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8 ambassadors urge Japan to solve global child custody disputes

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wait till count goes to 70 and still Japan may not consider global call.

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Well, better late than never. Next, how about ageism, sexism, and every other form of discrimination rampant in this ostrich country!

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whats to "resolve"?

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Custody cases should always be resolved on an individual basis. It is extremely obvious that this man took his wife and children to the US only to obtain a favorable divorce. They have lived in Japan most of their lives - they should remain there. This case is not a good one to hold up as an example of why Japanese divorce laws should be changed.

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On a larger scale, this is the bit that concerns me,

The convention seeks to ensure that custody decisions are made by the courts in the country where the children originally lived

The trouble being that the kids everyone on here's talking about these days did originally live in Japan, for most of their lives, but the convention doesn't care about that, they only care about the country the kids are living in at the time of the application for custody/access.

Personally I think that's morally wrong, although if the worst comes to the worst I might regret saying that. Frankly whoever wrote this article in the first place is guilty of deliberately misleading people. Or he or she was in too much of a hurry to proof-read it carefully.

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"The convention seeks to ensure that custody decisions are made by the courts in the country where the children originally lived"

they seem to fail to understand why alot of international marriages break up or have problems with lets say in these related case Japanese making sacrifices living abroad and the strain that entails.. often hidden to less sensitive partner who doesn't see it coming the split or the strain of the country based issues in the first place that often cause these types of events.

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I think the ambassadors are hoping for some time off of their other duties. Aren't they arranging a press conference for this? Will extra donuts be served?

Imagine if all of your personal and family issues could be turned into international crises... just for one day. Problems with the wife and kids? Get a statement from eight ambassadors. Waiting too long in the line for McDonald's? Get one built across the street. Beef too expensive? Have the US trade authorities "open the markets." As a businessman selling pharmaceuticals, Savoie probably spends his days railing on and on about government interference. At night, he prays for more interference on his own behalf.

I think a lot of people are being conned. Savoie and his new wife have lawyers and publicists in two countries. Please do your best to stay interested everyone. This is an important public issue that affects everyone. Yeah right.

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@TumbleDry

As far as I know Japan is one of the top sexist countries in the whole world. Crying the "protect japanese women from abusive foreign husbands" is getting old already. Japanese men are well known for being "Macho" and smack around their wives and children in order to appear normal. According to them, Domestic Violence is an everyday attitude. Honestly I know that not all are like that but still the percent that does it is skyhigh.

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@johnnyreb

I know...hahahahahaha!!!

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Quite honestly, even if Japan does sign the Hague Convention as everyone is demanding, enforcing it is going to be another matter entirely. There are similar cases between signatories - Italy and the UK is one such case I read about - where the "enforcement" is taking years and by the time it is completed the child will be virtually an adult anyway. What is needed is a fundamental change in policy, law and culture when it comes to dealng with international marriage break-ups and the rights of children to have access to both parents - that is going to be far harder to have happen. The Hague Convention is a start, but I wouldn`t expect overnight change even if Japan does sign.

As for the "protection from foreign husband violence" thing - yes, that makes me boggle too! In THIS country???!

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@Miyartmosphere- Hold on a minute! Do you have any facts/evidence to back that up? If you met an abusive guy, I'm sorry, but that could happen anywhere and does not mean all men are abusive. Japan does have problems, but most men I've met here and my ex were not abusive men, nor did they condone such attitudes! Abusive men are not a majority in this country, please try not to make blanket statements.

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miyara:

As far as I know Japan is one of the top sexist countries in the whole world.

Absolutely right! I've met so many non-Japanese Asians (Indians, Chinese, etc) who were shocked at how women were treated, especially career-wise, when they first came here. I know other Asian countries aren't perfect, but Japan is supposed to be the 'most developed' in Asia and wants to be compared with the top western countries, even set itself apart from the rest of Asia.

Japan's a nice place to live in ... as long as you don't get find yourself in any trouble

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Miyaratmosphere: I think a point of order needs to be said; Japan is NOT one of the most sexist countries in the world -- it's just the most sexist of the DEVELOPED countries, and in all accounts regarded to equality doesn't belong under the name 'developed'.

