killed by husbands or boyfriends.
Women killing their spouse is about one tenth of that figure.
Ms.Ikemi notes that the problem is particularly severe for Hispanic and Asian women due to the immigration law granting permanent residence, since many of these women fear that leaving their husbands will result in their loss of U.S.visa status.
At the Asia-Pacific Family Center in Los Angeles, the number of cases of Japanese women seeking consultation due to household violence passed 40 in August.
One 27-years old woman, who became engaged to a 32-year old American while studying in the U.S., soon discovered that her new husband was a mama's boy who demanded she do everything just like his mother.
Discord ensued and the husband demanded she sell the condominium her parents had purchased for the couple as a wedding gift.
"Give me the money from the sale," he threatened. "or I won't sign your permanent residence application.
And if I don't sign, you'll either have to leave the country or face arrest."
Other Japanese women, their faces still bearing the marks of severe beatings, have come to the center claiming they are being held as "sex slaves" and pleading for advice on how to secure a green card entitling them to permanent residence.
The source of the problem, Shukan Jitsuwa points out, is that since November 1986 a new provision in the immigration law requires that the foreign spouse remain married to a U. S.citizen for at least two years before application can be made for permanent status.
The card must then be renewed after 10 years.
This, the magazine claims, gave individuals so inclined a "license to make out abuse" and led to a special provision, enacted in 1990, allowing for green cards to be renewed when evidence, in the form of a police report, is submitted, even when the husband refuses to sign the application.
But some battered Japanese wives have not been married long enough to come under the provisions of the law.
"Moves are now under way to persuade congress to revise the law to enable people to apply for green card status on their own behalf," says a representative of the Asia-Pacific Center.
"The situation regarding family abuse has become especially severe for Asian women.
The sentiment that a wife is nothing more than her husband's property is just as strong in America as it is in Japan." (MS)