crime

Divorced man arrested for abducting his son in Kumamoto

108 Comments

A 28-year-old man was arrested for abducting a minor on Monday, after he went to his son’s nursery school and told staff that the boy’s grandfather was sick so he would be taking him home, police said Tuesday.

Kenya Sakamoto, an unemployed resident of Kumamoto City, got divorced from his wife in May and she was given custody of their 4-year-old son. She received a call from the nursery at about 4.30 p.m., when she learned that Sakamoto had lied about her father’s condition and taken the boy.

The woman called police and the pair were found just after 8 p.m. in a shopping center car park in Kumamoto City, where Sakamoto was arrested for abducting a minor.

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108 Comments
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Just because he wanted so see his son. While all the circumstances are not given that fact that he had to go this route just to see his son shows how draconian Japan is in the 21st century!

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Actually, (while this event must be awfuly traumatic for the kid and I can't condone that) things are geettign interesting - that recent kidnapping by the American guy may be giving frustrated non-custodial parents (usually fathers) some ideas. I wonder what it'll all lead to...

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Poor guy. Poor kid. Witch of a wife if she's not letting him see his kid.

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ha ha...now it's the Japanese scenario of child abduction by his father...interesting!

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messed up adults should think atleast a 100 times before messing up their children's lives. law of the land should be respected whether right or wrong.

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Out of curiousity. May we know his nationality?

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McC72 - The dude's name is Kenya Sakamoto. Chances are he's Japanese.

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Not sure why they divorced but if he was not a bad man and just a victim of a typical Japanese woman who turn hostile when a guy is struggling to bring in some cash (Biggest recession in our life time)then I feel for him but if he was an abuser, philanderer, and a drunk then he wrote his own destiny.

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bobbafett -- I think you are being way too moralistic and simplistic. At least in the states, psychologists believe that it is best for children to have relationships with both parents, regardless of the circumstances of the divorce. Even if the father was a "philanderer" he can still be of value to his son in his life, particularly if he comes to grips with his problems and tries to turn his life around. Everyone makes mistakes. Doesn't mean he can't be a good parent to the boy.

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Everyone makes mistakes. Doesn't mean he can't be a good parent to the boy.

I'm with you. Good advice. Although I would have gone into hiding if it were my son.

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So stupid, there seriously needs to be changes, why is the father just shut out of their own kids lives?

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Just to be crystal clear, upon divorce Japanese law typically considers the father to be a total stranger to his children if they are minors. The laws themselves are a crime against humanity and common sense.

Slavery has long been the law of the land, and it should not be respected either. In many countries to this day, you will received the death penalty for converting to Christianity. Laws are meaningless when they are founded upon evil and ignorance.

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I might do the same as this guy. Fine, arrest me...

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herefornow,

Even if he was a philanderer and a drunk I don't say that he should not see his son and I agree with your post.

I am just saying that in japan you take your chances when dealing with a woman, the law, and having kids when there is always a chance of divorce so if he was a violent man, a cheater, and an alcoholic and his exwife fled him then its his own fault he cannot see his kid seeing as he is not ignorant of the law in japan.

If you are gonna divorce in Japan, you had better not have humiliated your wife in any way or she will make you suffer for it.

On the other side of the coin we may have a sad case of a good man who lost his job, then his wife left him, and now he cannot see his son. He lost everything because of other peoples greed causing a huge recession and financial collapse.

There is nothing more sad than that and if its the case then I wish the all the best in his fight to get back most of what he has lost.

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IMO, and as others here detail, this says a lot more about Japan's archaic, black-&-white attitude (i.e., married=joint custody OK... not married, esp. divorced=joint custody often unthinkable) toward family relationships than anything else. Viewing this kind of occurrence so simplistically and thus with the semblance of being "controllable" -- as so much else in J society -- is an attitude that's rather deeply entrenched in society here, and, like the equally inflexible koseki system, not to mention Japan's intractably inconsistent legal system, we shouldn't expect much to change anytime soon.

Looking at things like this alongside Japan's feudal corporate working environment, it also doesn't seem like there's that much real concern for families and the people in them. Handing out money for more kids + free education are just carrots and won't solve the deeper problems of structuring society so people can relate with one another not as widgets in the system but as human beings.

We don't know all the facts in this case here yet, but I imagine things like this will keep on happening -- to Japanese and non-Japanese alike -- as long as the various systems currently in place in Japan remain that way. People here have to want to change things, though. If they've been taught and conditioned for so long not to question things & how they really work, to just accept and endure at the altar of tradition, habit and "culture", then naturally change for the better takes longer, if it happens at all.

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Poor guy. Poor kid. Witch of a wife if she's not letting him see his kid.

The article states that the wife has custody of the boy, which makes sense, because the father is unemployed. No where does it state that the father has no visitation rights. People are jumping to a lot of conclusions, so let me throw my 2 cents in. Perhaps they got divorced because he's an abusive drunk. Maybe he's one of those guys that doesn't mind the idea of suicide and taking the kid with him. Or maybe this guy deserves our sympathy, but we've all read a lot of stories of situations like this that end up with a few dead bodies. As long as the kid is OK, I would err on the side of caution.

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escape artist: Nicely said. This was an act of desperation in the face of unfair laws. Illegal, yes, but understandable. 'of the 16600 children involved in divorces in Japan every year, less than 20% of them wind up with the father'--That is a pretty sad statistic for Japanese dads. I think fathers here need to ban together and do some serious protesting. It blows me away that they don't have joint custody here. Really, Japan, you have got to do more for your children!!

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sorry that's 166000

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i always wonder how we give the state the right to decide what to do with our children. I would do exactly what this guy did if the state forbid me to see my son. I would not respect that law because i dont see how they have the right to stop me or anybody else from seeing our children. Fathers have the same problem in the UK so this is a global issue that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.

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A non-custodial parent should be able to visit their children, unless there is a danger to the child.

But on another note: The Nursery school calls after the child is taken? If you're going to call, why not get permission first?

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Yeah, Japanese child custody and visitation rights laws are virtually non-existent. If you get divorced the standard break up is, she gets the kids and the husband gets the debt. There are no guidelines in place for visitation rights and they are left to the (usually vindictive) mother to decide. They need very little in the way of evidence to have a restraining order put against the father nor do they have to agree to any form off contact for the father. On the other hand, there are also no laws regarding child support payments for fathers, although most self-respecting fathers would certainly contribute to the kids financial needs, unless the mother is an outright witch and refuses him access to the kids. A vicious circle indeed.

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I cannot see a sane judge telling a dad that he will not be able to see his kid, unless he is a danger to the wife and the kid. My rules are this. No visiting rights, then no alimony or child support. You can also refuse to get divorced.

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Well, it also used to be the case that the FATHER almost always got custody. Then perhaps someone figured out that the kids barely know who their dad is because he's working all the time. So now it's flipped.

