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Foreign divorced parents fight in vain for child custody in Japan

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By Karyn Nishimura-Poupee

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Although Japan has signed The Hague Convention designed to prevent a parent from moving a child to another country and blocking access for the former partner, Tokyo demonstrates "a pattern of noncompliance" with the pact, according to the U.S. State Department.

If Japan is in violation of the Hague convention which it is, there should be sactions imposed on it as that would make it a rogue state in violation of international law. This is a human rights issue.

38 ( +48 / -10 )

I thought I could benefit from the clear rules of The Hague Convention, but... they aren't respected in Japan,"

This is why it's a bad idea for any country to enter an international treaty with Japan. That includes TPP. The Japanese believe they are subject only one country's rules: their own.

26 ( +41 / -15 )

This is a disgrace in so many ways. The parent is a disgrace to traumatize their own children by suddenly depriving them of a father/mother. It's selfish and cruel. The government is a disgrace because it does nothing to stop it.

30 ( +39 / -9 )

Have met many, many Fathers who are not allowed to have anything to do with their children. That's a cruelty and unnecessary. Courts aren't helpful, police don't enforce decisions. International obligations ignored. One law for them another one for non Japanese. Bet the government would pull out all stops were the situation was reversed.

23 ( +36 / -13 )

Don't make any treaty with Japan and expect it to honour it's word. There is no honour.

14 ( +28 / -14 )

I live 5k away from my kids and haven't seen them for over four years. Simply because 'she' (my Japanese ex-wife) said I can't see them. I've made many appeals through the city hall and the courts. Every time 'she' has just said, "I don't want the kids to see him", which quickly ended any negotiations. She has no reason and has never given any reason as to why, other than her personal selfishness. This is a very common scenario in Japan and not just for foreigners. I know many Japanese men who have been cut off from their kids after divorce. I'd probably have more chance of seeing them if I lived in another country and applied through the Hague.

37 ( +44 / -7 )

It depends on the person I say, there is dragon women both in Asia and outside of Asia, but there are also the ones who can compromise and are more open minded mentally.

SO before you decide to be chained down to marraige forever, chose very carefully.

29 ( +35 / -6 )

Aly RustomToday  04:07 pm JST

Although Japan has signed The Hague Convention designed to prevent a parent from moving a child to another country and blocking access for the former partner, Tokyo demonstrates "a pattern of noncompliance" with the pact, according to the U.S. State Department.

If Japan is in violation of the Hague convention which it is, there should be sactions imposed on it as that would make it a rogue state in violation of international law. This is a human rights issue.

Agree 100% Japan must be severely sanctioned and labeled a kidnapper nation.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

To be fair, this happens all over the world.First mistake was getting married. It's a bad deal for men PERIOD. Men lose any leverage and power they ever had in the relationship.

Basically, you hope she won't wake up angry one day and run away with the kids, hope she doesn't take half your finances, and hope she doesn't misuse your eventual child support.

What's the rate of divorces again..?

Always protect yourself and your children.

22 ( +34 / -12 )

Does the same issue stand true if both Parents are non-Japanese and both live in Japan ?

12 ( +14 / -2 )

For those that are down-voting people who cal this practice cruel and pointing out the violation of The Hague Convention please provide some further information as to why you are down-voting this.

As a Permanent Resident of Japan and one who intends to stay in Japan this is one aspect of Japan I think is just completely wrong (it happens to Japanese fathers as well...)

27 ( +34 / -7 )

Tony G

To be fair, this happens all over the world.First mistake was getting married. It's a bad deal for men PERIOD. Men lose any leverage and power they ever had in the relationship.

Words. You are not 100, but 1000% right.

Especially when it comes to (Dragon)Japanese women, that is the first mistake ever made. But of course, the very real mistake is to make a baby with one of them.

When I say "the first mistake is to make a baby with one of them" DOESN'T MEAN the kid itself is a mistake: they mustn't be involved in parent's issues or fights, in my honest opinion. Kids are the beautiful thing life can offer, and whatever it happens they must be neutral in parents' matters.

But my biggest concern is at the end, those who are brutally demonized are fathers, so they cannot see their kids even once in a while.

For Japanese, the hague convention is kind of "lost in translation" thing...and, among MANY things they OBVIOUSLY DENY, is that Japan itself is a clear VIOLATOR of the treaty and a Kidnapper even worst than North Korea.

Why? because they're too damn attached to the fear of "losing their face" culture ( translated as: they're too attached to their reputation af).

Personally speaking: I am divorced from my ex J-Wife, but fortunately the best thing is that I haven't made a baby yet. Even thought I liked to, but now...I am re-considering my ambitions at the moment.

8 ( +16 / -8 )

Disillusioned

You can go to the International Court of Justice in The Hague. Even if you live inside Japan. Any person who is physically capable in judicial terms can do so on an individual basis. Provided that it is proven that the plaintiff has exhausted all legal remedies within Japan itself. The Hague is a court of last resort. You could even sue the Japanese government for damages.

If the Japanese went to The Hague more often, things would be much better than they are now.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

In Japanese culture, this makes sense, but in Western culture, it does not. Although we can agree on many things, this is something that does not make sense one to the other.

Since the Japanese courts seem to be upholding the rights of the parent who commits a kidnapping, would that also hold true if there was a second kidnapping after the first kidnapping? Logic would seem to dictate that what is good for the first kidnapper should also be good for the second kidnapper, although it might not be good for the children.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Disgraceful. A child has the right to see it's parents.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

Just when I thought Japan couldn't get any worse.

-2 ( +13 / -15 )

don't get divorced. stay married then they can't take your child away

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

Don't give up. My wife ran away with another guy and my child back in 1994. She was Japanese. The guy Canadian. An Old "American Club " fable that I am afraid was true. I went to court and the judge told me outright " you may win the case but the court has no power to enforce family issues ". Also the world " join custody" did not exist in Japan. Anyway, my story, I did not see my son for 12 years, from 5 to 16 years old . I never gave up. Till one day I got a phone call , " come to Cairo ( yes Cario) to pick up your son". "We can not handle him any more". Well I did that, came back to Hong Kong. He had ADD, so was a handful, long story short he is doing wonderful in the USA , after 4 1/2 years in the Air Force. But it was allot of work!

Dont' give up!! But wow, the kids really really suffer

37 ( +40 / -3 )

I wish they also explain why the wives left them and needed to take their child back to Japan. Instead of fighting it at court and doing these forceful things,they should just settle it with each other as adults without needing to attract the whole world media and causing the child distress. Just settle it with the wife and let her see his son or is there a bigger reason behind it? Can the father even support or take care the kid well enough is another question. Is the kid that always will suffer at the end anyway if the father just forcefully try to get his kid back.