Gotta agree with flatearther, though.... not all men by any means here are abusive, and abusive men exist in every other country on the planet (as do abusive women, for that matter).

As to the actual article, I'm glad more people are starting to put pressure on Japan, but I doubt we're going to be reading anything on this in the Japanese media. And if it DOES come in the Japanese media all we'Re going to hear is gut reaction to 'foreign' ideas, and see a backlash and defense of kidnappers like the woman in question.

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@flatearther and amithinjapan

Guys, I didn't say EVERYONE but actually a a high percent of men have the mindset that the role of a woman is to take care of thse children and do house chores. At least 7 of every 10 guys that I know, think like that. But I don't think everyone is the same though. Unfortunately this country has some really deep roots that men are above women.

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“Each country has different views on parenting, and we are studying how to resolve the issue,” Okada said.

He said the same thing about the dolphin cull. Looks like he's as big an idiot as any of his predecessors.

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ambassadors from Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Italy, New Zealand and Spain

So let me guess, those countries with the US and UK get the majority of Japanese punani that wanders overseas under the pretense of 'GAIJIN SU☆TE☆KI' which in alot of times but not always end with divorce with one or two kids? One ponders why the Japanese government under the LDP[spit] has not adopted the convention to punish and deter naive Japanese women who have dillusional notions about foreigners and lack the foresight of how international marriages might work out.

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@Miyaratmosphere- Can't disagree with your last post, Japan's definitely got a spot on my top 10 list of most misogynistic developed countries. It's sad to see how deeply entrenched these destructive attitudes and behaviors are here. Japan really needs to start working on the human rights issues it faces if it wants to fix the problems facing this country. Signing the Hague convention and allowing children to know both their parents would be a great start. Give Japanese children the right to grow up happy and healthy, knowing they are beloved by both parents.

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tinyelbow

It is extremely obvious that this man took his wife and children to the US only to obtain a favorable divorce. They have lived in Japan most of their lives - they should remain there. This case is not a good one to hold up as an example of why Japanese divorce laws should be changed.

I think it's time Japan starts acting like a grown-up member of the International community.

They sure want all the benefits of International trade, but none of the responsibilities that go along with that role..

Time to grow up Japan!

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Wow, world governments getting together to try and solve personal mistakes, or poor choices in a spouse.

When you choose a life partner to raise kids with, its YOUR job to pick somebody that won't run and hide at the first sign of trouble. If you think it's gonna be a problem, make sure any kids you have with a J-girl aren't born in Japan.

If having kids with a J-girl in Japan is the best you can do, then prepare to deal with the consequences.

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Will they apply the same rule in Japan? Dual custody? If they do then I think that Japanese families will fall apart.

The equivalent in the West would be a treaty against demands of fidelity.

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Wow, world governments getting together to try and solve personal mistakes, or poor choices in a spouse.

When you choose a life partner to raise kids with, its YOUR job to pick somebody that won't run and hide at the first sign of trouble

Well said bamboohat

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What happened to " until death due you part, sickness or in health, through thick in thin, for better or for worse

marriage vows ?

It's clear that that both parties are using the kids to get revenge. It's very sad situation for the kids.They are stuck in this situation. The guy who married another wife very quickly has alot of personal issues. The Japanese lady is weird and the tennesee american is weird. Why did they get married in the first place? I want to know how long did they know each other before they got married. J-Women think and fantasize to much about the wedding and not on the marriage. Totally naive and dillusional.

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The vultures are gathering. The US has been making noises about this for a while. Yesterday you had Britain also commenting on this issue. Now you have all the usual suspects coming out in support. And a good thing it is too. Anyway, if they don't get satisfaction from Japan regarding this issue, the US, EU and the others should start looking at making things a damn lot more uncomfortable for Japan. First off would be qualifying support for any expansion of Japanese power at the UN. How badly does Japan want a Security Council Seat? If Japan does not take the hint and move to both sign the Hague Convention and start extraditing Japanese nationals to face court proceedings overseas, then the rest of the world should start imposing sanctions against Japan in the form of stiffer immigration standards for Japanese going overseas. Moreover, for Japanese nationals who are living overseas with their non-Japanese spouses, these countries might consider electronic tagging measures to make sure that nobody does the runner back to Japan. Hardcore actions such as this would probably get Japan's attention. Indeed, if people are going to act like criminals, they should be treated as such.

