national

French father goes on hunger strike for children 'abducted' by Japanese wife

211 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2021 AFP

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

211 Comments

Comments have been disabled You can no longer respond to this thread.

Mr Fichot will soon be force fed by the authorities here or will give up his hunger strike.

-44 ( +10 / -54 )

God knows how much I detest the Japanese Justice.

It's about time for Japan to cancel any treaties with the UN. Japan plays solo anyways.

63 ( +74 / -11 )

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

Where is the ‘East Asian Archpelago’?

Japan?

16 ( +34 / -18 )

What use will he be to her or the children now without a job?

Find a job or go home.

-116 ( +16 / -132 )

What use will he be to her or the children now without a job?

Find a job or go home.

It's common for foreign spouse go to Japan and leave everything behind including good paying career back in their home country because their wife want to go back to Japan. While starting new career for these foreigners after certain age can be really challenging.

"I've given everything, I've lost my job, my house and my savings in the last three years. I weigh 80 kilograms now, and I'll give it all until the very last gram," Vincent Fichot

72 ( +79 / -7 )

Wait, he lost his job,house and saving, so how the hell is he suppose to take care of the kids even if he gets them back? And saying something like if they are even alive, is he claiming is dangerous for his kids to live with the mom?

Funny thing is, he actually think France is gonna sanction Japan for this kind of thing. Btw, he lived 15years here already. Why he would think France could even have him is beyond me.

-86 ( +15 / -101 )

Step up Japan and reunite the family.

63 ( +70 / -7 )

The laws here grossly favour the Japanese mother's, it's a tight rope you are walking if you have children here. Feel awful for this guy, lost everything.

72 ( +79 / -7 )

Last time Emmanuel Macron visited Japan he made some statement about how these abductions and separations were completely unacceptable. But like many politicians, all talk and he won't do anything to fix this mess.

61 ( +65 / -4 )

Another example of a long-term, hard-working, tax-paying, foreign-resident, wishing ‘not to shirk’ his love & parental responsibility for ‘their’ children.

41 ( +47 / -6 )

The WORLD is watching, Japan.

52 ( +59 / -7 )

Wasn't Japan in the news recently concerning North Korea and !"abductees"?

Why should France, and other countries from which a child was taken from a parent to Japan help Japan with that issue, which took place 30-40 years ago?

60 ( +67 / -7 )

What use will he be to her or the children now without a job? 

Find a job or go home.

What an idiotic comment.

84 ( +93 / -9 )

All done through a respectful & peaceful yet, powerful form of ‘civil disobedience’. -

31 ( +37 / -6 )

IF he’s arrested @kurisupisu 6:28am, it will further damage Japan’s past months’ media blitz lauding Their modern sensibilities, progressive thinking & societal freedoms. 

27 ( +31 / -4 )

Maybe France should follow the same law as Japan and go quid-pro-quo towards Japan on such issues. One thing that I have always noticed about Japan is, if you mirror Japan, Japan cannot handle it.

42 ( +45 / -3 )

I feel sorry for him and acknowledge that children usually benefit from access to both parents but lets be honest. The Japanese authorities and public in general won't care less about his protest. Selfish and vindictive people are usually that was before marriage. If you choose to tie the knot with them, don't expect them to be reasonable on divorce.

24 ( +32 / -8 )

EU laws are extremely protective of children and parents rights, to the extreme that I need the signature of my ex wife to renew my passport because our child is still a minor and I could otherwise take him away with me. While in practice because of Japan not having signed any international agreement on the issue, and my son living now in Japan ‘abducted’ by the mother, that means if my ex wife had decided not to let me see him again I could not even renew my passport and ever enter Japan again. Luckily we are civilized people, unlike those making the laws in this country.

On this specific issue, Japan is among the worst countries in the world and it’s not my personal opinion, it’s a fact.

51 ( +56 / -5 )

"I've given everything, I've lost my job, my house and my savings in the last three years. I weigh 80 kilograms now, and I'll give it all until the very last gram," Vincent Fichot told AFP, sitting at the entrance to a train station in Tokyo, not far from the new Olympic stadium.

I don't get it, why did he lose "his job, his house and his savings"? Did he lose that in his divorce or in his fight to see his children?

-18 ( +13 / -31 )

A Frenchman possibly dying of hunger in the middle of the Olympics must have the authorities tearing their hair out!

The negative publicity of any type of extreme action will be major news either way -letting Mr Fichot die is not an option for Japan

46 ( +51 / -5 )

This is a huge black eye on Japan. A father has rights also!

62 ( +64 / -2 )

See the Richard Cory series for a detailed account of the tremendous challenge a non-Japanese father can face in one of these cases. Some successes (he got his daughter back) but a lot of bureaucratic hurdles (not his sons).

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2010/09/21/issues/battling-a-broken-system/

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2010/09/28/issues/behind-the-facade-of-family-law/

(I think that there are five or six installments to this story. The first two are linked above. A simple search should pull up the others.)

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Commodore Perry, that is the irony of ironies! Japan is always asking begging the international community to help them put pressure on North Korea because a long time ago, children, or young people were forcibly taken from their rightful parents. But now when it comes to Japanese women kidnapping their children back to Japan, well that is just for the betterment of the children. Sorry Japan, you can't have it both ways!

44 ( +48 / -4 )

Japan is truly EVIL when it comes to parental rights, well lets face it there are NO RIGHTS if you are male

39 ( +45 / -6 )

powerful form of ‘civil disobedience’. -

He is not breaking any laws. How is a "hunger strike" civil disobedience?

He is taking the opportunity, with the world being focused on Japan and the Olympics to

plead for his cause.

34 ( +38 / -4 )

Japan is a signatory nation to the Hague Convention on international child abduction. This article could use more information on that and also the practice by Japanese women fighting for child custody through allegations of domestic violence and child abuse.

31 ( +34 / -3 )

My x-wife did the same thing to me sold our house, car, business right from under me.

If you do not want to lose everything do not give them a divorce until you have an acceptable agreement signed. You don't need to live with them but you can stop them moving forward with their life.

Do not agree to put anything under their name make sure your name is there as well.

44 ( +47 / -3 )

@Hiro

Wait, he lost his job,house and saving, so how the hell is he suppose to take care of the kids even if he gets them back? And saying something like if they are even alive, is he claiming is dangerous for his kids to live with the mom?

Hiro: I think you should read the article more carefully. He does not even know where they are? I believe if he knew where the kids are and still had contact he would work to support them while simultaneously trying to get access to see his children.

Funny thing is, he actually think France is gonna sanction Japan for this kind of thing. Btw, he lived 15years here already. Why he would think France could even have him is beyond me.

So you are saying that a foreigner who lives in Japan for a long time (15 Years - I have been here longer) is no good anymore? It seems you have a very negative view of your country. I am so sorry for you to hear that. In my case I have found the opposite among people who have lived here and returned. I am sorry you have such a low opinion of Japan and the Japanese people. I do not have such a low opinion.

30 ( +35 / -5 )

@Chibakun

What use will he be to her or the children now without a job?

Find a job or go home.

He is doing a job right now: trying to find his children so he can support them. Are you suggestion he abandon his children and leave? My wife has a few friends who are single Japanese mothers. Their Japanese spouses left them for younger women and provide no support for the kids. You are not asking him to act like these Japanese men are you? (I do not think you are suggesting this...but are you?)

41 ( +45 / -4 )

I reckon the French guy has some help from friends and others here who have found themselves in a similar situation - he will need all of this back-up for a show-of-strength in making such a clear and unequivocal stand against the Japanese system.....

I just hope that the powers-that-be recognise this early, and realise that an opportunity presents itself for a complete volte-face and a chance to show 'Compassionate Japan'.

How refreshing would that be.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Heartbreaking. I know many in his case and it is truly a nightmare. I fear though Japan will force feed him to avoid the bad publicity..

10 ( +15 / -5 )

GWToday 07:47 am JST

Japan is truly EVIL when it comes to parental rights, well lets face it there are NO RIGHTS if you are male

It's worse for fathers in Western countries, where any man is treated as a second class citizen, check out all the men's rights activities in USA. Check out how many men are totally financially broken after a divorce.

If you cannot pay any child support you end up in jail in USA - which can never happen to you in Japan, as there is no obligatory child support. Add to child support also alimony and in case you are not even married, you might be subject to palimony, even in case there are no children.

About this French man if he is living in Japan since 15 years and his children are four and six, he should know about Japanese law.

Laws are not the same everywhere - France is not Japan, and France is not Saudi Arabia or USA. Totally different legal situation in case of divorce and custody of children.

-38 ( +7 / -45 )

ChibakunToday 06:36 am JST

What use will he be to her or the children now without a job?

Find a job or go home.

Your comment makes some sense. Jobless? A foreign man in Japan? The Japanese ex-wife can rightfully claim that he is unable to care for their children.

Did he ever provide any financial support for them after divorce?

Go home or be allowed to stay depends on your visa status as a foreigner, and not only in Japan.

Check out other Asian countries and their legal situation. No regular income and you will be in big trouble as a foreigner in many countries, children or not.

In USA he would be in jail for failing to pay child support and even be subject to pay his ex-wife alimony for the rest of her life.

-45 ( +3 / -48 )

Joint custody of children in cases of divorce or separation does not exist legally in Japan, where parental abductions are common and often tolerated by local authorities.

This is an ugly side of Japan that I despise. He couldn't have picked a better time to protest. I wish him good luck.

37 ( +39 / -2 )

Taking on the intractable cultural baggage carried by some Japanese wives with kids can become a very risky proposition for a foreign spouse residing on her turf ring-fenced with xenophobic legislation. Caveat emptor!

17 ( +19 / -2 )

This type of issue could be easily solved if family courts here had enforcement mechanisms to ensure the non-custodial parent receives parenting time. The family courts here have no ability to enforce parenting time, which is why custodial parents can prevent the non-custodial parent from seeing the children.

Requiring parenting time does not require joint custody. Joint custody means the parents make all major life decisions for the children together. Parenting time merely means the parent with whom the children do not reside are able to see their children.

It’s not rocket science, but much like a nationwide online sex offenders’ registry, it’s beyond Japan’s reach.

16 ( +20 / -4 )

In USA he would be in jail for failing to pay child support and even be subject to pay his ex-wife alimony for the rest of her life.

This is absolutely incorrect. Lease stop spreading misinformation.

25 ( +33 / -8 )

*Please

6 ( +12 / -6 )

@Yohan

In USA he would be in jail for failing to pay child support and even be subject to pay his ex-wife alimony for the rest of her life.

Yohan; Your post, as related to this incident, is 100% incorrect. In the U.S. if the woman took the children and did not tell the father where the children were taken to an Amber alert (a term used in the U.S. to help find missing children) would be issued and a police all points bulletin (APB) would be issued to immediately capture the mother and children. The purpose would be to see if the children are OK and to find out why the woman took the kids withouth notifying the father.

If she did what the Japanese lady in this case did the mother would be arrested and tried for kidnapping. If the man abused the mother which caused the incident then the man would be arrested and tried for spousal abuse.

In this case the woman has actually admitted the French man did not abuse her and still took the children. In the U.S. she would be tried for kidnapping.