-28 ( +5 / -33 )

If the woman is non-Japanese the children automatically got the Japanese father.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

Wow. What sad situations for children. Thanks John Zendano for telling your story, never give up. I'm happy for your son now! I'd be proud of him.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Agreed with a few above. Hire a private investigator under pseudonym to track down child, take child, get back to home country. Maybe their home country would do the same as Japan and the Japanese parent would see what its like.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Im a American Japanese. When I came back here and saw how many relationships are, and how fine many people are with it....well no marrying a Japanese lady for me!

15 ( +17 / -2 )

@Hiro, I am Emmanuel the father who his mentioned in the article. What do you know about our stories? My daughter was kidnapped from abroad to Japan suddenly by the family of my Japanese wife. The reason why my wife abducted my child ? Because she knew that Japanese law allowed her to do it and she would win everything in case of divorce in Japan. And because she knew that I loved my daughter so much, she could blackmail me in exchange of some time spent on Skype with her.

Do I need to specify that my wife was under psychiatric treatment for wanting to kill my daughter? And this is one of the reasons that led her family to abduct my daughter: The dishonor my wife put on her Japanese family was such that her own family wanted to control her by forcing her to stay at home, while forcibly taking over the guardianship of my daughter

You say we should have mediated rather than publicized this story. Do you know that's the first thing we did? That my own parents who were 74 and 66 came from France to Japan, to try to find an amicable solution. As I knew that in Japan it was lost cause to return my daughter to her home, I proposed to pay the French-Japanese school, to pay support money, and in exchange I could see my daughter the times I will go to Japan and she can come one month a year to France. This was refused, everything was refused by the Japanese family. And you allow yourself to judge and give lessons?

It's been four years since I saw my daughter. Overnight, she disappeared. Don't you think it's kidnapping and parental alienation that are the real mental destruction for my daughter? She can't see her father for years, she is told that I have abandoned her, that I do not love her, and so on.

Her grandfather will never see her again until his death. Her great-grandmother has died without seeing her for 4 years! And you say to me that it is the mediatization which will cause to my daughter of the distress? Do you realize that your words are abject?

There are millions of Japanese children over the last 20 years who have been separated from one of their parents without seeing him again. There are thousands of binational children who have been abducted to and from Japan. And there are so many families destroyed by the iniquitous and inhumane practices made in Japan regarding the non-application of family laws and international conventions, including the Convention of the Children Rights. He is the problem and the drama.

48 ( +48 / -0 )

People are selfish and cruel and ignorant. They are also willing to inflict their narcissistic viewpoint on their children. The mothers, I mean - not that the fathers are necessarily all princes. But these mothers: May they see their children turn away from them. May they grow old bitter and alone.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

This humanitarian topic needs healthy input (not biased bull) from all viewpoints, so as to add understanding to a sad situation.

These abducted kids need a voice and a chance to be free from one parents twisted shackles.

There are cases where both are twisted or the left behind one has the problems, but we're not talking about them here. This is about a selfish parent stealing what is not theirs to steal.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There is an underlying issue here that drives this and has absolutely NOTHING to do with international marriages involving a Japanese spouse and a non-Japanese spouse.

Japanese family law and courts make absolutely NO provision for joint custody or even primary custodial parent and non-custodial parent arrangements.

This concept does NOT exist in the law.

I know a dear friend of our family, a wonderful Japanese woman who had two children and her husband, who was from a more wealthy family from outside of Tokyo, up and decided to divorce her. Because of his family's influence, the Japanese court gave him (well, basically his mother / the children's grandmother) sole custody. And they denied the mother all access and basically told the kids that she walked out and didn't love them anymore.

She committed suicide a few years ago. And evidently her kids are now finding out the truth.

Japanese family law is horrible. It is stuck in the 19th century in so many respects. And because it is, things like international marriages can turn into nightmares, particularly with children involved.

21 ( +21 / -0 )

Its interesting how regarding such issues, the right wing apologists will stay clear of the column section. Interesting indeed. Best advice my mate gave me. Stay away from japanese marriage. Best. Advice. Ever.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

"The majority of the cases in which we intervened have been resolved, but we are aware of six or seven where the return decision could not be implemented,"

This demonstrates the uselessness of the Japanese "justice" system. What is the point of having a court if its judgements cannot be enforced? It's nothing but a waste of time and money.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

HiroToday 07:56 pm JST

I wish they also explain why the wives left them and needed to take their child back to Japan. Instead of fighting it at court and doing these forceful things,they should just settle it with each other as adults without needing to attract the whole world media and causing the child distress.

Actually this is simple the court will consider heavily to providing legal custody who has a stable job, since the Japanese wife who came to the husband's homeland most like will not have the language skill let alone a green card after divorce so making them ineligible by court as a parent that can provide economic care to the child.

That is why the expat husband wants to settle in court in their home land and not in Japan.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

This is all too common - Japan signs treaties overseas that they have not intention of honoring, because they do not want to change legislation domestically - particularly when it's seen as kowtowing to foreigners. The government here wants to have it both ways. If domestic legislation and enforcement of the provisions of these agreements is not forthcoming w/in a specified period, the agreement should be abrogated and Japan identified as having renounced its obligations.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Let's not forget unwed fathers. They have/should have the same rights (unless they've legged it before the baby was born but that's another issue).

Always surprised by the number of blokes who 'didn't see that coming' tbh - and am not only talking about gaijin-j relationships. Lack of discernment? Don't marry/have kids with dragons/potential dragons or women who are just not that into you, guys. Learn to discern before tying the knot.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

@Emmanuel - your story brought tears to my eyes. I hope you get to see your daughter as soon as possible.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

The morale of this story: Never marry a Japanese woman. Let alone have kids with her.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

@Emmanuel: Stay strong, your kids will find you. I had a friend that found his son after 18 years, I know your pain but deep down the kids will wonder and find you. I wish I could help you more. Stay in contact.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

@Gogogo, @Serrano and @many more here (in particular @John Zendano),

Your words warm my heart and give me a lot of strength.

If I decided to react here on the Japan Today website, it's because I know people like you are aware about what's going on in Japan. You understand a situation that is incomprehensible...

This AFP article is published worldwide is in different languages. Some will say (and they are right) that this problem does not only affect Japan. However, Japan has signed all the international conventions that prevent these situations from happening. In spite of this, parental child abduction in Japan is institutionalized and the right to visit your child after a divorce is impossible (unless the parent who has custody of the child allows it).