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@timorborder

Amen brother!

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Sooner or later, Japan is going to have to grow up, and assume its responsibilities. In this case it means having the gumption to both sign the Hague Convention and extradite those Japanese nationals who are wanted in connection with parental kidnappings overseas.

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I've always thought that by they keeping this archaic system and useless senseless law-articles that does nothing to prevent child abduction they're are sinking their own boat. Nothing has changed since WW2. It's like some kind of cruel payback. Japanese people need to grow up and get over it.

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Good for the 8 ambassadors and their countries to put pressure on Japan on this important issue!

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I wish it didn't take someone getting arrested for this to happen, but glad it did none the less. Savoie is a hero and a true loving father.

Prosecutors have not pressed charges against Savoie, but they haven’t yet dropped the case, authorities said. Kidnapping minors in Japan carries a penalty of up to five years in prison.

They don't have a case because he is not legally divorced in Japan since he was married here, unless he went down to the ward office and both signed a piece of paper (which it seems they did not) they are still married under Japanese law and they can't put kidnapping on him.

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You know what? Even though I've been through HELL and whatnot, I can tell you there so many good things and beauty in here..damn It's just so bad and terrible that they insist to keep this archaic law system that is damaging the society and their future. How can you let a man take away a baby from the mother? How can you stand a do nothing to help a father visit his children? that's what seriously strikes me as inhumane from this country. They hurt the most innocent, the children!

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Tokyo has argued that signing the convention may not protect Japanese women and their children from abusive foreign husbands.

It doesn't argue the case that it may protect foreign women from abusive husbands cause we all know that Japanese are peaceful non-aggressive orientals unlike the aggressive war like gaijin.. What a weak spineless reason Tokyo comes up with.

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Good for the 8 ambassadors and their countries to put pressure on Japan on this important issue!

Wow this is the first time I ever see several govt official from other country made their point to press Japan publicly, I don't know what kind of issue that can make them unite like this before.

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On the other hand, why isn't Japan listed as a pseudo-member of the axis of evil?

Honorary member?

Member with observer status? (look but don't abduct)

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The convention seeks to ensure that custody decisions are made by the courts in the country where the children originally lived and that the rights of access of both parents are protected.

"Seeks to ensure"... but ensures none of that.

Tokyo has argued that signing the convention may not protect Japanese women and their children from abusive foreign husbands

That is right, and the Savoie case is a good example of a Japanese woman needing protection from an abusive foreign spouse.

but Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada told reporters Friday that Japan is considering signing the convention.

If they can work it out that people are protected from abusive spouses that really have no "right of access" to the children at all, it might be then OK to sign it. But likely signing it will weaken protection for those who need to shield children from abusive fathers like Chris Savoie.

What did the American courts do to protect the ex-wife from gross abuses inflicted upon her by the husband's new wife Amy? Nothing. No injunction was issued to the new wife Amy, and no requirement was made that Chris Savoie fulfill the visitation rights himself, and not use his new wife as a proxy.

So without protection afforded by not signing the treaty, Chris Savoie's wife would have been stuck in America enduring a hellish nightmare for years (unless she was willing to give up the children, which was precisely what the abusive husband wanted).

I think some other ambassadors should get together and urge Japan to ignore the pleas to sign onto Hague Convention.

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Cicada: $800,000 was all it took for poor Noriko san to take her kids to the USA. She isn't blameless. Acts for money = mercenary mum.

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this american who just got released has allowed other countries to get together for a little good ole gaiatsu, which they cudnt have done otherwise & Japans weaker status worldwide has also figured in this, if this was the 80s or even the 90s the ambassadors probably wudnt have acted to piss of Jpn Inc, well Jpn the times they are a changing you can expect more of this in the future, I hope something comes of this so intl marriage types that end up divorced or separated can at least still be part of their kids lives assuming they are both rational adults, wudnt that be nice

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spudman wrote:

Cicada: $800,000 was all it took for poor Noriko san to take her kids to the USA. She isn't blameless. Acts for money = mercenary mum.