34 ( +38 / -4 )

I lost my kids to my Japanese ex-wife and I lived 8 kilometers away. She just barred me from having any contact with them and there was not a damn thing I could do about it. She called the police twice when I tried to see them. After 8 years of battling to see them I gave up and left Japan. I wish this guy luck, but he’s fighting a battle he cannot win. There is no such thing as joint custody in Japanese law. It’s whatever she says goes. If she says “They are my kids!” that’s the end of it. If she says, “I fear violence.” It’s all over, regardless of the truth. Good luck fella!

47 ( +49 / -2 )

Joint custody of children in cases of divorce or separation does not exist legally in Japan, where parental abductions are common and often tolerated by local authorities.

Any specific and numerical data about abductions?

Under the current arrangement of sole custody, for example, visitation is still possible and allowed.

-14 ( +0 / -14 )

EU laws are extremely protective of children and parents rights, to the extreme that I need the signature of my ex wife to renew my passport because our child is still a minor and I could otherwise take him away with me.

I never heard of such a thing. Concerning the children's passport it is true, you need the signature of both parents and even if you're not divorced and living happily together, it is better to carry a letter of consent from the other parent when travelling abroad yourself with your minors. But you can always get your own personal passport renewed for your personal travels without other's consent. Some countries even require you to carry a valid passport or ID anyway, so no ex-wife can deny you your own passport.

While in practice because of Japan not having signed any international agreement on the issue, and my son living now in Japan ‘abducted’ by the mother, that means if my ex wife had decided not to let me see him again I could not even renew my passport and ever enter Japan again.

Japan signed the Hague Convention on international child abduction. And as explained above, your own passport is yours. There is no way she could deny you getting a neccessary passport for yourself namd make you stay stuck in e.g. France. But I'm open to learn, which EU country would actually deny you your own personal passport for your travels.

On this specific issue, Japan is among the worst countries in the world and it’s not my personal opinion, it’s a fact.

Apart from this passport story you're right with the problematic attitude of child custody in Japan. Basically the rule is, after a divorce, both partners should go seperate ways and not meet or contact each other again. This divide includes not just your properties but also the children. No more contact desired, no more depending on each other, just seperate. It's not about foreigners in such cases, it's a standard and here something must change.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

Tokyo-EngrToday 08:31 am JST

@YohanYohan; Your post, as related to this incident, is 100% incorrect. In the U.S. if the woman took the children and did not tell the father where the children were taken to an Amber alert

Not the same situation, as said, laws are not the same everywhere worldwide - in Japan authorities know where the children are, she did not take the children illegally. Legally seen she did nothing wrong.

-27 ( +4 / -31 )

Over the years I have seen countless similar situations, I blame more western countries governments for not acting strong and really putting pressure on Japan.

When I got divorced I got the children in Japan (think hard as to why the Japanese courts have the Gaijin father custody I am sure you can figure it out).

But at the time Japan had not signed the Hague convention. So as I tried to go back to my country ( like every Japanese authority at every level would regularly tell me to do) my government (Canada) refused to permit my children in saying that they enforce Canadian law of dual custody and I needed Japanese court permission to do so, something Canada knew Japanese courts were not set up to do.tjis was some sort of passive aggressive idea of pressuring Japan to change such nativity was incredible.

So I could not leave,

At that time as I would got to the embassy begging for help, I would meet plenty of Canadian parents both men and women in the opposite situation, were the Japanese patent had taken the children and refused to let the Canadian parent see them including many that had violated Canadian courts left Canada without permission taking the children and never returning.

Over 20 years later and despite Japan signing the convention nothing has changed, Canada still enforces the convention in one direction, while Japan hasn't once returned a single child or kept to the agreement it signed.

The word "patsy" come to mind to describe countries that deal with Japan on this subject as if Japan will uphold it's agreement.

Hard sanctions are needed, but at the same time western countries need to stop enforcing the convention towards their citizens with regards to Japan and let them take their children back to their countries and see how the Japanese like being on the receiving end!

29 ( +33 / -4 )

@Yohan

You seem to have a dog in this fight and I really can't see why. Remove all surrounding information and see if you still wildly protect Japan.

If you have sex and have a child that child is now your responsible. Male or female rich or poor. You either made the choice or the mistake now you have the moral obligation to ensure the best life possible for that child.

Some people are completely morally bankrupt and will avoid their responsibilities. Some countries will force you to meet your responsibilities.

Here we have a person trying to provide the best possible life for their child. They are willing to give everything, perhaps even their life, to meet their one true and unavoidable obligation; their children.

19 ( +23 / -4 )

@Yohan

If you cannot pay any child support you end up in jail in USA - which can never happen to you in Japan, as there is no obligatory child support.

You are correct in your post. In Japan there is no obiligation to pay child support and in the case of my wife's friends they chose to financially abandon their children. I will let you tell me if you think that is good or bad.

You are also correct about the divorce settlements in the U.S. and jail time for men who refuse to financially support the children they have sired. I will also let you tell me if you think that is good or bad.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

Not the same situation, as said, laws are not the same everywhere worldwide - in Japan authorities know where the children are, she did not take the children illegally. Legally seen she did nothing wrong.

Technical correct.

It is Japan that is in the wrong and in violation of it's international agreements.(as usual).

Therefore Japan should be facing serious sanctions and penalties.

17 ( +20 / -3 )

@Yohan

Tokyo-EngrToday 08:31 am JST

@YohanYohan; Your post, as related to this incident, is 100% incorrect. In the U.S. if the woman took the children and did not tell the father where the children were taken to an Amber alert

Not the same situation, as said, laws are not the same everywhere worldwide - in Japan authorities know where the children are, she did not take the children illegally. Legally seen she did nothing wrong.

Your original statement to which I replied was about what would happen the U.S. and was not about what the laws are in Japan.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

P. SmithToday 08:28 am JST

(Yohan) In USA he would be in jail for failing to pay child support and even be subject to pay his ex-wife alimony for the rest of her life.

This is absolutely incorrect. Lease stop spreading misinformation.

Maybe do a google search and check out how many fathers are in jail in the States for unable to pay child support. Noncustodial parents may face incarceration for failure to pay child and there are thousands of them in jail. I wonder how somebody can pay child support if you send him behind bars.

-22 ( +4 / -26 )

It is ingrained in culture.

Laws can be written but Japanese have medieval rules in some areas, with parents'rights being one of them.

Children are not properties and deserve to know their parents.

If the woman has lied, she should be prosecuted and have her own rights diminished as unfit to bring up properly children.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

@Yohan

P. SmithToday 08:28 am JST

(Yohan) In USA he would be in jail for failing to pay child support and even be subject to pay his ex-wife alimony for the rest of her life.

This is absolutely incorrect. Lease stop spreading misinformation.

Maybe do a google search and check out how many fathers are in jail in the States for unable to pay child support.

The differences are that Japan does not require men to take responsibility for the women they impregnate.

Furthermore in the U.S. men are expected to financially support a child in which they sire (where they cause the woman to become pregnant).

Finally when the child support payment amount is established it is established by a legal process. Is it always correct? No - absolutely not. But what you are saying is not even close to being a rationale argument for this particular case. The woman just took the kids which is OK in Japan (and has been proven to be so for decades). It seems you are OK with this.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

This dude needs to get the embassies involved and have the twitter mob descend on their offices until something happens.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Poor dude! Does he really believe that the government of any country cares about his case? Governments don't care about people. I'm just wondering, if he's in Japan, what's stopping him from paying a visit to his wife's fam and making a more assertive plead of his case? If you know what I mean. He's got nothing to lose anymore.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

If you cannot pay any child support you end up in jail in USA 

I get where are you are going but there are tons and tons of deadbeat dads who don't end up in jail. It all depends if the mother lawyers up and pursues legal action for something to happenl

5 ( +7 / -2 )

This will keep happening until joint custody of children is legally recognized and enforced. Ultimately keeping them from one of their parents will punish the children long term.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

I remember a few years ago a Japanese mum abducted her kids from the States to Japan. The silly women went back to the States to renew her green card. When she arrived the promptly arrested her. He got his kids back. This always goes on here. Sometimes I feel its the most backward culture I ever come across. Seen mothers ask fathers not to come around as they are remarried and they want their kids only to have one father. Mothers who have make up lies about domestic violence to take away custody from Dad only to have the kid removed to foster care because of the abusive mom and because Dad has a DV order he cannot get custody of his own kids.

23 ( +25 / -2 )

Tokyo-EngrToday 08:43 am JST

@Yohan

You are correct in your post. In Japan there is no obiligation to pay child support and in the case of my wife's friends they chose to financially abandon their children. I will let you tell me if you think that is good or bad.

You are also correct about the divorce settlements in the U.S. and jail time for men who refuse to financially support the children they have sired. I will also let you tell me if you think that is good or bad.

Good or bad is not really the question. My answer to this question is neither good nor bad.

It is simple about that different countries have different laws.

If you are a foreign man living in Japan for 15 years you should be aware about the legal situation before you marry, live in Japan and have children with a Japanese female citizen. Japanese law will apply and in almost every case the children will be with the mother, like it or not.

If you are a Western woman living in Saudi Arabia, Saudi law will apply and the children are with the father, like it or not.

If you are in USA you have to live with their laws ... for example live with a woman and HER children from a previous marriage and you leave her after a few years, you will have to pay child support for Her children despite you are NOT the biological father ... like it or not.

and so on...

I say it again, laws are not the same worldwide.

In USA the legal situation is especially confusing and costly, as different States have different laws.

-29 ( +4 / -33 )

Do not use the word "abducted" if there was legal process for the outcome and children might have chosen living with their mother

-21 ( +5 / -26 )

This dude needs to get the embassies involved 

They will do nothing other than Lodge on official complaint.

The end.

Worse even if he had custody most western governments would not only refuse him entry to his own country with the children they would refuse to even issue passports to the children unless the ex-spouse signed the application.

Yep that is what I wrote, I could get Japanese passports fory children but not a Canadian one because their mother (ex-wife) would not sign or even reply when the embassy called her to ask if she would sign the application. This despite the Japanese court having deemed her unfit to have the children.

Even with all this Canada (and it would be similar with the UK and EU countries) still required her signed and notarized permission for me to even bring the children on a visit to Canada, ( which I did a few times by paying her a considerable amount each time for a few weeks travel permission even giving her the cash in front of the embassy consular that notarized the permission letter and he didn't even seem to find anything wrong with it).

I know UK, French, German, Italian and USA citizens in similar situations some have the children but cannot leave other pay huge amounts of money to just see their children a few times a year, including to parents that had violated custody agreements and fled the other country illegally returning to Japan and the Japanese government does nothing.

I know one man that found his child took the child to his embassy told them the mother had violated that country's custody court order kidnapped the child returning to Japan bin violation of that country's courts.

He asked the embassy to get both him and the child out of Japan.

The embassy turned the child over to the Japanese government and said they would use the convention rules and the man never saw his child again.

He finally gave up realising his own country was never going to help him and the Japanese government would fight him to the end.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Good or bad is not really the question. My answer to this question is neither good nor bad.

It is simple about that different countries have different laws.

It seems you have a difficult time understanding what an international agreements is.

By signing the Hague convention, Japan agreed to all the rules in that convention.

Japan has violated that agreement.

It is that simple,

So sanctions are warranted.

Japanese laws are irrelevant at this point as the government has agreed to follow the Hague convention

24 ( +28 / -4 )

@hiro

Funny thing is, he actually think France is gonna sanction Japan for this kind of thing. Btw, he lived 15years here already. Why he would think France could even have him is beyond me.