3 million children abducted in 20 years in Japan (mostly between Japanese couples). 71% of the children of divorces parents, do not see again their other parent ...

Who fights for those kids ? Those kids have no voice and when they will have a voice (at adult age), it will be too late because their childhood will be behind them.

Last but not least, parental alienation is probably the worst thing in this nightmare. And that spares no country in the world.

19 ( +19 / -0 )

Tough laws and patriarchal cultural norms that overwhelmingly see mothers granted sole custody after a divorce -- 80 percent of the time, according to official figures -- mean that fathers rarely see their children again.

It's a country of culture which still largely believes mothers are better suited for taking care of kids when they are very young. They do not have a sense of "kidnapping"; on the contrary, they probably feel they are "rescuing".

And that is the root cause of the problem which need to be addressed.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Disgraceful. A child has the right to see it's parents.

this is just it a Japanese child born to a sperm donor in Japan probably has more rights to locate a father theyve never met , than a child seperated from a father through divorce especially if the mother doesnt want them to see him. family courts in Japan is a farce

6 ( +8 / -2 )

If I could change one thing about Japan, it would be this.

3 million children abducted in 20 years in Japan (mostly between Japanese couples). 71% of the children of divorces parents, do not see again their other parent ...

Good luck to you Emmanuel and anyone else caught in this situation. I have three kids and it is my own biggest fear.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

While I sympathize, divorce is painful even in the USA and generally the laws are very unfairly enforced against the males. Knowing the risk why do you European descent folks get into a situation by marrying Japanese?

Regarding respecting human rights and treaties and how Japan does not respect, would you like me to list how the champion countries where you come from value them in various circumstances? I am afraid this comment box will not be enough. More than laws and their enforcement my complaint is with people involved and their lack of human empathy. Where is the civility and the best interest of the child?

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

To be fair, this happens all over the world

To be fair : No, it doesn't. There are child custody fights everywhere but in many countries, laws are respected and except in cases of child abuse, children are allowed to keep relations with both parents. Parental child abduction is very rare because it is punished for what it is : abduction (jail penalty for abductor and those that help ). Now in France, fathers are interested in raising their kids even after separation (in the past, there was a time when so many mothers would keep the kid because the guys would leave without ever giving news and everybody would beg them to sometimes go see the kids). Judges grant fully shared custody (like 1 week with each parents) in a majority of cases.

t's a country of culture which still largely believes mothers are better suited for taking care of kids 

It's a country plagued with child abuse, child suicide. The mothers that are alone with their kids, that makes it worse. The kids cut from half of their relatives too.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

This issue not only affects "Foreign divorced parents", it affects, in one case I know of, a Foreign Widower of a Japanese wife. The family was living, and the child in school, in the father's country, where the mother was diagnosed with cancer. She returned to Japan, with the child, to visit her parents, and sadly died here.

The Japanese mother, the father and the child were all expecting that, whatever happened, the child would return to school in the father's country. Instead, the grandmother took custody of the child and refused to allow any contact with the father.

When Japan signed the Hague Convention, the father hoped he would eventually see his child. However, it seems that, while Japan has signed the Hague Convention, it is not enforced or even recognized by courts here.

To make this sad story even sadder, it seems that the grandmother has been telling this child from an early age that its father never visited and never wanted to be part of its life, making his hope of an eventual reunion with the child as an adult even less likely.

Japan looks after its own, regardless of international pressure or law, but in this case it is making an innocent Japanese child fatherless .....

17 ( +17 / -0 )

Sad it once will say it again wrt to these issues, Japan is just so damned primitive, it is truly insane the govt abuses so many children with its stone age laws

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Divorce is where the true character comes out of both sexes....

Greed to get hold of other person's assets in an unfair manner

Child custody where one parent tries to make it as difficult as possible for the other

Family interference generally in a bad way

Not all couples are like this but there is a pretty good trend across the world. Actually educated ones are the worst I have seen...

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I understand it too well, I had a child with my Japanese ex-girlfriend, never been able to see him, every time I go to Japan she is running away to some family members somewhere in Japan(never the same place), I know we weren't married yet, but still it's my child too. I tried tribunal, I've even asked for paternity test(because not married, like it changes anything), still can't do nothing about it. I wonder if my child one day will want to know his father and if she will tel him about me...

Even someone from her area traveling to my city recognized me and told me about the child, when I've told her that she just stopped talking to me...

I'll never forget about him and hope one day I'll be able to meet him.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

I don't understand what the fuss is about. Why did the wives leave these men and took their child or children back to Japan? The problem usually rests with the men who may be abusive or think they are high and almighty. No sympathy from me. Also, why in the world would a grown man want custody of a kid? To teach him to become a little soldier? Honestly, the kids should stay with the mother.

-25 ( +2 / -27 )

To those knocking Japan please recognize that the Japanese family courts don't do anything to non-Japanese any differently from how they do anything to Japanese. They don't do anything, they have no powers to enforce anything except monthly support money from father to mother. They have no powers to enforce visitation, so they don't. They can't. They have no powers to ensure joint custody, so they forbid it except for as long as the marriage endures. That though, is misleading. Becoming a parent for a Japanese woman is a job and status for life. A tenure guaranteed no matter how well or badly you parent. Becoming a parent for a Japanese man is a zero-hours contract. No matter how well you parent, the arbiter of your performance is the contentment of your wife. At her whim, sayonara! That might be because you treat her badly. That might be because you treat her well. What she especially might not like is you parenting better than she does. She will leverage you out of the house for long hours of work to make sure you bring home sufficient salary to match her expectations. Is that patriarchy? Japanese husbands hand over all their salary to their wives. Financial management here is recognized as a 'domestic chore' but not one she'll be wanting any help with. That 'patriarchy' is, it turns out, 'matriarchy'. Frankly, considering the imbalance of power, it is a credit to millions of Japanese mothers that they are caring and diligent. However, thousands are only diligent UNTIL they have a child. Beforehand it is impossible to discern which type your fantastic romantic partner is. They don't even know themselves! Personality disorders and extreme selfishness will only manifest once your baby's born. That is the pivotal moment, either that, or the second child, or the second set of twins in Cook's tragic case. The greatest joy, but the greatest risk. The family court are powerless to protect your relationship with your children. Powerless to protect your children's relationship with you. Even if you are a famous Japanese father such as Takahashi Joji, the abrogation of due process in the family court means that false DV charges will always succeed in alienating you from your children and leaving them totally dependent on the one less adequate, indeed seriously inadequate, parent. Vulnerable and trusting, your children will soon enmesh and come under the undue influence of your ex. They will decline the court investigator's invitation to visit you because they have come to believe fearful stories about you, and to despise you. The court will forever imagine that it has done a worthy job keeping you out of your kids' developmental years. They will be mistaken.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Blame it on Japanese woman. They want to be international so they lasso a willing foreigner and realize it wasn't cracked up to be what they wanted, so they bail, take the children as their grandparents say don't worry we will help you with your child and your life, but only if you stay away from that big bad foreign man. She agrees to the terms and the rest is history. Best policy for all the newbies is never marry a Japanese lady as a large percentage (not all) are ticking time bombs with their biological clocks waiting to explode at any moment.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