Yes, it would be better if the law would change and allow for joint custody or legal visitation. But short of that, if people would just divorce on good terms, there would be no problem. The fact that he went to these lengths to see the kid implies to me not that the mom is a witch, but that there's some reason she doesn't want contact with the dad. And whether that's legitimate in the eyes of others or not, it's legitimate in her eyes.

And then there's the matter that often arises where parents nab the kids as a sort of power play against the ex ... But unless your kid has been abducted by the OTHER spouse, is being abused, or is being otherwise mistreated, abducting your kid is doing them NO favors and is simply selfish behavior.

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The point here is not a question of child custody, but nursery school security. Japanese nursery schools are supposed to issue an ID card for the family members who are permitted to collect their children from the nursery. Either this guy had one, which would mean that he was wrongfully arrested, or he did not, which would mean that the nursery school breached the security arrangement.

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Bobbafett, lol

just a victim of a typical Japanese woman

I can't help laughing, even though your generalisation is so awful it should be deleted I hope it isn't because it's so amusing.

Monkeyz is right, it did used to be the father who almost always got custody. I don't know why it's flipped now, unless it's because western countries have a bias towards the mother. We all know how sometimes Japan likes to follow western countries, albeit slowly, albeit sometimes choosing the worst possible examples to follow.

But I suppose that the reason Japan prefers one parent to have sole custody and rights to the child is because when the parent with custody gets remarried the kids are automatically adopted by the step-parent. In my country that could never happen. But here it's normal, and if the kid ends up with 2 fathers or 2 mothers I suppose they believe the kid can't cope with it. They're wrong actually, but who am I to say so.

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The worst is being in court and being told, sole custody for the mother,the court is saying you are not good enough to be be the father of your own children.You just have to accept that and that is so hard.Yes,the Laws need to be changed.I grew up not having a father,and you want to tell me that the father is not needed.I'll tell you all my life,there have been times when I needed a father to talk to.So these so called unjust archaic laws need to be changed.The child does not judge his or her father,they just want them there in there lives.Yes there are arguments for and against,but let the children have the choice,and don't condemn the father.And before you find argument with statement, I am talkin with experience.I am one of the lucky ones, I had to accept the courts decision however much I dissagreed with it, but I still see my children and we are fine.Saying that ,at the back of my mind I know that the situation could change tomorrow,and neither the courts or police would be there to help. So if any law makers read this ,you have the ability to bring much needed change,its on your concience,I hope you can live with that.I am and will always remain a loving father to my children.

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please also keep in mind that Japanese family law is not enforcable. Whe a judge rules on visitation, it is a "strong suggestion". There is nothing that requires the mother to obey the judges ruling. They can just ignore it and not allow visitation. This would not be the case in many western courts.

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Monkeyz: You raised some good points. I think there need to be laws in place to protect the children in cases where one of the parents is abusive, psycho or just plain vindictive. Divorce is difficult but you would think that the majority of people would have the maturity to be civil to one another and work something out in the interests of their children. Unless this man was found to be incompetent or abusive, there is no reason that the mother should keep her son from seeing him.

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I have just figured out why so many Japanese men look and behave like women. They are being taught to be men by women. I hope one day the fathers will wise up and demand change. The women wont do it, because they benefit the most from this silly law.

There is a student at my JHS that often faces ridicule from his peers. He has the longest hair in the school (butt length). This is nothing strange, as men sometimes have long hair, its the reason behind it. His mother came to school to tell off the teachers who were demanding that he follow the school rules and cut his hair; she said she wanted a girl, thus the hairstyle....this is ego shattering!!!!! BOYS NEED FATHERS and girls do too.

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Thank you KaptainKichigai for bringing that up,it is so correct.I had foget to mention that

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A further point about how archaic the laws are here in Japan ,in Scandanavia they are working with what is called "shared custody"It is so civilised,both for the parents and the children.The father never loses his responsability regarding his children.Reading about it opened my eyes about divorce and the laws regarding divorce and the children.Also about how people who failed at marriage but became friends regarding the health ,education and future of their children. Now I hope that man in Kumamoto,will be be released with no charges brought.He is only one of thousands of fathers worldwide who want the courts to recognise the equal rights of childrens fathers and the problems they face.

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But let's be fair! How do you know he isn't a wife-beater like that guy from the US? Boys do not need fathers. And they definately do not need fathers who beat their mothers senseless.

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He abducted his child so they could have one last visit before he went to prison...

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how come gaijin in here can't respect other country's laws and culture. Japan's laws are made to protect its own people and children. After the divorce is final, only that parent holding the custody should be allowed to keep and take care of the children. The other should just go away and continue his life with someone else. Or else why would they get divorced in the first place? The family law is there for a reason and it doesn't need to change. Actually, The Family law will never change. remember this. what this man did is against the law and he will be punished accordingly.

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The family law is there for a reason and it doesn't need to change. Actually, The Family law will never change. remember this. what this man did is against the law and he will be punished accordingly.

I don't necessarily agree that people should be punished according to the law, but I do agree that THE FAMILY LAW will never change.

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The other should just go away and continue his life with someone else.

My exwife is Japanese. She has legal custody but gives me open access to our child whom spends an equal amount of time at my home. I love my child and my child loves me. Should I have just gone away instead of being a good father, and giving my exwife financial support? what kind of jerk does that? what kind of jerk would want to do that?

I forsake everything for my child. I don't even take a GF. I spend my time and money with my child. The childs welfare is much more important than the vindictive feelings of a divorced spouse.

If all of the conditions for the child are safe, then there should be no reason why both parents cannot swallow their selfishness and pride for the sake of the child.

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The other should just go away and continue his life with someone else.

Why does it have to be him?

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japanesekawaii -- You really seriously think the non custodial parent should go away and continue his/her life with someone else??

Sure, the couple did not work out as a couple, but for the kids, they are still the only parents. Just because you don't get along with your spouse and cannot live together anymore, that does NOT mean you (or your spouse) cannot be a parent anymore.

I agree that the family law is there for a reason, but law should change according to people's needs. For example, The “300 day rule”, which determines the father of a child born after its mother's divorce.. do you think this does not need to change? Moderator.. I know you might say this is off topic, but please let me say this.. Family laws are there to protect people as you said, so why not change according to people's needs and in order to protect everyone?

I was very disappointed to read your comment japanesekawaii.... sigh..

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and one more thing japanesekawaii -- You said Japan's laws are made to protect its own people and children... but what do we do when the laws are not protecting its own people??? because in cases like this, the law is clearly not protecting people. well, maybe in this case, it's protecting the mother's ego, but definitely not protecting the child's right to see both parents and also the father's right to see the child. The boy is 4 years old.. if he really didn't like the dad or didn't want to go with him, he would have said that to his daycare people or maybe would cry.. 4-year-olds can easily convey messages like that.. clearly, the boy was not saying No to go with his daddy... (otherwise, the daycare people would have raised a red flag.