My understanding is that the children are dual nationals so are considered French citizens. That would be strong reason for France to take action.

19 ( +21 / -2 )

This really hits home, i will not go into details, Japanese women with the support of the Japanese authorities are literally KIDNAPPING mixed racial kids, so many times I have seen it were Japanese women seek foreign husbands for the sake of having MIXED children then taking them away from the father and keep them for themselves.

This is done with the support of local governments and the court system.

16 ( +20 / -4 )

Another piece of evidence Japan is extremely lagging in human rights abuses. I hope this woman some day wishes to go see the sights of the worlds and is imprisoned for life, and her kids free to see her for the criminal she is.

15 ( +21 / -6 )

This heartlessness from Japan needs to be publicized internationally even more and the Olympics is a good time. Just because a child's parents get divorced, they don't stop being their parents. I just wonder what the stats are concerning couples consisting of Japanese husbands and non-Japanese wives.

I've read many stories, but one stuck in my head because it never involved a divorce but the death of the Japanese wife abroad through illness. The husband promised his parents-in-law that they would spend more time with his daughter after his wife's death. The daughter went to live with grandparents in Japan while he moved to work in Hong Kong to be closer in the hopes of maybe finding work in Japan later, I think. Big mistake. The PIL stopped him from seeing his daughter. Maybe lawyers told them they could get financial assistance as guardians of a young child. I never knew what happened.

16 ( +19 / -3 )

It looks like she finally run with kids from his violence, not abducted. Violence is not easily gone, more habit.

-31 ( +4 / -35 )

Do not use the word "abducted" if there was legal process for the outcome and children might have chosen living with their mother

I love people that somehow think the Japanese court system is fair.

So cute!

My ex-wife didn't even show twice for the divorce and custody hearing.

Even after she did and even her own parents were against her having custody and it was clear to the judge she was not fit to care for 2 very young children.

Instead of granting me custody, the judge instead tried to convince the elderly grandparents to take them.

I only got custody by default, had the grandparents said yes, I would not have had my children with me today.

Welcome to Japan!

26 ( +29 / -3 )

@saitamiving true that Japan joined the Hague Convention (it had not when my personal experience started), but there is a huge difference between joining a Convention - so to be removed from the blacklist - and actually enforcing it. Because of the characteristic behavior of Japanese authorities, it just became another “we understand we are sorry we sign but actually we cannot do it in Japan because of our laws”, as if laws couldn’t be changed to match the agreements signed (which require a country to have laws that facilitate the actual enforcement of the Convention).

As for the passport, I only have the experience of my own country, Italy, being refused the renewal both by the Italian embassy in France, where I was resident, and by the prefecture in Italy, both citing the same EU laws. I could only get it renewed in Japan, with the presence of my former spouse. We do not need a passport to travel within the EU, where a common legislation is signed and enforced by all countries: the passport thing is supposed to stop parents from bringing children outside of the EU jurisdiction, and doesn’t cover the case in which the other parent already went away with the child and the EU citizen cannot travel there because they need the signature of the very same person who took the child. I guess one could finally get a passport after a few additional administrative procedures, but still wouldn’t be able to enter Japan and even less to become a resident.

I am lucky enough to have built a constructive relationship, living in Japan side by side with my son, but every time I step out of the country - especially in these times of arbitrary border decisions - I am completely at the mercy of my ex wife and her not suddenly changing her mind.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

"Here we have a person trying to provide the best possible life for their child. "

and how is he going to do that? Accord to the article, "I've given everything, I've lost my job, my house and my savings in the last three years"

How will he feed his kids and pay for their education? Even a judge in the west would not award custody to man who can't take care of himself let alone his kids.

-24 ( +5 / -29 )

"He is doing a job right now: trying to find his children so he can support them"

with what?

-17 ( +7 / -24 )

Selfish and vindictive people are usually that was before marriage.

People and circumstances also change.

There are plenty of stories in plenty of countries of men being financially taken to the cleaners by divorce. In most countries though, you are still going to get some access to your children. In Japan, it is entirely down to the mother and you may get no access at all. As the article indirectly says, only some victims are bi-national children, and the biggest group of fathers denied access is Japanese men formerly married to Japanese women. This denial of access is cruel and heartbreaking.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

They really, really need to close this domestic violence loophole, and require evidence of DV in these cases.

It's really really ironic if you are a Japanese mom and want to take the kids away from a foreign dad, all you have to do is accuse him of DV and the judge will grant you custody; but if you accuse your partner of DV under any other circumstances, you have to show proof before the police will do a thing about it. Even then, they don't do very much at all.

And when it's a case of the father abusing the mother and/or the kids, it's the woman who winds up in a shelter where all her rights are stripped away.

Women in shelters are barely even allowed to go grocery shopping. They have to live according to very strict rules of where they can go, how long they can be out, and who they can talk to, and even what they can buy or own.

I have a friend currently in such a situation, and she has to literally sneak out so we can meet up for coffee, pretending that she is going to pick up her kids from school.

-3 ( +10 / -13 )

@Chibakun, how dare you !!

This is heartbreaking :(

6 ( +7 / -1 )

@Pukey2

What happened was in the news years back.

Despite Japanese law saying grandparents actually have no legal right to custody over a parent,

The Japanese courts use the excuse that the children were already settled in Japan and in the Children's best interest they should remain with the grandparents.

It went on for years in court and finally the courts agreed that the original ruling violated Japanese law but that now the children no long had much to do with the father and decided that because the children had been in Japan and were well into school, etc..the custody would remain with the grandparents.

Yes I remember that one well

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Here is my advice to all men who are about to get married or are already married to A Japanese lady, be prepared to give up or loose your kids and what ever you got at anytime,

Remember the Quote from the movie Heat with Robert DeNiro ""Don't let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner."

7 ( +11 / -4 )

@Yohan different countries have different laws, sure, and that’s why there are international agreements to help solve these kind of issues.

In many cases the couple married somewhere else, with different laws, then the Japanese parent came back to Japan and was protected by the local laws no matter what and the other parent was left legally powerless.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

These cases says a lot about the foreign community and the foreign press. First read the above comments and the story.

Let's look at the story. The story does not even mention the mother's side of the story. In fact, the writer did not even reach out to mother to get her side of the story. Why not? Yet, the writer- a foreigner- fully accepts the guy's side. So much, for the west's much talked color blind society.

Next read the comments in the comments section. Almost all the comments support the guy's side. None of the them ask for the mother side either. Why not? A foreigner taking a foreigner side. That is why!

Frankly speaking, it better for everyone to stick with your their own kind.

-16 ( +8 / -24 )

@louisferdinandc

I feel your pain.

Despite having custody, my own government would never issue passports to the children. ( Until they could legally apply without parental consent)

We could on occasion visit Canada when I could save enough money to purchase 3 tickets and enough to bribe the ex-wife into giving permission to travel for x number of days between Y date and Z date signed and notarized at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo. ( Had to travel using Japanese passports for the children, now under new rules this would be illegal dual citizens must now only use Canadian passport).

I honestly cannot say it gets any better until the children reach whatever age is considered Adult in your country.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

It seems to be in that case not to be an international abduction, but a domestic story where fathers can not see their child anymore, like some stories cited in the posters and where Japanese fathers are also victims.

France can not do much

4 ( +6 / -2 )

If he were serious about rising kids in Japan, he should have naturalized here long time ago. But appealing to French authorities will not help at all, they will do nothing.

-23 ( +3 / -26 )

Here is my advice to all men who are about to get married or are already married to A Japanese lady, be prepared to give up or loose your kids and what ever you got at anytime,

Ouch that's quite the bitterness.

I've never worried about having to give up or lose my kids.

I'm also a good husband who chose a good wife though.

-20 ( +6 / -26 )

Ouch that's quite the bitterness.

I've never worried about having to give up or lose my kids.

I'm also a good husband who chose a good wife though.

So you think the rest of us are stupid?

I chose a "good wife" as you put it but you can never know what can happen and when mental illness hits that even her parents didn't see coming, your "chose a good wife" thing gets turned on its head.

Some people really think they are special.

20 ( +24 / -4 )

If he were serious about rising kids in Japan, he should have naturalized here long time ago. But appealing to French authorities will not help at all, they will do nothing.

And what would that have changed?

Do you seriously believe that a Japanese court would view a native Japanese and a naturalised Japanese as equals?

You may have a citizenship card or passport, but the judge will take on look at you and see and think Gaijin.

14 ( +19 / -5 )

And what would that have changed?

Do you seriously believe that a Japanese court would view a native Japanese and a naturalised Japanese as equals?

You may have a citizenship card or passport, but the judge will take on look at you and see and think Gaijin.

I've repeated it multiple times on this board over the years - I have a male foreign friend who was granted custody of both his kids over the Japanese mother at court, as he was able to show she was not a competent mother.

Some foreigners claim Japan is only racist. In my experience it often is, but foreigners often play the race card way too early as well.

-5 ( +11 / -16 )

A(nother) warning for all of you foreigners living in Japan; make sure you really know your partner before you marry her. There’s many Japanese women who want cute mixed kids but without their mendokusai husbands.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

Is there any story in Japan where both parents mutually agree to see the kids, a kind of joint custody, without any issues. I never hear of such stories. If none of the parents do think about their own interests, and go beyond their grievances, this should happen for the happiness of the kids.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Could it be the problem is broader than gaijin think? I once had as a neighbour a single mother with two young boys in our danchi. She would leave them alone all night long while she worked as a hostess and if she did come home in the morning she spent the day asleep. You can imagine the conditions the boys were forced to live in. The local authorities were contacted and that is when I learned that they did not intrude very far into the Japanese home, even when children were being neglected. In other words, nothing much changed for them.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

If you are a top expat, be very careful of model gold diggers, you may end up like this

3 ( +8 / -5 )

If you are in USA you have to live with their laws ... for example live with a woman and HER children from a previous marriage and you leave her after a few years, you will have to pay child support for Her children despite you are NOT the biological father ... like it or not.

Incorrect, unless the step-parent signed a prenuptial agreement to pay child support for the step-children.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

"I have a male foreign friend who was granted custody of both his kids over the Japanese mother at court" Same here, but it was 30 years ago, and his wife was borderline psychotic and headed for an institution - plus he had to fight the maternal grandparents for custody as he'd become their adopted son, and his son was the last male in their family line... Not an everyday story.

None of my divorced Japanese male friends has any contact with his kids other than on social media. One has a daughter who turns 20 this year whom he hasn't seen since she was 8. He is literally counting the days until he can see her again.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

I am very sorry for this man. If you are a foreign father this risk is real and your wife knows it is a wildcard she can use at any time. Japan surely does not have a first world legal system.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Yeah, I've heard many bitter guys complaining about their "mentally ill" ex-wives, and how it was all her fault.

Wow you are something special!

Her own parents didn't even want her having the children!

When Japanese parents side with the Gaijin parent you know something is seriously wrong!

But you seem to know all us Gaijin better than we know ourselves or our family.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

AntiquesavingToday 09:30 am JST

It seems you have a difficult time understanding what an international agreements is.

By signing the Hague convention, Japan agreed to all the rules in that convention.

Japan has violated that agreement.

It is that simple,

So sanctions are warranted.

Japanese laws are irrelevant at this point as the government has agreed to follow the Hague convention

Are you dreaming?

So called international agreements are just papers and most countries don't care, check out about USA, Russia, China, Iran and so on. Most governments just do whatever they want.