Best policy for all the newbies is never marry a Japanese lady 

Or

Best policy for all the newbies is never marry the first English speaking Japanese lady you meet.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

8T:

Best policy for all the newbies is never marry a Japanese lady...

Unfortunately love is not a "policy" but something you find yourself fallen into.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

The Japanese Government will never enforce an international rule if it's not in the countries best interest. With such a population decline they want to keep as many kids in Japan as possible, turning a blind eye on any international treaty. Once again lip service.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Of there are many reasons why the wife would leave the husband and take the kids. But in some of those cases, there was never any love in a relationship and the husband was merely an unwitting sperm donor for the wife. I have a friend and maybe he'll read this who had two angelic blond-haired, blue-eyed, daughters with his J wife. One day she just up and said she wasn't interested in sex anymore and told him to go get a girlfriend.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Thank you JT for finally carrying an article that addressed the horrid situation of child abductions and custody in Japan. I wish you'd publish more articles like this in the future. Thank you

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Moral of the story: Don't have children with a Japanese person.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

All Governments surely have an obligation to put the welbeing of their own citizens above that of those of other countries. Many countres have a wishy-washy atitude to their own citizens welfare---obviously Japan does not and all praise to them.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

My heart is with you, but you are fighting in vain. Japan has yet to enter 21st century or even 20th century in many areas. Judicial system is one of them.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

If you are seriously involved with a Japanese female then read the RichardBurton post. It is VERY informative.

These fathers should consider getting jobs at Nova and living near their children. They have to fight back and stand out up for themselves.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

 Many countres have a wishy-washy atitude to their own citizens welfare---obviously Japan does not and all praise to them.

This statement twists what the J-Government does to foreign parents and is barely connected to reality.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I really feel for these poor parents and their children.

The most crushing experience for a child is to lose a parent or to see thier parents arguing, acting selfishly, hurting each other and ending up divorcing. I know, I've experienced it myself as a child. Likewise losing access to your child is a heart rending thing for a parent.

I have a few thoughts.

1: We should enter marriage with our eyes open and fully educated about what it's all about .

2: We should choose our life partners carefully and wisely. We should thoroughly discuss and agree on our life goals, values etc and be sure we're compatible

3: We've got to work hard at it to make our marriages work and never give up easily, especially when children are involved

4: If after giving it the very best we've got and there is no option but to divorce then do it as humbly and amicably as possible and allow each other supportive access.

Marriage and parenting are the most difficult and trying experiences in life, but also the most rewarding. Hopefully we can do this well and have far less heartbreaking situations like we've been reading about here.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

This is why it's a bad idea for any country to enter an international treaty with Japan. That includes TPP. The Japanese believe they are subject only one country's rules: their own.

You can add the whaling moratorium to that list. Sighting issues such as this, data falsification, corruption from the top down - Japan can no longer be trusted in the international community.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Good post concerned citizen, I especially like your 2nd point: 'we should choose our life partners carefully and wisely. We should thoroughly discuss and agree on our life goals, values etc and be sure we're compatible"

Personally, i don't agree with the 'never marry a J (or any nationality, for that matter) girl/guy' crowd. Have met dozens of adorable, kind-hearted, generous, thoughtful etc J women here in J and overseas, women who do/would do anything for 'their' man - same as western/non j women really.

Thing is, a substantial number of men (and women) are desperate for a relationship and lack discernment; if she (or he) is bossy, overly assertive, doesn't want to work nor chip in financially early in the relationship, chances are, he/she won't get any better once you're married and/or have kids. Word of advice, leave asap, even if that hurts.

Have met quite a few of those very (imo 'too') nice, henpecked western hubbies/bf here in japan or abroad: they work FT/ she doesnt work at all, say 'yes love' to everything she says, and, often, punch well above their weight. That's not a healthy relationship in my book. Their call.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@Tokyo-Engr

(it happens to Japanese fathers as well...)

Seen this happen first hand to my brother-in-law in Japan. His ex-wife is a complete PoS. She got custody and completely blocked him off from seeing his daughter out of spite even though he has visitation rights. This year for the first time in 5 years they met and seeing how happy they were was a delight, but angered me because this should never have been the situations.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It is important for people reading this to understand that the father has NO chance of getting custody. Remember that when you hire a lawyer. All they can do is get you a divorce. If they offer to get you custody then find another lawyer.

Don't give up hope. You child has to wait to go to school at a specific place and at a specific time. They have to walk along a specific route. If you wait somewhere along the route you can say "Hello" to your child. It isn't much , but it will put pressure on your wife-ex wife by making other mothers and teachers realize the disgusting and horrible thing she has done. They will also realize that you love your child. Don't give up trying to at least see your child and say "Hi". Don't give up and let the mother win. You don't have to be confrontational to see your child. That "Hi" will cause the mother a lot of humiliation and lay the groundwork for the future relationship with your child.

The mother who steals a child or doesn't let the father have any communication is a vile creature. Don't let her get away with it. Do the best you can to see your child without making trouble.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

If you live in your home country and are having trouble with your Japanese wife then SHE should NOT have the passports of your children.

I suppose you could let her keep them after you have quietly had them cancelled.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

You child has to wait to go to school at a specific place and at a specific time. They have to walk along a specific route. If you wait somewhere along the route you can say "Hello" to your child.

I know you don't mean it this way, but in the case of foreign fathers; I can see that quickly turning into a gaijin fugitive situation...

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Michael Jackson : But in some of those cases, there was never any love in a relationship and the husband was merely an unwitting sperm donor for the wife.

I have a friend too in the same situation. He met her wife in an age when he body clock was ticking very quickly. She got pregnant and they got married. Fast forward to 2 years, he wanted to get a divorce because there is no love in the relationship, no meals together, they don't talk, and no more intimacy because of his wife's excuse "my mother smells the sperm and she hates it". She planned to have another baby and so baby number 2 came. Still, he wants to file a divorce but knows very well that if he did, he would not be able to see his kids again. His plan now? To divorce her when the kids are old enough to communicate with him.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Why so negative about fathers and foreigners?

A smart father will take a long term approach to the problem and use indirect pressure on the mother to get access to his child. The important thing is not to quit and forget about the child. The mother will be hypersensitive to what others think of her. A polite and friendly father that just says "Hi" or "Happy Birthday" or whatever will cause the mother stress. All of her lies about the husband being abusive or abandoning the child will be questioned. The child will probably outwardly hate the father being there, but inside they might have happy memories of the father or be curious about him.

AgentX has demonstrated a very important point. Being a divorced or abandoned foreign father in Japan is a VERY lonely situation. The father will have ZERO support from all but his closest friends. He will be abandoned and scorned by everyone else. But he must remain strong and think of the future. Don't let the mother win. Fight back and show interest in your child. You don't have to be confrontational about it. Don't give up !! Don't let the mother win !! Show interest in your child. You will be rebuffed so take a long slow approach.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

So sorry to all those undergoing similar situation. I have a family too with a Japanese partner (with children) and hope things will remain as cute as they have been and are. Anyway, if bad stuff happens I won't hang around (physically and emotionally) and exhaust myself like a moth which circles about a lamp post till the poor thing looses its exhausted wings and drops dead.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

 Many countres have a wishy-washy atitude to their own citizens welfare---obviously Japan does not and all praise to them.

actually many of these children abducted where born in other countries and citizens of other countries, but by the J mother bringing them back to Japan against the fathers will they seem to think that this fact can be magically erased, the J courts are a basically condoning these crimes as they are a signatory of the Hauge convention

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Emmanuel, and others who have gone thru the custody hell.

First of all, I am a mother, and I am divorced.

I do not like seeing my ex and I do not even like exchanging emails with him, however, it is a pure joy for my children to be loved by both parents and I have given him a free access to the children as long as I know when and where they are at, and as long as schedule is not conflicted with other activities, I send my children to spend time with my ex.

In the country where only 1 parent gets the custody of your children, we decided to ignore what a piece of paper says (it says I have a full custody of the children) and we both can freely talk to the children, both have a chance to be a parent.

I grew up in Japan so I understand how divorced parents are being viewed in this country, and how children spending time with their dad after divorce can be a surprise to many Japanese, and at times, I get very uncomfortable letting them go out with him and his new lady to be very honest. It is simply uncomfortable. However, divorce was not the children's choice, and the most important thing is that we do not try to change the children's lives because of the divorce. Sure things change, but as much as possible, we should make sure that minimum things are to be changed. To lost one parent is a major change, it is not a minimum change.

It has only been several years since I've been biting my lips whenever they go see him, and I do not think I will ever be comfortable, but I am hoping that when they are adults and leave home, I will be proud that I did not keep the children from him. It is not easy, I have to say.

I feel the pain for both fathers and mothers. Even when the mothers hide their children, they are always nervous that their children might one day ask their mothers why they couldn't see their father, and when the children are old enough, they will know what is the truth and what isn't.

Again, I feel the pain and it aches my heart to imagine what some of you are going thru, I hope that those parents who are keeping their children from their exes will do the right thing and be proud to give the best lives the children should deserve. Took me lots of courage, but I am glad my children didn't lose their parents.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

To those knocking Japan please recognize that the Japanese family courts don't do anything to non-Japanese any differently from how they do anything to Japanese.

Precisely.

It is generally said that in Japan in divorces involving Japanese nationals, in roughly 80% of the cases, the wife will get sole custoday of the children. In the other 20%, the guy gets sole custoday.

I would also note that most people here are rushing to judgement while hearing only one side of the story.

A "fair trial" involves both the plaintiff and the defendant being allowed to give testimony.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

The morale of this story: Never marry a Japanese woman. Let alone have kids with her.

I have this weird thing about choosing a woman based on love and how much I get along with them. I don't classify an entire Nationality as being one in the same. These cases all happen because of a loose system and the women who know they can get away with what they are doing. If there were loose laws like this in other countries, don't act like the women there wouldn't be doing the same nonsense.

Heck, I have a friends in the U.S. and Australia going through similar ordeals. By law, they were given weekend visitations but the ex has disappeared somewhere and no one is doing anything about it. Let's not forget my best friend whose ex got sole.custody of the child though she has 5 kids with 5 men and no job plus a history of mental illness.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Very sad story for these fathers. I hope it will resolve, but the passing of time is more likely to lead to healing than any changes under Japanese law. I would oersonally suggest these dads remarry with a more compatible woman and have a new family but still pursue meeting their 1/2 Japanese children.

Surprisingly in States, many fathers are glad to get away and avoid paternity to avoid draconian child support laws. Anecdotally there was a story of one father in California who divorced his wife and later found out that 2 of the 3 children were not his. However, since he had signed the birth certificate as the father he could not renounce paternity. He remarried but 2/5 of his pay went to his first wife and kids and he was not able to start a new family.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The morale of this story: Never marry a Japanese woman. Let alone have kids with her.

Moral? Funny, I think that if you base the moral of a story upon the nationality of the person you decide to marry there is another problem that you refuse to accept or face.

I married my wife for who she is, not her nationality, and I think most men do as well!

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Cant these kids be forceable rescued from Japan and taken back to the country they were supposed to be in. There's been various stories of kids taken to the Middle East in breach of court orders that have been saved without repercussions.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There is no "fair trial". It isn't like television.  Most cases are settled out of court and those that go all the way to the end get to make a statement. Mostly its lawyers talking to each other about money.

The wife can change the locks on the home and take it and the children because she "feels" like it. Most of the posters here probably have never even been to Japan. But those that live here know that there are a lot of men that have been abandoned by their families. It is a very big social problem that is ignored. These foreign fathers get media attention, but Japanese fathers don't.

These men should get jobs at Nova and spend some time near their children for a few years.

The wife who "lets" her husband meet her children is very arrogant. She does it for the money he provides her to live. Without that money she would burden her parents or society. She should be grateful to her husband for giving her children and the money to live with them and raise them.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Why would any man let his wife take their child/children back toJapan when there is the risk that she may not return? A court order preventing her from doing this is easily and quickly obtainable. She would be stopped at the air/seaport.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Many comments refer to the courts being powerless to enforce visitation rights. Of course, if something is not enforced and becomes subject to the whims of another person, it can hardly be said to be a "right".

I point this out because it is a yet another case of a nail sticking up in Japan and not being hammered down. There are many many other examples. Falsifying data on important structural parts of Tokyo Sky Tree would be another. As would be working your employees to death by overwork and still getting the contract for advertising the Tokyo Olympics.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It doesn't bring any comfort to anyone but it's not just in Japan, there is also a terrible situation for estranged fathers in the UK. My sisters (now) husband hadn't seen his young children for 3 years because his ex wouldn't let him and he was paying everything the courts asked. He eventually won a court order for supervised visits at a mutual venue but she continues to ignore the order, so the next round of court battles ensues. I know how much it hurts him not seeing them but I feel really sorry for his kids because of the poison she tells them.

Good luck to all fathers in this situation, stay strong, one day your children will discover the truth.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

This article is very biased against the Japanese half of the divorced parents. In Americas it is a common practice for the parents trying to block each other from custody and visitation rights. Due to their dislike or hatred for each other and exaggerated financial financial demands children are often used as a bargaining chips. Women in most of the cases get the upper hand and both use the numerous false accusations against each other, Lawyer use their best of imagination to invent the false scenarios to win their clients case and walk away with the lions share of their clients money. I talk form my own and from experience of many of my friends of both sexes. So this situation with Japanese, mostly women is not so much draconian, problem is that they have a right to return to live in Japan and that other parent has to travel there to see the child and if the love has turned in to hate and Japanese party has no financial means to travel then there is a problem specially if the ex husband is not willing to pay the support. It is probably much more complicated then what this article says. When it comes to emotions laws and conventions mean very little. Maybe educating both sides in seeing the interests of the children first is what would help more than lawyers and enforcement.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Let me say something to all you guys who come here and marry the first thing you see.

Growing up I heard my mom instructing her daughters how to be. In Japan you are suppossed to kinda snare yourself a husband, culturally.

You get what you can with your beauty and then make him breed. The richer the guy the better. Why men give their money to the wife is also in that engrained taught mindset. A man without money can’t be seeing other women.

But many just settle for his infidelity and have a crap relationship. Girls here dont want intimacy with their husband after children.

Seeing this happen to my own family, and countless others of my friends made me realize that unless I meet someone totally different...hell no to this existance.

I ended up meeting a lovely NYer....

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If you are a non JP married to a JP, have kids and money and are about to seperate, grab your children and some money and get the hell out of their fast or you’ll loose the shirt of your back!

The Hague Convention treaty will not change a set in concrete Japanese judges mind.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Actually "Bullfighter" the single custody split in Japan is NOT 80% 20% in favor of mothers. It is 99% in favor of mothers; even the sole custody that is awarded to 1% of fathers being divorced is because that is the wish of that mother, usually because she does not want to mother that child.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Don't trust any lawyer that says they can get you custody or will try to do it. All a lawyer can do is negotiate with your wife about money. If the wife is stubborn your case will slowly move toward a judgement. But the entire process is about giving your wife money. Child custody isn't even an issue.

Your wife will want your child to have a Japanese passport. You should know where she keeps it. She cant take your children without it.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Seems llke an easy fix here: make travel to Japan contingent on father's approval on child passport.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Y'all may find this helpgul

http://shikinokaze.jp/english-divorce.html

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My Japanese in-laws, years ago when my wife was in elementary school, contemplated divorcing. My father-in-law is/was a selfish Japanese man, typical of his generation (drinking & gambling & and unquestioning obedience) and my mother-in-law thought she couldn't take it anymore. He decided to take my wife, the oldest daughter, and give my mother-in-law the two younger daughters. This decision was completely based on the fact that my wife was the oldest of the siblings, and thus his property personal (in his mind), and not because she was close to her father, she was not, and to this day doesn't like him. Well, for reasons I don't understand, relatives were able to intervene and prevent the divorce and today they are seemingly happy (enough) together.

So while I have heard these sorts of stories of Japanese fathers being denied access to their children, it clearly isn't always that way, at least not in my family.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I'm sure your child knows who is right.

She will find you and come to you once she is freed from her evil mother.

Please don't lose hope.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

 I have given him a free access to the children as long as I know when and where they are at, and as long as schedule is not conflicted with other activities, I send my children to spend time with my ex.

The problem I have with this statement is the fact the mother believes she has the authority to decide how, when and where the father can see his own children.  The fact that Japanese laws agrees with this mentality is at the heart of the problem.  Governments need to protect the rights of the child and not allow emotional bias to get in the way of what's best for the children.  Emotional immaturity combined with antiquated values and prejudices are falling squarely on the shoulders of the young and innocent in this country.  It's no wonder we frequently read stories about mentally unstable children commiting heinous crimes against their family members.

S

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Mahesvara-of-JapanOct. 24 01:35 am JST

I don't understand what the fuss is about. Why did the wives leave these men and took their child or children back to Japan? The problem usually rests with the men who may be abusive or think they are high and almighty.

And you're basing this assertion on what anecdotal evidence...?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

It is very interesting that when a foreigner sees a Japanese couple engaged in a staring match they immediately blame the man. What they probably see most of the time is the female trying to dominate the male. Many mothers do it to their children all the time. They just say "bye-bye" and walk or ride away.

Many Japanese women believe that this is the way to manage a relationship. They bully to get whatever they want. Many men that marry Japanese women are shocked when the charming and wonderful girlfriend they had turns into a stubborn self-centered middle aged man after marriage.

Many Japanese men probably DON'T want to go home after work because their wives are not much fun to be around or even very nice to them.  They might not help raise the children because the wife DOESN'T want their help. The husband brings home the money and shows his face at the appropriate time and place.

For some reason many or some Japanese women stop using their smile or charm to get what they want. They scream, threaten, bully, intimidate and ignore to get what they want.

If you live in Japan it is an interesting aspect of Japanese society to learn about. Happy people are productive people and some Japanese women must be wonderful wives and mothers. But they aren't all that way and children and their fathers suffer when the mother isn't a very nice person or just plain mean.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

The obvious: this is horrible and cruel.

My question: why does the article calls this “patriarchal” when it clearly causes nothing but pain for the father?

Or, forgive me, are Japanese fathers (or the opinion of Japanese fathers) so awful that to be free of not having to help raise a child is viewed as a patriarchal benefit?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The Koseki system is a big obstacle.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Insane Wayne:

It is very interesting that when a foreigner sees a Japanese couple engaged in a staring match they immediately blame the man. What they probably see most of the time is the female trying to dominate the male. Many mothers do it to their children all the time. They just say "bye-bye" and walk or ride away.

Many Japanese women believe that this is the way to manage a relationship. They bully to get whatever they want. Many men that marry Japanese women are shocked when the charming and wonderful girlfriend they had turns into a stubborn self-centered middle aged man after marriage.

Many Japanese men probably DON'T want to go home after work because their wives are not much fun to be around or even very nice to them. They might not help raise the children because the wife DOESN'T want their help. The husband brings home the money and shows his face at the appropriate time and place.

For some reason many or some Japanese women stop using their smile or charm to get what they want. They scream, threaten, bully, intimidate and ignore to get what they want.

If you live in Japan it is an interesting aspect of Japanese society to learn about. Happy people are productive people and some Japanese women must be wonderful wives and mothers. But they aren't all that way and children and their fathers suffer when the mother isn't a very nice person or just plain mean.

Best post ever. Very insightful. I would add having a few friends in their mid-40's. If you hang in there that long the balance of power starts shifting to the man.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Fishy:

Good for you. I'm sure it's been extremely difficult but your family will always be better off for it. You are a great example.

Emmanuel, and others who have gone thru the custody hell.

First of all, I am a mother, and I am divorced.

I do not like seeing my ex and I do not even like exchanging emails with him, however, it is a pure joy for my children to be loved by both parents and I have given him a free access to the children as long as I know when and where they are at, and as long as schedule is not conflicted with other activities, I send my children to spend time with my ex.

In the country where only 1 parent gets the custody of your children, we decided to ignore what a piece of paper says (it says I have a full custody of the children) and we both can freely talk to the children, both have a chance to be a parent.

I grew up in Japan so I understand how divorced parents are being viewed in this country, and how children spending time with their dad after divorce can be a surprise to many Japanese, and at times, I get very uncomfortable letting them go out with him and his new lady to be very honest. It is simply uncomfortable. However, divorce was not the children's choice, and the most important thing is that we do not try to change the children's lives because of the divorce. Sure things change, but as much as possible, we should make sure that minimum things are to be changed. To lost one parent is a major change, it is not a minimum change.

It has only been several years since I've been biting my lips whenever they go see him, and I do not think I will ever be comfortable, but I am hoping that when they are adults and leave home, I will be proud that I did not keep the children from him. It is not easy, I have to say.

I feel the pain for both fathers and mothers. Even when the mothers hide their children, they are always nervous that their children might one day ask their mothers why they couldn't see their father, and when the children are old enough, they will know what is the truth and what isn't.

Again, I feel the pain and it aches my heart to imagine what some of you are going thru, I hope that those parents who are keeping their children from their exes will do the right thing and be proud to give the best lives the children should deserve. Took me lots of courage, but I am glad my children didn't lose their parents.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Reckless, it isn't supposed to be a power struggle, but that is what many people who marry Japanese women get. Can you imagine going to work with an unpleasant bullying boss and then going home to the same environment?!

Every English teacher has ben shocked at how stubborn some young women can be when they are asking for help trying to phrase a Japanese translation. It is a shocking to witness how stubborn they really are. English teachers have heard stories about a fiancé giving control of all of his money to his bride to be. The man is forced to subsist on 500 yen a day while the female lives a care free life.

Imagine the attitude of a woman in her 50s that has been taking the money of her husband for 30 years ! She has the house, his savings and his children, but has no further use for him. Unless they are in love the man would live a very lonely home life. Think of that next time you watch dozens of middle aged men fawn over an "idol".

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Insane Wayne

She does it for the money he provides her to live. Without that money she would burden her parents or society. She should be grateful to her husband for giving her children and the money to live with them and raise them.

I know you didn't say this after reading my post however I feel like I have to say this..

My ex does not give me any money for child support. He wants to see the kids and I send my kids to see him, not because of any money but purely because for the kids to not lose parents. It makes me sad when some people think women send their kids to their exes to take money. Some do, some don't, and I know I don't.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Spidey

The problem I have with this statement is the fact the mother believes she has the authority to decide how, when and where the father can see his own children.

I understand what you say, and I probably didn't write it in a way I wanted my message to be conveyed. Apologize as English isn't my native language.

I said I have given him a free access to the children, because on the paper, he does not have a custody, so I said we'd ignore what a piece of paper says and told him he'd have a free access to the children.

Also, because the kids live with me, I think it is a reasonable request for me to ask him when and where he'd take the children to, since he directly contacts the kids about day, time, place, I want to make sure I know where they are at, and because I have the kids' schools/sports/activities schedules (kids don't keep track of those things like I do) I want to make sure there's no conflicts on the schedule. I hope it doesn't make me selfish or anything, I'd think it should be reasonable for me to ask for that information. 

Concerned Citizen

Good for you. I'm sure it's been extremely difficult but your family will always be better off for it. You are a great example

Thank you so much, like I said in my post, it isn't always easy and I am often uncomfortable when I send the kids off, but it is comforting when someone acknowledges my emotional struggle and tells me what I'm doing is a good thing, it means a lot to be told I'm doing good, so, thank you, really...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Insane Wayne: "Reckless, it isn't supposed to be a power struggle, but that is what many people who marry Japanese women get."

Another excellent insight. When I first got married I operated under the presumption of both of us acting if fairness. We first moved to the US a few years then back to Japan a few years, then I got the ultimatum stay in Japan with the kids or divorce. I have never been as angry but also had no leverage as I know the laws here will destroy me. It has been a long haul. I would just say to any foreigner, play around while you are young, but if you have kids you better like living in Japan because your Japanese wife will probably want to stay here and you will not be able to count on any sense of fairness. Japanese respond to power and status, not fairness.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@ seadog538Oct. 24  04:55 pm JST Why would any man let his wife take their child/children back toJapan when there is the risk that she may not return? A court order preventing her from doing this is easily and quickly obtainable. She would be stopped at the air/seaport.

You are incorrect - it has happened many times despite a foreign court order some Japanese wives have taken their children to Japan knowing once they are on Japanese soil there is no way they can be forced to return. Japanese courts do not recognize foreign court orders regarding custody.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Many men that marry Japanese women are shocked when the charming and wonderful girlfriend they had turns into a stubborn self-centered middle aged man after marriage.

That would shock me, too. I would be prepared for all kinds of changes, but not for her to become a middle aged man!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Fishy:

All the best to you and your family Fishy.

