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U.S. congressional panel advances bill on child abductions

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keep the pressure on.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Japan will no doubt thank the US and sit back on their hands while they form panels to 'think about it' and get back to them in a few decades.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I know a couple of guys that had their children abducted by their former Japanese wives and in both cases after the children turned 18 they themselves quickly made contact with their fathers and soon went to live with them They now want nothing to do with their mother and hold an extreme amount of resentment towards them. The narrow mindedness of these women and the culture overall is self destructive.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

About time this is the ONLY thing japan might understand! Japan needs to be hammered & woken up wrt this MASSIVE problem!

6 ( +8 / -2 )

How about half-American children?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Children should never be bargaining chips for when relationships go bad. It seems to me that partners do this as a way to get back at their former spouse.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This has been a long time in the works... and is finally coming!!!!

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

endless delays

Good stuff, I really hate that Japan is pissing about with regards to this serious matter.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

A step in the right direction, but aren't these punisments a bit much? We could just put sanctions on Japan.

We in America doesn't need any more enemies!

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

putting pressure on Japan which has never returned a child to foreign parents.

Not nearly close enough but what about the girl in Wisconsin? That's one.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@Yubaru

The Wisconsin case had nothing to do with Japan returning a child. The mother, who had abducted the child then returned the US (where an arrest warrant was waiting), agreed to return the child as part of her US plea-bargin.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Japan long argued that it is protecting women from abuse.

Any shread of evidence of even a single abuse case? Of course not, lying and vague slandering is so much easier. Uso mo houben. Japanese society is so immature...

3 ( +8 / -5 )

But even if Japan signed the treaty, it would only apply to future cases.

Even if Japan signed the treaty, it doesn't they would actually implement it. Just like how they joined the UN treaty against racial discrimination in 1995, but have yet to make racism illegal.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

My heart goes out to any loving parent separated from their child. If sanctions are what it is going to take to force Japan to abandon this barbaric practice, I say bring it on.

-1 ( +12 / -13 )

Japan long argued that it is protecting women from abuse.

Yeah, just like saying that killing whales is a 'scientific research' and "we never did anything wrong during the war, our soldiers never raped nor killed civilians".

If a country has 10 or more cases pending, the United States could take tougher action such as refusing to grant export licenses for goods, withholding aid and canceling exchanges or official visits.

I say do it. The Japanese government needs to be taught a lesson.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Good post, Patrick.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

There will be lots of tough talk, but at the end of the day the U.S. knows that taking aggressive action against Japan would simply drive Japan into the arms of China, and strategically the U.S. can't afford that. It would destabilise the U.S.'s military presence in SE Asia and however much parents might like this issue to be resolved my prediction is that it will drag on forever.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

National sanctions are NOT the way to go. That would only hurt millions of people who have nothing to do with these cases. Child abduction is terrible to be sure. There are no winners in any custody dispute, and further complicated in international cases. The onus is on the parents to find an equitable solution.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

There will be lots of tough talk, but at the end of the day the U.S. knows that taking aggressive action against Japan would simply drive Japan into the arms of China

I think that this is the empty argument the the US Department of State always buys into; but it is somewhat ludicrous to really believe. Japan and China have a long and turbulent history. I seriously doubt that Japan would ever turn to China. Japan would want to have the upper-hand in the relationship, and that would never happen. I don't think that Japan could handle being subservient to China on any level; and that is what "turning to China" would force them to do.

Japan just needs to wake up and join the modern world.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

@Herve Nmn L'Eisa

Your position is NOT possible. In these situations, Japan protects the abductors. The abductors have no incentive to be "equitable".

Individual, non-abduction parents cannot fight an entire foreign government.

Japan is in violation of International Treaties (UNCRC, UNCERD, etc). Japan continues to refuse to conform to their international obligations, therefore there have to be repercussions. Japan is bringing this on themselves.

Not only that, but the abduction issue is really due to fundamental problems with the Japanese domestic legal system. Many Japanese parents have also been asking the US to take a stand to help push reform in Japan.

According to Professor TANASE Takeo: he estimates that ONLY 2.6% of children, whose parents divorce in Japan, get any sort of reasonable access to the "non-possessing" parent. This is because the Japanese legal system is broken. Based on UN Human Rights Treaties, Japan is fundamentally violating human rights. This is something that requires changes by the GoJ to the Japanese system.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Herve Nmn L'EisaMar. 28, 2012 - 01:20PM JST

National sanctions are NOT the way to go. That would only hurt millions of people who have nothing to do with these cases.

Sorry, but they're exactly the way to go. Until the Japanese as a nation wakes up to the fact that we are as human as they are, that we bleed exactly like them, that we feel pain exactly like them, that we have the same needs for a quality of life exactly like them and there are hundreds if not thousands of examples Megumi Yokotas within her very shores, then talking is a waste of time and sanctions are the only way to go.

The day that the japanese people empathise with the rest of humanity and don't see them as a lesser form of humanity are, because of the brainwashing racist institutions of the Japanese state, a long way in the future The present abducted and the future abducted, not born, will be long dead before this happens, if the only efforts to make Japan change are jaw jaw.

Even now Japan is trying to impose conditions on the Hague convention to make it unworkable AND THEY HAVEN'T EVEN SIGNED IT YET

2 ( +6 / -4 )

The onus is on the parents to find an equitable solution.

Thing is though, if it were that simple none of this would be happening, would it? Yes, in an ideal world people behave with integrity and put the needs of the children first, but when you have people who dont behave like this, and have the full backing of the state protecting them while they behave without reason or integrity, stronger measures need to be called for.

I dont give a damn whether Japan signs the Hague Convention or not - they will always find a way to wriggle out of it. What I DO care about is whether they sign and then ENFORCE those laws - remains to be seen but the nation as a whole doesnt seem to have a very good track record of enforcing any laws related to racism, sexism, labour.....why should this be any different? The only thing that will make a difference is outside pressure.

-4 ( +11 / -15 )

puzzling why Nicky's reasonable comments get negative votes...I don't have a particular interest in child abduction issues, but the general level of enforcement of human rights-related laws is very weak in Japan.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Wurthington has hit the nail on the head. My kids are exactly the same. They don't want to live with her, but, of course, she will not give me custody cos she knows as soon as she does we are off this island asylum. And, I will be keeping their dual citizenship regardless of pressure from the J-Gov to the contrary.

However, the issue with the abducted kids is, there are no domestic laws in Japan governing child custody or support and I fear that, until there are laws set within Japan in regards to custody, visitation and support it is virtually impossible to get Japan to adopt a foreign policy. In Japan, what the woman wants, the woman gets and that is the law.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Herve Nmn L'EisaMAR. 28, 2012 - 01:20PM JST

National sanctions are NOT the way to go. That would only hurt millions of people who have nothing to do with these cases. Child abduction is terrible to be sure. There are no winners in any custody dispute, and further complicated in international cases. The onus is on the parents to find an equitable solution.

It is because of people like you that we are still living in the dark ages here in Japan. Who cares if people that doesn't have anything to do with this get hurt "economically"? I don't care. We are talking human rights here! Is it money more important than human rights? Children's human rights? No!

Both parents is the best parent. Children love both parents. If South Korea and China have dual custody, then why Japan doesn't?

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

@Yubaru

The Wisconsin case had nothing to do with Japan returning a child. The mother, who had abducted the child then returned the US (where an arrest warrant was waiting), agreed to return the child as part of her US plea-bargin.

If this is the argument then in reality all cases are such. Japanese courts could have just as easily stopped this case too but agreed with the father. The mother was just stupid enough to try to return that's all. Other mothers dont.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

However, the issue with the abducted kids is, there are no domestic laws in Japan governing child custody or support and I fear that, until there are laws set within Japan in regards to custody, visitation and support it is virtually impossible to get Japan to adopt a foreign policy. In Japan, what the woman wants, the woman gets and that is the law.

Riiiight, unless that woman happens to be a FOREIGNER!!!!!! Then she loses custody permanently!

-2 ( +8 / -9 )

Ok Japan, the door is getting a lot tighter. Pass this and get on with things before the door closes entirely and you are left out in the cold.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

. Franchesca Miyara YangMar. 28, 2012 - 03:10PM JST

If South Korea and China have dual custody, then why Japan doesn't?

Sorry to burst your bubble, but they don't. Their laws are on par with Japan.

The only difference between the 3 nations is that Japan is in a more advanced stage of their nationals marrying non-nationals.

Korea is a bomb waiting to blow because 10 percent of their marriages are now international. The only silver lining for Korea is that overwhelmingly most of their international marriages are between Korean males and women from 3rd world countries.

People, please don't include Japan in any relativist comparison with Korea or China. Japan may have its faults but it's light years ahead of its north east asian neighbours.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

@Yubaru

If this is the argument then in reality all cases are such. Japanese courts could have just as easily stopped this case too but agreed with the father. The mother was just stupid enough to try to return that's all. Other mothers dont.

You seem to not understand the legal system in either country.

The Japanese courts don't get involved unless there is a dispute. When the Japanese Courts do get involved, they basically "rubber stamp" whatever the current status quo is (while favoring Japanese over foreigners in any way possible).

In the Wisconsin case, although there had previously been a court case: where the foreign father was trying to get Japan to honor the US custody order and the Japanese mother was saying "NO". The mother dropped her objections, thereby ending the case (and the Japanese's court's involvement) and the Japanese Grandparents helped return the daughter to the US.

Now, if the Japanese Grandparents had refused... that would have made things interesting. Giving past practices of the Japanese courts (there are several cases where only the foreign parent is alive, and the children where abducted by Japanese relatives) the likely outcome would have been:

The Grandparents would likely have been awarded "custody" by the Japanese courts, the Japanese mother would have remained in US prison, and the little girl would have grown up without either parent.

Any way that you look at it, the Japanese system is broken. The only people benefiting from the current system are Judicial bureaucrats, corrupt (or lazy) lawyers, and narcissistic parents willing to abuse their children. Meanwhile, children are suffering.

Not only that, but the current method of "custody" in Japan is against Japanese law. So the courts in Japan aren't actually following Japanese law. According to the actual law in Japan:

Article 98 of the Japanese constitution states that: "The treaties concluded by Japan and established laws of nations shall be faithfully observed." In other words, treaties are effectively law according the Japan's own constitution.

One such treaty, the UNCRC (convention on the rights of the child), already states (in article 11) that child abduction is wrong.

Japan is ignoring this (and many other aspect of the UNCRC and other treaties) and it therefore violating it's own constitution.

In addition, there where changes made last year to article 766 of the Japanese civil code -- the Japanese courts have actively stated in a recent court ruling that they have no regard for this law pasted by the Japanese parliament. The court ruling stated that they have no interest in following the new law.

I would think that Japanese people would be generally concerned that their Courts aren't following their own law? If the courts ignore the country's own laws and constitution, then no Japanese citizen is protected from any abuse by the Japanese government.

As it is, in practice no parent in Japan has any rights. Any parent can abduct a child at any time and deny access to the other parent. No parent is safe; nor is any child protected.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

@Yubaru

The mother was just stupid enough to try to return that's all. Other mothers dont.

But you are completely correct on this part.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Sorry to burst my bubble? If anyone have experienced child abduction first hand is me. I don't know how many other posters had their kids abducted but I know that my little boy's custody was never returned, all ties cut off and no visitation rights whatsoever. Did I ever do something to deserve that? No. I was what many people call the "dream wife". Far from being the nagging and annoying type of woman. I was devoted and very caring with my family. so, did I deserve having my breast feeding 1 year old baby abducted from home? No. Did I asked for him to be abducted? No Did the police did something to help me? No. In fact. I went out of my way and did things that I would have never done in order to recover him back but nothing helped my case. Once a child is taken in the middle of a divorce war, game's over. Being woman doesn't make me better or superior to any man. As long as you are the non-japanese parent, you will be in great disadvantage, unfortunately. Violence does not resolve anything, but neither does resignation.

I learned to keep things in perspective and keep fighting the good fight, with my brain and all the resources available under this current law. Again, if I was to go by his house and re-abduct him back, how is that gonna help my case? I refuse to lower my self to the scum I was married with. I refuse to hurt my baby emotionally and mentally even if that means continuing my life and waiting. I am still here, I remarried and had more children. I haven't given up at all. My husband is also a Japanese LBP. We support and love each other very much.

But I miss my baby all the time, therefore I have never being able to recover and I never will. My heart is forever broken and aching. I have a new family and continued my life but nothing will ever be the same. You can take the child away physically but the bond between that child and his mother (or father for that matter!) is permanent. Nothing will ever break that special bond apart.

I miss him every day, he's 7 years old now and soon will be in second grade I presume. I am not allowed to meet with him under this current laws, but nothing and nobody can't forbid me from meeting him in my dreams.

I meet him in my dreams sometimes which I deeply cherish.

I pray for peace among all these left behind parents and I really hope they can all meet their children in their dreams as well.

-2 ( +8 / -9 )

who cares about thumbs down, Japan will sign the hague convention and update their outdated laws whether you like it or not. mark my words. :-)

-6 ( +5 / -10 )

Franchesca Miyara YangMar. 28, 2012 - 04:10PM JST

Sorry to burst my bubble?

Just educatng you on the fact that you are wrong about Korea or China having better child custody laws than Japan. As a matter of fact I think China's law are even more ethnocentric than Japan's, if that's possible!

It used to be the case, I don't know if it still is, that if a Chinese woman married a non-Chinese national and left China in the first 2 years of that marriage, she lost her Chinese nationality.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

DogMAR. 28, 2012 - 04:17PM JST

Just educatng you on the fact that you are wrong about Korea or China having better child custody laws than Japan. As a matter of fact I think China's law are even more ethnocentric than Japan's, if that's possible!

It used to be the case, I don't know if it still is, that if a Chinese woman married a non-Chinese national and left China in the first 2 years of that marriage, she lost her Chinese nationality.

Oh, it seems that only South Korea has dual custody, not China. My apologies for the honest mistake. TY. Still, We are living in the dark ages in this country. It's a huge shame!

-6 ( +4 / -9 )

Franchesca,

It must really hurt to have your first child (any child) taken away like that; I hope you can get in touch with your son when he grows up. He might just get confused and scared if you do so now.

Is that him in the picture?

Your case does show that Japan's stance has nothing to do with protecting women from abuse, its just an excuse that sounds acceptable.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Japan's domestic laws on visitation do certainly seem to be a problem.

I am not sure if accepting the Hague convention will fix that or not.

One problem I always have with this discussion is that while it may be true that Japan has not "returned" a child to the U.S., I need to know specific cases where they "should" have done so, or its hard to take fault with Japan. And no, a person talking about their own personal case does not convince me. Every parent that did not get custody whines about it, and no idea if they have a legit complaint or not.

That said, I am not going to declare that Franchesca should have custody with her side of the story only. But I have a serious problem that she has no visitation rights even. That is so outrageous that I actually want to contact her ex myself.

I also don't know how many kids America returned to Japan. And I look at the Chris Savoie case and it seems to me that the U.S. and the Hague Convention have problems of their own.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

@Seavey

One problem I always have with this discussion is that while it may be true that Japan has not "returned" a child to the U.S., I need to know specific cases where they "should" have done so, or its hard to take fault with Japan.

In most of the cases in question, the child was illegally removed from the US by the Japanese parent > often in violation of US court orders.

Look at the Michael Elias case for just one example: is ex-wife even broke Japanese law by committing passport fraud and abusing her position at the Japanese consulate.

I could provide dozens more. There are cases where the only parent is the non-Japanese parent (the Japanese parent having died from a disease, or suicide), and the Japanese grandparents abducted the child and later where given custody by the Japanese courts.

I also don't know how many kids America returned to Japan.

It happens, although as the US courts get more educated about Japan's court system it is starting to happen less. The US courts use the UCCJEA to determine jurisdiction. However, as Japanese Courts now have an extensive track-record of violating human-rights, and ignoring custody orders from foreign courts, there are several cases which are now evaluating if the UCCJEA should no longer apply to Japan.

Since Japan has refused to sign the Hague treaty, they cannot use the hague mechanisms to request a return via that process.

And I look at the Chris Savoie case and it seems to me that the U.S. and the Hague Convention have problems of their own.

Most people don't actually know the real details of the Savoie case. His ex-wife agreed to divorce in the US, as she would get a better settlement. She got her settlement money, they had joint custody, then she took the money AND abducted the children = in violation of court orders and the agreed terms of her divorce settlement.

And again, these things that Japan is doing with regard to custody and abduction is in violation of the UNCRC treaty which Japan ratified back in 1994 = nearly 20 years ago.

Japan's system is well documented. They give custody to abductors. Japanese attorneys actually recommend abducting your child; as they know that abduction wins the day in the Japanese court system.

And it isn't just lack of visitation. Non-Abducting parents aren't even allowed to know where their children are, if they are well. Heck, they don't even get to know for sure if their children are alive. In addition, other people are allowed to adopt them without the non-abducting parent's notice or approval.

Japan just unilaterally strips the non-abducting parent of any parental rights whatsoever.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Patrick McPikeMar. 28, 2012 - 01:37PM JST I think that this is the empty argument the the US Department of State always buys into; but it is somewhat ludicrous to really believe. Japan and China have a long and turbulent history. I seriously doubt that Japan would ever turn to China. Japan would want to have the upper-hand in the relationship, and that would never happen. I don't think that Japan could handle being subservient to China on any level; and that is what "turning to China" would force them to do.

If the U.S. follows this it would look at cancelling export contracts with Japan, and Japan would have to export those goods elsewhere, and for balance of trade reasons import goods from the same source. China has similar goods, normally at better prices, and while there are safety concerns Japan wouldn't have much choice if the U.S. pushed the issue. Closer trade relations would lead to the normal range of things that go with trade relations, like closer diplomatic and cultural ties.

Japan has had a VERY long history with China, and what most people forget is that there has been as much positive exchange as there has been negative, and culturally the two countries are less dissimilar than Japan and the U.S. who have also had their ups and downs. It would be less difficult for Japan to "make up" with China than it was for Japan to "make up" with the U.S. and gloss over gunboat diplomacy and the minor matter of atomic bombings.

This isn't going to happen, it's just talk. I wish Japan would come to the party on this issue, but like whaling this sort of international game of brinkmanship is going to just reveal the U.S. is just saber-rattling with no actual intent of following through. Everyone who knows anything about diplomacy knows this.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Not holding my breath on this one with the flagrant disregard of just about anything on Japans part. I too have experienced this first hand back in 1994. All calls and questions to the Japanese consulate were ignored and never returned. I got the painful news from the Department of State that Japan would do NOTHING to help me. I am of the lucky few to get assigned to Japan again and see my children. During a brief cordial time with the ex she told me that she was advised by her american lawyer (with monetary compensation of course) to take the kids and run. She told me that individuals at the consulate "advised" her as well. I understand that aching inside that feels like your heart will explode that Franchesca is feeling. I hope that she one day is able to see her child again.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@Franchesca Miyara Yang I completely agree with you in everything you said. Ignore the haters! They are either ill-informed, studying English and don't like reality THROWN in their faces and will do anything they can to protect their people and country and view us foreigners as inherently evil, or they are just outright insensitive. How can anyone say that so many will be punished and that money is more important? You know, what? Japan needs to be severely punished and has a long history of NOT changing until after the fact. Yeah, I said, haters. Japan should be ashamed of itself for being so lazy and or racist in protecting the Japanese parent and or grandparent over what is the right thing to do. THE RIGHT THING TO DO is to give the child to the best parent it can have, and that has nothing to do with its nationality!

I know what you went through. I went through it 20 years ago. The woman I was married to a was a total nut case. She ran off when I said I wanted a divorce because she was violent. We had evidence that she was a nutcase. Did the court care? Not one bit. Nope they just gave her the child. He had three fathers after me. Three fathers and three siblings by each one. Quite the kidnapper. I met my son after she kicked him out at the age of 15 and I was so sad with what I saw. We have a relationship now. But he doesn't know where I live because he is a criminal and has been arrested countless times. I also have a family with children now. But I, like you grieve everyday over the loss. Except I grieve more over what he has become.

All you haters who disagree with what I or Franchesca Miyara Yang says are WRONG. You can thumb me down TOO all you want. But the facts are that the system here only benefits the Japanese. Between Japanese men and women, then it benefits her only. That is not right or fair. Nor is it looking out for the child's best interest. Anyone who says that countless will be affected by the US doing something that it should have done more thirty years ago, are DEAD WRONG as well. YOu are either insensitive or ill-informed. If the US does punish Japan, then Japan might get with the program. Remember, it is the American governments responsibility to protect its citizens at home and abroad as well. Frankly, any country that deals with Japan should follow suit. I love this country. It is my second home. But wrong is wrong. And this one clearly is DEAD WRONG.

In the US it is a big deal when you want to divorce with children and both want parents right. Counselors go to your house and see the conditions that are there. They interview the child and everyone else. Then the judge decides everything and that is how it should be. Not just some bogus rubber stamp system where it is automatic that the foreigner or the man doesn't get custody of the child. That is ridiculously lazy and biased.

@Franchesca Miyara Yang I hope you someday get to mend that wound in your heart. I really understand it. I might be a male, but I loved my son, still do and always will and will always hate and despise those who let my wife take away my son to raise him as a criminal. I said that was what was going to happen. And it BIG FAT did. I wish I could go back to that lazy pompous arrogant judge and say, "See, look what you did! I wouldn't have screwed the kid up that bad. No way! And I told you!"But I seriously doubt that the judge was concerned at all about the welfare of the child. I hope much different for you Franchesca. But I feel your pain very much. I know exactly how you feel. Peace be to you. I really hope someday soon you can reunite with your child.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

imap2223, my heart goes out to you as well my brother. Those of us who have been there must keep hope alive for those who may have to deal with this wicked system. I truly hope this has some impact but then there's that track record..............

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Most people don't actually know the real details of the Savoie case. His ex-wife agreed to divorce in the US, as she would get a better settlement. She got her settlement money, they had joint custody, then she took the money AND abducted the children = in violation of court orders and the agreed terms of her divorce settlement.

That is exactly, what happened. Was that woman ever returned to the US? Doesn't she have a warrant out for her in the US? That's one person who needs to go to jail for a long time because that is what she deserves. She took the money and ran! She agreed to everything and than acted like a snake and came back to Japan in violation of the court order.

Japan get with the program!!! Right is right and wrong is wrong. I will bet if the roles were reversed he would be on airplane back to Japan really soon. Tell me if I am wrong please. It would be on every single channel of such a thing happened. People would be shaking their narrow minded heads and saying how evil we Americans are.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@imap2223

I'm so sorry for what happened to your loving son. I'm not sure what will become of mine. He's 7 years now and still have zero contact with me. I wonder if he's going to follow such path too...who knows? I really hope not. But the odds are not on our side it seems. I also know a LBP whose son now 17 has been arrested a couple of times over some misdemeanors but still.. He's a wonderful dad, but his son's situation is a living example of some of the horrible consequences of child kidnapping. That's reality.

I still feel like I'm in a surreal state of daydream. It's been 5 years and 8 months now since I last hugged my baby. Although he sometimes visit me in my dreams, I can't believe a so called G7 country would REFUSE and DENY my rights to have contact with my own child that I gave birth. All I have from him is that scar below my navel..and the countless memories of the very short time that I spent with him since he was born. His name is Shinta and I'm pretty sure you can read about my horrible case in that Japan child abduction wikipedia page or at crnjapan.net. It's terrible really.

Thank you for your words and support. I am still alive and trying to cope with the pain but sometimes its unbearable. I feel very bad because my now spouse is an excellent husband and loving father but my deep sadness and anxiety had taken its toll on me. Sometimes I feel like I want to hang myself every time I think about my little boy. Suicide is always present in my mind no matter how much I try to get rid off such ugly thought. Unfortunately there is no cure for what I have, if there is one, that would be having my little boy with me again.

-1 ( +4 / -4 )

Franchesca, Keep your dream alive. One day he will know you and the rest of his new family with you. Those of us who have been through it must fan the flames and hopefully something will come of this. My kids and I have since grown apart.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@MoBass4u Thank you for your strong words of encouragement. I just hope that this matter will once and for all be taken care of and nobody has to go throw the insaneness that so many of us has gone throw. It is a crime and for all the haters, remember this you are supporting that. For of you who decide race is more important over what is right, you are wrong. For all of you who believe that your people should be protected against what is actually right, you are the ones who clog this world up with misery.

@Franchesca Miyara Yang I have been at that suicidal rode. Several times. And most people without children don't get it. And I am also sorry to say, but there are a lot of women out there who think that the man doesn't suffer when his kids are taken away or that they have more rights to the child because they bore them. They are also wrong. That was my ex-wife's logic. I didn't carry him around for nine months, therefore I should have no rights. But, when one loves someone, that is all there is to it, especially if it is your child. Gender doesn't make a difference. Don't misunderstand, I am not taking a shot at women. Just a few who have denied men their rights as well.

Franchesca, you are where I was fifteen years ago. Ouch, it hurt and I often thought about suicide. I drank myself into oblivion a few times. Anything to get rid of the pain. I had a couple of really close calls.I met a nice woman who took care of me and treated me with respect. I never committed suicide because I was young and knew someday I would meet my son. And you will, too. You just have to wait for that day. Now, like you, I have a family so I have to carry on. I have a beautiful daughter now. Nine years old. You said that you have family now, and I am assuming that means more children. You take all that pain that you feel and you transfer it to your children, now. You concentrate on them. You concentrate on the day when you can meet your child like I have and say, "None of the things that were told to you are true". That is what I did, and my son knows by my actions that nothing is true. He doesn't forgive his mother for what she did, and neither will yours. Your ex will have to face the music someday. Believe me, it is sweet revenge. Hold on to that hope. That day will come and you need to be around to see it. So, hang in there and don't do what I did. It was a waste of time. Live your life the happiest you can and instead of feeling like you are in mourning, prepare yourself for the day when the truth comes out. Your ex will regret it very much. And you will build a good relationship with your son. Most likely yours will not go down the same road as mine. I doubt that your ex was as criminal as mine was.

Keep your head up. And live for the day when you will be vindicated.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@Frungy

If the U.S. follows this it would look at cancelling export contracts with Japan, and Japan would have to export those goods elsewhere, and for balance of trade reasons import goods from the same source. China has similar goods, normally at better prices, and while there are safety concerns Japan wouldn't have much choice if the U.S. pushed the issue. Closer trade relations would lead to the normal range of things that go with trade relations, like closer diplomatic and cultural ties.

That is not entirely correct. There are are series of steps that get progressively more severe. Personally, I think that once Japan realizes that the US is finally serious, they will adjust their position. In addition, once the US starts the ball rolling, I'd expect the many of the other countries (AU, NZ, SP, FR, UK, CA, etc) that are also getting fed up with Japan would follow suit.

Japan has had a VERY long history with China, and what most people forget is that there has been as much positive exchange as there has been negative, and culturally the two countries are less dissimilar than Japan and the U.S. who have also had their ups and downs. It would be less difficult for Japan to "make up" with China than it was for Japan to "make up" with the U.S. and gloss over gunboat diplomacy and the minor matter of atomic bombings.

I just disagree on this one. Yes, in their long history there have been positive exchanges, but in modern times the negative outweighs the positive and things are different = animosity is deeper, information is more readily available, etc. China would make Japan eat as much crow as possible as they gained greater control over the relationship. I don't think that Japan's collective-country-ego could bear that. For example, Japan largely continues to deny the actions they committed during WW2... as they became more dependent on China, Japan would eventually have to come clean and publicly acknowledge and address the issue.

Often bigger differences are easier to overlook than small differences are.

This isn't going to happen, it's just talk. I wish Japan would come to the party on this issue, but like whaling this sort of international game of brinkmanship is going to just reveal the U.S. is just saber-rattling with no actual intent of following through. Everyone who knows anything about diplomacy knows this.

I would generally agree with you if this were being left in the hands of the "diplomats"; and may yet depending on the final bill. However, the goal of the bill is to take the option not to act (which is what the 'diplomats' have been doing) off the table. Actions will have to be taken. Japan has largely been getting a pass on this issue, but those days are fading away fast. The rest of the world is getting fed up.

In addition, although the foreign aspect of this gets all the press, this is fundamentally an issue of Japanese domestic problems with their legal system. There is a growing movement within Japan, led by Japanese parents (and bureaucrats), calling for change in their system.

There are many things not covered in the media which are happening. Change is coming, it is merely a matter of how painful Japan makes it for itself.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Seavey Do more research before "popping off" and calling us Whiners. I know my case. I got the shaft even when I presented all kinds of evidence about her being an unfit mother. I showed evidence that she was violent. I even have a scar on my forehead from a thrown glass due to a temper tantrum, that is still hear 20 years later. This is the norm in Japan. Here is how it works.

First, be Japanese or a Japanese female. In the case of foreigners in Japan married to Japanese, in 99% of the cases the Japanese is given FULL custody . There are so many websites validating this fact. Do some research for yourself before saying we are whiners. Being ill-infomred is much worse than being a whiner.

Second, between Japanese themselves, in 95% of the cases, the woman is given custody over the father and all visitation rights are granted by the woman. The courts don't get into that. Yeah, may say to the mother that visitation rights should be given to the father but it is never enforced at all. They leave it up to the mothers discretion.

I don't know Franchesca case, but I will tell you this. Even if she was a good mother, she would not get custody of her child unless her husband was in the slammer or a well documented druggie. The Japanese system supports the Japanese, not us.

Personally, I would love to meet you and introduce you to my son, or even her mother and family, who say that she should have never been given custody of my son. Everyone knew it and it was ignored. Even my lawyers tried to persuade me not to fight it, but I did. They told me I wasting my money. I have a really good idea for you. Contact a lawyer and ask him what he thinks. I promise you that just as the sun will come up tomorrow, he will tell you that a snowball has a better chance in hell, than for a foreigner to be given parent's rights against a Japanese. Also, I have a lot of experience with Japanese fathers who have lost their rights to their kids as well and are denied any contact with their children. The courts leave it to the mother. Or if the wife is a foreigner, and the husband is Japanese, than it is completely up to the father. The court can tell the parent to give visitation rights to the other but NEVER, EVER enforce it. They deem it a family matter.

Chris Savoie, he was stupid to get a divorce in the US. He should have known that his ex would do such a thing. Collect the money and run. And that is exactly what she did. The court did what it thought it could do. She knew that she would get away with it. Of course, her lawyers in Japan told her that if she ran off with the kids that the Japanese system would protect her and that is what it did and still does today. It even arrested him for doing what he had every right to do. Personally, I hope she gets what she deserves. I regard her as less than a leech.

Please do some research, it offends me personally when someone like you pops off about something that sooooooooooooooooooo many of us are aware of due to experience. It really offends me because I have been working with people who have lost all right to their children due to a lazy, rubber stamp system that is filled with insensitive, supposedly intelligent people who have not a cajone amongst them to stand up and do the right thing. I don't call them judges. They are pompous people who just don't care. They would never do something on their own because they fear that they might have to take responsibility if something negative were to occur.

As for you, in all due respect, please respect us to not call us "whiners". We have gone through way too much and have received grave injustices already and for someone like you who has no knowledge about this to pop off and call us whiners is just downright insensitive. Get informed. No ill will meant to you. Peace

4 ( +6 / -2 )

@Seavey Here is a good place for you to start. Filled with all kinds of things that might enlighten you on what we go through.

crnjapan.net

1 ( +2 / -1 )

My heart goes out to those of you caught up in this nightmarish hell. I sat crying reading some of your stories as I cannot imagine being without my three diamonds. I personally feel that Japan shouldn't be allowed to be part of the G7 or the UN while condoning such heinious acts.

I never forget reading about a Canadian man I believe, whose wife passed away in Canada and while he was attending to the funeral arrangements of his Japanese wife, the Japanese grandparents who were over visiting, got on a plane and kidnapped the twin grandchildren back to Japan. And Japan did NOTHING to help that man. His two kids were taken by the grandparents and Japan thought that was okay. Sickening beyond belief.

Hubby and I have a great relationship but I am more than aware that life can take a cruel turn and I could end up in a very bad place. Especially as my Inlaws do not like me.

A few years ago, I went to the city office to obtain a copy of the juminhyo as the twins were starting youchien. I was horrified to see that my name wasn't listed anywhere on the form. Essentially, my kids are motherless. I got onto the case with the member of staff who was dealing with me and she very calmly replied 'Well, of course you can't go on it! You aren't Japanese! You are on the list for foreigners.' She said it so matter of factly. It was almost like 'Well, you aren't human. Of course you cannot go on that list.' That's how Japanese bureaucracy views foreigners here.

For those parents out there who are being so incredibly brave and strong after 'losing' a precious child......Your strength blows my mind and please keep in there. I do truly believe that Japan will have to change. And infact, even the Japanese left behind parents are pushing for a change sighing Japan too. The world is becoming a much smaller place and certain countries are losing patience with Japan trying to have it's cake and eat it.

I hope you are all reunited with your beautiful children in the future. Please take care.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Oh Sam, city hall and the papers....

But the facts are that the system here only benefits the Japanese Actually, I think the system usually benefits just the Japanese mothers unless the wife is a foreigner.

I have to say, I wonder if Japan is keeping their laws like this to keep the divorce rates down. I know many, many unhappy men in marriages that are not stable who would love to get a divorce. The reason why they don't? Because they know they'll never see their kids again. Keeping the divorce rate low means few single mothers who need financial support from the government. Ensure a system that a man will stay, pay and see his kids... I think divorce rates increase when kids are out of high school and I know for a fact that they increase for over 60 year olds now that wives are allowed to get 50% of the husband's pension.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

@tmarie I think the real reason might be that the Japanese have long despised divorce up until recently. The wife wouldn't get 50% of her husband pension until recently as well. While the US is willing to throw deadbeat husbands in jail for not paying child support the opposite is true here. Deadbeat fathers don't get thrown in jail here at all. But I think that might change as well, hopefully. I may be wrong about this one. Also, I think the Japanese are far behind the western world in a good way about divorce and reasons for it. I think often when love has gone out the window in the relationship here, that the couples put up with each other here until the kids get old enough to leave. I know of many couples who sleep in separate bedrooms and live completely different lives here, where in the west if you slept in separate bedrooms that would mean that divorce was imminent. Although I think that couples who live separate lives and sleep in separate bedrooms is sad, I will not use my western ruler on them. Different cultures mean different things that we have to try understand.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

But the simplistic way in which children are just given to the parent on the basis of gender and race here is pathetic and not something that we should settle for but try to fight to change. All the haters who say, "we foreigners should just shut up" are just trying to protect themselves. Right and wrong are not in their vocabulary at all. If we can pay taxes than we deserve the very same rights. I am a permanent resident. I have been here for more than 20 years and even though my wife and I have a good relationship, I would be subjected to her whims if I wanted to see and have a relationship with my child. And that is ridiculous. And as far as not listing the foreign parent on the juminhyo as Samantha pointed out, it is ridiculous and MUST BE CHANGED. It doesn't matter if the parent even has a VISA. HIS/Her name should be listen on that because they are the parent. If any of you disagree then put yourself in that position. How would you feel? Put the shoe on the other foot.

The sad part is that people who are against giving foreign parents or fathers the rights to their child, and are against placing the foreign parents name on the juminhyo are either ridiculously insensitive, just trying to protect themselves, or have allowed emotions to cloud their thinking and just take offense to foreigners in general, especially if they scream "foul play". Kind of like the 60's in America, when whites didn't want blacks in the schools with their children. Emotion and stupidity took precedents over what is the right things to do. I hope that those who are either against us due to ignorance and or indifference will put the shoe on the other foot and see what it feels like if the same unfairness was placed upon them in a foreign land that they called their second home. We must try to make the rules fair for everyone not just for the natives, and that goes for any place that you live. Protect yourself, but not if it comes at the cost of what is the right thing to do.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I agree with both your posts. I remember when the pension thing came into play and the reports of the divorce rates going up. Sad. If you are that unhappy in your marriage, why stay? Oh right. One stays so they can see the kids, the other stays because they are financially dependent. Certainly not the best for the kid to be in such a home.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

I just hate that it only applies to future cases. Why cant it apply to current cases?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Do more research before "popping off" and calling us Whiners.

Don't put words in my mouth. Seriously. There is a difference between someone who is whining and "a whiner". Of course, you may have a legit reason to whine. I don't know. But I will be damned if I am going to take your word for it.

I got the shaft even when I presented all kinds of evidence about her being an unfit mother.

Every time a divorce comes up, that is the story from the guy. Every freaking time.

And I wonder if it ever occured to you combative foreign men that it might have been best to go with the flow, instead of fight the wind? So many of you go in making a battle, and when its all over, you expect a hug from those you battled! It does not work that way with Japanese women.

Most of the time what I see is that the foreign man has pissed the woman off so much before that divorce comes, and its the root of all. Doubly so if he instigates the divorce. And then they expect to walk out with the kids, and fight tooth and nail for it.

I don't know your case. But most of the time it seems that foreign man could have gotten to see his kids if he were just calm and reasonable instead of making a protracted battle and yelling "unfit mother" at the same women HE chose to marry and impregnate!

Humility just comes too damned late for most foreign men I know.

Do some research for yourself before saying we are whiners.

I have done reasearch. But you cannot even read a post properly. Never said "whiners". And its a classic example of a combative attitude to tell me I said something I didn't say!

In the case of foreigners in Japan married to Japanese, in 99% of the cases the Japanese is given FULL custody .

You say there are lots of links to this "fact." Give me one. Its your contention. Back it up.

Second, between Japanese themselves, in 95% of the cases, the woman is given custody over the father and all visitation rights are granted by the woman.

Yup. That is what my previous research confirms. Guess what. It sounds about right to me. I know precious few men capable of raising children. I know many who claim otherwise, most are foreigners, and I don't believe them, no matter how much they whine.

That said, most I know should certainly have visitation rights. But they so often basically waive those by up and leaving the country. They are real dedicated to their kids, unless it means having to tough it out in Japan!

I don't call them judges. They are pompous people who just don't care.

Well I am sure that part is true.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

@Seamus

And I wonder if it ever occured to you combative foreign men that it might have been best to go with the flow, instead of fight the wind? So many of you go in making a battle, and when its all over, you expect a hug from those you battled! It does not work that way with Japanese women.

You speak too often without knowledge of the subject. I asked for a divorce and my wife tried to punish me by running off with my child. When I was finally able to make communication with her, I didn't try to force anything. I was told by her that I would never see my child again for as long as she lived. I didn't push anything but my right to be a parent and for a right for my son to know his father. I was never combative! I was willing to work with her and made that well known. I am not the one with the volatile temper. That was all her! Get your facts straight before you calls us "Combative". I'm sure that you would not just let your child be taken from you. No caring parent would! I divorced because she was the violent one. She was the fit pitcher.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Damn it imap. From your own site, crnjapan.net

Mothers granted child custody in 80% of court decisions

Yet you said 95 percent! And I agreed. Well, I don't have a problem with 80 percent either. In fact, its even more reasonable than before!

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

@seamus There are many foreign men who don't try to take their children away from their mothers because they are good mothers.

Most of the time what I see is that the foreign man has pissed the woman off so much before that divorce comes, and its the root of all.

You are generalizing too much for the lack of experience that you have. I have a lot of experience dealing with this issue and it kind of falls both ways. There are many cases where the man has been in the wrong and many where the woman has. And in a lot of cases, neither was really at fault. Culture gaps, difficulty in communication and many other things are reasons for divorces. But in all cases. The Japanese side or for that matter the Japanese woman willingly ignores the others fundamental right to be a part of the child's life.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

But most of the time it seems that foreign man could have gotten to see his kids if he were just calm and reasonable instead of making a protracted battle and yelling "unfit mother" at the same women HE chose to marry and impregnate!

I really don't know where you get your information, but reality is this. Japanese men suffer the same fate as foreign ones. Many men both foreign and Japanese don't even contest custody rights. They are just denied them by the wife and the courts do nothing about them. I know of many cases. The wife doesn't think that the man is important to the children and in many cases in many countries uses the children as a tool to hurt the other parent, but what happens is that other parent and the children are hurt because emotion has taken over compassion and common sense.

I have seen many calm fathers lose their rights to their children, just to for the sake of vindictiveness.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Forgive me for my saying that you called us whiners. My mistake, but

Every parent that did not get custody whines about it,

is kind of the same thing.

And its a classic example of a combative attitude to tell me I said something I didn't say!

No, you are right. You didn't call us Whiners. But still kind of the same thing. A combative attitude. Yeah, I do have one when it comes to people saying

Every parent that did not get custody whines about it but I will not any apologies for that because that is not fair to us at all. Use "complains". It might not set off a combative attitude from someone who was in the situation. "Whine" just has a very negative tone and can get anyone worked up. My apologies though.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Every parent that did not get custody whines about it

but I will not any apologies for that because that is not fair to us at all. Use "complains". It might not set off a combative attitude from someone who was in the situation. "Whine" just has a very negative tone and can get anyone worked up. My apologies though.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

imap2223, please don't bore me with your side of your personal story. Your wife is not here to defend herself. I am not taking your word for it.

Get your facts straight before you calls us "Combative".

You sure like to say stuff like "Get your facts straight", and "You speak too often without knowledge". Sounds combative to me. Its also annoying as hell Mr. 95 percent.

I know of many cases.

Yet it seems few names and as many links.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

You say there are lots of links to this "fact." Give me one. Its your contention. Back it up.

I gave you one last night. And if one wants to know the facts, they should do the research themselves. I am not your wikipedia nor am I an information desk. Do the research yourself. I will say that in this site they say that the woman is given custody over the children in 90% of the cases. If you want more information ask a lawyer about it, get on the internet and check for yourself. Don't tell me to back up anything that is just lazy.

http://factsanddetails.com/japan.php?itemid=616&catid=18

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I gotta say, it is annoying to have people come here, make a life here, get married here, have kids here, but refuse to learn or play by the rules here.

I am not totally on the Japanese side, but I am certainly not totally on the foreign side either. Especially the men. They choose their wife, they choose to impregnate her, then down the road they figure they made a mistake. And most I know will happily drag the kids away from their mom, but groan on and on about how unfair it is to take the kids away from their father!

This subject is a mess. Always has been. And 9 times out of 10 its the man that screwed everything up from step one, but he does anything and everything but admit it. Cause if he did admit it, we would not be hearing about it!

The easiest way to ensure you see your kids is DON'T GET DIVORCED! You made your bed. Sleep in it!

I know a guy who knocked his girlfriend up like a complete moron. Totally his fault. And from there, he commits screw up after screw up. Then he was whining to me about how he was afraid that his wife would abduct the kid and how maybe he should do it first, and how he never should have married her. WHAT! Go back to step one!

I tell you, I am al lot more inclined to talk about the Japanese men who got custody ovet their foreign wife. Its far easier to imagine a woman having a case.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Yup. That is what my previous research confirms. Guess what. It sounds about right to me. I know precious few men capable of raising children. I know many who claim otherwise, most are foreigners, and I don't believe them, no matter how much they whine.

I am sorry. I don't know who your friends are but I have met men on both sides of the table who would have been better parents and some who wouldn't have both Japanese/Foreign. I know I would have made a much better parent. My ex-raised a criminal. I don't think I could have done worse than that. But I think you are making an unfair assumption. In a lot of cases the father doesn't really want to raise the children but wants to be a part of their lives. Often times what the Japanese mother or father has done to the foreign spouse has taken the kids from them and has denied them any and all access to the children in all shapes and forms, which has enraged the foreign parent to the point that they feel that the other parent is out to punish them, and must therefore be unfit to raise their child, so why not try to get full custody of that child. You punish me, I am going to try to punish you as well. That is just basic human nature.

I will admit that I wish more men would take more responsibility in raising their children though, so I will give you that, But the word "WHINE" is just the wrong word to use. I implore you to find a better word, because for people like me, it rubs me the wrong way and it is not fair to me.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

And let me give you credit. Yes, there are many men who do up and leave and think they got off scott free and don't have to pay money or deal with their kids. "Scum of the earth" is what I call these people. You get someone pregnant and head for the hills then you are one of the lowest forms on humanity. I hope these people never have children. But many of us, have stayed because we felt responsible.

Hey, I paid money every month. No court ordered me to. I did it because it is my responsibility. I would have gone back to the States so long ago, but I stayed for just one reason. To meet MY SON! I paid because that is what all men should do. If you can get her pregnant than you gotta pay as far as I am concerned. I stayed here when I had been given every assurance that I would never see my son again as long as my low life, baby stealing, insensitive ex was alive. But I stuck it out. When I got married my wife said she would love to go live in the States anytime I wouldn't to move there, but I stayed and waited for the day, that I could meet my son. And just as I thought, she had filled his head with lies to protect herself. But he knows me for who I am doesn't buy anything she said. I got lucky on that one. But like I said before. He is a criminal.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Often times what the Japanese mother or father has done to the foreign spouse has taken the kids from them and has denied them any and all access to the children in all shapes and forms

Yeah, but why? Each case is different. Talking about this in general terms is really not all that helpful.

You see, sometimes when a parent is denied all visitation, I agree. And sometimes, I don't. And having authorities interfere sometimes helps, but sometimes makes it worse. Its ALWAYS a mess in general. Therefore, I usually just side with the mother, that way, I can be sure the child sees his or her mother, at least.

My advice to the men? Appeal to the mother of your children the best way you know how. Go through her mother if you have to. Hint: Kneel and beg if you have to. Praise her even if a lie. Admit your own faults (should be easy). Make the appeal not for yourself, but for the kids, etc.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Once again, it not for me to prove anything to you. You obviously assume WAY TOO MUCH! Your friend is a dirtbag, But I have met many non-dirtbags who didn't deserve the shaft they got.

Not to bore you with my story but...

They choose their wife, they choose to impregnate her, then down the road they figure they made a mistake.

is a huge generalization about all men. Mine was not the case and I know of many whose it is not. I work with these people. YOU DON'T! So, you have no idea.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

But most of the time it seems that foreign man could have gotten to see his kids if he were just calm and reasonable instead of making a protracted battle and yelling "unfit mother" at the same women HE chose to marry and impregnate!

I don't agree. I know plenty of Japanese men who are not allowed to see their kids and they have been very, very kind - including paying for the kid even though visitation as promised is not being met.

The easiest way to ensure you see your kids is DON'T GET DIVORCED! Did you read my post on this topic? I talked about this and why so many men stay in miserable marriages and then get divorced once the kid gets older.

I agree with you though in what you are trying to say - two sides to every story, usually "unfit" parent... The thing is though, in many. many of the cases I know of, the ex-wife IS a headcase and is using the kids as revenge. It is really, really sad and not needed. Divorced or not, kids should be allowed to have contact with both parents as long as their is no history of abuse. Japan isn't mature enough to actually ensure this happens, regardless of what the courts state.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

It is not necessary to post so many messages on this thread. You have made your point and starting to repeat yourself.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What a volatile issue!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The thing is though, in many. many of the cases I know of, the ex-wife IS a headcase

Sounds like a LOT of headcases. I am not in the market to believing there are so many actual headcases in Japan. If there were, I would not be living here.

My usual response to such claims is: cultural bias. And its something any gaijin should dispense with when deciding to marry a Japanese and live in this country, if not before, such as when making the decision to ride bareback despite not knowing a thing about the methodology of such practices.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

To those who have been affected by an abduction, my deepest sympathies go out to you. Such family matters are very often extremely painful for all involved. Any marriage is hard enough, but international ones come with a whole additional host of complications. Adding children to mix is like shaking nitroglycerin. There is no real solution, in fact. The spouses inevitably war over the children, whether both parents remain in the same locale or not. If they remain nearby, it's often and endless battle. If the parents move to different regions, the difficulties are magnified, and when the distance includes some international border, then it's a Pandora's Box. Now, if there IS some legal custody decision, then it becomes a jurisdiction matter. If a parent, or grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin or other abducts the child(ren), then it's an abduction crime for the criminal legal systems to sort out. If extradition for Capital crimes is extremely difficult to achieve, then for non-capital offenses it's even less likely. Partly at issue here is legal sovereignty. Can any country force another country to alter their legal system? This is a legal conundrum. Sanctions constitute a prelude to war, or threat of war, so that isn't the answer.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Seavey, do you live in Japan?! A very high rate of stalkers, "accidental" pregnancies, child abuse... I have no problems with thinking plenty are head cases when knowing the guys and how heartbroken they are. Why on earth would any parent keep their child away from the other parent uf there as never been abuse?!?! Why?! Only reason I can come up with is lack of maturity and petty revenge. Indeed not all these "whiny" parents are innocent but it's bad enough that governments are now having to step in because the situation is out of control. Should make you think a little when think of how far some countries are willing to go for these parents.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Seavey- I personally know of one case where a UK citizen returned back to her country with her then 13 month old babe as her Japanese husband had threatened her with a knife. The husband contacted the authorities who contacted the relevant beaurocreacy in the UK. She was told to return to Japan with the baby to resolve the issue or her child would be put under the care of Social Services and returned to Japan. Now that smacks of hypocrisy considering Japan has a reputation for deaf ears when the situation is reversed. No compunction whatsoever in calling on the very same law that is flaunted when it comes to a Japanese national.

As for cultural bias, well...there is a growing movement in this country akin to the western version of 'Justice For Fathers'. Change is wanted from within Japan. I know Japanese parents, mostly fathers and a few mothers whose lived have been ripped apart by their spouses basically cutting them out of their children's lives. Yes, people can 'lose their heads' when it comes to divorce but that is where a family court is supposed to arbitrate and counsel if the parents cannot act rationally when it comes to putting their children's needs above all the acrimony, revenge and spite.

And it must be remembered that the article is talking about cases where the chil or children were living not in Japan but abroad. The children's lives were centered in those countries and the Japanese spouse decided not to 'play by the rules' and runs back to Japan with the child without even a backward glance. And Japan promotes this by harboring these individuals. Marriages go wrong for numerous reasons. Some beyond our control but what is most important are the children. As long as a parent isn't abusive towards their child, there isn't any reason why one parent should be cut out of that child's life. If the spouse is a jerk or whoever you want to word it, as long as that said parent is loving, supportive and a great mum or dad with a positive influence on that child's life, they should be afforded their basic human right to have regular contact with their child.

As for 'whiners'. Wow...try walking a mile in some folk's shoes. Your lack of empathy to see that at times, pleading to your ex's sense of decency just doesn't work. There is no greater pain or torture than losing a child. I don't know your personal circumstances but if you are happily married or experienced a reconciliation or amicable divorce well, there by the grace of God go you. I sincerely hope, and seriously no sarcasm here at all, that you never ever find yourself in the hellish situation that others have found themselves.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Not only that, but the abduction issue is really due to fundamental problems with the Japanese domestic legal system.

So true. Apparently, there is no enforcement capability when a Japanese court issues a determination. In the Wisconsin case, the father navigated all the obsticles placed in his way by Japanese Family Court rules and actually WON a judgement against the mother. The Japanese police then... did nothing. There is no mechanism to enforce Family Court rulings - at least in the JCop's minds.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Not citing any statistics or websites but I know of 5 cases on a personal level. Of the 5, 3 of them were purely for spite. The other 2 were because they were told by "advisers" to get them back here and he has no chance in hell of getting them back. The whole point of this is that if Japan is going to institionalize (unofficially of course..wink, wink) child abductions then the rest of the world will play hardball now. The seemingly total lack of caring or empathy for the other parent is mind numbing. I like to say that there are countless scenarios and reasons behind running back to Japan but to continuously use the "abuse" card for EVERY case is absurd. To tell the other parent to "get over it".................I can't even comprehend that someone can be that devoid of basic human feelings. How can you even start a dialog when you are damned from the word go in Japan. This all boils down to a broken system that has all the needed parts to fix it but the repairman refuses to fix it. If the government of Japan continues to ignore this and many other issues then the road is being paved for social break down. I wish no ill will upon ANYONE or any country. Rodney King said it best: Can't we just all get along?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I really didn't want to get into this issue, but Seavey your attitude and over simplification of the problem staggers and saddens me. A lot of what is being talked about here is child abductions. The children are abducted by their Japanese parents in foreign countries, even when they have been granted rights by the courts of the country that they are living in, and then brought back here where the parent is protected from foreign judicial entities and the foreign parent. That is deplorable and a huge injustice to all except the Japanese parent who holds all the cards.

Furthermore your advice to others of going to the ex and begging for forgiveness is just not practical because it doesn't work. And like another poster said, a lot of it is done just out of spite. When people can get away with things, they do them. That is what the system is showing. Don't get divorced and you made your bed, so lay in it, are really over simplifying the problem and shows no empathy at all to others who are in a less than powerful position. Sometimes it is not the man who wants the divorce. Sometimes it is the woman. Well, what does one do then? Surely you don't really believe that most of the time it is the man7s fault as you said earlier.

You say you side with the mother because at least the child will get to see its mother. Okay. That is not always such a good thing. Mothers murder their children all the time. Day after day, we read stories in this magazine about this mother or that mother who hurt or killed her child/children. Or other stories where the boyfriend did. Speaking of which, I was abused by my own mother after my parents were divorced. What was that you said to one poster? Don't bore me with your story? Well, I wont bother. But I don't share your belief in giving custody to the mother, because at least then they will be able to see her. Oh, my!

Personally, I feel that "custody" should be a court's responsibility to look at from every aspect for the benefit of the child. Not just given to someone because they are the Japanese parent of the child. That just robs the child of his other parent and only serves the vindictive other in most cases. I also know good men who have lost their children and only one foreign man whose wife allows him regular access. But she understands that their son needs his father. Four of the people that i know were just regular Japanese business men who are denied all access to their children. One had an affair, got caught and now the wife is punishing him for it. But it should have nothing to do with what happens between him and his child. We all make mistakes. Yes, his was huge. But it is besides the point as far as I'm concerned.

I, like another poster as well, hope that you don't fall victim to this. But in all due respect to you, you really should walk in those people's shoes for a while before showing such a lack of empathy towards them. Your over simplifying the problem and the answer to it, is exactly what this is all about. That is what the Japanese have done and that is why there is so much debate on this issue. You may think this may never happen to you, but I am sure most of the other people felt the same way when they got married as well. But you never know. Things change. People change. I hope you don't suffer like these other people have.

To all of you who have gone through hell and back, you have my sympathy. I just hope that you can be reunited with your kids someday. And I really hope this mess gets worked out.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japanese fathers are paying attention to this as well. It isn't just the foreigner parents that are robbed of knowing their children. The whole attitude that a child belongs with their mother is outdated and sexist. The whole notion of parenting is to do what is best for the child. In my opinion, that is access to both parents. The courts not supporting that is neglect in my opinion. I don't care if "we" have to drag Japan kicking and screaming with this issue. I don't care if people put it down to "cultural" differences. I don't care if others think foreigners are sticking their nose where it doesn't belong. Changes MUST happen in this country - for the childrens' sake.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

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