Take China for example, if this French father complains about the government and its laws it would not even be published. Such articles, should they ever apprear in the media, will be deleted within hours. Should he nevertheless continue with or without hunger strike, his visa will be cancelled and he will be sent home and finished and forgotten.

-12 ( +6 / -18 )

TruthmasterToday  09:59 am JST

These cases says a lot about the foreign community and the foreign press. The story does not even mention the mother's side of the story. In fact, the writer did not even reach out to mother to get her side of the story. Why not? Yet, the writer- a foreigner- fully accepts the guy's side.

You are correct. Many news organizations would not print such an article without making an honest attempt to reach out to the other party. However, when similar claims of injustice come flooding out — like occurred during the Bill Cosby trial, for example — the case no longer becomes a “He Said, She Said” situation. With these domestic parental abductions, a flood of similar stories allows us to realize that we have an institutional injustice at play.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

If he has lived here for 15 years, he should know that the Japanese government and all official governments bodies such as the family court and the justice system has zero empathy or compassion. They only know how to blindly follow and enforce rules. Old rules, outdated rules, new rules, unfair rules and uncivilized rules, it makes no difference. Rules are never questioned and common sense is never applied. Add to that he is a foreigner. If he dies, the authorities will claim they did nothing wrong and that committing suicide was his choice. Nothing will change and everything will carry on as normal.

I feel for him and all parents forcibly separated from their children in Japan. It's a zero empathy cultural thing :(

5 ( +9 / -4 )

plus he had to fight the maternal grandparents for custody as he'd become their adopted son, and his son was the last male in their family line... Not an everyday story.

Actually far more common than you may think.

My divorce and custody was made simpler because of the fact my children have their mother's surname so my son will be the continuation of the family.

But I know several foreigners (all of Asian Origin) that have done what your friend did, both men and women.

But yes they are still the exception.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

It would be interesting to get the ex-wife's side of the story. I'm sure she has a very different version of events.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Take China for example, 

Why? It is not a signatory to the convention so a moot point.

Try again!

4 ( +7 / -3 )

"If he were serious about rising kids in Japan, he should have naturalized here long time ago." It would have changed nothing concerning his rights to see his kids after the divorce, as Japanese fathers are treated the same way. The only difference might be if the court knew he had a foreign passport and could take the children out of the country for good.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

It is appalling, that a Father should forcibly separated from his children in such circumstances.

I am not a parent (Mother).

However I cannot imagine the circumstances I would ever deny my children their Father. It is an unspeakable act of cruelty.

I have read this article many times, then stood back and reviewed.

As an example these four paragraphs are frankly a gross violation of basic human rights, For father and his Children.

His wife has accused him in court of domestic violence, Fichot said, but later "retracted" the claim, and the Japanese justice system now has "nothing to reproach me for", he said.

"I've tried everything, I've tried to convince my wife by saying to her that it was not good for the kids," he added. "Right now I don't even know if they are alive."

Joint custody of children in cases of divorce or separation does not exist legally in Japan, where parental abductions are common and often tolerated by local authorities.

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

I am not a hundred percent convinced if a hunger strike is the way forward, certainly to raise public awareness. fair enough. How would the children feel, mentally, to ever witness such a act?

Cultural change in Japan in many respects is measured in centuries.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Hunger strike will achieve nothing. He's just showing what an irresponsible father he is. He should get a job and try to reconcile with his wife.

-22 ( +2 / -24 )

I want to support him. But the professionally made banners in the picture bother me. feels like his case is being used by someone else to push some agenda.

I really hope that he somehow gets access to his kids though.

-14 ( +5 / -19 )

The situation is historical.

If one understands how things are or work in Japan one knows all to well that even the idea of having contact with the children by the ex-spouse is unthinkable.

Even men that want to remain in contact after divorce will only do so as long as they do not marry again because once they do their new wife will oppose any and all contact why do you think John Lennon had zero contact with his son after Yoko came into the picture she forbid him from having anything to do with his own son.

Despite my former in laws siding with me in my divorce and custody situation, they went mental when I remarried, at that point saying if I wanted to get married again then even though didn't really want the children (age being a big reason) I should give the children to them and I had no right to get married again if I have the children.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

didouToday 10:23 am JST

Is there any story in Japan where both parents mutually agree to see the kids, a kind of joint custody, without any issues.

Actually, this is what most Japanese couples with children do after divorce - usually divorce in Japan is out of court, sometimes asking for consultation and write down an agreement, a private contract - the children are with the ex-wife, and every month the ex-husband gives her some money - usually something between yen 50.000,- and yen 80.000,- for one or two children - and in return he has visitation rights - something like that.

If he does not pay, the ex-wife will refuse to let him see the children. On the other side, if the ex-wife deliberately is refusing to let the ex-husband see the children, the ex-husband cannot be forced to pay.

What is wrong with that? Sounds fair to me.

In Western countries all family courts only favor the ex-wife/mother. Fathers are ignored, walking ATM only.

There are plenty of stories in Western countries, where the ex-wife has a new partner, they feel disturbed by the ex-husband and refuse to meet the children - or in case the ex-wife is moving far away from the place where the ex-husband is living - so he cannot meet the children, but the law is nevertheless forcing him to pay.

Sounds rather unfair to me. In USA you have even fathers, living in a van, sent to jail several times for not paying child support, but never get any assistance from authorities to see their children.

Ex-wife got it all, house, savings, children, expects child support and alimony - while he is totally bankrupt, homeless or even in jail because he cannot pay.

Legally seen in Japan as ex-husband/father, you are better protected if your relationship is breaking down.

In Western countries their biased family laws and courts send the ex-husband/father straight to the cleaners and everything is taken from them. Nobody cares about the situation of men/ex-husbands/fathers.

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

I an inclined to suspect this AFP article, is unable to provide, probably for sound reasons all the pertinent fact/information into the relationship between husbands and wife, that let up to a clearly acrimonious divorce.

Children become weapons to settle scores.

As time passes by, the poison leads to regret and in some respects guilt and may I suggest shame.

However to late to rectify.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Japan is Japan. Western countries are western countries. So as a result gaijin should not marry Japanese woman whatever, then no fxxking problem in the future. It must be a good advice for wild guys.

-17 ( +4 / -21 )

P. SmithToday 10:29 am JST

Incorrect, unless the step-parent signed a prenuptial agreement to pay child support for the step-children.

Please stop spreading misinformation.

You have no idea about the legal situation of a step-father and HER children after divorce, similar legal situation in USA, UK, Australia....Fathers after divorce are merely walking ATMs in Western countries, no rights whatever.

USA - Step-Parent Child Support After Divorce - Depending upon the jurisdiction that the step-parent is in, the custodial parent may be successful in seeking child support from the step-parent under the Estoppel Doctrine. The Estoppel Doctrine prevents a step-parent from taking a different position with regard to the child or reneging on a promise if the child would be financially harmed by the change.

> UK -While the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) can’t seek payment of child maintenance from a step-parent, the court can require a step-parent to provide continuing financial provision for a child if the child was treated as ‘a child of the family’ – which essentially means they were treated as if they were the child of both their biological parent and their step-parent. The step-parent could be ordered to pay monthly maintenance to support the child, pay a lump sum for a specific item, pay school fees, or provide a property for the child to live in while in their minority.

> Australian Government Guides to Social Policy Law - Child Support Guide Version 4.57 - Released 1 July 2021 - A court can make a child maintenance order requiring a step-parent to provide financial support for their step-child if satisfied that the step-parent has a duty to maintain the child.

>

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

All the courts need to do is provide visiting rights. It's not that hard.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Yohan

In USA he would be in jail for failing to pay child support and even be subject to pay his ex-wife alimony for the rest of her life.

If they were in the USA, it wouldn't have got to the point where he doesn't even know if they're alive or not and she wouldn't have been able to kidnap those kids. But we're in Japan and Japan allowed her to cry domestic violence wolf (proven or not), kidnap those kids and never allow him to see them again because that's how Japan rolls. Yet, they accuse North Korea of abducting Japanese nationals.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Fichot also plans to post a short daily video on his Facebook page to publicize his situation and keep followers up to date on his physical condition.

Social media? Vincent Fichot is am emotional wreak, a broken man.

Now, to use social media, Facebook, to journal the daily decline in his health raises the likelihood his children will sooner or later view there Father physically deteriorating.

Both Vincent Fichot, and his ex wide need counselling ordered by the court , set there differences aside. Both need there heads banged together.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

All the courts need to do is provide visiting rights. It's not that hard.

Actually it is hard.

Strangely enough it seems family court has no actual power to legally enforce any decision in makes.

I found that out when the court ordered the ex-wife to pay me and the children back ( she wiped out their accounts and educational fund), this was a sort of limited child support.

She never paid a single Yen and every court appearance she was told to pay but didn't.

My lawyer said the family court cannot order seizure of wages or even threaten jail time.

My only recourse was to file a lawsuit in civil court if I ever wanted to get the money back.

I gave up, her parents and I came up with a better idea, instead of money she would get treatment.

In the long run despite serious financial hardship for my children and I at least today they have some form of relationship with their mother not much but it is better than none.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

BanditToday 10:10 am JST

If he were serious about rising kids in Japan, he should have naturalized here long time ago. But appealing to French authorities will not help at all, they will do nothing.

France cannot help with this issue, but even if he is renouncing his EU French citizenship and is considered to be eligible to the Japanese citizenship this will not change anything.

In general children go to the ex-wife/mother especially in his case, as the children are only four and six years old.

Anything else is considered a private matter in Japan, usually the father gives the mother some money every month and in return can visit them regularly. Many Japanese divorced mothers are quite happy about that and accept such an agreement as their financial situation is known not to be the best.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Good that he has a Japanese group behind him...without it no chance whatsoever!

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I want to support him. But the professionally made banners in the picture bother me. feels like his case is being used by someone else to push some agenda.

He has been in Japan for 15 years so it’s quite believable he reads and writes kanji well. Japan also has print shops, I know, crazy eh.

Is it too much stretch of the imagination to for you to believe that although he is willing to starve himself he found a trip to the local printer a bit if a hassle?

Not everything is a conspiracy.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

@Bob: Crowdfunding?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

For those of you who want the ex wife’s side of the story I understand and would also want to hear that as well. However in defense of the father:

The article states she accused him of abuse and then recanted. It seems she lied about that.

I guess he could give her name and it could be printed in this article but I don’t think that would happen. Also he does not seem to know where she is if he does not know if the kids are alive.

i really feel sort for the two young children

6 ( +10 / -4 )

I CANNOT SEE OR COMMUNICATE WITH MY CHILDREN

I cannot see or communicate with my mother because she died eleven years ago.

I cannot see or communicate with my best friend because he died two years ago.

I cannot see or communicate with my sister because she died last year.

I cannot see or communicate with my father because he died this April.

I cannot see or communicate with my children because of the Japanese family court.

Five years ago the family court decided that I could have a 3 hour visit from my children once a month. The younger son visits but I haven't seen the older one for over four years. The family court has done nothing except contacting my wife to ask the reasons.

I have to pay my wife 120 000 every month before the 15th which I have done for 9 years.

This is my first hand experience. It may be conceited of me but I think my children have lost so much. We used to visit Europe every year for example. We can't even go anywhere within Japan. One can perhaps understand a vindictive ex- partner for genuine or imagined reasons but the family court are professional people. Why and how do they make such decisions?