WOW!!! I'm speechless. ☆☆ v( ̄ー ̄)v☆☆

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I have to agreea bit with Cicada's concern with the bullying of J-wives, in foreign countries knowing they can't speak up and out against injustices they endure, ....it really is a fine line, this international marriage thing. For those who are lucky, move to nice places after the marriage, keep their jobs, have nice families its a blessing. If one of these 3 conditions becomes absent......forget about it.

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united the readers to stand up vs. the mods concerning issues I have long felt were important and considerably lacking in this blog....talking about a bit more of freedom of speech, minus the four-letter words etc. I was seriously surprised/disappointed many a time at my comments vanishing into thin air with the words...."does not appply". Heck if it didn't apply, I wouldn't have written the words .....we are allowed to think outloud a bit aren't we.

70% of my comments also get erased. so much for freedom of speech. I don't use the F-word or call anyone A-hole as far as I know.. but yeah every time a comment of mine gets wiped out, I reply very "nice" to the respective Mod. period.

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As the James Taylor song lyrics go "You can run but you cannot hide, this is widely known". Let freedom ring, let child custody disputes be addressed long and hard, and hopefully come up with something better. That's what we're living for isn't it? To make things better for the next generation and then the next?

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spudman

$800,000 was all it took for poor Noriko san to take her kids to the USA. She isn't blameless. Acts for money = mercenary mum.

That myth has been repeated often. Even if true (which it is not), there still is no justification for having the new wife act as a proxy for Chris Savoie with regard to his weekend visitation rights.

The point here is whether or not Japan should be obliged by the rulings of local courts in the USA and elsewhere around the world.

People criticize the Japanese courts, but neglect to mention that 60% of Japanese divorces do not even need court rulings, and are accomplished by direct negotiation. All of those horrid statistics always mentioned come from the 40% of cases that need to be heard by a Japanese court.

Furthermore, though Noriko has not spoken much, one thing she has asserted is that the splitting of assets was unfair, and that Chris was able to lie and hide the origin (her) of some assets. She had little clue as to how the American courts operated, and so had little recourse. The $750,000 she received was viewed by her as very unfair, ie. she had been cheated out of some assets by Chris Savoie's presentation at the American court.

Moreover, upon returning to Japan , she gave up alimony, education funds, and monthly payments. This had been explained to her by the judge. I notice that nowhere is this mentioned by people supportive of Chris Savoie and the Hague Convention agenda. People love to throw around the $800,000 figure of split assets, but no one talks about the money lost by returning to Japan. Anyone have any cold hard figures?

And since Noriko did not state any intention to prevent Chris from 2 weekends per month visitation, it seems unfair that alimony was taken from her by the American court.

People thinking Japan should sign the Hague Convention should take a very close look at the Savoie case, and see that Japan would be foolish to go along with the rulings such as those rendered in Tennessee.

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People criticize the Japanese courts, but neglect to mention that 60% of Japanese divorces do not even need court rulings,

Possibly due to the fact that over 90% of sole custody is granted to the mother. The fact that 60% of the population chooses not to fight for their right of child custody is not a flag one should wave about with pride. Absent father kids are statistically proven to have social and psycological challenges than their counterparts. Perhaps this breakdown of balanced parenting influences the high number of suicides in Japan amongst the young? Noriko voluntarily gave up alimony and sundry funds by breaking the terms of her court decision that is not a reasonable counterpoint. Was her ex husband acting like a total pr!ck? perhaps but she went into the process with her eyes open as an adult. What happened to the Japanese stick it out till the end?

She had little clue as to how the American courts operated, and so had little recourse.

She must have heard of a lawyer?

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This makes me furious. Are these 8 people claiming their countries are perfect? Don't they have problems to work on in their own countries? Japan makes its own laws, and should not cave to foreign pressure.

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As for child when they live in Japan they would lost contact and grow up without knowing the affection from their non-Japanese parent. By the time they reach the age to decide their nationality they wouldn't be able to speak or having any intimacy with their non-Japanese parent and his/her culture. This would lead the child to choose Japan for their nationality.

The Japanese abduction is more scary since it's more systematically, in fact it's still going on right now, no one would realize they would have this kind of nightmare when they have Japanese spouse. The worst part is the government legally backed up this situation and they just don't move a bit although many voices by media or other government scream to do something about this situation. At least for now there should be a disclaimer, "by having Japanese spouse you risking not to see your child once your spouse run away back to his/her home country"

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cicada

the reason this guy had the divorce done in the US & hung out $$$ was obvious, it was the only way to have hope of access to his kids, if they did the divorce in JPN he wud have been SOL!

These 2 parents have both been jerks by the looks of it, but point blank if yr headed tot he courts & yr in JPN & yr gaijin, you lose. Thats NOT right & JPN damn well needs to get its act together.

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It will be interesting to observe how the new Japanese government responds to this international pressure for basic hunan rights, something that was sadly lacking under the old LDP government for 53 years.

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Can't help but think that growing incidents like these makes foreign men think twice about marrying Japanese women.

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Absent father kids are statistically proven to have social and psycological challenges than their counterparts. Perhaps this breakdown of balanced parenting influences the high number of suicides in Japan amongst the young?

what about those without their mother?? If my little boy commits suicide, so will I. I just hope that my ghost can permanently haunt this piece of horse manure that took him away from me.

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Hephatsheput at 07:47 PM JST - 17th October: This makes me furious. Are these 8 people claiming their countries are perfect? Don't they have problems to work on in their own countries? Japan makes its own laws, and should not cave to foreign pressure.

Don't you realize those 8 countries ARE working on national problems by asking Japan to give back -their- citizens? It's called abduction after all.

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spudman:

The fact that 60% of the population chooses not to fight for their right of child custody is not a flag one should wave about with pride.

That is not what the figure refers to -- 60% have no need to fight. They have no need to use the courts. Settlement, including visitation, is accomplished by private negotiation because both parents are able to reach agreement on their own.

Possibly due to the fact that over 90% of sole custody is granted to the mother.

Exactly the misguided use of statistics I referred to. Let's take the reverse: 10% of men are granted custody, but this "10%" is of couples who were using the courts. Moreover, it neglects to say what per cent of men asked for custody. Under the circumstances, the 10% figure is not that low.

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"Can't help but think that growing incidents like these makes foreign men think twice about marrying Japanese women."

so they should at least think more than twice :-) there will be plenty of issues to over come the living somewhere else with a lower standard of living etc.

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Actually it is total abduction, if the child is a citizen of another country and a Japanese parent brings them to Japan and stays in Japan, local courts grant admission to Japan for the children (or two passports), then those children have been abducted from another country.

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Furthermore, though Noriko has not spoken much, one thing she has asserted is that the splitting of assets was unfair, and that Chris was able to lie and hide the origin (her) of some assets. She had little clue as to how the American courts operated, and so had little recourse. The $750,000 she received was viewed by her as very unfair, ie. she had been cheated out of some assets by Chris Savoie's presentation at the American court.

The only thing she did was marry well and goto America, she didn't earn any of the money Chris did, she didn't even work, her only task was to be a loving housewife. Chris was stupid not to have a pre-nup (or perhaps there was)... either way ignorance is not a defense, if she didn't understand US courts she should have got a better lawyer that also spoke Japanese and understood all rules, if she thinks it is not fair and blaims the system for be too complex then boohoo to her... it all is starting to sound like revengee (oh how Japanese love revengee)

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8 ambassadors urge Japan to solve global child custody disputes

I urge parents to say sorry to each other first and then depart as friends in the interest of our dear global children . We all win .

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Cicada

Furthermore, though Noriko has not spoken much, one thing she has asserted is that the splitting of assets was unfair, and that Chris was able to lie and hide the origin (her) of some assets. She had little clue as to how the American courts operated, and so had little recourse. The $750,000 she received was viewed by her as very unfair, ie. she had been cheated out of some assets by Chris Savoie's presentation at the American court. Moreover, upon returning to Japan , she gave up alimony, education funds, and monthly payments. This had been explained to her by the judge. I notice that nowhere is this mentioned by people supportive of Chris Savoie and the Hague Convention agenda. People love to throw around the $800,000 figure of split assets, but no one talks about the money lost by returning to Japan. Anyone have any cold hard figures? And since Noriko did not state any intention to prevent Chris from 2 weekends per month visitation, it seems unfair that alimony was taken from her by the American court.

Well lets see here, it is up to her to prove that he has hidden assets, her making a claim isn't proof. Well lets see here a one way plane ticket back to japan costs anywhere between 500 to 1k dollars, the luggage she is most likely bringing back is personal hygiene along with clothes and jewelry, considering most of the time they also live with their parents in japan and the difference between voltages in japan vs america its most likely she wouldn't be bringing back any electrical equipment of significance.

So lets just greatly exaggerate the amount of money she would spend moving back to japan and say its 400k, that leaves her with $400k to rent an apartment, buy a tv, buy a cellphone, buy a blu ray player, buy pots and pans and clothes etc. She has more then enough money. You can't possibly believe that the cost of her moving back to japan would eat up at least half of her money she was awarded.

Noriko's agreement for visitation was agreed upon in a US court that it would only take place in the US, she notified before entering the agreement that if she were to flee to japan she would lose the alimony, education funds, and other money she understood that and agreed to it, so it is completely fair because she broke an agreement she made in court. I'm not sure though if the 800k was part of that agreement, but it doesn't really matter because by the time they would have figured it out she would have already spent the necessary money in order to move back to japan. What evidence do you have that while during the court hearings in the US she was willing to do visitation if she was to move back to japan?

People criticize the Japanese courts, but neglect to mention that 60% of Japanese divorces do not even need court rulings, and are accomplished by direct negotiation. All of those horrid statistics always mentioned come from the 40% of cases that need to be heard by a Japanese court.

That is because of culture and you know it, when dealing with family matters in japan they are generally considered private matters that courts should not really intervene in.. Just like how in the US it is culture to sue people and go through a divorce court rather then settle outside of a divorce court.

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I m here with my wife and her children from prior marriage. Custody was given to her and the right to live in Japan. She inform the ex she was moving and did everything the court required before we moved to Japan. Well the thing her lawyer did not foresee or inform her about was after we got here her ex started a new custody case and there was no way we could afford to fly there, find a place to rent, rent a car, hire a lawyer and take time off from work to do all the things required to meet court dates. We did try to submit documents to the court but they were denied by the court. Later found out it was as simple as we did not send the documents to the ex's lawyer 1st. End of the story was the ex did not have to pay back child support or future support or any sort of care.He got custody of the kids and a warrant was issued for my wifes arrest. Everything that was required to be able to move here was done with court approval and as soon as we got here, it was all taken away because we could not afford to fly back and fight. My point is not everything about these case is so clear to see or understand for that matter.

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Country which allows and protect child abductions by ONLY JAPANESE do not deserve help. There is always WE Japanese are so pure and need your help, but not giving back the same.

Tokyo has argued that signing the convention may not protect Japanese women and their children from abusive foreign husbands...

Always the same old stories. Foreigners are always abusive and mom kidnapper must be protected in Japan. かわいいそうね。。。

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Assuming Japan signs the Hague, frankly speaking, it will do nothing to solve these abductions and denial of access without an enforcement mechanism. In addition, foreign residents and Japanese parents without access to their children will see no change in this intolerable situation. While I would agree Japan should ev

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Assuming Japan signs the Hague, frankly speaking, it will do nothing to solve these abductions and denial of access without an enforcement mechanism. In addition, foreign residents and Japanese parents without access to their children will see no change in this intolerable situation. While I would agree Japan should eventually sign the Hague, we should not support this move until there is changes to the domestic law.

Art. 12 of the Hague: The judicial or administrative authority, even where the proceedings have been commenced after the expiration of the period of one year referred to in the preceding paragraph, shall also order the return of the child, unless it is demonstrated that the child is now settled in its new environment.

Art. 13 sec. b of the Hague: Notwithstanding the provisions of the preceding Article, the judicial or administrative authority of the requested State is not bound to order the return of the child if the person, institution or other body which opposes its return establishes that - b) there is a grave risk that his or her return would expose the child to physical or psychological harm or otherwise place the child in an intolerable situation.

The preceding two articles of the Hague deals mainly with the issue facing parents that do not reside in the state where the child has been abducted to. In other words, it deals with foreign parents issues and states clearly how the determination to return a child will be solely left up to the courts in Japan. Foreign parents issues will not be properly addressed until domestic parents issues are solved and this will require changes in the Family Law.