Thank you so much, like I said in my post, it isn't always easy and I am often uncomfortable when I send the kids off, but it is comforting when someone acknowledges my emotional struggle and tells me what I'm doing is a good thing, it means a lot to be told I'm doing good, so, thank you, really...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Emmanuel My mom stole my sisters from my dad and she was never granted custody. They lived in two different counties in the U.S. and the court system would not force her to return them because she lied and told the court that we had been staying with her and she even went to Social Security and received financial assistance using all of our information. Meanwhile they let me leave and didn't care where I went. She put both of my sisters in mental institutions because she said they didn't listen to her. (Obviously because she kidnapped them.) I can't even imagine having to deal with bureaucrats from multiple countries to have to see my kids. That is just insane. The fact that the UN wasn't involved is crazy as well.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

My wife and I have been married for over 20 years and she didn't want a kid from the beginning and I said fine.But she insisted around 10 years into the marriage that if she fell pregnant and we broke up,that I'd be the sole parent to the child.And we signed paperwork to that effect drawn up by her.A few years later thru a quirk of fate, she became pregnant and despite the initial shock we're still going strong.I still have that paper in my back pocket so to speak,just in case... I need it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think if they're not going to let you see your kids you probably don't have to pay any money either? Just start again and make sure you get a keeper.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

donpolski

I think if they're not going to let you see your kids you probably don't have to pay any money either? Just start again and make sure you get a keeper

child support money is not paid in order for a parent to see his/her children, it is supposed to be for the children to be able to receive all the necessary education, supplies, services and so on. Parents job is to make sure they have what they need. Child support money should never be used to get your spouse to say yes or no.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

child support money is not paid in order for a parent to see his/her children, it is supposed to be for the children to be able to receive all the necessary education, supplies, services and so on. Parents job is to make sure they have what they need. Child support money should never be used to get your spouse to say yes or no.

I agree. All that happens when parents use this as leverage is that you have two pathetic, useless parents instead of one.

Poor kids. They have to suffer for being born to morons.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

And yet some still write and claim nonsense that Japan is a patriarchy. It is a matriarchy. Watch the movie i Just Didn't Do It.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I am one of the fathers mentioned in the article and the prime international example of Japan’s failure under Hague. I won the return of all 4 of our children in two separate rulings. My wife’s - yes, we’re still married - contempt of ALL court orders has foiled Hague process. It is my wife’s contempt that has triggered all the actions taken against Japan, with more to come. You’d think Japan would take every action to turn her out and return our children instead of suffering more penalties from US State Department.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@jamescook

Sorry to hear you went through that. It is amazing to see so many people out there and on this saying 'well, every country does this and japan isn't any different' or making it seem as if it is ok. How is it that japan these days can control everyone in the global community to allow them to get away with anything they want?? its clear that some foreigners don't have a leg to stand on when it comes to their laws and rules. God forbid if you don't fit in with their standards. I heard of many similar stories and that is truly scary. It is a clear violation of humanitarian law these children are stolen and vanish like ninjas in the nights from their parents in such a sneaky way. May you be able to pave the way for others with your story and truth and that they may not have to suffer.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Does anyone have any insight into the situation if both Parents are non-Japanese, and yet, both Permanent Residents in Japan ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

From reading the above, I guess my case is unique. My ex Japanese wife demands that I stay involved with our two kids and does all she can to encourage that. For example, when I visit them in Hawaii, she wants me to stay at her house in order to spend maximum time with them. You could say we have a "friendly divorce." In addition, my present Japanese wife loves my kids and they love her. Fortunate me.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It depends on the person I say, there is dragon women both in Asia and outside of Asia, but there are also the ones who can compromise and are more open minded mentally.

Kenji Fujimori's comment is very insightful.

a) I know a Japanese mother whose father kidnapped the two elementary kids after divorcing her. When the two handed in the divorce papers at the city hall no one asked about the children. The police told her she agreed so they can't do anything. After turning 18 the two girls came to visit their mother and now regularly talk to her by Skype.

b) I also know a Japanese father who divorced when his children were very young, however, he regularly sees them because his former wife thinks that is OK.

I gather by these stories the government (law) doesn't want to get involved in family issues and that is a very irresponsible for the population. I applaud all those pushing the government to be more responsible.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

From reading the above, I guess my case is unique. My ex Japanese wife demands that I stay involved with our two kids and does all she can to encourage that. For example, when I visit them in Hawaii, she wants me to stay at her house in order to spend maximum time with them. You could say we have a "friendly divorce." In addition, my present Japanese wife loves my kids and they love her. Fortunate me.

The fact that she lives either full or part time in Hawaii means your case is very different from the start.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I was crying while reading this post! Take away the precious flower from you and never allow to see and visit your child - this is so cruel, this is unfair.

Both parents are worth to care about children, hug them, spend time with them, look at their achievments of different step of age!! I wish you BIG HUGE luck in your cases! You deserve it!

I think it's not only father-foreigner's problems, right? What about mother-foreigner who is married with Japanese man? What's happened in these cases?

I am a woman from Russia. I am married with Japanese man . We love each other so much and of course we want children. But after reading such posts and comments like someone wrote "The big advice is never get married or deal with japanese", I am kinda upset...There are still good kind people in Japan..

Of course if there was a divorse, I would make it fair... But if I am foreigner I guess japanese father will win custody?

I will never forget myself if Japanese father will win the custody and not allow me to see our children.

I will never forget myself if I win custody and not allow father to see our children.

Children are worth both parents...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Agree that it's just plain ridiculous to say 'never marry Japanese'. Just marry the right person, regardless of where they are from!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

People change as they get older and their circumstances change. That is true for all humans.

However, the MOTIVE for marrying differs from person to person. SOME Japanese women marry to have a baby so that they will fit in with their peers. It is a kind of peer pressure unique to Japan.

Western men should be aware of this. If you have children with a Japanese woman and don’t live in Japan then you MUST have Japanese passport of your child in a secure place. An English man can let his Japanese wife take the children to Japan on their English passport. They can stay in Japan for 3 months. If the wife tries to kidnap the children they will violate immigration law.

Remember don’t trust any lawyer who tells you they can get custody of your children. They are lying to you and are only trying to steal your money.

If you divorce you Japanese wife in Japan and need a lawyer then expect to pay your wife what the court chart says regardless of the unfairness of the situation or the horrible things your wife has done. Basically you pay a penalties for irritating your wife. It is unfair and disgusting, but that is the way it is.

Some people think that Japanese men are a little strange and kind of juvenile. It is because they live in a female dominated society and in some ways they never grow up. Their wife or mother tells them what to do, what to wear...etc. Most Japanese men like it because they can drink with their friends and avoid responsibilities at home. The wife is the boss.

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