17 ( +22 / -5 )

StrangerlandToday 10:22 am JST

I've repeated it multiple times on this board over the years - I have a male foreign friend who was granted custody of both his kids over the Japanese mother at court, as he was able to show she was not a competent mother.

This is rare however, exceptional circumstances, regardless if the father is a foreigner or Japanese national.

I know only about two of such cases personally, the wife of a neighbour left overnight leaving the husband (both Japanese) AND their 7 y/o daughter behind - she was found later on living with another man and she said, she doesn't want to have anything to do with her husband AND their daughter in future.

The court considered her behavior as a despicable and malicious act. Custody was given to the father.

Another case I know personally, the foreign (EU) wife divorced her Japanese husband and left Japan alone, leaving their 2 daughters behind with the father, who got custody rights. She never came back, never paid any child support, just 'disappeared'.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

In USA he would be in jail for failing to pay child support and even be subject to pay his ex-wife alimony for the rest of her life.

That is true, but he would get visitation rights and know where his kids are living. Actually, if an American ex-wife fled without letting him know where his kids were, he could take her to court and, depending on the situation get full custody of his children.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Some foreigners claim Japan is only racist. In my experience it often is, but foreigners often play the race card way too early as well.

This is very true.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

Well, I'd like to hear her side of the story first before rushing to judgement. Remember that he's French, and they can be an insufferably arrogant and badly behaved people a lot of the time.

-18 ( +6 / -24 )

I want to support him. But the professionally made banners in the picture bother me. feels like his case is being used by someone else to push some agenda.

What possible "agenda" would there be besides exposing the Japanese govt's shameful policy allowing kidnapping?

My heart goes out to the guy.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Laws are not the same everywhere - France is not Japan, and France is not Saudi Arabia or USA. Totally different legal situation in case of divorce and custody of children.

@Yohan

You are deflecting. You don’t realize that child abduction is illegal in Japan. We don’t need to look at any other countries’ laws. Only Japan’s. Please obey the Japan’s law.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Well, I'd like to hear her side of the story first before rushing to judgement. Remember that he's French, and they can be an insufferably arrogant and badly behaved people a lot of the time.

Wow now that is a stereotype!

Talk about "rushing to judgement"

Do you always judge people by nationality or do you also judge by race?

8 ( +13 / -5 )

I'll be joining him. I have a coworker that will see his son for the first time in 15 years because the mother claimed domestic violence. I too can't see my kids more than once a month for a couple hours.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

Saying something about Japan's Justice system is totally useless. The country is not ready for a change by any measurable standard.

I just want to show my support for this guy. Even if he had some friction with his wife, the court should not deny him access to his kids. That is beyond torture.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

My thoughts are with all you who are not able to see your children due to the Japanese “justice” system. Unimaginable.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

What I want to know when reading this article, other than the wife's side of the story in general:

His wife has accused him in court of domestic violence, Fichot said, but later "retracted" the claim, and the Japanese justice system now has "nothing to reproach me for", he said.

First, I want to know what the ruling in the end was. If the court already awarded the custodial rights to the mother, then he doesn't have custodial rights for the law to protect. In saying the Japanese system has "nothing to reproach me for", he misses the point. His legal rights are not being restricted. He doesn't have legal rights.

TBF, I understand that thanks to the ECHR, Europeans are extremely protective of parental rights. To the point where the State can do a fairly thorough investigation of the circumstances and the losing parent is clearly determined to be at fault before losing their rights, and the kid is admittedly happy in his new position, only for the ECHR to protect the failing parent's rights over that of the foster parents and also the kid (I did say often the kid is found to be happy). But that's Europe and it's far from clear this is getting the "best results".

Second, retraction can have many forms and causes. It can range from a genuine retraction (but why make an accusation in the first place) to a resigned one where there's only a realization she probably cannot substantiate it to the satisfaction of the court.

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

Define "forcibly separated". Does that mean the State literally rips the kid apart from the parents?

Joint custody of children in cases of divorce or separation does not exist legally in Japan, where parental abductions are common and often tolerated by local authorities.

Define "abduction". Abduction is a violation of the child's freedom and the parents' custodial rights. Because the kids are six and four, custodial rights are the dominant consideration. If the court has already awarded it to the mother, then she's the one with the custodial rights. The authorities are not "tolerating" the abductions in this case, because Frenchman simply doesn't have custodial rights to be violated.

Overall this cannot be said to be a fair article, as might be expected when reporting on a Frenchman by Agence France-Presse

-14 ( +7 / -21 )

If the court has already awarded it to the mother, then she's the one with the custodial rights. The authorities are not "tolerating" the abductions in this case, because Frenchman simply doesn't have custodial rights to be violated.

This is the issue. People are conflating custodial rights with parenting time rights, which don’t exist in Japan. Unfortunate, but how the world worked 100 years ago.

Overall this cannot be said to be a fair article, as might be expected when reporting on a Frenchman by Agence France-Presse

Then you agree Kyodo cannot be objective when reporting on a Japanese person. Sad that you even made that comment.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Without the wife's side to this sad story, the reporting is clearly one-sided.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

@P. SmithToday 01:19 pm JST

Then you agree Kyodo cannot be objective when reporting on a Japanese person. Sad that you even made that comment.

I was very careful phrasing that line. Having listed several reasons I think this report is unfair, I concluded it was, and then noted a possible motive: that the "victim" happens to be French and the agency doing the reporting also French. Is it impossible for AFP to do a balanced report? No. But they aren't doing it this time.

This is the issue. People are conflating custodial rights with parenting time rights, which don’t exist in Japan. Unfortunate, but how the world worked 100 years ago.

You can also say that this new "parental time rights" concept is at the expense of custodial rights. If "Custodial Rights" means the right to make decisions for the children, then removing the autonomy of the rights holder to make a decision concerning how much face-time to grant someone w/o custodial rights is an infringement on Custodial Rights, won't you say?

The more so if, just maybe, she's being forced to grant it to someone who is a Domestic Violencer (that it cannot be proven to the satisfaction of the court doesn't mean it MUST not have happened, and while it's right to demand a high standard to justify action by Public Authorities, by that same token might not a high standard be required to restrict the woman's Custodial Rights)?

-11 ( +5 / -16 )

i hope someone puts food next to him, maybe others will join his strike!

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

There needs to be a reform of the Family Justice Court system, to reflects the cultural nuance/life styles of 21st century Japan.

Also to put the needs, both family welfare, financially, as well a stable parental environment.

Both for Mum and Dad.

That must be the top priority.

Which could and I contend must incorporate binding court ordered counseling and mediation.

This case is totally avoidable, and extreme.

Both should have been ordered and if necessary forced to put there children first, whatever the circumstances or differences.

There could be extenuating reasons.

However hunger strikes will only exasperate a media/social or otherwise circus.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Without the wife's side to this sad story, the reporting is clearly one-sided.

Well if she wants her side of the story all she has to do is come out if hiding!

It is a funny thing in Japan.

Japanese or foreign spouse all the other spouse (applies only if that person is Japanese) has to do is take the children hide for about a year, not reply to any family court summons ( the court cannot make any decision if they do not show up and cannot force them to show up).

Then after a year or so of no contact with the other parent go to court and the court automatically give the parent with possession custody.

This applies to men and women as long as the parent hiding the children is Japanese.

I know several Japanese woman whose ex-husband took the children hide them with relatives for a year or two then by that time the court will not remove them from where they are. I also know several women that did the same thing.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

The article states she accused him of abuse and then recanted. It seems she lied about that.

Or maybe she didn't want to make his life even harder? There are many reasons to retract an accusation other than "lying". I'm not saying that's a what actually happened, just that we don't and can't know the full scope of this story.

While I agree that keeping fathers from seeing their children sounds like an overtly cruel sentence for a "simple" divorce on paper, I am somewhat wary of the fact that all these stories paint Japanese women as cruel, calculating shrews. Or at least tend to imply that it is the case. Therefore I reserve judgement until I've heard both sides of the story.... But we rarely, if ever, get both sides.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

I think we need to see this in two ways- legal and moral.

Legally, perhaps the wife HAS won sole custody. That is the law here. But also there are many cases where the non-custodial parent is granted visitation and cannot see their kids. This is a huge problem in Japan. There is really no way to enforce the court wishes on visitation.

Generally, the Japanese view of divorce seems to be that it is a reset button of sorts for the parents. They forget about each other and move on. With kids, they do the same. The belief is that it is best for kids to only have one parent- that it is destabalizing to move between two divorced parents. The western theory is that children (in most cases) benefit from keeping relationships with both parents, even after divorce. The parents in turn make the effort to at least be civil about custody and visitation arrangements.

Japanese are not conditioned to do this. In all the divorce cases of people I know, the rancour never ends. Sorry to say, but many Japanese women aren't mature enough to do this. They seek to punish their husbands by witholding the children- it becomes a power game where the deck is stacked against the husband.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Sorry to say, but many Japanese women aren't mature enough to do this.

Why would japanese women, as human beings, be less mature than their argentinan, laotian, namibian or swedish counterparts? Do you have any scientific basis for this gross generalization? It is genetic?

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Some foreigners claim Japan is only racist. In my experience it often is, but foreigners often play the race card way too early as well.

Would you like to have a chat with my mixed children on that subject?

I can have both my children show up with their other mixed friends ranging from caucasian/Japanese, Korea/Japanese, Philippines/Japanese, Brazilian/Japanese, Chinese/Japanese, etc...

All Japanese citizens from birth all will be very clear on the subject the discrimination is factual, prevalent, tolerated and at every level of Japanese society.

And at least in Theory as citizens they should have legal protection but in reality they don't and us Gaijin even less.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Hiro

Wait, he lost his job,house and saving, so how the hell is he suppose to take care of the kids even if he gets them back? And saying something like if they are even alive, is he claiming is dangerous for his kids to live with the mom?

I would assume he wants access to the kids, not to take them away.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

THIS story, is about a man’s plight to see his children again. He is very forthcoming about former, unaccountable accusations against him in order to manipulate a ‘system of laws’.

Incidentally, in this same venue, someone introduced and alluded that the conditions of occupancy for women in Japanese shelter’s are ‘strict’ and thus, tenuous, at best?

Then why, in an open public forum such as this, would someone choose to disclose another woman’s, for lack of better term: ‘clandestine’ (not necessarily nefarious), activities outside the shelter and also using their children’s school commuting schedule as an excuse to circumvent rules?

Seems like such indiscreet personal accounts and anecdotes may lead to some generally unfairsuspicions’ of some sheltered women and possibly create unwarranted issues with their credibility when it’s their turn to confront the ‘system of laws’?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Jsapc; I would say it is cultural. Given the acrimony I have seen in divorcing couples here and the subsequent fallout, it is very common. Of course vindictive women are everywhere. The difference is that in Japan they are supported by the legal system and the overall cultural mores.

Kazuaki, what you are referring to is called the "continuity principle"- that kids are generally better off in a stable situation, even if it is less than ideal. In most countries, it is seen as archaic and poorly thought out. Worse, it rewards bad behavior- the parent who can manage to keep the kids (even illegally) wins. The loser in all cases is the child. A short duration distruption is not terrible if it sees the long term interests of the child being done.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Which I'll point out actually makes some sense. Because at that point the kid is used to his new environs and it'll be another shock to his system to "jerk" him out from it. Prescription (and this is a de facto prescription doctrine) does have its place in law.

