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France issues arrest warrant for Japanese woman over 'parental kidnapping'

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Antiquesaving, without all the facts we are perhaps both left to make assumptions as to the events surrounding or leading up to Vincent Fichot hunger strike.

I must admit the only time I have had to deal with the subject of divorce is through the business, when employees who suffer the trauma of separation.

We support with family/compassionate leave. And stress counseling.

I am single, so I having personally not been subject or had direct experience in this kind of extreme manipulative behavior.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Kazuaki ShimazakiToday  05:01 pm JST

*@MilesTeg**Today 03:46 pm JST*

human rights issue

We can take the banner of human rights too. From a human rights perspective, it is deplorable for a person to be at risk of arrest because of a determination made by a country she's neither a citizen or a resident of. That also has higher priority than where the kid belongs to.

Now you're claiming it's a sovereignty/jurisdiction issue

Are you kidding me? On 11:05 am JST today, on my first post on this thread. I said:

I express my disgust. I don't care how sympathetic you are to this "Fichot". This is a violation of Japanese sovereignty. Here's why:

*Sovereignty had always been my first point. The rattle over "child abductions" have been going on for a decade, which actually makes it old. France's action crosses a line which makes it the most important & interesting point.*

And I would like to think if the situation was reversed - Japan demanding that France hand over one of its citizens for an action committed in France that would have been non-criminal in France (double-criminality principle), I'll frown.

I think the real racists and nationalists are the ones that instantly leap for "You are only saying this because Victim is A" rather than considering the affair on its merits.

What merit are you talking about? What merit should I consider? The only merit you're referring to is her being a Japanese citizen. That's it. So if that's your only dubious merit, then nationalistic sounds completely right.

The moment Japan signed on as a signatory on the Hague Convention, it is required to include the below as domestic law.

 Japan is a signatory to the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, which stipulates parties shall “respect the right of the child who is separated from one or both parents to maintain personal relations and direct contact with both parents on a regular basis, except if it is contrary to the child’s best interests.”

Further, the UN and other legal entities clearly state:

"It is a basic principle of international law that a State party to an international treaty must ensure that its own domestic law and practice are consistent with what is required by the treaty."

So she broke the law in Japan by refusing to allow her husband visitation rights and the Japanese government failed to set a legal hearing to determine if her claim that the husband is abusive is true or not. Japan's unwillingness to act on an illegal activity and refusal to have a legal hearing is what precipitated France issuing a warrant for her. If Japan had acted based on both domestic and international law, France wouldn't have issued a warrant, the situation would most likely have been resolved.

France isn't to blame. Japan's refusal to respect their own laws as well as international laws is to blame. Therefore claiming it's an issue of sovereignty/jurisdiction is false and also nationalistic in nature.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

Richard GallagherToday  08:13 pm JST

You forgot to mention that Japan and Japanese parents top the list of many countries for violating custody and travel, illegally returning to Japan and then refusing visitation and custody despite Japan having signed the Hague convention.

In several cases in Canada the Japanese give issued passports knowing full well the Japanese parent was under a no travel ban, the Japanese airlines issued ticket despite the person being banned from traveling outside Canada.

And once they finally get to court in Japan, the judges have always ruled that it has been years and the children are now adapted to life in Japan and rejected every request to return the children to Canada in accordance with the Hague convention.

Japan needs to be forcibly removed as a signatory of the Hague convention and nearly all other agreements as they continuously ignore them unless it is for their own benefit.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Japan does not have a system of joint custody for children whose parents divorce or separate. The system has been challenged in court, but in February 2021 a Tokyo court ruled that the system did not violate the Constitution, and any changes were thus the purview of parliament.

There are few divorce trials held in Japan, and not all of them include a plea for custody. The most common issue is that of filing for a change of custody, which comes out to about 300 cases a year, a number that is very small compared to Fichot’s home country of France. The divorce rate in Japan (about 1.7 ‰ *1) is low, and after divorce, the legal system grants custody to one single parent, most often the mother. In Japan, about 90% of divorces are collaborative divorces, but the detailed contents of these divorces (i.e., the presence and/or the degree of a dispute) are not clear. However, if the parties are not on equal footing, it can be presumed that the vulnerable party will be presented with various disadvantages and grounds for complaint.

In the case of international marriage, custody issues may become even more complex due to differences in the legal systems of each country. For example in Europe, even if domestic violence occurs, visitation may be permitted under surveillance. Psychologists have shown that while contact with both parents is very important for a child’s development, coercion from the courts is, on the other hand, harmful to this development. 

Vincent Fichot: it is curious that he is able to spend three weeks engaging in a very public protest, without employ. His fitness as a Father was challenged by his spouse - yet is dismissed by journalists and supporters of Fichot, with no actual inquiry into 'the facts'. Mr. Fichot, wraps himself in angelicisms, which are embraced by many of his so-called supporters. He is a middle-aged man, a foreigner in Japan, unable or incapable of ceding to Japanese law. A large determinant would be the circumstances within the marriage, exactly why the wife considered it a fit decision to leave her husband. Mr. Fichot simply implies rhetorically that he has been victimized, invoking the welfare of his children, though that is rather hazy and hardly sufficient of itself. He seems slightly disturbed and tends to shade the truth to support his cause, either by excess or neglect; it deviates from actual circumstance by design & prejudice, to his point of view and assertions without disclosure of full fact. Something is amiss.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

Why doesn't the US issue an arrest warrant and an extradition order as well?

The reason France can issue an arrest warrant for a foreigner violating French law in Tokyo is because they have notorious extraterritoriality laws dating back to their colonial empire. If you harm a French citizen anywhere in the world, nothing stops the courts in Paris from issuing an arrest warrant and subjecting you to French law (even if you aren't French and have never set foot in France).

Needless to say this is completely out of step with modern international norms. It's somewhat ironic given that the complaint is Japan's family law must be changed because it's out of step with international norms.

So by agreeing and signing the convention, Japan has openly put itself in the position where another signatory country can put their nose into the situation.

If I remember the facts of this case correctly, the couple and the children were married and habitually resident in Japan. There was no wrongful removal across international borders after divorce proceedings began, so the Hague convention would not apply.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

That is a new level of emotional blackmail.

Is that action, truly an example of a father rationally focused on the welfare of his children?

Respectively I don't think you have the slightest idea what real emotional blackmail is.

Not permitting the children to even see their father, more likely than not telling the children he left or abandoned them because telling the truth makes the mother look bad.

If anything and if the children actually were able to see or read about it, it would be more uplifting to know that their father actually cares about them and is willing to die for them.

Welcome to what being a real parent is about, it is about doing what is best for the children not mommy's hurt feelings, or society's Meiji period thinking.

Sure when my Ex refused to pay her share of the children's expenses it got me upset and angry but would it have been appropriate to use the children by stopping visitation?

No because they are children not pawns on a chess board!

It seems the so-called mother has forgotten that it is about the children and not her ego or hurt feelings.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Clearly there is a long way to go Antiquesaving, through you own experience to correct J family law to give full recognition to the role of a Father in J society through the trauma of divorce.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Antiquesaving, viewing the photo above, what must have been running through Vincent Fichot mind?

When through an Olympic Games, a global event, he decided to stage a hunger strike, in the full knowledge of the consequences this would have to his children's mental health witnessing there father in effect starving himself to death?

That is a new level of emotional blackmail.

Is that action, truly an example of a father rationally focused on the welfare of his children?

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

I believe there is a whole range of anomalies within the J legal system both judiary and the matter in which prosecutors brief the press. There could be accusations of sub-judice

We recently had an article about the J gov delaying reform and setting up a national standards to protect children, not long before that the news was about the increase in children living in poverty and one major reason was single parent households.

This story highlights all the above and more.

By rejecting dual custody, parental rights this also removes the need for the non custodial parent to pay for the children's upbringing.

As was the case of my ex despite earning over 4 times what I was no child support was required.

And if by miracle there is a child support agreement, it will be a joke amount and be totally unenforceable by Japanese law.

Japan is still living in the Meiji period when it comes to family and family law.

So regardless of what anyone thinks about the actions of this man, France or any other country Japan is the place that is backwards and in violation of its international agreements.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Antiquesaving, it is inappropriate of me to make any reference to your divorce, I apologize best left out of this thread. .

Before revising the Hague convention perhaps Japan should bring it's laws and archaic views on custody ( not to mention child support etc...) In to the 20th century?

I believe there is a whole range of anomalies within the J legal system both judiary and the matter in which prosecutors brief the press. There could be accusations of sub-judice.

One aspect is the manner in which the French Embassy refused to comment.