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“300 day rule”

this law is made to protect men from infidelity. It's common sense. It also protects children from being raised by someone chosen by the mother. Japanese family laws may be old, but they are made for a reason, and there is nothing that will change them. Perhaps, people should abide by the laws and stop complaining about unfairness and such. I'm not saying you stop being father to your children once you get divorced, but that's how it is in my country.

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japankawaii-- you said the 300-day rule protects children from being raised by someone chosen by the mother... Are you aware that there are so many children that are not being raised or even recognized by their real fathers? are you seriously saying this law is protecting the children nor the fathers? Those fathers do not even want to be involved not only they don't want to raise those children. You must be aware that this law is creating so many unfortunate children I hope.

And yes, the law was made for a reason... how many years ago? what era??

and you say that's how it is in YOUR country?? well, that's NOT how it should be in MY country which is the same as yours.

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I cannot understand where all this "father's rights" movement comes from. It has no place in Japan. Children don't need fathers, in Japan or the other world, and in most cases fathers are the ones who do bad things to thier kids. The laws recognize this and are their to protect the innocent. If it wasn't so then then we would have a badly country like the USA or England, or Australia.

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Perhaps, people should abide by the laws and stop complaining about unfairness and such. I'm not saying you stop being father to your children once you get divorced, but that's how it is in my country.

Such a rubbish comment. If you feel it's unfare, it's your moral responsibility to complain about it. Do something to change it. It's not clear what you're saying though. "Not saying stop being a father to your child, except you are in Japan?" Well we are talking about Japan here. Laws are old and they assume that father can just forget about seing his children ever again after divorce, if mother doesn't let him to. In a lack of better word, it's just UNFAIR!! How are you supposed to wipe the memory of your children off your head? If you can do that, you didn't love them from the begin with.

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japankawaii I find your explanation and your reasoning ofensive and distasteful,espescially in this day and age.Try telling the man locked up in jail in Kumamoto your feelings on this matter.I wonder what he is thinking now,all because he loves and misses his son he is branded a criminal.

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It is called Bleeding-heart liberalism.

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Eyeblack, I just hope that you're being sarcastic.

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Its sad things had to come to this, i feel for the boy and all involved.

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anyone who grew up in a warm family wouldn't make a comment like japanesekawaii made.. because we know how important fathers are to children and i myself grew up in a loving environment with a japanese mother and french father.. born and raised in japan therefore i see myself as a japanese and i am ashamed that my fellow "japanese girl" made comments like that.

people should realize how important fathers are to children. there are so many things moms cannot teach their boys..

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japanesekawaii

you are right japanese family law is made for a reason. blatant racism and discrimination. when foreigners arent even acknowledged as parents to their own children then i think you have a problem

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i am not telling people here to forget about their children, but take this guy from kumamoto as an example in how things work here. the police will not help you if you are still in the middle of divorced, but they will arrest you if you take your children away with you, if you are not the primary custodian. You think I agree with all this? What makes you assume that? but to be honest, these old "draconian" laws will not change. Even if I become a victim of these laws, still...no change! So why are we still fighting the impossible?

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A Japanese attorney basically told a friend that it didn't matter if the woman was a full-time drunk and couldn't provide for her kids, she would get custody. It is just the "way it is". On the other hand, the ex-husband would get to keep his cash and the family property. However, the husband would normally be required to pay child-support based on his earnings. So, the woman gets shut out from money, and the man gets shut out from his kids.

Makes me wonder if the men wrote this law to enable them to get rid of their kids and make a new start with no responsibilities for their past life. For instance, a new law came into effect a couple of years back that gave the woman part of their husband's pension. Well, many men divorced their wives of many years before the law came into effect to keep all their pension money.

However, if I was shut out from my child as a result of a divorce, I would shut out my wife financially to the extent I could without hurting my child. Seems to be the way things work here. Pain and suffering on all sides. So 3rd world.

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For instance, a new law came into effect a couple of years back that gave the woman part of their husband's pension. Well, many men divorced their wives of many years before the law came into effect to keep all their pension money.

viking68 - you hit the nail on the head. It is a sad case, no love.

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'The other should just go away...' --I am shocked by this statement.

japanesekawaii: Did you grow up having both parents to take care of you? How do you think you would have felt if one parent suddenly vanished from your life? My parents divorced when I was 12 and it was a devastating thing for me. Luckily, I was still able to see my father frequently after they had moved apart. But if my mother had taken us and I could never see my father again...how horrible that would have been. Not to mention the kinds of issues that children who lose a parent usually end up having. (abandonment issues, intense grief, anger at custodial parent, guilt) Here is a quote from an article I found:

'According to research, it is critical that children have BOTH a male and female role model in the lives. The less of a role the father plays in his son's or daughter's life, the more negative the psychological effects of divorce on the child will be. They will not only suffer in their childhood, but also many years into adulthood as well. Prisons are replete with fatherless children.'

Need I go on?

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but to be honest, these old "draconian" laws will not change. So why are we still fighting the impossible?

Nothing is impossible. This maybe the understanding in Japan, but in western (or even eastern) world, we believe that the laws must be made to protect people. Even I'm not from this country, I know the laws will change to accomodate people's feelings. Maybe you and I won't see it, but it will change. The reason why this is attracting so much fuss is becuse it's not fair. Fathers can not just forget their children and lawmakers can not make them forget.

You think I agree with all this? What makes you assume that?

Well, one thing is you're asking all to stop complaining and abide the law. That means just forget that you ever had a child and go on with your life. If you are saying this, it means you understand the law, find it reasonable, and telling others to stop complaining about it. That, makes me assume that.

Remember, if you don't raise your voice and complain, it means you agree with laws. It's not only your right, but your responsibility to protest against bad laws.

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A Japanese attorney basically told a friend that it didn't matter if the woman was a full-time drunk and couldn't provide for her kids, she would get custody.

Well, I'm not saying this is not true, but I have a gaijin male friend who won the custody of his daughter becuase the mother didn't have a steady job and was working as a hostess. She fight with all her might to have the custody of the child, but J-Judge favored for my gaijin friend. So it is possible if you can prove that you are a fit father and she is not a fit mother.

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I feel sorry for anyone who feels that a father is not necessary to a child. I used to believe the same thing, before I was married and a parent. In fact, I was always planning to be a single mum, and adopt some children. Financially I was set up, I had my own home and could easily have supported us. In the UK single parents can adopt if their circumstances are acceptable. Most people who argued against me were my male friends.

I did grow up in a reasonably loving family but with a largely absent father who was only sometimes great when he was around.

However, I have totally changed my tune now. I am lucky enough to have married a Japanese guy who is the most amazing father to our kids, and every day I am stunned and delighted to see how much they completely adore him. If the worst should ever happen, and I hope it never does, I could never in all conscience, no matter what he did to me, keep him from the children. It would never be in their best interests.