So basically you are condoning parentals abduction as a means of getting custody by default.

Very interesting view into you thinking.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

If he is serious to get access to his kids, he should finally man up, get a good job, and start supporting his kids financially. No reasonable woman would then object to children seeing their father. But what kind of role model this man provides, 39 years old, and yet unable to support himself, let alone his family?

-15 ( +5 / -20 )

Sorry, this article is deliberately written to illicit a emotional response.

Lacking clarity, failing to fully detail/ explain the need for change.

To offer solutions, it is sensationalist agenda.

Vincent Fichot, on hunger strike outside the entrance to a train station in Tokyo, not far from the new Olympic stadium. How many days away from the start of the Olympic games?

And next to rely on the solidity of French President Emmanuel Macron, renowned for his shameless pompous political posturing.

Vincent Fichot plight is understandable but misguided. a disparate man, in the depths of his own desperation digging a social media chasm the size of the Cheddar Gorge.

Make your point, just days, and patch up, step back, and state for the sake of your children.

Turn this around.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

This Japanese practice of inhibiting the other parent to have any contact with their children is simply atrocious, especially for the children. Suddenly their other parent simply 'disappears' from their lives, just because the other parent has decided so in their anger or vindictiveness. Human rights, anyone?

I have a Japanese friend, whose marriage ended after his wife was caught cheating: my friend was out with his kid, and the kid spotted the mom with a strange man. "Daddy, who's that strange guy hugging mom?"

Even the marriage ended because of the wife, she took the kid away, and forbid my friend from seeing his child ever again. I couldn't believe the cruelty, and still can't. It's especially heart-breaking for the boy, as he and his dad were best pals.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

This is Japan ! There is no law here. Laws for kids and fathers doesn’t exist. 

I know 4 foreigners friends with the same problem. 

Even in poor a country like in Africa there is more human law to protect family members. I just hope all civilized countries will do economic pressure and big sanctions again this country that does not respect any human rights.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

@Bandit

You do realise he was supporting them until the mother disappeared with the children.

He cannot support anyone if he has no idea where they are!

He lost everything as a result of legal battles, lawyer, courts, etc...

I am willing to bet he would have gladly paid support if she has let him see his children.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

@Antiquesaving

I do not see how somebody could lose a job because he or she is fighting a legal battle with divorsed spouse (assets is a different story).

The article is mute when he got unemployed. If he lost his job long time ago, and still shows no interedt in finding another one, the position of his wife become much more understandable. Why we do not hear her it in this story?

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

If you research the gentleman in the article, you can see that he was a high (or at least mid) level manager in the financial industry, educated, and so on. Not a stinky hippy or 'mere' language teacher. He had a promising career and so on, yet still gets this treatment by the legal system.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

I do not see how somebody could lose a job because he or she is fighting a legal battle with divorsed spouse (assets is a different story).

Seriously? You can't?

Heck I lost jobs because I had to leave to rush to the hospital when my son was taken from school by ambulance and rushed into emergency surgery.

"It was child or job make your choice?"

Well I chose my child, lost my job.

Do you think companies here would put up with him taking days off to go to court, prepare with his lawyer?

They wouldn't even put up with a Japanese doing that even less a foreigner.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

It is atrocious act of cruelty, no doubt.

All motivated Vincent Fichot, to resort to extreme measures.

I am suggesting, there needs now to be reach-outs,

This behavior stops now,

Vincent Fichot firstly must has supervised access to his children.

Agreed with the Court.

Second, both parties agree to binding arbitration, glue both to a chair if necessary.

But the result conclusion is a family settlement agreement.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

You can also say that this new "parental time rights" concept is at the expense of custodial rights. If "Custodial Rights" means the right to make decisions for the children, then removing the autonomy of the rights holder to make a decision concerning how much face-time to grant someone w/o custodial rights is an infringement on Custodial Rights, won't you say?

In Japan, clearly; however, that is kind of the point being argued here.

Also, you are conflating a parent with everyone else here. The idea of parenting time rights isn’t a new concept in advanced countries. It recognizes the scientific fact that children benefit from exposure to both biological parents, unless a biological parent demonstrates the inability to act in the child’s best interests.

In developed countries where family courts have enforcement mechanisms so it’s substance over form, the residential parent with custodial rights cannot use those rights to infringe on the right of the non-residential, non-custodial parent to direct the upbringing of the child.

What is the benefit of a system that allows the residential/custodial parent to interfere with the love and affection of the non-residential/custodial parent?

The more so if, just maybe, she's being forced to grant it to someone who is a Domestic Violencer (that it cannot be proven to the satisfaction of the court doesn't mean it MUST not have happened, and while it's right to demand a high standard to justify action by Public Authorities, by that same token might not a high standard be required to restrict the woman's Custodial Rights)?

I answered this above. Your entire argument rests on the fact that Japan isn’t sophisticated enough to recognize parental time and so only has custodial and non-custodial parents. It’s a weak argument rooted in outdated thinking that harms children.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Vincent Fichot, shines a light on himself with an aura of self-righteousness. His actual circumstance deviate from his 'official narrative'.

The anecdotal citations listed in the post do not bear relevance to the issues in question. Nor is there any substantial evidence to support his claims other than self-serving rhetoric.

If this is his strategy for gaining custody of his children, he needs to examine the reality of his situation. it seems flawed and somewhat deranged: "I've given everything, I've lost my job, my house and my savings in the last three years. I weigh 80 kilograms now, and I'll give it all until the very last gram," 

That the wife remains silent and is not engaging in public histrionics further shades his somewhat obdurate actions and consequent claims.

Why JT is giving him a public forum, without a balanced and objective assessment of the situation, beyond his questionable statements is at best questionable.

The veiled inference that the president of France will take up the cause is amusing.

-12 ( +5 / -17 )

@Bandit

You want to know what things are really like in Japanese offices and work place.

When my second wife was diagnosed with cancer (terminal) my boss told me seeing we had no children together, I should divorce her as it was not my responsibility and her being sick would interfere with my work.

You think these companies would put up with having to leave work to go to court?

Remember the prevailing attitude is still once divorced only on parent has custody the other moved on without ever seeing the children again.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

For years, we have seen the parents and relatives of the abductees;

kidnapped to North Korea, as young people.

Year after year, their disappointment and pain on full display, with still, no result.

The parents have never stop trying.

It is no different for this man.

Japan is North Korea, in this scenario.

I have often felt that empathy was in short supply in Japan,

but I hope for this young French father's sake, as well as his children's,

Japan does the right thing.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

My Mother once stated marriage is about timing criticism of your husbands, sometimes unacceptable behavior to much to drink etc etc.

Silence.

It is when the politics of marriage breaks down that the dangers of the crockery flying occur.

This a fact of every marriage, that is Mums take.

The point that Vincent Fichot choose to go on hunger strike, and the motivation for this action, is the point he should have thought of the outcome.

What is achievable?

Short, medium and long term?

Who is advising Vincent Fichot?

It whiffs of activism, whispering in his ear.

* *
-7 ( +3 / -10 )

@gallagher the wife remains silent because even in Japan she would have to face the court if she revealed where she and the kids are.

And to anyone worrying about the man not being able to support himself or the kids, you clearly have no idea of what it takes to live in Japan and keep your visa and residence rights.

If he is was not ‘useful’ anymore and/or could not prove enough income there is no way he could stay in the country. I can assure you that being the father of a Japanese citizen opens no such rights (unless, guess what…the former spouse requires his presence and guarantees that the other parent is instrumental to the growth of the child; I believe there are different laws concerning some mothers, like the filipino mothers of Japanese children, allowing them to stay mostly because there are a lot of cases and very rarely fathers take the children in charge).

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Yohan:

Take China for example,

Why? What does China have to do with a divorced couple (neither of whom are Chinese) living in Japan? Another what-aboutism deflecting attention away from the real source of the problem.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Whatever , those seeing this equalized with North Korea's crimes had better see the doctors

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Fathers the world over make campaigns to get time with their kids. Very tragic state of affairs.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

He is just a gaijin troublemaker and should be deported.

So he weighs 80 kilos, that is a healthy weight for a person 2 meters tall!

Besides, a person who will subject themselves to abuse by starvation is every bit as likely to be abusive to others.

His wife , children, and Japan would be better off without this self entitled drama king.

-23 ( +3 / -26 )

I met a Canadian woman that was married to a Japanese man.

He nearly beat the life out of her.

While she was in hospital recovering from the beating (yes police were involved) he took their child hid it with family members.

Court appearance after court appearance he refused to agree to a divorce, refused to say where the child was.

Even after he was charged for domestic violence and given a "suspended sentence" he still wouldn't agree to a divorce or say where the child was.

The family court refused for years to force a divorce pushing for "negotiation with an arbitrator".

Remember this guy beat her so badly she was hospitalised for multiple weeks.

The courts finally granted the divorce but somehow still have custody to the Japanese husband what was worse is the woman hadn't yet gotten PR and was refused a visa to remain in Japan.

This was some 18 years ago but I know she has never seen or heard from her child in all that time.

This is not something I heard about this is someone I knew that was being helped ( in the little it could) at the same time I was by the consular section of the Canadian embassy.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Jsapc; I would say it is cultural. Given the acrimony I have seen in divorcing couples here and the subsequent fallout, it is very common.

And what part of Japanese culture makes women more acrimonious than in other places around the globe, exactly?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Whatever , those seeing this equalized with North Korea's crimes had better see the doctors

Why?

So grandparents hid the child from his American father that was kind enough to let them have the child for a visit after they daughter died.

The woman that illegally obtained a Japanese passport for the child against Canadian court order then with the aid of Japanese officials and a certain airline arranges to leave Canada all in violation of the law then never lets the father access to the child not even knowing where they are.

These are not uncommon stories.

What is different from North Korea?

You think because one of the kidnappers is family makes it all ok?

7 ( +10 / -3 )

@Antiquesaving

I googled his name, and his current employment in Linkedin is called "Bringing my children home" (for three years already, since 2018). I would not call it a serious job. And the truth remains that for three years he failed to find any other way to provide support for his children.

There was another side story to him, an Washington Post a couple of years ago. Do you know why his wife left him? It happened after HE threatened divorsing her. And then she left. So the guy, in my opinion, should give a closer loot at his actions, then and for three years that he was not able to find any money-paying job.

-10 ( +4 / -14 )

Hypothetical question, let's reverse the gender connotations, would the outcome say if the Father is Japanese and the Mother is a Foreigner, be significant to the result?

J Family could play an important role within J society , in this case J Family cultural structure could make a crucial contribution in determining the outcome.

My J Grandmother stayed with me over the Covid.

My Grandmother was a pillar of the community.

Respected.

That respect brought influence. Unspoken but powerful. I learnt that Family brings untold and unspoken influence. The older and more respected the greater the means to influence when needed.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

I know exactly how he feels, poor man.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

This guy is selfish. All he wants is his children to take care of him as he ages. He is supposed to take care of his children but he cannot. He has already thought about his future life which is why he is doing this and even taking advantage over Japanese public. He is trying to get fund without working hard and just fooling people like you by bringing the subject of children.

If you are in France, stick to french rules. If you are in Middle East, stick to their country rules. If you are in Japan, stick to Japanese rules. End of Story.