From the face of it Vincent Fichot has aimed and taken the morale high ground.

A Father refused the right to visit and play a role in his children's upbringing.

Is this the full picture, I am not convinced that is the case?

My humble opinion.

*
-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The Hague Convention is not a treaty, and the focus is on child abduction. Not family judicial disputes.

For a case to be dimmed child abduction the child in question must cross a international boarder.

Then well has a host of what can only be described as inconsistences

For example, there is no ultimate appeal court to ensure the universal application of the 1980 Hague convention and irradiate inconsistencies which cause uncertainties for families. 

Further, there is no uniform mechanism for the enforcement of undertakings (solemn promises to the court) and other arrangements which are offered by left behind parents to provide a “soft landing” for the returning child. 

The courts of many contracting states do not require any undertakings or other practical arrangements designed to enable the “abducting “parent to accompany the child and are perfectly happy for children to be collected by left behind parents and returned in their care. As a consequence, the very application of the 1980 Hague Convention can result in children experiencing trauma. 

The convention is a worthless piece of paper. Without any legal weight in law.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

No child has also crossed an international boarder.

This is a Japan domestic matter with the French President facing reelection in 2022.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

ianToday  06:16 pm JST

Actually no it isn't outside France's jurisdiction based on the simple fact that Japan and France are both signatory to the Hague convention and any country can intervene in behalf of their citizens, under the convention.

So by agreeing and signing the convention, Japan has openly put itself in the position where another signatory country can put their nose into the situation.

And seeing Japan has violated it's agreement to adjust it's family/custody laws to conform with the Hague convention, this means France has the right to intervene.

People need to understand that what Japan has tried to do is have it's cake and eat it too.

It thought it could sing the convention then use it if it suited the Japanese but ignore it domestically and not adopted any of the agreement within Japan.

Japan is finding out that the grace period is now over and the rest of the world is demanding Japan take act5 on its promises.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

It was the Japanese powers like daycare, elementary school, teachers, social workers, even city officials that had a problem with our arrangement.

Speaking of elementary school, I went to my kids' undokai (sportsday) a few weeks ago without consulting my ex and let me just say, that ruffled quite a few feathers. Got an angry text from my ex shortly after. She said that I was being selfish and not thinking of my childrens' emotions. Even though I was only able to watch from a distance and behind a fence because of Codi-19 restrictions, she saw me watching. How sad would that be if I had custody of the kids and I gave her hell for coming to their Sportsday at a Canadian school? WTF is wrong with Japan?

8 ( +10 / -2 )

TBH, I thought the divorce was over? So, it seems it ain't. Where did it start? France? Japan? Is for asset (or other) reasons a French court involved?

That is precisely what I was asking, maybe you have knowledge of something which might prove the article Ive quoted erroneous.

Again, it says that Mr Fichot himself acknowledged that France cannot interfere with Japanese justice system.

Anyway from what I can gather here it seems clear this is outside of France's jurisdiction.

If it is or isnt, that was what I want to ascertain.

Whatever happens I hope it will be resolved to the best interests of the kids

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Kazuaki ShimazakiToday  01:36 pm JST

Think of it this way. You and I co-own something.

A child isn't "something."

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Ian

@blue

You're saying the "abduction" happened in France?

From the news article I've quoted it shows Mr Fichot himself acknowledges it's not in the French govt/court's jurisdiction

Well I ,for that matters, am not saying anything else than what is written in the article and what it means.

Well, everybody his own, but a French court does seem to think differently about the case and went as far as to issue an international arrest warrant for the mother. The stage where presumption of innocence was applicable is now over, judgement has been rendered.

As a court has access to details and evidence the public doesn't have access to (details and evidence the public can only speculate about), as a person with no stake in the matter, will go with the court's decision.

Not being knowledgable as far as the Haag Convention goes, I can not state anything on that front, and I believe neither can you? Of can you? If you can or have details on the case, please do not hesitate to share them as some people here do seem to have a stake in similar cases.

One thing I could imagine (without knowing the details of this drama, of course), is that perhaps the kid/kids have either a French passport because of dual-nationality or as a prime one. In which case it would make sense for a French court to be involved as this may turn into kidnapping case involving minor(s) of French nationality.

Also interesting being this part:

"Divorce proceedings are ongoing. We have no desire to fight outside of court," he told AFP.

TBH, I thought the divorce was over? So, it seems it ain't. Where did it start? France? Japan? Is for asset (or other) reasons a French court involved?

If the proceedings started in France, Finchot's wife may have "jumped bond" so to speak and left with the kid(s). If some proceedings are to be taking place in France, I would guess that she decided to not show up and snub the court, which generally is not looked at favorably by said courts...

Anyway, these are just suppositions and are to be taken as such, nothing more.

Truth is, this case is a mess and will not improve anytime soon. Japan will most likely again circle the wagons.

Interestingly, this now puts Japan and their efforts to gain support "to bring the abductees home" and its position as a victim of kidnappings (which Japan actually is) in a very different and pretty uncomfortable light.

Well, double standards can only be kept up for so long, I guess...

0 ( +4 / -4 )

itsonlyrocknrollToday  05:30 pm JST

Antiquesaving, I think we need to review the Hague convention and it limitations......

Is it time for the 1980 Hague Convention to be revised?

Before revising the Hague convention perhaps Japan should bring it's laws and archaic views on custody ( not to mention child support etc...) In to the 20th century?

It may be to much for it to leap from the 19th century to 21st

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

itsonlyrocknrollToday  05:10 pm JST

I think you failed to see the point.

My divorce was not the problem.

Custody was never a problem nor were my ex-wife's visitation.

The entire problem regarding the children was 100% due to the Japanese society!

I and my ex-wife came very quickly to and agreement regarding the children.

It was the Japanese powers like daycare, elementary school, teachers, social workers, even city officials that had a problem with our arrangement.

The idea that my ex-wife (AKA the children's mother) could actually see the children was already more than they could handle, but even worse was that she could drop them off or pick them up from school nearly gave them all a stroke!

I was regularly told to cut off the mother, that having a dual parenting arrangement was "bad" for the children.

Again being a Gaijin it was easy for me to tell these people where they could put their archaic views.

But under suck pressure I can easily see a Japanese fall in line and do as the school, city, social workers say.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Fresh Prince of JapanToday 03:27 pm JST

As in many other issues, Japan prefers to wait and to turn the head to the other side.

For this Japanese woman and her lawyer to wait it out and doing nothing is clearly the best way to go. For them it's all about to object and delay. During this time he will not be able to meet his children.

Without any amicable agreement between father and mother this case can go on over many years from now on, even decades, until laws are changed and/or the Japanese Supreme Court will offer a final decision which has to be respected within Japan.

His children might even be adults already at that time and the case will be discontinued.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The deal breaker, a Franch court has no mechanism to enforce it.

The France Government would have to prove child abduction to secure a world wide arrest warrant.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Antiquesaving, I think we need to review the Hague convention and it limitations......

Is it time for the 1980 Hague Convention to be revised?

https://www.familylaw.co.uk/news_and_comment/Is-it-time-for-the-1980-Hague-Convention--to-be-revised

The removal or retention of a child across an international border is considered “wrongful” if the removal or retention took place without the consent of the left behind parent and it has interfered with the exercise of that parent’s rights regarding the child.

That is a serious legal nut to crack in the case of Vincent Fichot allegations. Since the couple have not officially divorced.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This sort of thing just makes the Japanese dig their heels in even more. It won’t make any difference, sadly. Same with complaining about whaling; counterproductive.

no international pressure forces Japan to change, they've already sighed the Hauge convention on child abductions, as for whaling they gave up on Antartica and just do it in theyre own waters now.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Antiquesaving, I think as individuals, we can view and debate/opinionate until we are blue in the face.

France issues arrest warrant over Japan 'parental kidnap'

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-59474807

This is political posturing for a domestic audience.

We all should be aware of the difference between a EU member state issuing a domestic arrest warrant.

An Interpol international arrest warrant, essentially a red notice.

A Interpol Red Notice is a request to law enforcement worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender, or similar legal action. It contains two main types of information: ... Information related to the crime they are wanted for, which can typically be murder, rape, child abuse or armed robbery.

This situation should not be confused with child abduction. It simply isn't

I am glad you managed to solve your own divorce, I think you then have an understand as to my point that divorce is not a generic process.

Family courts must without prejudice make decisions that won't necessarily provide as solution to all parties.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

That’s looking like it’s not at all about or for the well being of the children but rather more for the parents’ two own egos and drawing widespread international attention or becoming anyhow famous everywhere quickest possible. What comes next, a YouTube channel, campaign at change.org and biggest possible crowdfunding or a series of book publications?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Christopher J. ThomasToday 02:50 pm JST

Japan will always side with the woman from domestic disputes,

But I am not putting money in her hands. NEVER!

I am the one that has to leave the apartment in my name.

Japan needs to seriously update the laws here.

Every story has two side and we should listen to both sides.

You mention you are from USA, I hear you but how is this what happened to you in Japan so different from your own country? In the States, family courts are not known be be father-friendly at all, ask men how many of them had to move out from their own house after divorce and if you don't pay obligatory child support directly to the mother on time - regardless if you can see your children or not - you might be arrested and spend a while in jail. Additionally you will be subject to pay alimony to your ex-wife.

Japan in this sense is clearly much more lenient towards fathers, Japanese authorities cannot force you to pay alimony and child support and will never arrest you if you are unwilling or unable to pay. About your home in Japan, if you are really the owner 100 % in your name, fully paid and your name is in the land title before marriage it's yours for always.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@MilesTegToday 03:46 pm JST

human rights issue

We can take the banner of human rights too. From a human rights perspective, it is deplorable for a person to be at risk of arrest because of a determination made by a country she's neither a citizen or a resident of. That also has higher priority than where the kid belongs to.

Now you're claiming it's a sovereignty/jurisdiction issue

Are you kidding me? On 11:05 am JST today, on my first post on this thread. I said:

I express my disgust. I don't care how sympathetic you are to this "Fichot". This is a violation of Japanese sovereignty. Here's why:

Sovereignty had always been my first point. The rattle over "child abductions" have been going on for a decade, which actually makes it old. France's action crosses a line which makes it the most important & interesting point.

And I would like to think if the situation was reversed - Japan demanding that France hand over one of its citizens for an action committed in France that would have been non-criminal in France (double-criminality principle), I'll frown.

I think the real racists and nationalists are the ones that instantly leap for "You are only saying this because Victim is A" rather than considering the affair on its merits.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Well done and thanks Vincent !

You're fighting for your kids but for hundred of other parents around the world as well.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

France issues arrest warrant for Japanese woman over 'parental kidnapping'

Good luck with that. It can not be enforced here, and she is not going to travel to France.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

OssanAmericaToday  03:59 pm JST

You really need to learn about international law and international treaties/agreements.

Also read the article:

French authorities issued the international warrant over allegations of parental abduction and endangering a minor, according to a source close to the issue and Fichot.

You do understand the meaning of "international warrant", right?

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

William77Today  12:08 pm JST

You have no idea what you are talking about. A French issued warrant has no validity outside of France and territories under French jurisdiction

You tend to forget that France is part of the European Union and the Union together have a massive power.

A warrant within one of the EU members will be applied in the other member countries as well.

Wrong. A French judicuary arrest warrant is only valid within France and French territories. France would have to apply for a European Arrest Warrant to make it valid across the entire EU.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Well done Vincent, and well done France. Japans hostage taking culture should have ended over 70 years ago.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Kazuaki ShimazakiToday  03:29 pm JST

*@MilesTeg**Today 01:47 pm JST*

Her abducting children from her spouse in of itself should be a crime in Japan and the now the French government has determined her actions under French law is a crime.

And here, we have a problem with jurisdiction and sovereignty. The wife, whether you like it or not, is Japanese and lives in Japan. For France to insist on arresting her is no different from the Chinese sending out a warrant because they have "determined" that your actions have "violated" Chinese law (even though you took them on non-Chinese soil). If you tolerate this, you are saying the Chinese may control your actions through threats of arresting you. Are you cool with that or not?

“respect the right of the child who is separated from one or both parents to maintain personal relations and direct contact with both parents on a regular basis, except if it is contrary to the child’s best interests.”

I don't see anything about criminalization or allowing other nations criminal jurisdiction on your soil.

You seem to be thinking of this as a matter of family law. I don't. The moment France took this action, I see this as a matter of the very basics of international law. Of sovereignty, self-determination and jurisdictional issues. Which are frankly, a lot more important to me or even you than a family dispute.

You're clearly biased in this case because you're Japanese. Hence why this is is a sovereignty/jurisdiction issue for you and not a family and human rights issue which is really comes down to. I'm not Japanese nor French. The fact is, if Japanese respected their own laws and their commitment to the Hague Convention and held a legal hearing to determine the truth, then it would've never come to this, The abduction occurred in Japan not in France. Japan signed the Convention thus are required by their own law to give a fair legal hearing. It's Japan that is causing the situation by not following their legal requirements.

First you implied he was guilty of abuse by siding with the wife when there was no evidence. Another example of a bias. Now you're claiming it's a sovereignty/jurisdiction issue when Japan never respected their legal and international commitments. The only reason you're up in arms about this is because France has issued a warrant for a Japanese citizen. Pure nationalism and nothing to do with the crux of the situation from a social, human rights, or legal perspective.

*
8 ( +12 / -4 )

The Japanese feminist response has been full of criticism of this French man.

They say that Japanese women are the victims who escaped this man's violence.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

@MilesTegToday 01:47 pm JST

Her abducting children from her spouse in of itself should be a crime in Japan and the now the French government has determined her actions under French law is a crime.

And here, we have a problem with jurisdiction and sovereignty. The wife, whether you like it or not, is Japanese and lives in Japan. For France to insist on arresting her is no different from the Chinese sending out a warrant because they have "determined" that your actions have "violated" Chinese law (even though you took them on non-Chinese soil). If you tolerate this, you are saying the Chinese may control your actions through threats of arresting you. Are you cool with that or not?

“respect the right of the child who is separated from one or both parents to maintain personal relations and direct contact with both parents on a regular basis, except if it is contrary to the child’s best interests.”

I don't see anything about criminalization or allowing other nations criminal jurisdiction on your soil.

You seem to be thinking of this as a matter of family law. I don't. The moment France took this action, I see this as a matter of the very basics of international law. Of sovereignty, self-determination and jurisdictional issues. Which are frankly, a lot more important to me or even you than a family dispute.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

Best wishes Vincent. It is time for Japan to wake up and face the international child abduction problem. Japan is always angry when someone says "Japan is the black hole for child abduction", but does nothing to face the problem.

As in many other issues, Japan prefers to wait and to turn the head o the other side.

Wake up Japan! Why Japan is a party to the 1980 Hague Convention on International Child Abduction, why did Japan confirm the convention in 2013, but nothing change?

It is not only the juku culture, the over-work culture, the lack of work-life balance culture, the endemic bullying in Japanese schools........it is also the problems related to family, including the child abduction, that create mentally unstable children, adults and future parents (and we can read about it every day in the "crime" section of this site).

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Let us all hope that France will be able to convince the Japanese authorities that laws need to be revised, reviewed or changed, and to remember that it's s 2 way street

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I am right with Vincent, Support him as well.

I have 1 son. Mother a Philippine national with PR status here. Up and leaves after 10 years together and erased my life and all that work that went into trying to scratch by and make a living here for them both.

To wake up one day for all to have evaporated before my eyes. To be the victim of someone you love elaborate plan to abandon me. Dropped of my son at school 3 years old. My little lad. My little Logan.

Not knowing that it would be the last time I would the last time I would take him to school. Or greet his teachers and clean out his box and replenish his box. And a Mother who takes great strides in app blocking. Phone blocking. And if I go to her new residence I will be arrested for stalking. This woman and I never married but I paid 250.000 pesos to get here freed up for the marriage process. So, she could get the right documents from her family and her country.

Poof gone.

Then removes me from our Koseki as his Father. Has my last name removed from his alien card.

So, no marriage. No current proof he is actually my son. other than the documents I have and a copy of his American passport.

I will not go into the pain side of this, But I loved them both so much. I will just say. 2 years work home, work home.

When I do finally get to talk to her she asks for child support. And its like. Wait a sec, you kind of shot your self in the foot if you wanted to go down the ole traditional saiban path. And you want support when you erased me off any current record of me being being his Father? My position in this is, Let me see my son at AEON for a half day or so, then we can talk about his needs. But I am not putting money in her hands. NEVER!

Clothing yes! School fees yes! Toys yes, Books, What ever he needs he has it. I am right there for him if I a allowed. I want to be a part of his life.

Japan will always side with the woman from domestic disputes, Hearings, and or what ever.

My girls wailing on me in my apartment with stiletto, but I am the one that has to leave the apartment in my name. You get that? That happened!

Japan needs to seriously update the laws here. Sorry so personal. I saw this case in LinkedIn I have been following ever since hoping this may be that one case that draws enough attention to get Japan to motivate.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

David BrentToday 07:05 am JST

This sort of thing just makes the Japanese dig their heels in even more. It won’t make any difference, sadly. Same with complaining about whaling; counterproductive.

To compare custody rights with whaling requires some advanced fantasy. LOL.

However I fully agree with you, this arrest warrant will make Japanese authorities even more reluctant to work out any acceptable solution regarding this complicated custody issue. Totally counterproductive action.

The only reason I guess, why the French authorities cannot refuse to get involved is the fact that these children are holding dual Japanese/French citizenship and are not living within EU territory and therefore their whereabouts are unknown, further the lawyer of the mother is refusing to co-operate for any dialog out of court.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

YubaruToday  02:26 pm JST

It is called experience, after over 30 years and seeing this sort of thing first hand over and over again, it doesn't take a genius to know what is really going on.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

itsonlyrocknrollToday  02:18 pm JST

Divorce is a minefield of bitter recrimination. Children in many respects are weaponized in the belligerent aftermath. It is not the simple yes or no.

Is it? Or is society especially in Japan responsible for much of the problems.

I got divorced, I got custody of the children, it was not a pretty divorce.

But I never withheld visitation and the children could see their mother whenever she or they wanted.

Seems fine right?

Well no, because, Japanese society and social pressure come into play.

Social workers, teachers, city officials, etc... Were all pressuring me to cut my ex-wife out it the children's lives.

I was told this is Japan and it isn't the Japanese way for the ex spouse to have contact, I was even told it was bad for the children's mental health.

I can only imagine if it had been the reverse, under such pressure I could easily see a Japanese parent buckle and give up, Falling in line with "tradition".

As a Gaijin I could easily tell these people where to go and what to do with their archaic ways.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Japan needs to be NAMED & SHAMED bigtime on this topic, the ""way"" Japan handles this is just evil, no ifs ands or buts!!!

1 ( +9 / -8 )

I am amused at how many people take the word of an article here when it comes to some unnamed and un-sourced "rights" group making unsubstantiated claims about how many children in Japan have been allegedly abducted.

Truly gullible! Believe anything you read!

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

itsonlyrocknrollToday  02:10 pm JST

We do not know all the fact here

Well two facts we do are as followed.

1-) Japan signed the Hague convention and agreed to abide by it

2-) Japan has not amended it's family law as required as part of the Hague convention.

We can deduce from simple logic that if Japan, the Japanese government had abided by its international agreements this wouldn't even be an issue or in the news.

By signing the Hague convention but then not implementing or following up on the actions needed to comply with the convention the J gov is the one ultimately responsible for this mess.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Japan is a country that has always remained in a state of circling their wagons.

Nobody on the outside ever truly gets 'in'.

The ruling class especially still sees their race as divine. All others, when push comes to shove, are lesser.

Signatures on reciprocal agreements are for diplomatic show. Whether or not a Japanese national has done wrong is irrelevant. They automatically get the benefit of the doubt.

The UN could put economic sanctions on Japan over this and they'd dig their heels in even more to retain face.

I'm sorry to say, but this woman will not be arrested, nor will she be expedited. This poor guy hasn't a snowball's chance in hell for this to be resolved in his favor.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Its amazing how many posts/comments are made on this topic whenever it comes up. Sounds like many JT readers are either fathers themselves living in Japan with custody issues (like myself) or they know someone who is. I just wish the Japanese government would see this as important issue and not just kick the can down the road because their elderly and conservative support base/voters don't care much about things like this.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I cannot debateor defend that point, Antiquesaving, the J legal system has some questions to answer in failing to implement a key number of legal protocols in key judicial areas.

Divorce is a minefield of bitter recrimination. Children in many respects are weaponized in the belligerent aftermath. It is not the simple yes or no.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

It's stories like these that made me glad I didn't marry a Japanese woman.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

We do not know all the fact here.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The question here is not whether a commentator supports Japan or even the system.

The family court system must support the health and welfare of the children first and foremost.

Divorce brings out ever rotten aspect of human nature.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

itsonlyrocknrollToday  01:56 pm JST

The arrest warrant, is a knee jerk, and unnecessary distraction.

Is it?

Japan signed the Hague convention in 2014 and still to this day has made zero effort to enforce the agreement, zero effort to amend Japanese child custody system as is stipulation in the agreement/convention.

Perhaps a few more arrest warrants issued by multiple other countries will make Japan finally live up to doing what it agreed to in 2014.

Saying please hasn't worked, so now more forceful methods may be in order.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Japan and it's supporters are hilarious.

When other countries don't abide by international agreements, when it was Japanese mothers trying to see or have their children returned because the foreign fathers took the children to their country and refused contact, suddenly Japan, the Japanese, the J news and the "we will support Japan no matter whaters" start screaming about poor Japan and poor Japanese.

Now that the shoe is on the other foot, international agreements are now irrelevant and Japanese sovereignty is all that matters.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

In the best interests of the court: what American lawyers need to know about child custody and visitation in Japan

http://blog.hawaii.edu/aplpj/files/2011/11/APLPJ_08.2_jones.pdf

The global media has certainly been aware of Vincent Fichot hunger strike, and relentless political lobbying for what Vincent Fichot has convinced himself is a gross violation of his human right to have joint access and visitation rights to see his children.

That is for the J families court system to determine.

However, the legal process must run its course.    

Unfortunately, focusing on the problem as a cross-cultural one risks marginalizing it. In reality, parental child abduction and parental alienation are problems for parents and children in Japan, regardless of race or nationality.

For every foreign parent who loses contact with their children in Japan, a greater number of Japanese parents suffer the same fate.

At present we have only heard one side of the case. Let at least hold judgement for the moment, until the court has weighed up both sides of this feud. Many divorces descend into bitter feuds where the children are trapped in the middle.

The arrest warrant, is a knee jerk, and unnecessary distraction.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Kazuaki ShimazakiToday  12:32 pm JST

*@MilesTeg**Today 11:29 am JST*

Custodial rights have to determined based on legal process not just one person's word over another's and in the case of a broken-up couple, there often are strong emotions involved that make people exaggerate and flat out lie.

I agree that Fischot has not been stripped of his custodial rights via legal process - if that were the case, there won't even be a tort! The problem is ... neither has his wife! And Japanese law purports that where you have custodial rights and where you have not infringed on the freedom of your children, to abduct them is not a crime.

This point of substantive law precedes any thoughts of procedure.

Your comparison to China is utterly irrelevant.

I drag China in this to remind everyone of the dangers of allowing another State to criminalize the actions of your own citizens, and the impropriety of a State claiming this right.

Her abducting children from her spouse in of itself should be a crime in Japan and the now the French government has determined her actions under French law is a crime. You're praising a clear deficiency along with the lack of joint custody in Japanese law which in its own way is criminalizing the husband based on an unsubstantiated accusation and bemoaning France's decision to issue a criminal warrant.

Yet the point isn't about which country's law prevails with complicated extradition and other international issues. The father is entitled to a legal hearing in Japan to determine if he has visitation rights not custody as well as to determine if the wife's accusations that he's abusive is true or a lie. You either agree that he's entitled to such legal handling in Japan under Japanese law or he isn't. The rest of what you wrote is just making a simple situation needlessly convoluted.

Under Japanese Law: Japan is a signatory to the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, which stipulates parties shall “respect the right of the child who is separated from one or both parents to maintain personal relations and direct contact with both parents on a regular basis, except if it is contrary to the child’s best interests.”

Maintain personal relations and direct contact with both parents. Is that what he's asking for? Not joint custody which doesn't exist in Japan. According to her accusation that he's abusive, it would be contrary to the children's best interests. Well then, the Japanese courts should have a hearing and determine if that's the case or not.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

@blue

You're saying the "abduction" happened in France?

From the news article I've quoted it shows Mr Fichot himself acknowledges it's not in the French govt/court's jurisdiction

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Simon FostonToday 12:46 pm JST

The homicide charges wouldn't be necessary if it weren't automatically assumed that the children were being kidnapped in their own best interests. Although I daresay it's only assumed to be tort but not a crime when it's the Japanese parent doing the kidnapping.

It's not that it's "automatically assumed that the children were being kidnapped in their own best interests". It's about respecting custodial rights.

Think of it this way. You and I co-own something. You take possession of it and take it somewhere out of my sight. Now that my ownership rights to "enjoy" this thing have been violated, I have a valid civil case. But it won't be fair or right to you if I just phoned the police and said you "stole" the thing, since you have ownership rights too.

That's the basic principle involved here.

You weren't referring to this case specifically, and you've conceded that Fichot may indeed have some evidence of wrongdoing on the wife's part.

Even if her wife, indeed, lied, that would not suddenly cause this part of her act to become criminal. Go back to the previous example. You claim you only took possession and took the thing somewhere out of my sight because I had tried to break it before and won't desist. Even if I'm able to prove you lied, that doesn't suddenly make your action theft. The fact you have ownership rights too negates this charge.

On the other hand, you might be liable for defamation charges, as might the ex-wife if it can be proven she lied.

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

Was curious so looked it up. So this is indeed a private dispute, divorce proceedings ongoing.

From Reuters:

Last weekend, at Fichot's urging, French President Emmanuel Macron, visiting for the Olympics, raised the custody issue with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga "in confidence and in person," said French Ambassador Philippe Setton.

Macron did the same with Suga's predecessor, Shinzo Abe, in 2019.

"This is a matter primarily for the Japanese society," Setton said. "Regardless of the dramatic and painful circumstances Mr Fichot's situation is, we do not want to interfere in a debate which is a Japanese one."

Fichot said he recognised that France cannot interfere with the Japanese justice system. "I was hoping for sanctions at least, but for me, as far as I'm concerned, I'm sticking to my motivation."

Nothing for me to say anymore so just reposting this as this touches on the sovereignty thing people bwere talking about above and I'm curious about what people make of it

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@ian

I feel for mr Fichot's predicament but absent any more information I'm giving the benefit of the doubt on the mother that she has compelling reasons for why she doesn't want her kids to have any more contact with their father.

Well, everybody his own, but a French court does seem to think differently about the case and went as far as to issue an international arrest warrant for the mother. The stage where presumption of innocence was applicable is now over, judgement has been rendered.

As a court has access to details and evidence the public doesn't have access to (details and evidence the public can only speculate about), as a person with no stake in the matter, will go with the court's decision.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Simon FostonToday 12:17 pm JST

I think the underlying truth is that Japanese fathers who get divorced usually don't care in the least if they never see the kids again and in Japan the status quo generally favours men. They can waltz off into the sunset and enjoy "second lives" while the childcare is dumped on the mothers and their families, who seem to accept this as right and normal. I'm pretty sure a lot of Japanese judges, lawyers and police officers, especially if they're male and middle-aged, are baffled at foreign dads who actually seem to expect things like custody or visitation rights.

Excellent summary, and it is not only about Japanese fathers, but about foreign fathers too.

There are Japanese mothers existing as well, who were abandoned with the baby and the foreign father left Japan and disappeared to abroad. Never heard from him again.

I remember a few years ago, after receiving some complaints from abroad, the Japanese Ministry of Justice was trying to collect data about foreign fathers, who were refused to see their children in Japan, only 19 replies were received.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

ianToday  12:56 pm JST

I feel for mr Fichot's predicament but absent any more information I'm giving the benefit of the doubt on the mother that she has compelling reasons for why she doesn't want her kids to have any more contact with their father

This is nothing new or uncommon in Japan.

Just look at a certain former Japanese PM.

Just look at the attitude towards the child a famous British musician's Japanese wife had.

The idea that a former spouse has contact with his or her children after divorce is a concept that many Japanese today still do not understand.

After my divorce I had no problem letting my ex-wife see the children any time she wanted despite a very contentious divorce.

But the school, teachers, city office acted like I was crazy to permit it.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

We do understand this perfectly,and just this makes it a very big violation of human rights and it goes against what Japan agreed and signed with other countries.

And on the top of that if you’re a foreigner no matter if male or female and go to court for children’s custody a Japanese will always win.

Pretty xenophobic.

Exactly! Excellent post William!

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

As teenagers, Fichot's children, unless they live in a cave, will learn the truth about their mother's actions. She can only lie to them for so long before the truth comes out. This is a situation where social media can be beneficial to society by reuniting friends and family.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

This is a small step in the right direction. Things that were practiced for decades cannot be changed overnight. I hope that more similar cases will follow to resolve this idiocracy once and for all. It is just way to cruel to deny parents to even visit their children.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

We do understand this perfectly

Lol

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

I feel for mr Fichot's predicament but absent any more information I'm giving the benefit of the doubt on the mother that she has compelling reasons for why she doesn't want her kids to have any more contact with their father.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

People misunderstand, lots of Japanese in the same shoes as Mr Fichot.

We do understand this perfectly,and just this makes it a very big violation of human rights and it goes against what Japan agreed and signed with other countries.

And on the top of that if you’re a foreigner no matter if male or female and go to court for children’s custody a Japanese will always win.

Pretty xenophobic.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Kazuaki ShimazakiToday  12:20 pm JST

Simon FostonToday 11:33 am JST

How about in situations where one parent kidnaps the children and they're all found dead a few days later?

There are such things as homicide charges to deal with this variant.

The homicide charges wouldn't be necessary if it weren't automatically assumed that the children were being kidnapped in their own best interests. Although I daresay it's only assumed to be tort but not a crime when it's the Japanese parent doing the kidnapping.

Yes, "if." What if that's not the case?

Remember basic burden of proof. Since it's the French who want the arrest, if they want to run this line it's up to them to at least produce some evidence this variant is the case.

You weren't referring to this case specifically, and you've conceded that Fichot may indeed have some evidence of wrongdoing on the wife's part.

"Whereas you do?"

I don't. But I apply standard-of-proof - where child abuse is potentially involved.

It looks more like you're just defending the way things are done in Japan whether it's right or not.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

People misunderstand, lots of Japanese in the same shoes as Mr Fichot.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Kazuaki ShimazakiToday 11:05 am JST

I express my disgust. I don't care how sympathetic you are to this "Fichot". This is a violation of Japanese sovereignty. Here's why:

In Japanese law, the wife's act may be a tort, but not a crime...

I fail to see any violation of Japanese sovereignty, but for sure this woman, who is a Japanese citizen living in Japan, did not commit any crime which might be punishable by Japanese law. As long as she is living in Japan, she is safe and will likely from now on even try harder to refuse the father to see their children in retaliation of this warrant.

We do not know the circumstances how this warrant is based on, maybe she was living in France at that time in 2018 and took the children with her when she left her husband for what reason ever and decided to move back to Japan? It seems they are still legally married, separated and divorce procedures are pending.

I guess this case will continue for many more years, we do not know what happened but both of them seem to be very hateful towards each other and totally unwilling to find an amicable solution for their children.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@kazuaki shimazaki

I’m not sure your nationality but do you have children?

Put yourself in his shoes, you are in your partners home country, in the same situation, what would you want to happen?

Japan is a signatory to The Hague Convention, why is it so hard for such a matter to not be heard in a Japanese family court? If both parties can’t resolve things then that’s what the judicial system is there for. If the courts are dismissing it then that’s just pure laziness on their part.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

@MilesTegToday 11:29 am JST

Custodial rights have to determined based on legal process not just one person's word over another's and in the case of a broken-up couple, there often are strong emotions involved that make people exaggerate and flat out lie.

I agree that Fischot has not been stripped of his custodial rights via legal process - if that were the case, there won't even be a tort! The problem is ... neither has his wife! And Japanese law purports that where you have custodial rights and where you have not infringed on the freedom of your children, to abduct them is not a crime.

This point of substantive law precedes any thoughts of procedure.

Your comparison to China is utterly irrelevant.

I drag China in this to remind everyone of the dangers of allowing another State to criminalize the actions of your own citizens, and the impropriety of a State claiming this right.

-10 ( +5 / -15 )

Was curious so looked it up. So this is indeed a private dispute, divorce proceedings ongoing.

From Reuters:

Last weekend, at Fichot's urging, French President Emmanuel Macron, visiting for the Olympics, raised the custody issue with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga "in confidence and in person," said French Ambassador Philippe Setton.

Macron did the same with Suga's predecessor, Shinzo Abe, in 2019.

"This is a matter primarily for the Japanese society," Setton said. "Regardless of the dramatic and painful circumstances Mr Fichot's situation is, we do not want to interfere in a debate which is a Japanese one."

Fichot said he recognised that France cannot interfere with the Japanese justice system. "I was hoping for sanctions at least, but for me, as far as I'm concerned, I'm sticking to my motivation."

3 ( +4 / -1 )

ianToday  12:13 pm JST

Seems to be a child custody /access dispute here in Japan, why did France issue an arrest warrant?

From the article:

French authorities issued the international warrant over allegations of parental abduction and endangering a minor, according to a source close to the issue and Fichot.

Now this is a very very simple thing to understand.

Any country that is a signatory to the Hague convention will by agreement be obligated to arrest this woman if she steps foot in the country.

This is nothing new and is done all the time as plenty of examples happen regularly between EU countries, Canada and the USA.

Japan is a signatory to the convention but more often than not refuses to follow its agreed commitments.

So now under international agreements this woman can be detained in any signatory country as well as any country with extradition treaty with France.

It does not mean she will extradited from the country she is arrested in but it does mean that the country needs to at least detain her for possible extradition

-5 ( +8 / -13 )

Kazuaki ShimazakiToday  12:05 pm JST

I'm not so certain Japan was all that thrilled with signing that convention, but OK, they signed.

*The name of the treaty is the **Hague Convention on the Civil **Aspects of International Child Abduction. Do you notice the word "criminal" is not in there?*

The father has been 'accused' of criminal activity with no proof, not convicted so the term criminal here is not relevant. I certainly hope that you're not a real lawyer.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Simon FostonToday 11:33 am JST

How about in situations where one parent kidnaps the children and they're all found dead a few days later?

There are such things as homicide charges to deal with this variant.

Yes, "if." What if that's not the case?

Remember basic burden of proof. Since it's the French who want the arrest, if they want to run this line it's up to them to at least produce some evidence this variant is the case.

Whereas you do?

I don't. But I apply standard-of-proof - where child abuse is potentially involved, it's better to play it safe (at least to the extent of letting private actions take their course) than for the State to force the child into a situation where they already have some reason to believe he would be abused.

Granted, Fichot might have some evidence to show his wife is lying. I remember skimming over one case where a man was actually able to produce evidence showing inconsistencies between his ex-wife's claims and reality. But the article gives no indication such may be the case.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

The name of the treaty is the Hague Convention on the ***Civil *Aspects of International Child Abduction**. Do you notice the word "criminal" is not in there?

If you ignore a court ruling you will be found in contempt and will therefore have to face penalties which may include the payment of damamges, or in the case of child abduction, specific performance. In fact, in any civilized country you could forfeit your right to custody if you disregard a court ruling even if it is merely "civil".

0 ( +4 / -4 )

letsberealisticToday  08:36 am JST

Such an unnecessary cruel Japanese custom that most Japanese seemingly don't see a problem with.

I think the underlying truth is that Japanese fathers who get divorced usually don't care in the least if they never see the kids again and in Japan the status quo generally favours men. They can waltz off into the sunset and enjoy "second lives" while the childcare is dumped on the mothers and their families, who seem to accept this as right and normal. I'm pretty sure a lot of Japanese judges, lawyers and police officers, especially if they're male and middle-aged, are baffled at foreign dads who actually seem to expect things like custody or visitation rights.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Kazuaki ShimazakiToday  12:01 pm JST

You are not the only one with this basic point so I'll dispose of it here. This is a "Standard of Proof" question. If we accept that letting the kid get abused is the worst possible outcome, given the reality that abuse does not always leave convenient visible marks, and that we are not imposing any State-enforced coercions (much less criminal convictions) on this character ... what kind of Standard of Proof do you demand before someone is permitted to take private Self-Defense actions concerning their child. Do you want to personally sign up to a statement saying that woman and child must bear abuse until a court agrees they have indeed been abused?

Heck, maybe you are a woman. Do you pledge to sit there and take abuse just so avoid any chance of a male's oh-so-precious custodial rights being infringed?

You're avoiding the issue and just plain deflecting. The point is there should be due legal process to determine if there was abuse or not and 'part' of that process involves standard/burden of proof. You either agree there should be legal process or there shouldn't, The rest of what you wrote is just plain gibberish.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

Seems to be a child custody /access dispute here in Japan, why did France issue an arrest warrant?

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

You have no idea what you are talking about. A French issued warrant has no validity outside of France and territories under French jurisdiction

You tend to forget that France is part of the European Union and the Union together have a massive power.

A warrant within one of the EU members will be applied in the other member countries as well.

So it is very relevant and Bruessels will side with France.

https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/cross-border-cases/judicial-cooperation/types-judicial-cooperation/european-arrest-warrant_en

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Love this! I hope this gains momentum and Vincent can be united with his kids!

btw, i don't think you need to be concerned about Vincent financially... he was an executive director for Nomura's investment banking arm so i'm pretty sure he was pulling in 300k USD a year (at least)... he should have enough money saved up to not work for a few years...

5 ( +9 / -4 )

AntiquesavingToday 11:44 am JST

Japan willingly signed the Hague convention and by doing so agreed to abide by it over it's own rules.

I'm not so certain Japan was all that thrilled with signing that convention, but OK, they signed.

The name of the treaty is the Hague Convention on the **Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction**. Do you notice the word "criminal" is not in there?

-13 ( +2 / -15 )

No official numbers exist, but rights groups have estimated that about 150,000 minors are forcibly separated from a parent every year in Japan.

FORCIBLY separated? Every year? Based on what? I doubt this number, it should be much lower.

In Japan according to the Statistics Bureau in 2020, there were 193,251 divorces, divorce rate (per 1,000 population) was 1.57. It is unclear how many of these divorced couples had children.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

@letsberealistic Today 11:47 am JST

I don't know of any other nation that just takes the word of one parent that the other is an abuser without any real evidence (e.g. visible injuries, visits to hospitals, eyewitness accounts. Japan does.

You are not the only one with this basic point so I'll dispose of it here. This is a "Standard of Proof" question. If we accept that letting the kid get abused is the worst possible outcome, given the reality that abuse does not always leave convenient visible marks, and that we are not imposing any State-enforced coercions (much less criminal convictions) on this character ... what kind of Standard of Proof do you demand before someone is permitted to take private Self-Defense actions concerning their child. Do you want to personally sign up to a statement saying that woman and child must bear abuse until a court agrees they have indeed been abused?

Heck, maybe you are a woman. Do you pledge to sit there and take abuse just so avoid any chance of a male's oh-so-precious custodial rights being infringed?

-19 ( +3 / -22 )

Third, I don't think the peanut gallery knows Fichot enough to override the wife's assertion that he is unsafe. Should Fichot get access to his kids and it turns out he's an abuser, how many of you are willing to accept accessory liability?

I don't know of any other nation that just takes the word of one parent that the other is an abuser without any real evidence (e.g. visible injuries, visits to hospitals, eyewitness accounts. Japan does.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

OssanAmericaToday  11:40 am JST

See Hague convention then telle and others we have no idea what we are taking about!

You have heard of international agreements, right?

-5 ( +12 / -17 )

Kazuaki ShimazakiToday  11:05 am JST

I express my disgust. I don't care how sympathetic you are to this "Fichot". This is a violation of Japanese sovereignty. Here's why

And here is why it does not violate Japan's sovereignty.

Japan willingly signed the Hague convention and by doing so agreed to abide by it over it's own rules.

Japan agreed to amend it's custody rules and system to conform to the Hague convention.

At this point Japan is in clear violation of the Hague convention to which it is a voluntary signatory.

Unless Japan is willing to accept it's commitment to the Hague convention and follow what it agreed to.

Then Japan should stop being two faced and pull out of the convention!

Japan wants it cake and eat it too. It doesn't work that way and France seems ready to point that out.

2 ( +18 / -16 )

AntiquesavingToday  09:42 am JST

OssanAmericaToday  09:39 am JST

French authorities issued the international warrant 

This is a puzzling statement. French authorities can not issue arrest warrants with any validity outside of France and French territories. If they convinced Interpol to issue a Red Notice, they'd still need the local police in Japan to enforce it. Which I suspect would not draw much cooperation. So what does this "international warrant" mean

You should look up international law and agreements.

This is done all the time!

You have no idea what you are talking about. A French issued warrant has no validity outside of France and territories under French jurisdiction. A fact which you effectively admit in your post following this one. I don't need to "look it up" as I have first hand experience. The burden on France would be to get any other jurisdictions (nations) to recognize it, and being essentially a "family court matter" as opposed to a clear cut criminal case, it will be quite an uphill battle. This issuance is more symbolic than effectual.

-1 ( +15 / -16 )

Kazuaki Shimazaki

Today 11:05 am JST

In Japanese law, the wife's act may be a tort, but not a crime, because the crime of youth kidnapping is assessed to have the child's freedom and custodial rights as its protected interests.

How about in situations where one parent kidnaps the children and they're all found dead a few days later?

If the kids don't show interest in the dad (as is likely), there is no infringement on their freedom, and the wife is exercising her custodial rights.

Yes, "if." What if that's not the case?

Third, I don't think the peanut gallery knows Fichot enough to override the wife's assertion that he is unsafe.

Whereas you do?

11 ( +17 / -6 )

Kazuaki ShimazakiToday  11:05 am JST

I express my disgust. I don't care how sympathetic you are to this "Fichot". This is a violation of Japanese sovereignty. Here's why:

In Japanese law, the wife's act may be a tort, but not a crime, because the crime of youth kidnapping is assessed to have the child's freedom and custodial rights as its protected interests. If the kids don't show interest in the dad (as is likely), there is no infringement on their freedom, and the wife is exercising her custodial rights. This is France violating Japanese sovereignty over its own citizens by imposing its own values, and is not very different from for example China seeking to apply "protective jurisdiction" on national security crimes ("He said something") on foreign soil.

Custodial rights have to determined based on legal process not just one person's word over another's and in the case of a broken-up couple, there often are strong emotions involved that make people exaggerate and flat out lie. If you believe in the legal process then each case should be brought to court and a decision made by a professional, impartial source such as a judge. These fathers have been asking for legal process and Japan won't even hear the case because the mother is 'Japanese' and the father a foreigner. Depending on the age of the children, what they want may not be relevant. Certainly important when the mother lives with the children and can influence how the children feel about their father. Your comparison to China is utterly irrelevant.

Second, the measure cannot be defended as defending shared custody, because the proposed solution of arresting (and presumably convicting) the wife would have the result of leaving Fichot with single custody of the children.

Not true. There are alternatives. It's possible for the wife's family to maintain custody.

Third, I don't think the peanut gallery knows Fichot enough to override the wife's assertion that he is unsafe. Should Fichot get access to his kids and it turns out he's an abuser, how many of you are willing to accept accessory liability?

Do you know the wife enough to believe her unsubstantiated accusation? Why assume she's right and he's wrong when you know as much about their actual relationship as we do....basically nothing, The wife's accusation really means zilch unless it can be proven in court. Accessory liability is a joke in this case.

20 ( +23 / -3 )

If you are not sure how good marriage will be regardless of nationality never do with a Japanese women .. JP Law gives custody of children to the Japanese national either mother or father. An unfair rule disputed since many years now.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Parent with custody of the children probably don't want the other parent to even see the kids out of fear that the other parent would then take away the kids, which is legal

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

were the kids taken from France?

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

I express my disgust. I don't care how sympathetic you are to this "Fichot". This is a violation of Japanese sovereignty. Here's why:

In Japanese law, the wife's act may be a tort, but not a crime, because the crime of youth kidnapping is assessed to have the child's freedom and custodial rights as its protected interests. If the kids don't show interest in the dad (as is likely), there is no infringement on their freedom, and the wife is exercising her custodial rights. This is France violating Japanese sovereignty over its own citizens by imposing its own values, and is not very different from for example China seeking to apply "protective jurisdiction" on national security crimes ("He said something") on foreign soil.

Second, the measure cannot be defended as defending shared custody, because the proposed solution of arresting (and presumably convicting) the wife would have the result of leaving Fichot with single custody of the children.

Third, I don't think the peanut gallery knows Fichot enough to override the wife's assertion that he is unsafe. Should Fichot get access to his kids and it turns out he's an abuser, how many of you are willing to accept accessory liability?

-25 ( +8 / -33 )

Whether this will make any difference in forcing Japan's hand on this issue is unknown. But what we do know is, when this guy's kids are grown up, their mother will have a lot of explaining to do.

kid: "Hey mom, let's take a trip to France!"

mom: "Uh..."

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Any parent who weaponises their child against the other parent is vile and have ultimately failed as a parent.

Agreed. It is nothing less than child abuse. There is no reason to deny parental access unless that parent presents a risk to the child.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Many say this would be impossible to enforce in Japan.

I am inclined to agree that the Japanese courts will reject any extradition request.

But remember that if this woman sets foot outside Japan in any country that is a signatory to the Hague convention she will be immediately arrested,

Likewise any country not a signatory to the Hague convention but has extradition agreement with France.

So this means no trips to Guam, Hawaii, South Korea, USA, Canada anywhere in the EU, etc... All under the Hague convention.

Or places like Vietnam that is not a signatory to the convention but has and extradition agreement with France.

So in essence she had better not step foot outside Japan.

4 ( +19 / -15 )

Good news, but unfortunatelly is impossible to enforce,especially in Japan.

Good thing is those kind of actions get publicity and it will be more than welcome for other countries to follow suit. Then maybe the Japanese mentality and culture will slowly change on this matter of child abduction. Maybe...

0 ( +10 / -10 )

When will the U.S., England, Australia, Canada, Germany, Etc. do what France just did?? when will many kidnapped children parents get their basic rights of child visitation?

So many broken families and hearts, So much suffering caused by the current Japanese laws.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

ChibakunToday  07:33 am JST

Did he get a job?

Did you read the article?

He and other parents aren't asking for custody. They're asking to just be able to see their children. It's called visitation rights. Having a job or not is irrelevant.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

When will the U.S., England, Australia, Canada, Germany, ETC..... and many kidnapped children parents get their basic rights of child visitation?

So many broken families and hearts, So much suffering caused by the current Japanese laws.

9 ( +15 / -6 )

Good to hear.

Remember story about this guy published here/around Tokyo olympics time/.

Good luck be strong and never,never give up!

10 ( +15 / -5 )

Just yes. Yes. Yes.

2 ( +11 / -9 )

Finally!! A big kudos to this father who had the courage to get up and challenge a "justice" system that seems hell bent on tearing and keeping families apart. The lack of shared custody in Japan has been abused viciously by parents who want to punish their former partners by keeping them from visiting their kids. I hope that with this new development and with it being thrust into the international spotlight, Japan starts revising this absurd law of sole custody only and mostly awarding it to mothers.

15 ( +20 / -5 )

OssanAmericaToday  09:39 am JST

French authorities issued the international warrant 

This is a puzzling statement. French authorities can not issue arrest warrants with any validity outside of France and French territories. If they convinced Interpol to issue a Red Notice, they'd still need the local police in Japan to enforce it. Which I suspect would not draw much cooperation. So what does this "international warrant" mean

You should look up international law and agreements.

This is done all the time!

-3 ( +16 / -19 )

I was barred from seeing my kids by my Japanese ex-wife and they only lived 5 kilometers away. I applied to the courts to get visitation and they just looked at me like I was an idiot. They approached her about me seeing the kids and she just replied, "I fear violence." and that was the end of it. No proof or history needed. Just one statement shut down any chance I had of ever seeing my kids again. I spent 9 years battling with no success. I have since left Japan and have two kids in their late teens I have not seen for over a decade and there is not a damn thing i can do about it.

I'm so sorry to hear that., I can't imagine how awful that must be Its outrageous how broken and unjust this stupid system is and the immense harm it causes to both parents and children.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

French authorities issued the international warrant 

This is a puzzling statement. French authorities can not issue arrest warrants with any validity outside of France and French territories. If they convinced Interpol to issue a Red Notice, they'd still need the local police in Japan to enforce it. Which I suspect would not draw much cooperation. So what does this "international warrant" mean?

5 ( +17 / -12 )

Do we actually know anything about the reasons for her actions?

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

YES, YES, YES, great news and I hope they will arrest or at least convince the Japanese authorities that these kidnaping can't go on any more, shared custody is good healthy for the children and the parents, Japan must accept this FACT and change it's laws.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

This story is not one in a vacuum.

It is one with many branches.

These include Japan's own similar complaints towards other countries doing the same to Japanese parents.

It includes multiple other Nationals with similar cases as this man

It includes Japan's signing the Hague convention but then not following up on it committment in adjusting it laws to comply with the the convention as it agreed to do.

Japan wanted it's cake and eat it too.

It signed the Hague convention expecting to easy international criticism and benefit from the protection but at the same time expected to not comply locally or internationally when it didn't benefit Japanese Nationals

0 ( +15 / -15 )

If you are a foreign man thinking of marrying a Japanese woman keep the above in mind. Out of the male foreign friends I have in Japan maybe 30% suffer this fate either from divorce or in one case death of the wife and her parents successfully gaining sole custody. It is the sword of Damocles that will always be hanging over your head if you stay in Japan. The only other instance of state sanctioned child kidnapping that I am aware of is fathers who take their children back to Middle East countries.

19 ( +23 / -4 )

Any post supporting the husband gets a +

Any post casting doubt, or wanting to hear more about the wife’s side gets a -

-25 ( +4 / -29 )

Good news. The more naming and shaming the better. It's been too long already that japan gets away with it's shenanigans.

Also 150.000 per year(!) is an alarmingly huge number. Especially if we calculate it through longer periods.

12 ( +18 / -6 )

Damn, I'm glad they are finally taking this guys case seriously. At the beginning it looked like he was gonna be totally ignored.

19 ( +22 / -3 )

Like it or not, Japanese laws

At the end of the day they are 50% his kids. He loves them and wants to meet them which I am sure a normal father would. He is going above and beyond just to see them and who are we to stop him whether he is foreign or Japanese.

17 ( +21 / -4 )

Did he get a job?

Did she? Because of she doesn't have a good job that pays well, she shouldn't be allowed anywhere near those kids (according to some people's logic).

9 ( +14 / -5 )

a friend of mines now is going through this exact thing.....he GOT custody but allowed the kid to stay at mum's, who then stopped him from seeing kid.....he only wants access. Went back to court and the court has granted him access, but STILL mother stops kid from seeing him regularly as directed by the court.......cites scheduling issues. She still has her hand out for the monthly money from him tho.......

17 ( +21 / -4 )

This Japan's parental child abduction has been a long time issue, more than 100 years. I wonder why foreigners marry Japanese women? I'm sure they knew this. They might have thought it never happens to my wife. Better not marry Japanese woman if you want to be happier in the future. This must be a good lesson.

16 ( +23 / -7 )

We can only hope that for some dumb reason, she tries to go to France to renew whatever document and bang. Arrested on the spot.

9 ( +16 / -7 )

Good thing she isn't in France!

-17 ( +5 / -22 )

There are many American fathers in the same predicament as Vincent Fichot. Why doesn't the US issue an arrest warrant and an extradition order as well? If Japan could request the Taylors be extradited to Japan, why can't the US request the same of Japan to extradite its child abductors?

19 ( +32 / -13 )

Très bon.....good luck with it, but at least France has officially took a position supporting the legal position of the Father.

23 ( +25 / -2 )

Such an unnecessary cruel Japanese custom that most Japanese seemingly don't see a problem with.

20 ( +28 / -8 )

I wish him all the best, international attention must be brought to Japan on this issue.

Good to see the moderator doing his job to remove a callous post made by someone merely speculating.

16 ( +22 / -6 )

To think that Japan is going to listen the tantrum of the French authorities??, so funny..

I doubt anyone thinks they will. Certainly no one has stated that as an expectation. No, it's pretty clear that the point of this is to ensure this woman cannot leave Japan without fear of being arrested in the future. She's on a form of house arrest.

24 ( +29 / -5 )

I thought "abduction" issues were at the top of the J-gov's things to resolve - I am always hearing that.

:-)

18 ( +27 / -9 )

My sympathy and support goes to this brave man and all the people in a similar situation.

Also being foreigner in such cases is another minus here.

Unfortunately Japan in many ways like this or the forced confessions or light punishments for rapes etc is still stucking it’s head in a Showa era style and it’s reluctant to change things.

I believe many of the few foreigners left in Japan deep in their heart regret to have made this country their home.

13 ( +26 / -13 )

Japans' laws protects Japanese Nationals. Also, stealing the children from around the world is a great way to boost the Japanese population. Am I right or am I right?

-8 ( +12 / -20 )

Good J government. I hope Vincent is kicked out of Japan. He is a wife beater. I hope he never sees his kids again.

Grub.

If he had ANY criminal charges, he would have been deported.

You are a bitter person.

38 ( +42 / -4 )

well done, your are the best and strongest father that will make changes to this non justice system!

21 ( +26 / -5 )

It would help to embarrass the Japanese government in to action if there were a raft of such cases by a number of countries and repeatedly brought to the UN so Japan would find it difficult to ignore. After all, all that is being asked is to do no more than is the norm in any civilised country!

27 ( +32 / -5 )

French authorities issued the international warrant over allegations of parental abduction and endangering a minor

A bit over the top if you ask me. Endangering the minor how exactly? She is the mother.

Obviously and sadly, the better parent isn't always the mother. In this case (as in other similar instances), she is a mother who fails to understand the psychological damage to a child who is denied access to the other parent--in this instance a father. Abandonment issues can be extremely damaging and require years of therapy to address and overcome in children who are deprived of a father's love, example, support and ongoing relationship. This in turn gets passed on to their children.

In addition, except for criminal action against one's child, a basic human right of any parent ought to be the right to contact with their biological and adopted child(ren). If warranted, under supervision, but a right all the same. Another basic human right ought to be the right of a child to refuse contact with a parent, but never one parent's right to deny access to the other parent.

29 ( +31 / -2 )

Depriving any opportunity for children to keep in touch wity their father - who has committed no crimes - means this woman is not a real mother. She places her ego and bitterness above the future of the children. They are simply a weapon to be used against her ex-husband.

Filthy, despicable woman.

47 ( +50 / -3 )

Obviously the children must ask where their father is and wander if he doesn't love them - and obviously she lies through her teeth to them and tells them he left them. When they grow up and look him up on the internet and see the lengths he went through to see them, what will she say then?

34 ( +36 / -2 )

Rough story Disillusioned.

Have you ever tried contacting your kids directly through social media or anything? I have a friend whose wife tried keeping his kids away, and that's how he communicated with them.

42 ( +47 / -5 )

I was barred from seeing my kids by my Japanese ex-wife and they only lived 5 kilometers away. I applied to the courts to get visitation and they just looked at me like I was an idiot. They approached her about me seeing the kids and she just replied, "I fear violence." and that was the end of it. No proof or history needed. Just one statement shut down any chance I had of ever seeing my kids again. I spent 9 years battling with no success. I have since left Japan and have two kids in their late teens I have not seen for over a decade and there is not a damn thing i can do about it.

I wish this guy luck in his quest, but I fear he is flogging a dead horse and nothing will come of it.

85 ( +86 / -1 )

No official numbers exist, but rights groups have estimated that about 150,000 minors are forcibly separated from a parent every year in Japan.

This is an extremely misleading statement here. Without any explanation the "rights groups" are basing their numbers on what? Are they talking about the number of parents who get divorced and the children are taken into custody by, typically the mother, or in some cases the father?

-32 ( +4 / -36 )

Hmm international arrest warrant meaning she can be nabbed in countries other than France is she travels ? That would make it interesting. The story on this guy has been a bit one sided all along so easy to sympathize with but was there anything ever released from the perspective of the wife ? Giving some benefit of doubt…

-32 ( +9 / -41 )

Hopefully other countries start doing the same - unfortunately Japan only tends to respond when embarrassed on the international stage.

42 ( +52 / -10 )

He’s not fighting for custody. Let him see his children. Stop the retaliatory, vindictive practice of kidnapping your own children.

66 ( +69 / -3 )

Did he get a job?

-62 ( +11 / -73 )

No shared parenting is a law that goes against our most basic human values of love and family. 150,000 children every year are refused the chance to have one parent in their lives. This is a policy that deliberately harms children, as well as the alienated parent(usually the father) unnecessarily. The other parent may” win”, but at the expense of children. Past time for a change!

48 ( +54 / -6 )

French authorities issued the international warrant over allegations of parental abduction and endangering a minor

A bit over the top if you ask me. Endangering the minor how exactly? She is the mother.

But i am glad the father gain support from the french government. But i seriously doubt that the warrant is gonna help considered she ain't gonna ever travel to France again. Still, i hope he get to see his kids again.

-53 ( +9 / -62 )

Interestingly enough, this one seems to make some waves in Japan and is being reported by Asahi, Yomiuri, even Jiji and Kyodo.

https://news.yahoo.co.jp/search?p=%E4%BB%8F%E3%80%80%E9%80%AE%E6%8D%95%E7%8A%B6&ei=utf-8

Not holding my breath that things will change though...

51 ( +57 / -6 )

Any parent who weaponises their child against the other parent is vile and have ultimately failed as a parent.

Unfortunately a very common practice here in Japan. Many Japanese lack the emotional maturity to not separate the kids from their own spousal problems.

57 ( +64 / -7 )

This sort of thing just makes the Japanese dig their heels in even more. It won’t make any difference, sadly. Same with complaining about whaling; counterproductive.

-46 ( +22 / -68 )

He only wanted what most decent fathers want, contact and the love of their children.

72 ( +78 / -6 )

Well done Vincent for standing up for Father's, Japan greatly favors Mother's, hopefully this will be a step toward equality for the sexes in Japan. Let's hope she is stripped of custody and given a lengthy prison sentence.

60 ( +69 / -9 )

Any parent who weaponises their child against the other parent is vile and have ultimately failed as a parent.

86 ( +91 / -5 )

Thank you Vincent for having the courage to fight this battle against the odds.

78 ( +87 / -9 )

Best wishes Vincent.

87 ( +93 / -6 )

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