My point is this: I can see why so many Japanese, particularly young and female Japanese, feel like a father is not necessary. I used to feel the same. Perhaps what we had in common was a largely absent father (theirs perhaps due to work, mine certainly due to alcohol abuse).

BUT now having experienced and seen a loving father first hand, I can absolutely see the benefits of a GOOD father for the children, and I thank god every day now that I caved and agreed to marry him!

I think Japanese law is draconian and needs to be changed - having old laws that don`t adapt with the times is certainly nothing to be proud of! The law as it stands now leaves way too much opportunity open for vindictive and vengeful behaviour, on BOTH sides, almost always at the childrens expense. How sad that is.

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I would also just add that the kindergarten DEFINITELY has some questions to answer to. I would be livid if my kindergarten/hoikuen handed my kids over to ANYONE without my permission, even a family member. My Mum and best friend (who also has a son in the same hoikuen as my son) can`t pick up my son without a phone call from me first.

I dont know about my daughters kindergarten, but we have a "code word" that we use and she knows that ANYONE who picks her up and doesnt use the code word, even someone she knows, she cant go with without a phone call from me. It was tested just the other week when I mistook the pick up time and my friend tried to take her home with her to call me from there. My daughter refused to go and the teachers were most amused that the reason was my friend didnt say "Chestnut" to her first!

We`ve changed the password now but I was SO proud of her!

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I would be livid if my kindergarten/hoikuen handed my kids over to ANYONE without my permission, even a family member.

C'mon, its the father!

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The same demands left behind parents made for Savoie are the same ones that apply to this man. Release the man without charge. Justice Minister Chiba you need to tell the Kumamoto Police and the Prosecuting Attorney to release the man without charge. Its time for PM Hatoyama and his administration to make good on their word, if you are sincere about resolving this issue tell them to release this man. Send a message to the local police across the country that they cannot arrest, nor charge a parent with kidnapping for taking self help measure to see their child if there is no attempt to abduct the child. The left behind parent should have the benefit of the doubt, and the police should prove a clear attempt was made to abduct the child rather than a self help measure for visitation.

Lets not waste time anymore Ms. Chiba, you have the power, authority, and legal right to do something. Whats it gona be the local police or the Justice Ministry? The Hatoyama administration knows this fight is coming with the local courts and the local police over different interpretations of the law. Strike the first blow and put down the Kumamoto police, there is no foreign governments pressuring you this time. Make it clear where the government stands!

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The Hatoyama administration knows this fight is coming with the local courts and the local police over different interpretations of the law. Strike the first blow and put down the Kumamoto police, there is no foreign governments pressuring you this time. Make it clear where the government stands!

Stand on what? He abducted his son! That is a crime in almost any country.

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Eyeblack you are new to this fight. PM Hatoyama has said very clearly that he believes fathers should have the right to see their children after divorce.

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I think that if one parent has custody then the other is breaking the law if the take them without permission. That is what custody is, regardless of visitation rights issues.

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Pretty sad that things had to come to this for the Dad. We know no details, no other infor than that he and his wife divorced, and this Dad, for whatever reason, was driven to "abduct" his son in order to spend soem time with him. I'll pass no judgment here, but the details of this simple story beg the question, "Why did this Dad have to 'abduct' his son in order to spend time with him?"

Maria - How is it traumatic for the child? Seeing his Dad is traumatic?

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Well, apparently compte tenue the Japanese “ fair” system, a future parent(s) should look from the beginning for a good lawyer who can protect their parents right in case of divorce. What a shame, it is really sad situation where the only victims are kids.

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I hope JT will stay on top of this one! I will love to see how this unfolds! They have detained this man on a charge of abducting a minor but in Japan that law can not be applied to a parent whether they have custody or not! This I know for a fact, as I have custody of my children and have been warned by lawyers to "play nice" with my Japanese EX despite the fact that she has failed to pay child support for the past 6 years because if she (actually her parents)decide to take the children and hide them there is nothing the police, lawyers or courts can do and that after a year or two the courts will just say the children are now settled in in their new life and change the custody!

This is the real reason no charges were laid against Savoie, and I suspect the same will be done in this case!

The interesting thing here is WHY did the police even act on the mothers call? I wonder what kind of clout her family holds in their area?

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Makes me wonder just what's going on behind the scenes. Did the mother move, not give an address or phone number, and has basically been denying her ex-husband his visitation rights? What else has been going on? It's clear that the Dad has had to go to extreme measures in order to spend some time with his boy. In his shoes, what other man would not go to such extreme measures, and such great risks?

Maria - What is so traumatic for the boy? After all, it was his Daddy that pulled him from Nursery School.

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C'mon, its the father!

Yes, and they have the details and permission to hand the children to me or him. But no-one else. By family I mean for example an uncle, aunt or grandmother.

In this case, the mother should have been listed as the sole carer.

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Not enough facts to make a considered comment regarding this particular individual.

However, the fact is that Japan needs to understand that Dads can miss and love their children too.

Japan needs to shape up and fast.

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I trust Kirakira to have a good opinion on this. Dolphingirl and I share similar experiences in our own families, it sounds like. I think I have said before that the endless fighting that goes on during divorces is so much more destructive than leaving a child with a less than perfect parent. I will stand by that. People must take responsibility for others, and my experience tells me that people in divorces often become selfish, nasty, vindictive, subhuman creatures.

So I would say to Kirakira and others that even if dad is not even a GOOD dad, say if he is average, or a little less than average, that kids are better off being around him. However, if he is bad enough that mom does not want him around the kids at all, that is her call. End... of... story. No appeals. No judges. Someone has to be responsible for the children, and if you wreck or subvert that, you have destroyed the last family a kid has. If everyone knows the rules from the get-go, then acceptable situations can and will be worked out.

Dad should not have taken the kid. Dad should have gotten a job. Dad needs to talk to the boy's mother a little more honestly.

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Oh. I really have to say that Bobbafett has shared his story before, and as far as I am concerned, that guy holds the moral high ground here. I wish him the best.

His conduct and case are exemplary. It comes down to this. To be a man, you have to put your family first. If you make a mistake, you live with it and try to make it right, no matter how long it takes. People in general, and especially people you love, will cut you slack and things will work out right if you don't act like a child. That is especially true in this modern world populated by emotional children.

It is a tough row to hoe, but once you find yourself outside of your family looking in, the only way to get back in there is through sacrifice. That is the way it should be. If it were easy, anybody could do it, and families would forever be dominated and terrorized by control freaks, wife beaters, drug abusers, and people who can afford good lawyers. Mothers should have the ability to run from jerks and encourage constructive behavior in their children and former spouse.

Finally, his story makes you appreciate the obvious. Marry someone you love. Love that person. Don't get divorced. It's easy as pie, especially considering the alternatives.

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"In his shoes, what other man would not go to such extreme measures, and such great risks?"