-16 ( +4 / -20 )

@Kazuaki Shimazaki

When I say the behavior of kidnapping is ingrained (at individual, legal, procedure, police level), it means Japanese on average (there are some who are enlightened) can't see over all the consequences in the future.

It's like Plato's allegory of the cave : no one in Japan has ever developed reflection about what happens from this innate action.

I could also speak of how my Japanese wife thinks/thought (?) If ever we were divorcing : living in France, she thought she would immediately lose all rights to kids forever, notwithstanding what law and my total acceptance of visitation rights if such case would happen.

I believe such situation stems from the lacks of greek heritage reflection that normal westerners have in mind learned at school or from everyday life (capacity to imagine outside the box).

If Japan would let Mr. Fichot die because in Japan life is worthless if anyone is deemed to have made a social mistake, French people may rise an eyebrow and become mass supportive.

"The most important is to participate" applies as a modern rule not only to the Olympic games ;)

3 ( +5 / -2 )

would the outcome say if the Father is Japanese and the Mother is a Foreigner, be significant to the result?

The Japanese would win the custody. Justice always leans against the gaijin.

The UN reported the arbitrariety of the j-justice on March, this year.

Seems that the color of your passport is decisive on your skills to raise children.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

@Antiquesaving

You want to know what things are really like in Japanese offices and work place.

I do not need to know because I have been working in Japan over 2 decades, and raised two children into adults with my Japanese wife. Over that time we had plenty of emergencies, but I never had this dilemma "your job or your children". And why? Rather than blaming others, I was careful enough in finding jobs that were sufficiently family-oriented.

-9 ( +5 / -14 )

falseflagsteveToday  03:20 pm JST

I know exactly how he feels, poor man.

Despite all our differences, I am quite sympathetic to your situation.

And sincerely wish you good luck with your situation.

Honestly from the heart.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

bokuda

I am not sure if it is a polarized. I can only refer to my own experience.

Where divorce is concerned in limited to friends. And just a single instance. Both Japanese nationals. And the family sorted it out with the Fathers family.

All amicably. Discreetly.

However, senior members of the both Families presented to both parties the outcome. It was the senior Family members decision.

There was no question of either party resisting their decision.

The court process was a formality.

Antiquesaving, sorry for your Canadian woman friend.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I have been working in Japan over 2 decades, and raised two children into adults with my Japanese wife. Over that time we had plenty of emergencies, but I never had this dilemma "your job or your children". And why? Rather than blaming others, I was careful enough in finding jobs that were sufficiently family-oriented.

Yes sure I highlighted the "with my Japanese wife" part.

Now try the same thing as a single parent.

Your wife did 90% of the child raising.

How many school PTA meetings did you have to attend, what PTA committee were you on? How many days did you not go to work to stay home with or bring you sick child to the hospital? Did you even go to a single parent teacher meeting?

Come on now be honest.

She did all of that, didn't she?

I know because I was the only father in all these cases from daycare right through to Sr high school.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

I feel for this guy but I think the hunger strike is misguided, will change nothing and he will be forcibly removed and put on a feeding tube against his will and then deported.

It's very possible he was working and did the Japanese thing of letting the wife control the finances and she ran off with his savings, along with the kids. And as others pointed out, the legal fees, constant meetings with lawyers, court appearances, not to mention falling into depression, etc... Anyone would loose their job under those circumstances unless you have the nicest employer in the world or work for your family's business.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

How many school PTA meetings did you have to attend, what PTA committee were you on? How many days did you not go to work to stay home with or bring you sick child to the hospital? Did you even go to a single parent teacher meeting?

yes and how much of the family income was generated by the father compared to the mother, just because a father is the money earner and the mother is normally the home maker doesnt diminish the fact that the father has just as much rights to see his children as the mother, in Japan the custody is nearly always awarded to the mother. that doesn't give her the right to refuse the father visitation rights, unless domestic violence is concerned, with some mothers just using that excuse without evidence to shut the father out

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I really hope he can reunite with his kids. This has been

happening for years, why do people still marry Japanese women?

MGTOW for life.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@wtfjapan

Not sure what your point is?

I was pointing out to @Bandit his claim that his work never interfered with his home life or raising his children like my home life was a problem and how companies do not or rarely accept having to interrupt the business to take care of domestic problems.

Was because his wife took care of most of the children, school, hospital, etc... situations.

I was a single father, so when something happened, when the children were sick, when I had to be in court during divorce and custody proceedings, no employer want to know about it or cared about any of it. The simple comment was job or family, no wife? Find one get married again, give children to the grandparents, etc...

Take a guess why single mothers have the lowest income and highest poverty rate, guess why

0 ( +3 / -3 )

3.25pm poster

Thank you for your kind comments.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

This was always a private family matter, family must and always come first.

I am flabbergasted the Court system lost sight of this fact

And subsequently control.

Vincent Fichot briefing the press on hunger strike sitting at the entrance to a train station in Tokyo?

Only a matter of time before his young children get wind of this.

Look, Vincent Fichot  packs up his protest. And his ex wife allows supervised visits. Take it from there.

This whole media fiasco could have been simply solved.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

The lunacy is about one case.

The legal systems of this country or that, is a distraction, an irrelevance.

One cannot and never will, bring about change when allowing one open to the accusation of leading/pursuing an agenda of emotional blackmail in the media.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

The last thing this craziness needs is for politicians to get there teeth and claws into the situation.

Macron will make political hay whilst the sun shines.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

A lot of interesting comments here-thanks

Especially Antiquesaving!

Having a Japanese friend who divorced his Japanese wife I can say that in that particular case the husband was more than happy just to wash his hands of his two children, house, car and other related positions and to start a new life.

The lack of emotion and regret was not obvious to me at all

I’m sure that this is not the case in all divorces in Japan but it certainly opened my eyes to the way that it could be done in Japan by the Japanese

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Fichot, 39, who has lived in Japan for 15 years, said he will not give up his hunger strike until his children, a boy and a girl aged six and four, are returned to him.

....................until his children, a boy and a girl aged six and four, are returned to him.

Well that is a unmigrated threat, returned them to me or else?

The crux of this is not about access but about custody.

No court would just bent to this type of demand.

It is my way, or I go on hunger strike?

-12 ( +1 / -13 )

Perhaps @John-san there was a residual benefit to all this debate today:

- Antiquesaving 3:25pm resp. to falseflagsteve 3:20p [I know exactly how he feels, poor man.]- “Despite all our differences, I am quite sympathetic to your situation. And sincerely wish you good luck with your situation. Honestly from the heart.” -

- falseflagsteve 4:31pm “3.25pm poster, Thank you for your kind comments.” -

Here! Here! Well said, Gentlemen.

Sincerely, ‘Respects’ to both of You.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@kurisupisu

If you want to see where Japan is coming from on this issue, just look up the life of former prime minister Koizumi.

He divorced his then pregnant wife took the other children gave them to his sister to raise.

His ex-wife was never again permitted to see her children and he steadfastly refused to see his son born after the divorce going so far as to have him removed during a political rally when that son showed up and tried to see him.

These are the people that made/make the rules here in Japan.

So anyone expecting some sort of change or evolution will be waiting a very long time.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

@AttilathehungryToday 01:59 pm JST

Worse, it rewards bad behavior- the parent who can manage to keep the kids (even illegally) wins.

So, what's the priority of defense here - the losing parent's custodial rights or the child's interests.

A short duration distruption is not terrible if it sees the long term interests of the child being done.

Not only did you tacitly acknowledge there's a substantial (if perhaps not "terrible") disadvantage, but your "if" is actually quite big. I have no groans in agreeing that between an average biparental relationship and an average monoparent relationship, biparental relationships produce on average better outcomes. That's the basis of the current Western policy and your argument.

However, by the time things get to the point in the article, we are not talking about "average" here. We are talking hostile relationships. How does a hostile biparental relationship compare with the average monoparent relationship in terms of average outcomes? What about the worst 5% of outcomes (sometimes, even if the average outcome is better, there's a real interest in avoiding the worst 5% of outcomes if they are bad enough)?

Add the det about possible DV - continental law systems tend to have higher standards of proof in civil cases than common law systems (I've seen people trying to give numbers put it at 85% rather than the 50% "preponderance of the evidence" standard). So a finding of DV Not Proven means anywhere b/w 0-84% chance of DV having occurred.

How do the outcomes with DV compare to the average monoparent relationship?

How much percentage chance of DV should the judge accept before deciding the better bet is to assign Kid to the parent that hasn't been accused of DV?

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

@snowymountainhell

I may be a sentimental fool but I believe that no child should be deprived of having contact or knowing the non custodial parent unless it is a real and present danger to the child and the same for the parents unless one is a danger to the child they should both have reasonable visitation.

My divorce was very hostile and my children's mother had problems, but even during the worst of it I never once refused a request by her to see or have the children stay over ( note: for some time it was necessary for her parents to be present, even they would not leave the children alone with her at the time).

In hindsight it was probably the best thing for her as she got her life together is doing amazingly well in her business even her relationships and the children know she had problems and on occasion still does but the understand and accept it.

Doing anything else I feel would have hurt the children and her possibly irreversibly.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

No reasonable woman would then object to children seeing their father.

You would be surprised how many men with good jobs, pay child support, yet still haven't seen there kids in years.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Make sure to visit the .org site and donate to the gofundme page.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

If the children are 6 and 4, even if he succeeds and gets some kind of visitation right, it's a long time until the children are 20 and they can go wherever they want. A vindictive ex-spouse is likely to poison the children's minds over the next 15 years so that when they are 20 they will have little desire to see their biological father.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

@Kazuaki: You’re doing quite the bending over to justify Japan’s unjustifiable stance on parental rights.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Just a bit of background…. I am a foreigner in Japan; have lived here for 30+ years. I divorced my husband and in Japan, the mother automatically gets full custody of the children, the exception to this rule is if the other is deemed unfit to take of care of the child/children, for example she is mentally ill. I remembered when I decided to divorce my Japanese husband, I was told so many things, for example, I will not have rights to my child, because I am not Japanese - so wrong. So I hired a lawyer ( a Japanese lawyer) mainly because I did not speak Japanese and I wanted to know my rights. Needless to say, I got full custody of my child, got child support until my kid turned 18 and when he entered University, the cost was 50/50. My ex got visitation right, it was part of the settlement. So my advice for Mr. Fichot and others thinking about it, get a lawyer to help you. Also a word of advice, in Japan, if the divorce is due to infidelity, the Japanese law allows the wronged party to sue the “other man/woman” (there must be proof of course).

As for Mr. Fichot, he is not helping his situation by not having a job, THIS will be use against him by his wife. I feel sorry for his situation, but his actions are not helping him.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Yes. It is true that joint custody is not a legally established custom in Japan but it is absolutely untrue both parents cannot see their children in ordinary divorce cases in Japan. If you divorce your Japanese wife but care for such rights, go through the proper legal process, not just press hanko on the documents, and be gone.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Best of luck to him for taking such a bold move - still not covered by any major Japanese media I notice with no surprise

8 ( +8 / -0 )

@trinijap

Simple few questions.

Did you ex fight you on custody?

Did he fight support?

Did he refuse the divorce?

If you two cam to an amicable settlement that is very different.

If the one spouse decides to challenge the divorce and custody, things are very different.

Family court really has very little power to enforce custody visitation or child support.

If one side decides to not let the other parent access to the children or decides to stop paying there is very little one can do, this applies even if both parents are 100% Japanese.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

It is unfortunate but if there was a separation it was for some reason, domestic violence?? who knows..