For the people who have been supporting this issue, we cannot allow a cosmetic solution to this problem. The Hague gives guidelines how to resolve cross border custody and access disputes, but enforcement guidelines are left up to the states which are signatories to the treaty. In my opinion, if Japan signs the Hague without changes to its domestic laws only those countries with the strongest amount of diplomatic pressure on Japan will see it enforced on behalf of its citizens. This is not what we are bargaining for, its all for one and one for all, all parents should have access to their kids.

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Another comment from the peanut gallery. Japan's divorce laws were made for the Japanese people. Usually the mother get a lump sum payment and the father is not seen anymore, usually mutual. The father does not come back for visitation. Remember the prime minister Koizumi? He had this arrangement. It has worked fine until more and more international marriages have taken place. Should America change it's laws and ways based on another countries law? Not saying Japan has a good system and not saying it's bad, it's their system and while international issues all play a role in making changes. Where is it written that America has the best and only way to do things? We Americans are all over the world using the military and the military is promoting international marriages. One way to approach this and reduce the number of children affected is by education, not propaganda that America or western ideas are the way to go for the rest of the world. Sure these countries take our aid, wouldn't you if you had nothing and someone was offering you help? Japan is not a poor country but if America is giving stuff away, why not take it. If I was in situation in a country where by marrying a military person I could get myself a better way of living, I would most likely take it to better myself and not have to want to spend the rest of my life married to the military person. It’s done in America now by Americans, marrying to improve life and once it is, goodbye to the marriage. Americans do it all the time. There are lonely young men in the military that get attention from local girls/women because the locals want that chance for a better life. Our military should not be promoting this type of get together, but it is. On military TV and in printed information available. The military was setup in Japan after the war and decisions were made based partly/wholly on conventional warfare with the China/Korea problems. Also to help set it up again, like we are doing in Iraq, now. We have the equipment to put the military any where in the world in hours now and we certainly are not going to invade Korea or China with troops. We are in a big hole now with spending, why not call it a day in Japan and find another country to populate or bring the military home and let the resources serve a better cause, our own country.

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Sheesh. Japanese women get around:(

@lifehappiness

Well said son. Appreciate the unfiltered truth that is devoid in our censored world.

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"Peanut Gallery", if your comment is geared towards me I will address it, if not I'll leave it to you, your wife, and her ex to sort out your personal issue.

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lifehappiness:

Everything that was required to be able to move here was done with court approval and as soon as we got here, it was all taken away because we could not afford to fly back and fight. My point is not everything about these case is so clear to see or understand for that matter.

Indeed. Kind of makes you wonder why you bothered to conform to the court in the first place, I suppose.

You are lucky Japan is not forcing you to obey this unreasonable court order.

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My exerpience:

Japanese women are too bizarre. One flew to UK 3 times to visit me and even tried to pay me to visit her in Japan (i refused 140,000 yen she tried to pay me, but accepted free air ticket).

It was only afterwards that i realised she simiply wanted to become pregnant and bring up a child alone in Japan. She was duplicate and deceitful throughout.

Whilst Japan has such biased custody laws i expect this kind of behaviour will continue. Personally, knowing a little about the japanese culture and demographics, i don't expect to see any change in the law.

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"The only thing she did was marry well" - 18-year relationship, 14-year marriage, M.D.-PhD, 2 kids, bilingual mother, father, and children, great business success. Sounds like they both married well, and that's how Japanese law views property division when the wife does not work. It's also how any decent and rational human being views a marriage. She got nothing she was not entitled to in Japan.

"What evidence do you have that while during the court hearings in the US she was willing to do visitation if she was to move back to japan?"

She said she had never wanted to keep the children from the father, and her moving back to Japan does not show she did not mean that. The father has never claimed she wanted to keep the children from their father. He just said he wanted legally enforceable visitation, and did not want to be beholden to her for visitation. The father told a Japanese newspaper, when asked whether he wanted to live in the U.S. with the children, that Japan was fine as a place but would that the legal system would not guarantee visitation. Completely understandable, and if the move to Tennessee had worked out, it could have been great. In retrospect, forcing a divorce under Tennessee law, under the circumstances of divorce and quick remarriage, did not work.

It is clear from the hearing transcript that the stress on the mother was great - one of the parenting coordinators said that the first 2 years of a divorce are always traumatic, even with an American couple, and she thought the mother was sincere in trying to make it work. It didn't work, and blaming the mother helps nothing.

The mother was prisoner to assumptions about what Japanese mothers always do, which contributed to what she did. It was a vicious circle of fear, and I do not consider her moving back to Japan as proof that a Tennessee divorce was the only way.

Neither parent should be condemned. Both parents broke the law. Japan has shown leniency. I hope Tennessee and the U.S. will also. Criminalization of custodial interference is designed to keep broken families together, not to further divide them.

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Anybody who thinks if Japan had signed the Hague this issue could have easily been resolved is sadly mistaken. There is no enforcement mechanism in the Hague and no enforcement mechanism in Japanese Family Law, period! Any of you out there facing this problem don't believe Japan's signature on the Hague will solve everything, actually it will solve nothing unless there is changes to the Family Law. No matter how much you Pacifist believe in mediation there will never be a mediated settlement in 100% of divorce cases. When crafting new legislation the government must take into account the worst case scenario, confrontational divorces, whereas mediation fails. There are many issues left to be resolved, but in my mind the two most important issues are one (1), how will the government enforce visitation rights when the custodial parent refuses to comply, and two (2), how will the government enforce the Hague when its requested by one of its members? Looking at this on bended knees with our fingers crossed is not the way, the Savoie incident answered our prayers and brought the media attention we needed, but now we must continue the fight. Foreign diplomacy alone is not going to resolve the issue. Left-Behind Parents must look this man in the eye, speak to Japanese politicians directly, and demand an enforcement mechanism be written into the Family Law. If you want access to your children now is the time to fight.

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Do these people even consider how the children feel about being used as pawns in this parental war? I'm amazed at their arrogance. They make a chaos of their own lives and then expect the judicial, law enforcement, immigration and political systems in two countries to protect their so-called parental rights. Kids have rights. Parents have duties. Here's some advice to those considering an "international" marriage. Have a long courtship. Talk about which country you're going to live in, what language the children will be brought up in, and any other cultural issues. After marriage, live together for a few years without children. If it doesn't work you can just walk away. Above all, don't have children as a way of fixing a broken marriage. Once you have children, be prepared to serve 16 years to life, regardless of your feelings for your spouse. And start and end every argument with the question, "How will this affect the kids?"

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It escapes me how Japan can be included in the G8. It's so prehistoric and reationary on these issues.

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@Alan - everything you say I think is great, sound advice. I would have followed it to the letter had I not got drunk with my new hubby one month after our marriage one fateful summer night! 3 kids later.....

Kids have rights. Parents have duties. Absolutely 100% agree with this.

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The abduction of a child and denial of access to parents not proven unfit is kidnapping. Japan by its laws condones and facilitates the practice, placing it well at the bottom of my respect list, especially for a G7 country. The welfare and best interests of the child(ren) should be the paramount concern of any modern person, especially since the child(ren) legally has no voice of his/her own. There is sufficient scientific research demonstrating the importance of both parents in a child's life that only the willfully blind could argue that the Japanese situation is in the best interests of the child. As to whether Japan should change its laws to make some accommodation to the laws of other countries, the answer is yes. We do so in treaties regarding reciprocal enforcement of judgments, extradition, trade, etc. To hold otherwise is to say that it is OK to kidnap or kill as long as you can make it across the border in time, a proposition I believe none of us would support. And that this is the way it is done in Japan for Japanese is no counter argument ... if it were, we would ourselves justify supporting the continuation of slavery or child labor or the lack of rights for women to vote and so on ... "Well, that's just the way it is". Still, I agree that the situation is unlikely to change soon, despite diplomatic pressure, as the Japanese seldom change anything without a direct threat to their pocketbooks.

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It hasn't worked fine. Any Japanese father who cares about his children is screwed under these laws, which we must point out are relatively recent laws in Japanese history. Nothing Japanese about them, if anything these laws ironically came about because of surrendering to Americans.

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