The mature ones. The stable ones. Wanting something and deserving it are not the same thing. He might be a nice guy, but everyone has their dues to pay. Divorces don't just happen. He made a decision and he has to live with it. This is the way it should be.

I am not sure what details about this case would make me change my mind. It seems sad, but I do not think Japan needs to change just to make divorced fathers feel better.

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Allowing the custodial parent to make unfounded negative accusations about the non-custodial parents influence on the child is wrong. I would go as far to say it is illegal, perjury. Every country, including Japan has a mechanism to determine child abuse, rather physical or mental abuse. If a parent truly believes the non-custodial parent will cause harm to the child use the proper channels. That is what the child abuse center (iroyo sou danshou) is for. Because the courts fail to carry-out their duties properly non-custodial parents are being shut out of their children's life based on lies and not facts. There is no doubt custodial parents are abusing the law to seek revenge and in the process they are taking away the rights of the non-custodial parent. The judges have to stand up for the rights of the non-custodial parent to maintain a relationship with his/her child. Allowing the police to arrest a parent for exercising his rights is wrong, that is why Justice Minister Chiba should step in and tell the Kunmamoto police to release the man. The police cannot be used by a revengeful parent to break the non-custodial parents bond with the child. The child could think the father has done something wrong upon seeing the father taken away by the police, when in fact what he was doing was out of love for the child and perfectly natural. The Kumamoto police did not use good common sense by arresting this man, they are the ones that have harmed the child's mental state. Step in Ms. Chiba and stop it.

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The question we all all have to ask is what drove the man to go to his childs kindergarten and take his son.Without the facts we are all making unjust accusations about the father.Firstly the child must have wanted to go,and yes a 4 year old child can make a decision.Secondly the child recognised and wanted to be with his father,he must love him and miss him too.Yes,and I to have first hand experience of the japanese legal system.I am not here to discuss that,only the fact, this father was arrested in front of his child,that alone must have been traumatic for both. The laws needs to be changed,there are a number of organisations here in Japan,japanese and foriegn that are, and have been for a long time, trying to get the laws changed.With the LDP their chance was nil,but with PM Hatoyama they might now have a chance.The American,British,French,Canadian are at present applying international pressure for the Japanese government to adjust there laws,regarding divorce and signing the Hague convention regarding the rights of children. They aren't telling Japan to do anything ,they are asking them to make the right and moral decision.Finally on this subject,marriages all over the world are not perfect,we are not perfect,we live in a world thats not perfect.We all have to work towards a better life,not only for ourselves ,but for our children and grandchildren.

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This is little more than parents behaving badly. As a parent you need to be responsible and take care of your problems. If you are just creating problems for others -you are really not being responsible and should think twice before being a parent.

vindictive parents: You are building a case against yourself and creating future problems that you may not be able to fix -that's not a responsible action, but more a selfish one.

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she had custody - he abducted the boy. Are the custody rights in Japan fair? I would say not, but who does this help?

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Most Japanese children these days are essentially raised by mothers only, and with the abominable state of ethics and manners in today's youth, you'd think the Japanese government would wise-up and doing something about it.

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"Without the facts we are all making unjust accusations about the father."

I accuse him of abducting his child. Refute that.

"a 4 year old child can make a decision."

Only if it's a Republican. I know. I was a four-year-old Republican. I remained sure of everything until I grew up.

"The laws needs to be changed,"

No they don't. Two or three whiny "fathers" who have been unable to keep their respective families together do not require or deserve a policy or legal initiative. They just need to grow a pair and be better people.

"American,British,French,Canadian are at present applying international pressure for the Japanese government to adjust there laws,regarding divorce and signing the Hague convention regarding the rights of children. They aren't telling Japan to do anything ,they are asking them to make the right and moral decision"

None of those countries has a monopoly on morality, believe me. Japanese people can make up their own minds and find their own way. Maybe those countries could find a way to lower their divorce rates first. I grew up looking at kids' faces on milk cartons... most had been abducted by parents. Sad faces. Sad system.

"We all have to work towards a better life,not only for ourselves ,but for our children and grandchildren."

Aptly put. I live in Japan to give my children a better life. My parents were divorced and their parents were divorced. I decided to end the stupid divorce merry go round with this generation. A large part of that is staying out of the screwed up culture of most countries in the west, with trophy wives, cougars, strippers, etc. People in those countries act like children instead of providing good homes. I choose to live in a country where divorced parents are forced to be responsible, and where contentious child-snatching lands you in jail. Japan does not need to grow up. Those other countries do.

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to damien and limboinjapan:

Your cases are most extraordinary. I have never seen a Japanese judge give custody to a foreigner here. I must say you are very lucky ones. Normally no Japanese Judge would allow a foreigner (mother or father) to be custodian under any circumstances of half-japanese children. That's how it is.

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That's how it is.

Ah yes! The age old reason for why nothing ever changes. Apathy at its best.

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**That's how it is.

The typical "Shoganai" attitude... Makes me go crazy!!!! Things that need to be changed NEED to be changed. That's how it is, isn't helping anyone or anything.

Divorced couples still can be loving parents when they have the mutual interest to make their children happy. When you have a baby/child, what's so special about it is that you have someone more important than yourself.. divorce is unfortunate, but we don't want our children to suffer, do we??

I repeat... things that need to be changed need to be changed. Shoganai is such a lame excuse.

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@Eyeblack

I cannot understand where all this "father's rights" movement comes from. It has no place in Japan. Children don't need fathers, in Japan or the other world, and in most cases fathers are the ones who do bad things to thier kids. The laws recognize this and are their to protect the innocent. If it wasn't so then then we would have a badly country like the USA or England, or Australia.

I really hope this post was a joke and I was too silly to get it.

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It comes down to this. To be a man, you have to put your family first. If you make a mistake, you live with it and try to make it right, no matter how long it takes.

Good advice, but how about ''to be a human being''. Why do all of your points come with a perspective of the man being the villain? The man was either on the list to take his child or the day care messed up, badly. He had not run off with his son to a distant city. He was at a local shopping center. How do you suppose they found them??? The article doesn’t say, but they might have simply called him on the phone. Would that be the actions of a kidnapper? Perhaps he did intend to run but as usual, there is entirely too little information to condemn or condone.

It is a tough row to hoe, but once you find yourself outside of your family looking in, the only way to get back in there is through sacrifice.

I agree with the statement but not the assumption that the reason you are on the outside is always of your own accord. Sometimes, believe it or not those ''whiny'' fathers aren't at fault. Yet, often they still find themselves on the outside looking in. In some cases, the father might just be a bad husband, not a bad father. Heaven forbid. Does that justify, using your child as a weapon for revenge.

No they don't. Two or three whiny "fathers" who have been unable to keep their respective families together do not require or deserve a policy or legal initiative. They just need to grow a pair and be better people.

This statement is unbelievable. Since you have been so blessed due to your obviously superior relationship skills in keeping your family intact, you feel compelled to speak from the mountain tops to us lowly, whiners who must not have tried to behave as adults, or tried to reason with our exes. Our wish for a more balanced view regarding laws that are strongly in need of an overhaul to fit a very different society then the one in which they were first set to paper are due to a lack of balls, apparently. I too, come from a broken home, and was caught up in two parents not able to agree. So like you, when I started my own family I wished for nothing more than to keep my family together. However, unlike you my wish didn’t come true. Through the years I ultimately had to accept my ex’s decisions without question or I paid the price. That price was always a missed visit, or worse. sorry,…whining moment just slipped out) Unless you’ve lived it, step down from your high horse please. Being the better person doesn't necessarily get you visitation or anything for that matter. Going to court might or might not work in Japan, even if you are the better person.

BTW I wholeheartedly agree that divorce rates are too high in the west. People equate marriage with their own selfish needs instead of the families needs. This is one character trait I wish Japan would not pick up.

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speedracer: Sorry, but I'm going to have to disagree with you on this one. I think you have some valid points but you are making it seem like it is always the father who is to blame for a failed marriage, always the father who is the abuser and unfit parent. A marriage is a partnership and generally when it fails, both people have contributed to it. Of course I am excluding cases of abuse here. But as someone else mentioned, if one parent is abusing the child, then the other parent should go through proper channels to keep their child safe. If it is a matter of one parent being unfit, then that would have to proved by the other. Bottom line is, the mother should not be assumed to be the better parent.

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Completely agree with dolphingirl. And it is very sad, when some ladies do not allow their children to meet with father, soon or later this selfish act will turn against them, when children will grown and will start to accuse mother being not fair…

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It seems that this has turned into a bash Fathers comment section now!

Well for those who think they know how things work in Japan divorce and custody, let me explain how it works!

The first parent to grab the kids and run and keep them form the other parent GET TO KEEP THEM! THE END

So If the father takes them first puts them in a new school during the divorce proceedings then he will get them and vise versa!

With the exception of mutually agreed divorce Japanese court cannot grant a divorce without finding fault in one or the other so it forces both parties to say bad things about each other whether true or not!

In the case of Japanese men (and this is the case of 2 friends of mine) if he looses his job even if it is not his fault (in my friends cases company downsizing) and can not find a comparable job with in a very short time then he can expect his wife to grab the children and run home to mommy! (my friends got "haken" work wile searching but that wasn't good enough!

The Japanese government has support for single women with children (not applicable to single fathers) along with government housing, so in Japanese wife's view why do I need a man around if he is home to much and can't keep me in the fashion I want, I will live better at Mom's place with government money and a live-in babysitter!

Losing your job is the number one reason for divorce in Japan! (Government stats and strait from my lawyers mouth!

As for the remarks about all the parental kidnapping in other countries and not to bringing those problems here by not changing the laws, may I reiterate that " IN JAPAN PARENTAL KIDNAPPING IS NOT A CRIME!"

IF during divorce proceedings or even after you can grab your children and keep them from the other parent long enough then you will get to keep them! (don't try this if you are a foreigner they will pull out some old Meiji period law about child trafficking for reasons of prostitution to arrest you, hold you return the child to the Japanese parent then drop the charges!)

Please check your information before judging what this man did! Under the Japanese system he has every right to do what he did ( though I may not agree with it) and why he was arrested is a mystery and I suspect that there is a lot more to this that we are not being told!

I know of one Japanese couple who have mutually "kidnapped" their children from each other 3 times already (going on 4) and the police say they can not intervene because no laws have been broken!

Laws need to be change not because of fathers or foreign pressure but because situations like the one above that I have mentioned CAN NOT BE GOOD FOR THE CHILDREN!

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limboinjapan: Thanks for the insight.

I think there are a couple of other issues as well. One, the prevailing view of many lawyers and counselors is that it's emotionally damaging for a child to see the divorced parent. Completely opposite view from many other nations! I found this very astonishing.

Also, there was a new law in 2007 that allows divorced women to claim up to 50% of their husband's pension. And as you said, single mothers get support from the government. It's no wonder that women are using this opportunity to take the money, and the kids, and run.

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One complete miscomprehension of attorneys, counselors, etc. in Japan is when they refer to one of the parents as "the divorced parent" or "the ex-spouse". Both parents are "divorced parents" and both parents are "ex-spouses." However, you never become an "ex-parent" to your own child. You are, and always will be, a "current" parent to your child, regardless of anything else. This is a fundemental problem in Japan.

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dolphinegirl: You have touched on a very good point, lawyers, counselors and teachers here do have the view that seeing the non custodial parent is some how harmful and that is a large part of the problem!

In the first year of my divorce my EX would haphazardly pop in and out of the childrens life and each time this happened the children would go through an emotional roller-coaster ride, and during this time their teachers and school counselors would keep telling me to cut her out completely for the good of the children!

I did not listen to them and did my best to comfort them when this happened as well as hide my frustration with her in front of the children ( the custodial parent must learn that it serve no good to trash the other parent).

Today they are older and have accepted that this is the way she is and seem to enjoy the times when she does decide to show up for a school event or dinner with the grandparents, it has also lead to a more healthy relationship with their grandparents who now do not feel like they are intruders or strangers in the childrens life!

Attitudes such as those expressed here a long the lines of "japanesekawaii" need to change, the courts, lawyer, counselors and teacher need to realize that in today's Japan of one or perhaps two children, it's not only the parents and the children you have to think about but also the grandparents who may not have any other grandchildren (as is the case of my EX-in-laws) it not only depriving them of the joys of seeing the children but also deprives the children of the joy and wisdom that only a grandparent can give!

I feel for this man and his parents but most offal I feel for the child who will grow up with only half the joy that two parents and two set of grandparents can bring!

Even an inconsistent part time father (or mother as in my childrens case) is better then nothing.

I can not see of any situation (with the exception were a parent is a clear danger to the child) were withholding visitation would be acceptable or healthy for a child and I hope these two parents can come to their senses and work this out for the sake of the boy!

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Japan needs to stop wasting time debating rather or not non-custodial parents should have visitation rights. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, it's an inherit right that belongs to the parent by way of blood. The state does not own the children, its not your seed! The child belongs to the man and the woman, even after divorce. There is nothing the state can do to wash the child free of either of the parents blood or DNA. However, the state has tried to wash the child's mind free of the none custodial parent. This outdated customary practice of maintaining balance and harmony in a child's life by allowing the custodial parent to distant the child from the non-custodial parent is brainwashing. The state should use the powers that are currently available and start to put an end to this practice. The Ministry of Justice can start by issuing a decree preventing local police from arresting a parent on kidnapping charges unless the parent has proven, by actions, not to return the child to the custodial parent within a certain period of time, for example 24-48hrs. The Supreme Court can further solidify the order by giving instructions to local Judges not to uphold kidnapping charges against non-custodial parents for forced visitation under the 24-48hrs rule as long as there is no violence involved. The prosecuting attorney and the local police will then back-down. Of course, I would expect non-custodial parents not to take self-help measures every other day. The ambiguous wording of the current Family Law statues can be interpreted by instructions from the top down until new laws are created. Those of you working for the Supreme Court Justices and the Ministry of Justice know what I speak of is 100% true. Prove me wrong, you guys simply need to conjure up the will.

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limboinjapan,

I got the bad luck that my ex ran away with my child during the divorce procedures and the police did nothing to help me. They told me he was the father and there was nothing they could do to help me. 3 1/2 years have passed since then and there's no one single day that goes by without me thinking to go by the daycare and take him with me. I'm sure they will call the police and have me arrested and thrown in jail. He'll be 5 this month. I wonder if he remembers my face or my heartbeat. I tried to get my custody back but they deny it on the grounds that my child is living with him without having any problems in his new environment. I didn't have a lawyer at that time though. Most people told me I'm fighting the unwinnable. is that so? Not even with a lawyer? I can't believe they deny custody to a mother. or is it the fact that I'm non-japanese?

I'm 100% with this Kumamoto father, he did what he had to do. I'm very proud with him and I wonder how these cops can sleep at night. What a dirty job, huh.

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@KyokoSmile- You're the second woman on JT to tell your personal story of losing your child. I'm sorry for your loss and hope that you can someday be with your child again. Stories like yours tug on my heartstrings and I can only hope that Japan will change these damaging laws regarding custody.

These laws punish everyone, male/female/Japanese/foreign but most especially, they punish children.

I'm ashamed to say, but the laws regarding custody would make me think twice about marrying someone here. At the very least, I would make sure to get a prenup about custody before I even considered marriage at this time.

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Kyokosmile: I feel for you and I am not a lawyer or expert on this but as I have been told and seen, there is very little you can really do at this point even if you were Japanese!

Taking him from the daycare will only end you up in jail and unlike this man you are not Japanese so you will get a very different treatment!

As I said concerning the man and everyone else the solution is to try and talk things out with the EX for the sake of the children and if that doesn't work you can try the standard Japaneseapproach , and that is to pay your EX to let you see your child or as in many cases pay the grandparents (quietly) and they will ask or make him let you see your child!

This is what many of my Japanese and foreign friends do in order to see their children!

I Japan it is more often then not that the grandmother is the actual care giver after a divorce (particularly when the man has custody) so by paying her she will often bring the children to see the other parent (but no long visits) without telling the actual custodial parent and pocket the money!

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flatearther, limboinjapan:

I know that if I take him, I'll be inside the slammer in no time. I've tried e-mailing him, but no response whatsoever. I'm afraid to go to the house, probably because I already know that every time I show up, the cops come running to kick me out and threaten me with jail. The last resort? Relying on third Japanese parties to go to his house and try to reason with him somehow. He's 30 years old and still live with his mother and 2 brothers. My son is their only heir as they have their own company, hence CA$H loaded! They certainly don't need any of what I can offer them. I, though, believe that trying to have a "conversation" with him will be better than trying anything else that can land me in jail. Is here any way to approach this man without being arrested or accused of being a stalker or that sort? I've never tried the latter though. I want to believe that if I keep trying and trying to change the custodian, perhaps one day my wish will come true, when someone finally get tired of denying my requests as the mother of this child. I find it unbelievable how they just dont find imperative to let a mother see her son disregarding her race or nationality. I didn't know the Japanese goverment owns my own child. Life is not the same without him, I try to keep myself healthy for him. Having a lawyer wouldn't change anything then. I'm grateful for your prompt response.

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KyokoSmile-- Do you and your Ex have any mutual friend(s)? Do you have any Japanese friend who knows him well and can trust?

The only thing I can think of to let the ex know how you feel is to have someone convey your message, and even if you don't get any reply, you should still email him or write a letter so that he probably reads it.

I think he is probably afraid that once your son sees you, he might want to go with you or ask lots of questions especially if he is already 5 years old, that's the age when kids keep asking questions about whatever they notice.

Keep writing to him and find someone who you can trust to speak with him.. I wouldn't ask for your son's custody but just a few hours during weekend or something that doesn't make your ex too nervous.

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fishy,

I wish I had someone(mutual) with all my heart. Unfortunately, the only friend of him that I got to meet just once probably doesn't know I'm still here. He lives close to my ex, but don't know exactly which house. My ex is a guy that if he was alone, without his monster family, he would be just "perfect". The main reason why I'll always deeply regret I let him move to Japan when I was pregnant. I wish I had stay back in L.A. where we first met. Here, he had a sudden change of heart and decided to become someone who he wasn't when I first met him. The change was radical, so much that I barely made it to the second year. And when I decided that enough was enough and talked about getting a divorced, he took off with my "everything". If I only knew about all these cases before I made the grave mistake of crying out loud the word "divorce". I know I caused my own disgrace. I provoked everything that has happened to me. If I could only go back in time and do things right. I'm not in my child's life. I have disgraced my family and my own son with my behavior. I should have put up with my ex for the sake of my kid. Now I have lost everything. I have nothing left. All I can do is try again and again until someone gets tired of me and decide to put me out of my misery, which I hope it will occur someday soon.

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No, I don’t see any disgrace caused by yourself, you spoke about divorce meaning that both of you will find an optimal solution in this situation. You didn’t do anything wrong, but to run with a kid away from second parent- this is definitely wrong and awful.

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KyokoSmile: Your situation is heartbreaking. It is not your fault at all and remember that you still have YOU! And you will always be your child's mother. No one can change that or take that away from you.

As fishy suggested, send your ex a letter or email and try to reason with him and negotiate something. Maybe even phrase it like an offer rather than a request; saying that you could take care of your son one day on the weekend so your ex can have some time to himself. I would say it's probably best not to get emotional and just state simply what you want and how it will benefit him and your son.

Keep smiling Kyoko!

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kyokosmile -- I am certain that one day, when your child grows up, he will wonder about his mother and will ask around, and he will be old enough to be on his own to look for you.

As I said in my previous post, keep writing to your ex every now and then, and if you write emails, BCC them to yourself, if you write letters, save copies, so one day when your son grows up and you get to see him, you can tell him and show him how much you have tried and how much you have missed him. It will be good for him to know that you did not forget about him.

He WILL want to go out of his way to look for you once he is old enough even if your ex tells him not to, and there is no way that the father can stop the child's wish.

It must be hard for you, but please do not blame on you, things didn't need to be this way, and it is not your fault.

Your son will only be happy to know how much his mother loves him when you two get to see each other, and believe that it WILL happen.

hugs your way.

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KyokoSmile,a little tip for you. Not easy to do but you can try. Is it possible for you to make him know that you are just going to forget whatever happened and move on in life? Can you show him that you have gotten stronger and would like to start a new life, and may even show signs of having found someone else. This will get him to react in a different way. This works well with Jmen's psychology. Just a suggestion for you. Stop sending emails, letters and whatever. See what happens. This works for some. I hope it will work for you and I feel that he will even come back for you. Goodness, why do people hurt the one7s they loved? and why do they use their own children for selfish reasons.

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I suspect he will just be glad you are not "causing him trouble" anymore! Here`s another option for you: your son will be at elementary school soon. He will be reading and writing within a couple of years. Any chance you could get a message to him that you ahve set up a private email address for him. Give it to a kid at the school to pass to him, or even pass it to him yourself if he is able to walk to and from school alone.

Then you can pass messages privately to each other without the father or his family knowing. Of course, I am assuming you can read and write Hiragana, but if you can`t, it is not hard to learn, plus the little bit of Japanese you need to tell him how you feel and what it going on.

Don`t know if this is a good idea or not, but just wanted to suggest something because my heart is breaking for you. Good luck!

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Fishy, Dolphingirl, womanforwomen:

I wish there was a solution, a simple way to deal with this man..He's completely into his mother and grandmother's way of thinking and he does whatever they say. He's like a cyborg or something. He is unable to do anything by himself. I have to remark that they both(grandma & mother) hate me I don't even know why. The brothers? forget about those two. They are what we call "hikikomori" therefore they can't even think straight anymore. All they do is play videogames and upgrade their cars every chance they get. The mother works in the family owned by the father, even though they got divorced, they still work together, go figure.. This family is beyond old ways. They are what people call "draconian" at its best. They called me "tanin" before, which is "stranger". Of course, its their way of saying I'm not part of the family anymore. Funny, I never did anything to them, not even a bad look!! They just backed him up when he took my child with him. They got DEFENSIVE! They probably think that my son is their only hope for their bussiness future I believe. My EX is like a small kid with no mind of his own. They control him. I wish I was rotten with money so I could bribe them but not even that would work with these people. If I could only get him alone.. but it seems that he goes nowhere alone. Scared? I don't know. I have never try to approach him in public. not even in front of the house. not worth it. but the only thing I know in my heart is that somewhere inside that house, they keep my son. I remember that just once, after the divorced was finished, I went to the house and I just walked around and saw some laundry hanging in the backyard, then I saw small tiny socks...my heart stopped cold. I grabbed one with my hand and ran back to my car. does that makes me a theif?! that was 3 years ago and I still keep it under my pillow. I can still smell him. my little boy. You see, I want to believe that my little angel will grow up and that I'm still gonna be here waiting for him. He'll be 5 years next Tuesday. I still have his presents from previous birthdays. I wish I could give them to him. But not even that. My ex's mother smokes one box of regular red's(like Marlboro) a day. and the obaachan is like almost 80 I think. will they last long? I always heard bad people live longer. I don't wish them death though. I wish they could just reason into letting me see my boy. I know there more left-behind mothers out there. I just can't believe we can't get our custody back not even visitation. Is this country really 3rd world?!

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kirakira25,

Thank You for the advice, He'll be in elementary by 2011 I think as he was born in December of 2004. I'll have no problem writing Japanese since I've been here since before he was born. I just hope the school let me do this and won't call the police on me as I've seen with other cases of non-custodian parents. Non-custodian parents including "mothers" have zero rights in this country it seems. Another thing that bothers me is if they already erased my name from the koseki tohon. Can they erase the real mother's name? Wow. My ex wont get married any time soon. I was his first. Believe me on that.

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kyokosmile, this is their time. Wait for your time to come. Build your self up in the meantime and be there for your little boy. I hope no woman will accept this guy, for the pain he has caused you and the child. Among human beings, there are a few sub-human beings and you can never reason with them. The hurt is terrible but please abide by the law and your time will most certainly come. He is your child, and at the right time, he will look out for you. Maintain your physical and mental health, and your son will one day be proud of you.

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KyokoSmile,

Your story makes me terribly sad. I'm so sorry for what happened to you. I don't have any advice to give; just wanted to offer my condolences.

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to kyokosmile and everyone else going through these horribly unfair custody issues, i really wish you well and hope for a good outcome for you.

it is things like this that made me afraid to have children.

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@kyokosmile- I am sure there is little we (JT posters) can offer you by way of advice and suggestions. It seems as though you have explored all your options and come up wanting. As such, I can only offer you my sincerest sympathy for your heartache and your child's loss. I can also offer my gratitude, because every time I hear another story like this from a foreign woman it only makes me more cautious and careful. Like I wrote before, were I to ever consider having a child, I would write a prenup with a custody clause first. I'm not certain if prenups are legally enforceable in Japan, but I would consult with a Japanese lawyer about this.

Perhaps all foreigners in Japan should look into this as well. It's unfortunate, but it seems like this is one of the things we must do to protect our children here when we marry a Japanese spouse. Along with childproofing, breastfeeding and inoculations, we must now look into getting prenups to protect their right to have both parents in their life!

It almost doesn't seem worth it to have children in this country, we have to work twice as hard just to protect them here and when it doesn't work out, the suffering seems almost unbelievable. Mostly for us (the foreign parents) but also for the children. No doubt they wonder where their parent is and I feel so sorry for these little darlings.

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@kyokosmile - if you set up a website or give him your email address, you only have to contact him once. Then he can contact you himself and no-one can do anything about it.

@flatearther - I looked into pre-nups once for this very reason. I was told by my embassy and a lawyer that they are not worth the paper they are written on here.

But I would say that remember we only hear on here the very sad stories that happen. I believe 30-40% of international Japanese marriages end in divorce. That means 60-70% don`t.

I don`t know what the answer is - there never are any 100% guarantees - but in my experience I would recommend getting to know the family really well first and guaging their reaction to you, and definitely living together first - and guaging family and friends reaction to that too, as well as your future spouses daily behaviour when they have had a rough day at work, stress etc. Talk through what marriage and family means to you both. If you live together for a period of time, you will know if you are being told the truth or just what they think you want to hear.

I know this still doesnt guarantee anything, and my heart goes out to anyone separated from their child, international or both Japanese, like this family. I dont know how I could go on if my children were taken from me. But I echo what others are saying - bide your time. Dont do anything to draw attention to yourself. Your time will come. Your child wont always be a baby. He/she will want to know who their mother/father is. That is only natural. In Kyokosmiles case, he is hopefully already aware that he is "haafu" - it wont be long before he is able to put two and two together. Be ready to start contact so that he knows when they tell him you died/ran away/etc that it is not the truth.

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I have disgraced my family and my own son with my behavior. I should have put up with my ex for the sake of my kid. Now I have lost everything. I have nothing left. All I can do is try again and again until someone gets tired of me and decide to put me out of my misery, which I hope it will occur someday soon.

it's always darkest just before the dawn. never give up the fight!

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