I hope he reaches an agreement with his wife..

This is Japan, its culture and its laws, and that is what some Gaijins do not learn, here you will always be a Gaijin, and the western customs of their countries are not worth here nor can you do the same stupid things that you did in your home country..

That should have been thought before coming here, if somebody don't like it here, nothing to do, sayonara baby, this country is not for everyone, only for the braves and who truly appreciate and love this great country. This is real life, sorry no bonus..

-19 ( +1 / -20 )

@kennyG

Rather than keep posting your personal experience to keep spitting what's like in Japan, post up objective proofs. A Japanese boss at the company suggested him to divorce because it was not his fault that his wife suffered from cancer? And this is what Japan is like? Get out of there and breeze and your loving kids waiting for you spending all day long typing in a comment boards to prepare the supper and chat.

What would you like, my late wife's obituary? What about my son's medical records regarding this surgeries,? Would you like those also.

If you bothered checking it is Sunday, I now work for myself, my late wife passed away just a bit over 13 years ago, my children are full grown adults in there mid 20s and I raised them mostly on my own.

Apart from brief time after they were born and the very few years my late wife was with us, it was all me, just me and good luck to anyone that wishes to try it as a Gaijin in Japan especially a man.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Every case must be commented/opinionated in its individual circumstances and merits.

Vincent Fichot has a clear political agenda.

Press Conference: Demanding Joint Custody of Children

Takanori Hashimoto, Daisuke Nakano, Akira Ueno,

Vincent Fichot and Tommaso Perina

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2pnJvrg3a8

This is a gross misrepresentation of the law.

Ok let view this, I cannot find a translation.

Vincent Fichot is an activist, not more no less,.......

There is nothing spontaneous about Vincent Fichot.......

vincent Fichot (@FichotVincent) | Twitter

https://twitter.com/fichotvincent?lang=en

If Vincent Fichot truly had a care about his children he would desist pack up and move to arbitration.

No Vincent Fichot, has been snared in his own wish to force the court to bend to his will.

-16 ( +2 / -18 )

This is Japan, its culture and its laws, and that is what some Gaijins do not learn, here you will always be a Gaijin,

Can I start calling you the shortened version of Japanese? Gaijin is as offensive as the shortened version of Japanese.

Thanks for displaying your omotenashi.

14 ( +19 / -5 )

Unfolding Story - EU to consider suspending visa waiver for Japan as sanctions on child kidnappings

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyCQG2puUQ8

On 19 February 2020, long-term Japan residents Vincent Fichot (a French citizen) and Tommaso Perina (Italian) presented a petition to the European bloc’s legislative assembly in Brussels, requesting sanctions as a countermeasure against cases of parental child abduction affecting Europeans living in Japan.

Kidnappings, are you out of you flipping minds. Vincent Fichot has an clear agenda to force his wife into hand over custody via the media.

-10 ( +4 / -14 )

Also ‘interesting@kurisupisu is ‘perspectives & favor’ within this ‘microcosm of thoughts’ are temperamentally swayed with just a few additional words, and/or keystrokes, eh?

Some of us clearly understood you were just stating Japan’s ‘intolerance of spectacle@6:28am and how the man ‘could’ be handled, to hide him from the larger ‘public spectacle’ of Tokyo’s Games and possible worldwide media scrutiny.

*- @6:28am: “Mr Fichot will soon be force fed by the authorities here or will give up his hunger strike.” -34 ( +7 / -41 ) -*

That first post goes to show a ‘lynch-mob mentality’ of dissent toward one comment can easily ‘run like bushfirehere. Thankfully, rationality & reason prevailed with a your simple restatement and addendum @7:39am:

*- @7:39am: “A Frenchman possibly dying of hunger in the middle of the Olympics must have the authorities tearing their hair out! The negative publicity of any type of extreme action will be major news either way -letting Mr Fichot die is not an option for Japan.” 34 ( +39 / -5 ) -*

To conclude, equally surprising is the number of posts that were allowed here today on this particular thread. Let’s hope this is a continued theme with today’s gracious editors for more “freedom of expression” within the threads.

As stated @7:08am “The WORLD is watching, Japan.” - “Peace” to all. -

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Lets take a closer look........

Parental child abduction becomes a diplomatic embarrassment for Japan ahead of G-7

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/parental-child-abduction-becomes-a-diplomatic-embarrassment-for-japan-ahead-of-g-7/2019/08/21/1e51a7fa-bf34-11e9-aff2-3835caab97f6_story.html

Read and listen to the tone abduction, kidnaping, the simple fact is they wanted, demanded custody.

That is ludicrous, visiting rights is one thing, custody is another matter.

The fact that Vincent Fichot decided to resort to a hunger strike, say allot more abbot the motives of Vincent Fichot than about his wife. Why did his wife leave him in such a manner?

And take the children?

There is allot more than is being reported.

Hunger Strike! Vincent Fichot Is a pulling a PR stunt at the expense of his own children's mental health

*
-14 ( +2 / -16 )

Yes in many cases they are kidnappings, since the children were born in a different country, they were brought to Japan and the other parent could never get the chance to even fight for custody or visitation, in many cases because of their nationality couldn’t even enter Japan.

It’s nothing to do with local culture, customs, laws that the foreigners have to accept and abide by. If tomorrow I take your children and bring them to let’s see, Pyongyang, once I land it’s my customs, my culture, my laws?

There are so many comments here because whoever had this experience or even just the risk of going through it see the separation from their children as the most horrible thing that could happen to them, and show solidarity to anyone who has to face the peculiar attitude of Japan towards this issue.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Let's not forget for one minute that this specific action, of fleeing with the children, is regularly taken by Japanese women, women who grew up and were socialised here. These people, men and women, do not look at marriage the way we guys do. I can see how contorted and cold my wife's values are on the subject of marriage. Someone once told me that marring a Japanese woman is like marring a piece of furniture.It made me laugh then, but I couldn't agree more now. I know there are lots of exception to what I consider to be the rule. But I can see that here a marriage does not always mean love, sleeping together, walking hand in hand, etc. Then, once you break up, these people, who grew up observing their parents' meaningless relationship, do not think about how the children will feel when papa is not around anymore.They just take the kids away from you. On my personal experience a Japanese wife, unlike in the West, never puts her family interests first, she always looks at what people might think, even what officials might think, other family members,the neighbours, colleagues, etc. We are different. I back this French guy, taking this drastic actions is the only way to create awareness. Our mission, as expats or former expats in Japan, is to make sure that the world knows what the Japanese people really are like. How they look at other people, how they treat people of different races or nationality, people with disabilities, people of various sexual orientation. It's not possible in the age of the internet to let these guys away with murder. There are billions of individuals who know nothing about the double standards of Japan, so let's make sure that number goes down as much as possible whenever we have the opportunity do so. Good on you Vincent, I admire your strength and will keep following your story. I will not hesitate to help you, if I can. Stay strong !

13 ( +17 / -4 )

I only pray that this gentleman re unite with his kids soon, but I really doubt it, even if he finds them his wife, her family and the rest of the society will make sure he will not be with them again.

I have seen it again and again and I know that the only hope for him is that his kids will look for him when they reach the age.

My advice to him is Go home and find real Love there, or Stay in Japan get married and have kid again, some did it and succeeded.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

This individual is clearly delusional or clueless. There is no testament or facts to his actual character or career. The only statement of fact is that his wife accused him of domestic abuse - which was supposedly retracted. He thus implies he is of good character.

He claims: "I've given everything, I've lost my job, my house and my savings in the last three years." To which he adds his weight, 80 kilograms. Which is a bit of heft. None-the-less, exactly how the loss of employment, divestiture of savings and loss of domicile contributes to his quest for custody is rather puzzling. If anything, it indicates he is unfit to gain custody of his children.

His absurd assertion that Japan kidnaps children, is at best hyperbole and in actuality a falsehood. They are individual acts by a spouse. Japan is not sending out squads off kidnappers with instructions to abduct children. It is typically the result of a failed marriage.

Though there are posed photographs of Fichot, with his children, none contain his wife, there are no 'family photos'. Actually, there are very few photos, mostly pictures on FB of Mr. Fichot carrying out his valiant quest and voluminous repetition of the phrase 'abduction', as if Boko Haram was in town, randomly kidnapping children.

At some point he segues into defense of Ghosn. It is more than apparent he knows absolutely naught about the case against Ghosn or the applicable Japanese laws. Let alone the very generous conditions of Ghosn's detention. Which makes one question his sense of justice.

One might note, for a penniless individual, he has nice threads.

He does accuse his wife of attempted murder - though provides no documentation, other than an incredibly poorly written not in almost indecipherable English. One might observe, his English, borders on illiteracy. Hopefully, he is not teaching English.

Someone should clue him in: there are no spectators attending the Olympic Games. He sits in front of an empty venue. Few will notice his so-called vigil.

Before a media outlet embraces the narrative of an individual at odds with the legal system and the facts of marriage, perhaps an actual examination of the facts is in order. And an assessment of the person's character based on factual evidence such as employ and interactions with the legal system, which are documented. Especially in lieu of his rather salacious and unsupported comments regarding his wife. He has accused her of attempted murder.

,

-21 ( +2 / -23 )

Lets not generalize, focus on this one case.

Vincent Fichot wants his wife to hand over the children to him. Vincent Fichot is prepared to use any means to do so. Vincent Fichot could take a dignified approach, on the other hand Vincent Fichot aggressively over a sustained period of time attempts to pillory and bully his ex wife into submission.

Politically, diplomatically and finally subjecting his own children to the spectacle of his sitting at the entrance to a train station in Tokyo staving himself to death.

It that the actions and behavior of a reasonable parent???

No!!!!!!

-15 ( +2 / -17 )

His absurd assertion that Japan kidnaps children, is at best hyperbole and in actuality a falsehood. They are individual acts by a spouse. Japan is not sending out squads off kidnappers with instructions to abduct children. It is typically the result of a failed marriage.

And then you realize that Japan does nothing to prevent the abductions.

16 ( +19 / -3 )

Look we have no information into the circumstances of the breakdown of the marriage. yet we are prepared to proportion blame on the system.

Yes me too. all off the bat.

However, my instinct shouts out otherwise, yes my cynicism honed on my early years as research assistant for the UK political establishment. Screams out.

I can sense deception and duplicons mumbo jumbo almost second nature.

-16 ( +2 / -18 )

Maybe France should follow the same law as Japan and go quid-pro-quo towards Japan on such issues. One thing that I have always noticed about Japan is, if you mirror Japan, Japan cannot handle it.

In its undisguised favoritism for locals, Japan has always been adept at deploying the cultural argument to excuse and condone the glaring inconsistencies, outright unfairness and lack of reciprocity that characterizes its love/hate relationship with the outside world. It will be interesting to see whether his refusal to be cowed and temerity to confront the authorities of both countries with their hypocrisy elicits the usual stonewalling.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Ok, what is known about Vincent Fichot  family?

Vincent Fichot wanted joint custody.

That could have given Fichot the opportunity or right to take the children to France.

Now, have to be very selective of diction, could not the court have taken this into careful consideration or concertation?

One thing for sure Vincent Fichot is not homeless.

I rode past the homeless, when at college in London, living in doorways.

Caked in grunge.

Vincent Fichot is not homeless, well groomed, he has access to finance, a revenue stream.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites