national

In Japan, which bans dual custody, a table tennis star refuses to hand back her son to her ex

150 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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

© Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.


150 Comments
Login to comment

Why once beloved?

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Those laws are sickening and terrible for anyone who has to go through that torment and stress, to unforgivable.

36 ( +47 / -11 )

""Unlike many other countries, Japan doesn't allow dual custody of children for their divorced parents. Only one parent can take the children, though the other parent can gain visitation rights. In some cases, the parent with custody blocks contact with the other one.""

Japan needs to adjust it's laws to allow both parents to have custody so NRITHER parent can prevent or BLOCK the other. OR if the parent who has custody blocks the other they automatically loose custody.

35 ( +45 / -10 )

Only one parent can take the children

Modern Japan adopted system where winner takes all.

It doesn't matter even when you you plead to your head of state.

https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-olympics-2020-japan-children/olympics-frenchman-seeks-macrons-help-over-abduction-of-his-children-in-japan-idUKKBN2ET0RK

-9 ( +19 / -28 )

""There have been some high-profile cases of custody disputes brought up by foreign husbands divorced from Japanese women accusing them of child abduction.""

NOT SOME, many foreign husbands are suffering from these abductions and Japan seems to approve of it, can's have kids domestically lets abduct them.

19 ( +35 / -16 )

This is the part the "I want a J-wife" foreign guys completely miss and find out the hard way

19 ( +42 / -23 )

Japan’s once beloved table tennis star Ai Fukuhara is at the center of a child custody feud following the breakup of her marriage to a Taiwanese player who was also a star in the sport in his country.

Fukuhara was a firecracker since she debuted and I was wondering what she was getting up to recently.

Based on just superficial impressions a woman with a mind of her own who will not be swayed easily.

3 ( +15 / -12 )

This is what I call LEGAL ABDUCTION supported by a state.

22 ( +39 / -17 )

Japan's implementation of the Hague convention means that if the Japanese parent is at risk of being arrested in the other country Japan will "protect" them, even when they steal the kid.

I hope Japan does the right thing in this case.

34 ( +39 / -5 )

As we have seen in high profile cases of Japan’s antiquated laws, what is needed is a person of Aichan’s stature to pull this kind of stunt on a equally high profile British or former colonial personality. Then their media jumps on it and Japan is shamed into action.

-8 ( +24 / -32 )

Isn't joint custody irrelevant in this case? Chiang is the one who has custody, and fukuhara is the one that abducted and refuse to return the child. Before the abduction, arrangements were made so that fukuhara could spend time with the child for an extended time which sounds like something similar to having partial custody.

31 ( +33 / -2 )

Well the opposite has happen to an Australian mother in a joint custody case saw her ex Japanese husband abducted the child and now living in Japan. The Japanese Government refuse to take any action. So this go against this article. 9 In Japan, where child-rearing and homemaking are still viewed as women's tasks, mothers are still considered to be primarily responsible for children. .If this was true the child would be back with their mother in Australia. So Japan Gov what your game?

20 ( +27 / -7 )

Selfish act by nasty piece of work, Fukuhara. Refusing the father access to his child - assuming he is a loving father - is likely to damage the child long-term.

Japan needs to sort out this shame.

36 ( +42 / -6 )

This is a clear violation of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, which obliges signatories to promptly return abducted children to their country of habitual residence (Taiwan in this case).

Japan approved ratification to the convention in 2013 and it entered into force in 2014. Taiwan is not a signatory.

Japan unfortunately has a very bad history in this area.

Time Magazine: “How Did Japan Become a Haven for Child Abductions?” (March 2011, https://www.international-divorce.com/2011/03/how-did-japan-become-haven-for-child.html)

14 ( +25 / -11 )

Only one parent can take the children, though the other parent can gain visitation rights. In some cases, the parent with custody blocks contact with the other one.

Yep! Been there and done that! My ex-wife banned me from seeing my kids for no reason other than she could. I haven't seen my kids for 13 years. I tried crawling to her and appealing to her better judgement for the kids' wellbeing. I then tried through the local family court. She just said, "I fear violence" and my case didn't even get a hearing. I went to the apartment and begged her to let the kids see me and she called the cops which resulted in a restraining order. She demanded ¥200,000 a month for child support, which was impossible on an English teacher's salary and she knew it. I did nothing to this woman to warrant being banned from seeing my kids or the kids seeing me. She married me because I wasn't Japanese and then divorced me for the same reason. There is a part of me that says she only wanted 'hafu' kids and had planned to dump me as soon as she got them, which is pretty much what happened. We bought an apartment when we first got married. I filled out several loan applications with different banks and we eventually got finance approved. It wasn't until she kicked me out that I found out my name wasn't anywhere on the housing contract and her father had guarantored the loan for her only. Be careful guys!

27 ( +44 / -17 )

In other words, she kidnapped the kid and Japanese authorities stand behind her illegal act.

But they won't let sleep that North Korea kidnapped some people 40 plus years ago.

Hypocrites.

1 ( +31 / -30 )

Why would you hurt your kids in anyway ?

Going into divorce procedure with my Japanese wife, and showed her everything is possible.

If one is playing illegal then play illegal rules but never by hurting children please.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Obviously this selfish lady doesn't care about the well being of the child and the court will see that as well.

17 ( +22 / -5 )

International custody disputes highlight the complete inadequacy of Japanese family law.

Which is, literally, stuck in the 1800s, when the bulk of the family law code was written.

TheJapanese family register system is, fundamentally, to blame. Until is is modernized or abolished by law, everything we see is a consequence of the Japanese legal system doing acrobatic gymnastics to try to merge modern reality with archaic Japanese law that the conservative bureaucrats and politicians are desperately trying to ignore!!

-5 ( +18 / -23 )

Disillusioned

Thats awful mate, a true horror story and I’m sure there are very many in Japan.

I didn’t see my dear son for three years until recently, luckily for me he came to look for me. Now he’s living with myself and my partner and happy as a Sandboy, just like when he was little.

That was three years of hell, now over but for some it’s never over and it’s really hell on earth going through that.

The ridiculous laws need to change to stop these abuses to so many.

20 ( +27 / -7 )

I wonder since the father has a fairly high profile, and deep pockets, this might not go away as easily as many of the other cases. I know that Ai-chan is loved here, but this may turn some against her, especially her many Chinese fans. Also, what does it say about her that she only abducted her son and just left her daughter to live in Taiwan? Doesn't she love and want both children?

22 ( +26 / -4 )

Hurting your own kids to spite an ex is never a good look. Regardless of how well you played table tennis.

33 ( +34 / -1 )

On this topic, many years ago, the Japan Times published an incredible series detailing the tremendous challenge a non-Japanese father faced in one of these cases. There were some successes (he got his daughter back when she reached out to him for help), but his sons were lost.

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/

Unfortunately, a Japan Times subscription is needed, but it is a passionate read.

(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.)

12 ( +13 / -1 )

“Obviously this selfish lady doesn't care about the well being of the child and the court will see that as well.”

Maybe the boy is happy living with his beloved mother. Leave them alone.

-25 ( +6 / -31 )

Keep in mind that that the obsessed Ministry of Justice prosecutors act so righteously indignant because Lebanese law shields Carlos Ghosn from their vindictive vendetta....

But then turn around and say. "We can't do anything" when a Japanese citizen violates a legal agreement in another country, just because they are Japanese and, make no mistake, the Japanese legal system protects its own.

To be clear, the Japanese legal system will ALWAYS protect the Japanese citizen if the case involves a foreigner.

WareWare Nihonjin and all of that!!

-2 ( +25 / -27 )

According to the Jnews, the Tokyo court has ordered Fukuhara Ai to give back the kid to her husband, but her side said the court decision is not final.

This is a high profile case and for once, I believe Japan will comply with The Hague treaty it has signed, otherwise it might go against Japan

17 ( +20 / -3 )

Every time I hear people talk about the North Korean abduction issue all I can think of is the abductions happening daily here in Japan. Can't even count the number of times I have talked to other fathers that has lost access to their kids here, Japanese and foreigners. People can't seem to grasp how similar those situations are.

-5 ( +21 / -26 )

It may well be that these two star studded parents where exactly the light this recurring unresolved ‘issue ’ needed for the actual conversations to begin. Until now Japan has managed to just shut down those conversations, or just not even have them in some archaic notion of protecting their sacred bloodlines. It’s well over due to move into the modern world though, especially as divorces are unfortunately a fairly common thing. The tragic plight of so many foreign nationals fell on deaf ears, maybe this will break through.

Luckily most Japanese have a favorable opinion of Taiwan so there is a real chance for progress. For the sake of the children get your acts together! It’ll be a win win if you finally work it out.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

He can moan all he wants. Japan will never do the right thing and follow the law.

-17 ( +8 / -25 )

First the child or children are not yours. I see a lot of my kids , my son. in this thread. The fact is it not your child, It our child or our children. Only the child can claim sole connection their mum and dad or Mum and Mum or Dad and Dad. A father or mother can not claim solo connection with their child. Only the child can say my mum or my Dad. To state my child is not acknowaging the other parent. The Child hear you stating this "my child" will take it that you are not acknowaging his or her mother or father and this is concerning and confusing for the child. So be a good parent and always remember to acknowledge the other parent in the child relationship.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

@disillusioned

We bought an apartment when we first got married. I filled out several loan applications with different banks and we eventually got finance approved. It wasn't until she kicked me out that I found out my name wasn't anywhere on the housing contract and her father had guarantored the loan for her only. Be careful guys

i believe you were « abused » or did not want to see some dark side of your lover. One is reflected by the abusive pension required.

As for the housing, it is complicated in Japanese, but if you signed the loan application, you should have a guarantor. And did not you check the housing contract ?

If your name is not on it, it means all the taxes are paid under your wife’s name

0 ( +6 / -6 )

So, my perspective on this is that

a) when a non-Japanese marries a Japanese person, this law (or lack thereof) should be known (at least be now, given all the publicity)

b) therefore, in the case of a divorce, the legal route (so popular elsewhere) is not going to work

c) therefore, you have to appeal to the ex-spouse's reason and, yes, humanity

I know very well that divorce can get really ugly really quickly. But if you know the limits of the law, you can sometimes go easy on the financial and other issues that often drag people into court in order to do what's best for the kids. (ie. put the interest of the kids first and don't threaten your ex).

I know lots of cases where the above approach worked out. It's not a legal battle. It's an appeal to the other party's better self.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

With her silence and refusal to acknowledge the court ruling Ai Fukuhara is destroying her image, even with the cultural bias in Japan where women are given custody almost automatically this is not going to be so easily accepted.

Hopefully this case being so clear and the conduct of the mother so unacceptable will help bring more attention to the countless other cases that are in the same situation except for the parents not being famous enough to be publicized.

22 ( +25 / -3 )

We bought an apartment when we first got married. I filled out several loan applications with different banks and we eventually got finance approved. It wasn't until she kicked me out that I found out my name wasn't anywhere on the housing contract and her father had guarantored the loan for her only. Be careful guys!

Property acquired during the course of the marriage in Japan is common property. This is regardless of whether the registration has only one person’s name on it. Assets acquired before the marriage, or through inheritance, are not common property. Common property includes bonds, cash, deposits, houses, land, shares of stock, etc. and is generally split 50/50 in divorce unless one of the parties agrees not to split 50/50. This is where parties should be very cautious. Prepare carefully before any likely divorce and record evidence of all your spouse’s assets.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

I am disappointed, but not surprised, at so many negative votes.

Japan remains a xenophobic society. How else could this abduction, with government support, be justified?

-9 ( +14 / -23 )

There are always two sides to every story. I have heard of many foreign fathers treating their children badly, which is the reason for the rules to deny contact. Also this happens in every country. I have heard of women’s shelters which provide protection from such men. It sounds like this mother is in such a place, as they don’t know her whereabouts.

-18 ( +4 / -22 )

Don't get divorced or at least wait until kids are in high school

11 ( +12 / -1 )

They agreed to share custody of their two children — a daughter and a son. Both had been living with Chiang until last summer, when Fukuhara returned to Japan with the younger child.

So, she abducted the son and...abandoned the daughter?

Maybe the boy is happy living with his beloved mother. Leave them alone.

Maybe the boy would also like to see his father and the father has done nothing to deserve this.

14 ( +19 / -5 )

The government doesn't seem to care about issues until a celebrity is involved, so hopefully this will get the ball rolling.

5 ( +15 / -10 )

There are always two sides to every story. I have heard of many foreign fathers treating their children badly, which is the reason for the rules to deny contact. 

Then you may also have heard that many women lie about this to gain an advantage in divorce or custody. It happens to Japanese fathers as well. Women's shelters do nothing at all to verify a woman's story. It's understandable, but it also allows liars to abuse the system and harm their children and husband.

19 ( +24 / -5 )

Don't get divorced or at least wait until kids are in high school

This true. I know people who have weathered truly awful partners just to be there for their children. I believe that nobody should divorce if they have young children, except in extreme cases where the divorce is actually for the benefit of the children (for example, an abusive parent or unstable household environment for kids). Too many parents think of themselves before they think of their children. It only takes one to destroy the family.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

There are 2 sides to every coin.

So many think dual custody is a better way.

Well let's look at the dark side of dual.

So so couple divorces one has custody, the other doesn't but al pays nothing in support.

But despite this, they retain the right to stop the other parent with the children from moving even with the country for work.

So the primary parent with custody may end up in financial problems that affect the children because the non working Ex decides not to let the children move to another part of the country.

Japan has no dual, so other countries enforce their laws based on the Hague convention.

Result non Japanese gets stranded in Japan, no child support, no family, 2 children, precarious Visa situation, and no job.

The reply by the country that has dual custody " it is to protect the children" so forcing the children to live in poverty because a single Gaijin father is not going to maintain a full time job and care for 2 preschool children.

There are no black and White solutions, single or dual custody laws all have their flaws, but in my opinion anything the Hague convention accompanied with dual custody laws will eventually make a bigger mess of things

-21 ( +5 / -26 )

Fukuhara is just ignorant as adult though she was a very good table tennis player. she was married without much experience in society. She would have to follow the court order sooner or later.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

commanteerToday  08:37 am JST

"Don't get divorced or at least wait until kids are in high school"

This true. I know people who have weathered truly awful partners just to be there for their children.

But you haven't actually been in such a situation yourself?

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

This will be interesting to see how it plays out. In my country a lawyer cannot abet illegal behavior such as child kidnapping.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Is it not interesting that no one is interested in hearing the Ai Fukuhara's side of the story? Everyone-all the gaijins- just accepts the gaijin side of the story. It is very revealing and how you think and the western media racism against  Japan.

-18 ( +7 / -25 )

Yep! Been there and done that! My ex-wife banned me from seeing my kids for no reason other than she could.

 

Yeah right. More likely you parting in Shinjuku and were not taking care of your family.

-26 ( +3 / -29 )

Straight up kidnapping and unlove for the child's feelings.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

Is it not interesting that no one is interested in hearing the Ai Fukuhara's side of the story?

I’ll listen to it. If she actually decides to show herself and tell it.

23 ( +24 / -1 )

How many here have been in a situation where you are living in a country where as a non citizens you don't have the same rights as the rest of the population, no family support and trying to raise mixed citizenship children?

Taiwan and Japan do not give equal rights to non citizens like many western countries, remember that.

So job opportunity, even finding a place to live, social services, treatment by government departments are not the same.

I doubt anyone here knows what it is like to try living and raising children in an environment where you are regularly reminded that you don't count and you don't have the same rights or status as your ex who in many cases is not obligated to help support you (remember discrimination is legal because you are not a citizen).

I don't have to guess because I lived it.

My country refused to even let my children visit under the Hague convention interpretation, so my children suffered the consequences.

I don't know this woman's full situation, but I can guess having to remain in a country where she has a second class status and her ex-husband has full rights and still retains control over her by proxy of the children, the situation can in the end be too much for many to continue living under.

Choice leave the country abandoning the children or do as she has done.

It is a no win situation.

-16 ( +7 / -23 )

Why once beloved?

She was a child prodigy and appeared on TV a lot as a cute little kid. But as she grew into an adult, she became a lot less, um, "likeable" as a competitor and as a person.

17 ( +18 / -1 )

They were so in love. Now life is so messy for them. Hope they can find peace soon.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I know people who have weathered truly awful partners just to be there for their children.

But you haven't actually been in such a situation yourself?

Let's put it this way: If your partner is so awful to be around that you can't stand to be around them, how could you imagine divorcing and leaving your kids to handle that person all by themselves? The worse the person is the more you have to stay to offer some protection to the children. The only exception would be if you could they are unfit and ensure sole custody for yourself.

Regarding this case, it looks like Fukuhara was romantically involved with a Japanese man during her marriage, and the precipitated the divorce. She is not looking good.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

They were so in love. Now life is so messy for them. Hope they can find peace soon.

Sorry to say based on my experience such peace will only come after the kids grow up. Life is hard.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Fighto!Today  07:05 am JST

Selfish act by nasty piece of work, Fukuhara.

Quite so, she was a nasty and ungracious player, unpleasant to watch, and doesn't seem to have changed much.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Antiquesaving

Today 09:24 am JST

Come on folks be brave, the 8 as I write this down votes, tell use your experience of divorce and dealing with custody and raising children as a single parent in a country like Japan and a place like Taiwan that do not give non citizens the same status or protection as full citizens!

You give down votes but my bet is not one has had any experience (well I know one here has been on the other end and yes flag I don't think your situation is acceptable).

The rest please tell us what it was like trying to live and raise children on your own when you are regularly reminded you are not really wanted and don't have the same rights as your ex does.

-19 ( +3 / -22 )

Do you think the Japanese government gives a toss about this? In their view, J child recued by J mother and returned to safe, clean Japan. The rest of the world can do one.

-7 ( +14 / -21 )

As far as I know, he was very abusive and dominating and that was the reason for the divorce. How he managed to get custody is a mystery to me.

-13 ( +6 / -19 )

The Japanese gov't and mothers keep using domestic violence as an excuse but often there is no evidence of it even happening. This has been going on a long time especially when the spouse is a foreigner who just wants to be able to see and spend time with their children. We're not even talking joint custody because it doesn't exist in Japan. Just the ability to see their children.

3 ( +13 / -10 )

Paul

Today 09:45 am JST

As far as I know, he was very abusive and dominating and that was the reason for the divorce. How he managed to get custody is a mystery to me

A mystery? No it is no mystery, it is the same as in Japan.

"Gaijin factor" it is as simple as that, unlike western countries where everyone regardless of ethnicity or citizenship are equal under the law, both Japan and Taiwan do not have this concept not mentally or legally.

Only In rare cases when the children are at risk may the courts grant the non citizen custody.

-11 ( +7 / -18 )

As far as I know, he was very abusive and dominating and that was the reason for the divorce. 

If this is true, it would have been good for everyone to know before he won custody. Does he still have his daughter in Taiwan? Is it typical for abusive fathers to actually want to raise their children? (My impression is that abusive fathers typically don't want the responsibility at all.)

5 ( +9 / -4 )

I meant abusive towards his wife!

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Ichigo

Today 09:55 am JST

As far as I know, he was very abusive and dominating and that was the reason for the divorce.

> If this is true, it would have been good for everyone to know before he won custody. Does he still have his daughter in Taiwan? Is it typical for abusive fathers to actually want to raise their children? (My impression is that abusive fathers typically don't want the responsibility at all.

You are forgetting this is Taiwan not a western country!

Like Japan more often than not when a parent gets custody especially a father, he will hand the actual job of raising the children to his mother (AKA the children's grandmother) if not also living with his parents.

In several famous cases in both places (Taiwan and Japan) they would even task their sisters with doing the work.

This is has a been a long historical practice that is still very common today in both places.

-16 ( +2 / -18 )

How many here have been in a situation where you are living in a country where as a non citizens you don't have the same rights as the rest of the population, 

This is Japan,

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

Press Conference: Table tennis star Ai Fukuhara accused of child abduction by ex-husband

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

Taiwanese table tennis player Chiang Hung-chieh, former husband of Japanese table tennis star Ai Fukuhara

His own words plus translation.

Now it appears Ai Fukuhara has been given a simple choice obey the court hand down or be in contempt.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Do you think the Japanese government gives a toss about this? In their view, J child recued by J mother and returned to safe, clean Japan. The rest of the world can do one.

Yep. Nailed it.

-3 ( +11 / -14 )

Unlike many other countries, Japan doesn't allow dual custody of children for their divorced parents.

This is a truly awful situation, and like many other posters have said, it needs to change now.

Children benefit immensely from being able to see both parents regularly, even if divorced. And there's an even greater effect if one of the parents is from overseas, as the children will learn about a whole different culture too. Experience like this is so important for childrens' development.

Japan is hugely loved and admired all over the world in terms of its pop culture and traditions, but it is still in the Dark Ages with things like this, and other areas like inclusivity issues.

Come on, Japan: we need a Meiji-like/post-war-like, leap into modern times again.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

The Japan Times article on this case included these two extra bits of information …

“Fukuhara faxed and emailed messages in an attempt to terminate Thursday’s news conference but did not comment on handing over the son.”

“In 2021, there were nearly 16,500 marriages in Japan involving a foreign spouse, according to government data. In the same year, there were about 8,300 divorces involving such couples.”

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2023/07/27/japan/crime-legal/ai-fukuhara-alleged-child-abduction/

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I have doubts that he can take care of children. Obviously he isn’t even capable of keeping the son nearby otherwise she couldn’t have taken him and flee or travel back from Taiwan to Japan with the son. Would you give that boy into his hands when anyone can come and take it and leave by airplane?

-17 ( +4 / -21 )

Chiang's Japanese lawyer, Aiko Ohbuchi, said Chiang won a court decision on July 20 ordering Fukuhara to return the child to him in Taiwan immediately.

Clarification please!

Was this a Japanese court or Taiwanese court?

Unless things have changed, in Japan custody issues are under the "family court" system which has very little power to enforce any of their rulings.

If Taiwan court then Japanese have no obligation to even listen as Taiwan is not a signatory to the Hague convention.

It is interesting to note that 2 countries that are signatory to the Hague convention, Japan and Germany, both have the sad distinction of ignoring the convention's basic function.

She will remain " hidden" with the child for a year maybe 2 years.

Then show up in Japanese court and get custody based on'

" the child is now settled in school, has friends and family, disrupting this will be traumatizing or detrimental to the child's welfare"

This tactic has been the staple of Germany for decades under it's interpretation of the Hague convention in international parental kidnapping, and it seems Japan has adopted this same tactic.

Several cases many prominent in the news in Japan did just that.

Claimed the children were now settled and uprooting them and returning them to the other parent in another country would be bad for the children.

So expect her to remain (or at least the child) hidden, expect a family member to be helping ( if not multiple family members) in hiding and expect the school to also help.

This in not speculation but how other similar cases proceeded.

-7 ( +8 / -15 )

I have doubts that he can take care of children.

He apparently has had no issues raising his 7-year-old daughter. I find it sad that this mother has heartlessly separated the siblings.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Sven AsaiToday 10:38 am JST

I have doubts that he can take care of children. Obviously he isn’t even capable of keeping the son nearby otherwise she couldn’t have taken him and flee or travel back from Taiwan to Japan with the son.

They were supposed to be going on vacation. It would've been a good thing for the son, not a bad thing, and it was (seemingly) the right thing for a father to do.

The article says: The plan was for the boy to spend the summer with Fukuhara in Japan

12 ( +12 / -0 )

As far as I know, he was very abusive and dominating and that was the reason for the divorce. How he managed to get custody is a mystery to me.

Pure speculation at best - unless you have some solid links to back this up.

There is a limit to how long Fukuhara can "hide" in Japan. She was a former "celebrity" - and will be recognised by someone. Always came across as emotionally immature, unstable, and a bad sport.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

The silver lining of what is obviously a cloud may be that the high profile of the people involved will bring attention to this issue and hasten changes to a system that rewards selfish behaviour by divorced parents. Such behaviour can be extremely harmful to children. Basic knowledge of human nature should tell you what a parent with exclusive access is likely to tell the child about their other parent.

If the government wants to encourage more people to have kids, perhaps it could offer parents the assurance that they will not be completely frozen out of their children's lives through no fault of their own if the relationship breaks down. I see far more uncertainty about the future now in 2023 than in 2005 when I started my family. Cost of living, climate change, huge threats to employment from AI, .... Anyone accepting the responsibility and (ever bigger) commitment to become a parent deserves to have rights.

On one day of his hunger strike, Vincent the Frenchman was joined by over twenty mothers, both Japanese and non-Japanese, who had been similarly denied all access to their kids. This can happen to mothers as well as fathers.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

There is a limit to how long Fukuhara can "hide" in Japan.

You underestimate Japan's us vs them mentally!

There have been plenty of actual situation where when it comes to a Japanese vs a non Japanese the system and public side regardless of the situation with the Japanese and there will be a far greater portion of the population, school officials, teachers, city offices, government workers, etc.. willing to aid in her child remaining hiden.

She herself may show up, but miraculously the child's whereabouts will remain a mystery.

Family court in Japan unless changes I have not heard about has very little enforcement power.

So it can tell her to hand over the child but cannot actually enforce that order

As previously stated she only needs to hide the child for a year maximum two then show up in family court again and claim the child is settled in school and family an " expert" will claim returning the child will be " traumatic" and voila, Japan's family court wil agree and both will emerge from hiding.

This is especially useful when it is Japanese vs Gaijin but also regularly used in Japanese vs Japanese.

The one that holds on long enough will eventually get custody.

-6 ( +11 / -17 )

You underestimate Japan's us vs them mentally!

Plenty of Japanese will not be on Fukuhara's side here. Countless Japanese fathers and mothers have also had their children stolen by a selfish partner - often to never hear from them again.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

She really did a number here, she was always spoiled when a child, it seems she never recovered from that phase. Poor kid being dragged to the news in this way.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Fighto!

Today 11:22 am JST

You underestimate Japan's us vs them mentally!

> Plenty of Japanese will not be on Fukuhara's side here. Countless Japanese fathers and mothers have also had their children stolen by a selfish partner - often to never hear from them again.

You can believe what you like but the facts and reality don't support your position.

Remember the French guy?

And over the past 30 plus years here we have seen Americans, Canadians Italians etc...all in the news with Japanese spouses that kidnapped the children from the other country and in every single case not one was returned and all the Japanese were eventually given custody in the exact way I described.

Never as far as I know has Japan returned a single child to a foreign country.

If you know of one let us know, their are entire websites on the abduction by Japanese and not one case has ever succeeded in getting a child returned to the other country.

-7 ( +8 / -15 )

This is another sad case, only occurring because of an unfair and outdated law. Children should know their fathers and mothers if possible, provided that there is no reason, like family violence for example, why it's best if they don't. I write as someone who never knew his father, and was put in foster care virtually from birth vwith a single lady. I write also as a father of a son who had enormous difficultirs with an ex-partner over access to their daughter. If access had not been successful through the courts, he (and uus) may never have seen her growing up. Fairness is the name of the legal game, be fair to both parents AND the child!

8 ( +9 / -1 )

commanteerToday  09:34 am JST

"But you haven't actually been in such a situation yourself?"

Let's put it this way:

No you haven't, in other words.

If your partner is so awful to be around that you can't stand to be around them, how could you imagine divorcing and leaving your kids to handle that person all by themselves? The worse the person is the more you have to stay to offer some protection to the children.

Have you considered the possibility that is likely to make the situation worse? People who suggest staying in a toxic marriage for the sake of the children should keep in mind studies that indicate the children are likely to grow up with feelings of low self-esteem and insecurity, difficulty trusting others and forming happy relationships themselves, and a tendency to blame themselves for their parents being miserable because otherwise they would be happily out of each others' lives.

The only exception would be if you could they are unfit and ensure sole custody for yourself.

Good luck with that in Japan if you're the father.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

I remember when Fukuhara was a crying lovable 5-year-old table tennis prodigy. Seems a lot less lovable now.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Antiquesaving,

Was this a Japanese court or Taiwanese court?

Heck that's the deal breaker for Taiwanese table tennis player Chiang Hung-chieh.

Chiang urged Fukuhara to follow the Japanese family court ruling and “bring the younger child back to me as soon as possible.”

Now I am going on the Japanese family court ruling and “bring the younger child back to me as soon as possible.”

However.......

The couple were legally divorced under Taiwanese law in July 2021 after five years of marriage. They agreed to share custody of their two children — a daughter and a son. Both had been living with Chiang until last summer, when Fukuhara returned to Japan with the younger child.

The plan was for the boy to spend the summer with Fukuhara in Japan, but she has since cut off contact with her ex-husband, refusing to bring the son back to Taiwan, Chiang's lawyers told a joint news conference in Tokyo.

I wouldn't put my life savings on the J judicial system to necessarily play ball.

The abduction question, and the fact that the daughter remains in Taiwan complicates the situation further.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I have the case of a Japanese friend, married with two young boys. Now about 9/10 years. The husband had an affair and divorced his wife. Then remarried. He went to court to have custody of only the oldest boy because eventually, he will take over his father's position at some shrine.

The father was given custody of the oldest boy and the mother the youngest one. The oldest boy visits the mother/brother one weekend a month.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

The Family Law System in Japan

https://www.moj.go.jp/EN/kokusai/m_kokusai06_00006.html

I can see why Chiang Hung-chieh has gone to the media to state his case.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The constant shrieks coupled with an exultant, shouted "SAH!" when she was playing table tennis seemed to be intended to upset the opponent's concentration and rhythm...

8 ( +9 / -1 )

There have been some high-profile cases of custody disputes brought up by foreign husbands divorced from Japanese women accusing them of child abduction.

Indeed, Japan was on the blacklist for child abduction, until U.S. removed Japan from the list.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

So as far as I can find, my information on the family Court power to enforce decisions hasn't changed.

At most they can order monetary seizure from the non compliant parent refusing to return or follow visitation agreement.

https://japan.embassy.gov.au/tkyo/familylaw.html

And basically it points out what I said whoever has the child last and hangs on to the child the courts are more likely to grant them custody.

So she keeps the child long enough she will get the Japanese court to give her custody

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Surprised no one has hired an extraction team to smuggle the child back into the custody of the other parent in the other country. Desperate measures when the law fails.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I don't get why parents without any visitation or custody should have to pay child support. If the other parent denies them access to their child, they should then be denied access to their money.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

By abducting her 4-year-old son, Ms. Fukuhara has essentially abandoned her 7-year-old daughter in Taiwan. And I doubt she adequately thought this through to realize that consequence.

Fukuhara was basically raised to play table tennis. She always had a temper and didn’t handle stress well.

She was raised in an environment that tolerated her poor behavior, and she likely did not receive an education that stimulated introspection.

As a result, we now have a 34-year-old “adult” behaving badly.

13 ( +17 / -4 )

Japan needs to move into the 21st Century. Refusal to recognize Joint Custody, refusal to recognize Dual Citizenshup...these are all far more critical issues than transgender bathroom rights.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Just on Fukuhara, but it seemed like much of the attention given to her was due to comparisons with a manga about a young female table tennis prodigy. I don't know (or particularly care) whether there was any physical resemblence and the whole thing struck me as rather forced. However, the manga character was the nickname that stuck with her and hyped up in all news coverage.

The same thing happened with Hashimoto, the female marathon runner who was nicknamed Q chan after a manga. Given how many sports manga there are, it should be no surprise that real life comparisons with them can be made. Whether a tenuous similarity with a manga should propel you to fame however is another question. I don't think that many people ever read the manga Fukuhara was constantly compared to. I disagree with it, but the enduring image of table tennis in Japan is that its a sport that less sporty kids do and something you play informally for thirty minutes on a company trip to a Showa style onsen hotel. More sporty kids, like Momota or Nishikori, play badminton or tennis.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

By abducting her 4-year-old son, Ms. Fukuhara has essentially abandoned her 7-year-old daughter in Taiwan. And I doubt she adequately thought this through to realize that consequence.

This is Asia I don't like sounding like I am stereotyping but sadly the boy is more often seen as the important one.

Let me remind all about PM Koizumi.

Took his 2 sons divorced his then pregnant wife, gave his 2 sons to his sister to raise

The ex-wife never again had contact with her 2 sons and Koizumi never saw his 3rd son born after the divorce.

As an adult his youngest son was on a TV show at the same time as he was and even then he said nothing and they did not formally meet.

This was completely acceptable to the Japanese public.

Yes this was years ago but the acceptance hasn't really changed.

I raised my 2 on my own, the ex contributed zero but when it became clear that no male heir was going to happen on her family's side my son suddenly became very important the Japanese family refused to pay anything for my daughter but paid everything for my son including university, etc ..

Welcome to Japan!

-9 ( +13 / -22 )

wallaceToday  12:07 pm JST

I have the case of a Japanese friend, married with two young boys. Now about 9/10 years. The husband had an affair and divorced his wife. Then remarried. He went to court to have custody of only the oldest boy because eventually, he will take over his father's position at some shrine.

Stands to reason if the judge perceives the father to be a hereditary pillar of society.

The father was given custody of the oldest boy and the mother the youngest one. 

If it were anyone else I suspect the mother would end up with both of them, and the father would be free to forget any of them ever existed. I suspect a lot of Japanese men are quite happy with this arrangement and that judges are baffled by foreign fathers who want to have anything to do with their kids after they get divorced.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

has since refused to send back in alleged breach of a joint custody agreement.

Let's just call a spade a spade, this is child abduction.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

No you haven't, in other words.

Assumptions. There is a limit to what I will share in public, even pseudonymously.

Have you considered the possibility that is likely to make the situation worse? People who suggest staying in a toxic marriage for the sake of the children should keep in mind studies that indicate the children are likely to grow up with feelings of low self-esteem and insecurity, difficulty trusting others and forming happy relationships themselves, 

The problem with such studies is that they can only guess how the children would turn out otherwise. Without the spouse to attack, some parents will turn their behavior toward the children, who will already feel abandoned by their parent who left. Sorry if this describes your situation - there are no easy decisions here.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Why deny the kids the love and support of a parent?

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Fukuhara was always a spoiled brat, and she has not changed much since she grew up.

These child abductions is another example of Japan pretending to be a victim, so they can whine and make excuses for breaking laws and defying human decency!

-2 ( +11 / -13 )

Simon Foston

wallace

   I have the case of a Japanese friend, married with two young boys. Now about 9/10 years. The husband had an affair and divorced his wife. Then remarried. He went to court to have custody of only the oldest boy because eventually, he will take over his father's position at some shrine.

> Stands to reason if the judge perceives the father to be a hereditary pillar of society.

>    The father was given custody of the oldest boy and the mother the youngest one.

> If it were anyone else I suspect the mother would end up with both of them, and the father would be free to forget any of them ever existed. I suspect a lot of Japanese men are quite happy with this arrangement and that judges are baffled by foreign fathers who want to have anything to do with their kids after they get divorced.

In the case I posted, the father supports both his children and ex-wife. His younger child visits his father one weekend a month.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

As a divorced father who hasn't seen his children in 2 years, this story hits home. Hopefully the issue of custody and parental rights gets some attention.

However, Japanese law makers are very stubborn and don't want to make changes to any laws because of a news story. They prefer to wait and wait and wait so the decision doesn't look reckless and hasty.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Try and take a cub from a bear or a kitten from its mother. Aichan is only but an animal.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

Japan needs to move into the 21st Century. Refusal to recognize Joint Custody, refusal to recognize Dual Citizenshup...these are all far more critical issues than transgender bathroom rights.

I have to agree 100%!!!

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

There are still Japanese women wanted by the FBI for child abduction.

https://www.fbi.gov/wanted/parental-kidnappings/reiko-nakata-greenberg-collins

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

It's ridiculous that Japan still has not worked out this issue.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Dave

Today 03:14 pm JST

One thing I never understood in Japan, Sad

The only difference with Japan and other developed countries is it is open and clear on what it says and does.

Take how other countries do it

Germany a signatory to the Hague convention, in theory it should immediately return the child to the country it was taken from.

But in reality it rarely does.

How they proceed is simple, the abducting German parent will file delay after delay, this will drag on for years.

Then one day they will actually get to a hearing in which some quack oh sorry " child psychologist or child welfare expert" will claim that so much times has past, the child doesn't remember much of the other country or the language and that the child is fully settled with family, grandparents, school and interrupting this at that point would cause trauma and mental damage.

And 99% of the time the German court accepts this and doesn't return the child to the other parent or country.

Now other countries are adopting the same thing.

In recent years, American parents abducting their children from Canada and other countries are using the same stalling tactics ( certain states are more likely to do this than others) and again like Germany once they finally do get to court a Quack will testify that returning the child after x number of years would cause mental anguish and trauma and the state court will agree with the Quack.

Now unlike Germany the USA depends on which state.

If the parent is caught quickly especially in states like New York then it is likely to be a quick return of the child to the other country.

So no folks Japan isn't alone in this sort of thing, Japan is just far more honest in basically saying NO.

Japan will not return the child under a simple rule the child is Japanese and forcibly removing him or her from the country is a violation of the constitution.

Remember the child until 20 may be permitted to retain dual citizenship, but Japan does not officially recognized the other citizenship once in Japan.

This has been used by Japanese to force custodial foreign parents for removing children from Japan.

Despite the non custodial parent having no real rights, they file on behalf of the child using a "child advocacy lawyer" to claim removing the child forcibly to another country violates the constitution.

And yes the courts have agreed and blocked the children from leaving Japan.

If you are going to marry internationally and have children, well better understand there are a lot of things that can make life very difficult if things don't work out.

I know I have custody and I had no choice for multiple reasons to remain in Japan despite wanting to take the children and go back to Canada.

-14 ( +2 / -16 )

commanteerToday  01:54 pm JST

No you haven't, in other words.

Assumptions. There is a limit to what I will share in public, even pseudonymously.

Comments such as "I know people who. ." do rather invite assumptions.

"Have you considered the possibility that is likely to make the situation worse? People who suggest staying in a toxic marriage for the sake of the children should keep in mind studies that indicate the children are likely to grow up with feelings of low self-esteem and insecurity, difficulty trusting others and forming happy relationships themselves,"

The problem with such studies is that they can only guess how the children would turn out otherwise. Without the spouse to attack, some parents will turn their behavior toward the children, who will already feel abandoned by their parent who left. Sorry if this describes your situation - there are no easy decisions here

No, it doesn't describe my situation. As I see it unless parents are prepared to stay together and work on having a happy marriage none of the options are good. Staying in a loveless failed marriage that is guaranteed to end acrimoniously and give children an upbringing filled with animosity and recriminations strikes me as one of the worst.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

And Japan wonders why people aren't getting married and popping out kids. Why bring a child into this world when parents then abuse a clearly antiquated and draconian law that allows them to use their child as pawns? The mere fact that joint custody doesn't exist in Japan is insane to me. It literally screams that the Japanese law and government are in favor and enabling families to be ripped apart.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

purple_depressed_bacon

Today 04:11 pm JST

And Japan wonders why people aren't getting married and popping out kids. Why bring a child into this world when parents then abuse a clearly antiquated and draconian law that allows them to use their child as pawns? The mere fact that joint custody doesn't exist in Japan is insane to me. It literally screams that the Japanese law and government are in favor and enabling families to be ripped apart.

Oh please, you think it is any better in other countries with dual custody?

Children as pawns? My sister's ex hasn't worked in years, hence the divorce, ge has no money so no child support, but when she was offered a better higher paying job in another city, he was able to block her from taking it because of his custody rights.

Yes folks dual custody come with its own set of problems, if the job of the primary parent requires them to move more than x kilometers away then the other parent can refuse to let the children go even if they themselves are not offering to become the primary caregiver.

So sorry if you think it is soon much better dual custody well think again, it just has different problems.

And I know of several others in Canada and the USA in the same situation as my sister both men and women.

-17 ( +2 / -19 )

I will bet few if any here actually have had to deal with divorce and child custody.

I know there are 2 here but the rest put out opinions without actually knowing the reality of sole custody and or dual custody!

I know the situation in Japan extremely well I have lived it.

I know the situation in dual custody like Canada as I watch my sister go through it.

The armchair experts know better.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

Then one day they will actually get to a hearing in which some quack oh sorry " child psychologist or child welfare expert" will claim that so much times has past, the child doesn't remember much of the other country or the language and that the child is fully settled with family, grandparents, school and interrupting this at that point would cause trauma and mental damage.

Hold it, how do you justify calling the expert witness a quack? Have you personally examined any of the involved children that gives you grounds to refute the expert? Or are you actually saying he can be right and he should be ignored because...

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Hold it, how do you justify calling the expert witness a quack? Have you personally examined any of the involved children that gives you grounds to refute the expert? Or are you actually saying he can be right and he should be ignored because...

Yes! I spent most of my childhood with these so-called experts and surprise surprise, 90% of all the stuff claimed, all the supposed treatments, theories, etc..are today discontinued because they caused more damage than good.

90% of child psychology, treatments, are just theories and in any other health field would never be used without multiple, testing, peer reviewes, government body approval.

Children's psychology and treatment is the wild west of theories and the guinea pigs our the children.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Oh please, you think it is any better in other countries with dual custody?

Yes mostly it's a lot better, In Sweden most sees marriage and parenthood as two separate things and are able to keep things working even after marriage. In countries like Japan you have people stay in toxic marriages that only cause damage to the kids, just because they know the dangers and shame of divorcing.

I'm currently in a very toxic marriage, wife hasn't worked for 7 years, don't clean don't cook, can't change diapers etc. Only reason I can't end it is because sometimes when she gets mad she talks about taking away my kid. That is the reality for many people.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Why once beloved?

There's more to this story than what's in the article.

First, Ai was living in Taiwan with her family when she went back to Japan and started having an affair with a guy in Tokyo while pretending to work.

She went back to Taiwan with her mom and then ditched her mom there at her husband's house to run off with this guy.

Then she agreed to come back and visit. She set up a meeting at the airport with her and Chiang's son and said she wanted to be alone with the kid. He naively believed this and she promptly boarded a flight to Japan and disappeared.

This month she lost custody of her son but has refused to give him back.

She's out of control.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

We are a registered NGO in Japan working on this issue. Some points. Taiwan is not a party to the 1980 Hague Abduction Convention. Even if this were a Hague case, Japan has ignored Hague return orders and mirror return orders of said cases in the past. The treatment of family law in Japan should not be relevant in this case as far as the law is concerned since the court ruling was made in Taiwan. In addition, this is not a custody dispute per se, but rather an abduction case. These are two different issues. Let’s hope for a favorable outcome for all involved. It might serve as a catalyst for urgently needed change in Japan on this human rights problem.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yes mostly it's a lot better, In Sweden

Why when an example oh some exception is needed is Sweden used.

A country with less population that Tokyo and nearly everyone lives with a very limited area.

Why not use the USA, Canada etc..

Where one day you could be transferred from LA to NY or Toronto to Vancouver.

See how dual custody works in those cases.

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

PROTECTING THE MOTHER AND CHILDREN, ARE THE THREE ARE ALIVE ?

°

You don’t know abusive husband and father. They always say « she disapeared » before we found them broken at the bottom of a ravine.

-

Nothing about the daughter ? They should be both ban from this child custudy who start her life being treated like a lesser human being. There is no distress of this little girl to not see her mom ? No call in the name of the girl ? Strange ravine behavior. He should give the daughter to his wife family. She left with the child the most urgent to protect from his father’s ambitions.

-

The woman was probably badly treated by her husband, his family and his trainers. She agreed a joint custudy saving her life, not understanding the mental harassement like most women who choose divorse by instinct early. The son coming to life, she saw the true face of her husband. She hide because she fear for her life and the one of her son who wear about to be early trained and feed to become the next heros of Korea sport. She probably hope he will relinquish the custudy of the girl he clearly care nothing about. But the son was the most urgent to save from the trainers.

-

In my experience, it is better the children are left only in the mother’s custudy. The father having the visiting Rights and holidays (where he often harass the children against their mother, making their life difficult). Sometime, 5% of time, you can do the opposite but this is because the mother is ill or unable to care giving. We chose mother, because they care for their children more than the dad. This man just want his son, his object, his pride to be. He would have badly treated this little boy for any good mom just reading this article. She made the right call.

°

MMF

-16 ( +3 / -19 )

JRO

Today 05:45 pm JST

Now this is not advice but how the laws and custody works in Japan.

If a spouse leaves the home then automatically the custody goes to the one that stayed with the children.

But if one spouse leaves the home taking the children to a new home well then by the same situation the custody usually goes to that parent.

That is why many Japanese women grab the children and run home to their parents place, they nearly always get custody doing this.

Just letting you know.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Why when an example oh some exception is needed is Sweden used.

Because I'm Swedish. Not sure about custody issues but the US has other bigger problems that makes it a lot less desirable to live in than Japan. Just because we are writing in english doesn't mean we are all Americans.

A country with less population that Tokyo and nearly everyone lives with a very limited area.

You know that Sweden is about the same size as Japan right? and no not everyone lives in the same place. Also not sure why population is brought up every time Americans try to explain why they can't have the same things as other countries, these things are scalable, if anything it makes it easier.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Now this is not advice but how the laws and custody works in Japan.

If a spouse leaves the home then automatically the custody goes to the one that stayed with the children.

But if one spouse leaves the home taking the children to a new home well then by the same situation the custody usually goes to that parent.

That is why many Japanese women grab the children and run home to their parents place, they nearly always get custody doing this.

Just letting you know.

Yeah I have heard of that happening a lot, not so much on the fathers side though so not sure how that would pan out. Luckily her parents are on my side, since they know she can't take care of herself and they will be the one's having to take care of them, which they are not in a position to do.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

AntiquesavingToday  04:59 pm JST

I will bet few if any here actually have had to deal with divorce and child custody.

Oh will you now. I recommend putting toothpicks, poker chips or Monopoly money on that bet.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

MToday  06:18 pm JST

PROTECTING THE MOTHER AND CHILDREN, ARE THE THREE ARE ALIVE ?

°

You don’t know abusive husband and father.

Neither do you. Or do you have any actual details to share as opposed to what you think he probably did?

In my experience, it is better the children are left only in the mother’s custudy. 

You have a lot of experience then?

9 ( +9 / -0 )

JRO

I'm currently in a very toxic marriage, wife hasn't worked for 7 years, don't clean don't cook, can't change diapers etc. Only reason I can't end it is because sometimes when she gets mad she talks about taking away my kid. That is the reality for many people.

Sounds very sad. So who changes your child's diaper when you are out at work and who feeds them?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

JRO

Today 06:34 pm JST

> Yeah I have heard of that happening a lot, not so much on the fathers side though so not sure how that would pan out. Luckily her parents are on my side, since they know she can't take care of herself and they will be the one's having to take care of them, which they are not in a position to do.

Well good luck my sticking around cost me nearly a month in hospital 2 surgeries and the children in a government facility during that time.

So watch your back is all I can say.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Sounds very sad. So who changes your child's diaper when you are out at work and who feeds them?

I work from home, so I'm basically a house dad and full time worker taking care of 2 kids, just that one of them is more annoying and wants to be treated as an adult. To be fair she does feed him at times, just that it's either Uber eats or konbini stuff. Can change a diaper from time to time as well, just that number two is a no go.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Well good luck my sticking around cost me nearly a month in hospital 2 surgeries and the children in a government facility during that time.

So watch your back is all I can say.

Yeah I'm in a very specific situation work wise that allows me to work and take care of my kid, but yeah one hospital visit or loss of work and that would all fall together, hope things work out for you.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

JRO

Today 07:21 pm JST

Well good luck my sticking around cost me nearly a month in hospital 2 surgeries and the children in a government facility during that time.

> So watch your back is all I can say.

> Yeah I'm in a very specific situation work wise that allows me to work and take care of my kid, but yeah one hospital visit or loss of work and that would all fall together, hope things work out for you

sorry I am being cryptic, I was not sick! The watch your back was literal!

In my case I didn't, I physically turned my back one day and paid dearly.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

JRO

Today 07:21 pm JST

hope things work out for you.

Don't worry, my kids are now adults (still can't get them to leave, hahaha).

Raising young children on your own is not easy anywhere but especially in Japan as a Gaijin father.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

In my experience, it is better the children are left only in the mother’s custudy.

Because mothers are always exemplar members of society and mothers, for the whole reason of just being a mother, would never ever even think about harming any of their kids...

5 ( +6 / -1 )

This woman is crazy if she doesn't realize what emotional and psychological damage she is doing to her children by cutting their relationship with their father. Wake up B witch.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Disgusting of Fukuhara. And Japan for enabling her in stealing her children. Parental alienation is one of the worst crimes on humanity.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

I think this case is even worse because she doesn't seem to care that she is separating the brother and sister. If you were the better parent to take care of the children you wouldn't separate the kids.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Oh please, you think it is any better in other countries with dual custody?

Yes because then it's at least an even playing field from the get-go and the child has a higher and better chance of being brought up in a safe and healthy environment. Unlike in Japan where the absence of joint custody and the courts usually favoring the mother, the child may end up with a parent who is not fit to raise them.

The child should also have the right to see and be brought up by both parents and many cases involving couples, one half of which is not Japanese, lack of joint custody has led to the Japanese parent absconding with the child and/or refusing to let their ex see their kid. The law is skewed and heavily favors not just the mother but also the parent who is Japanese. It's unethical.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The courts judgments and decisions must reflect the human costs and ultimately the mental health of the children.

However arduous and broken the relationship, marriage.

Children need the love of both parents.

OK, easy for me to say I am not married.

However logic suggests that one parent refusing to honor a joint custody agreement, must, unless circumstances reflect dangers to the contrary, is totally unacceptable

Then the full weight of the law must be applied to compel both parties to comply.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

She should be arrested immediately. The child must be returned to country from which they were abducted and Fukuhara can sue for custody in the Taiwanese court. All along the lines of the international agreement to which Japan is a signatory. Japan has appalling behaviour when it comes to child abduction.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

"There's more to this story than what's in the article."

Joe Blow: very useful information!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

It takes patience. It took me 2yrs to find my kids.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I believe she’ll have to obey the Japanese court’s order. Meanwhile her reputation is suffering in the international arena. Whilst I don’t know the specifics of this case, how the father is etc, and don’t believe in trial by media, this law has to change.

im from a divorced family and even though my mother was extremely utter towards my father, she encouraged my spending some quality time with him, which meant a lot.

Japan really needs to get with the times and move away from assuming all men will be a poor or absent father. Kidnapping is never a good look, whichever country is facilitating it.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Both Ai Fukuhara and Chiang Hung-chieh must set any marital angst aside.

Ai Fukuhara must desist from emotional ping pong with her Children.

Most importantly a means of duel custody must be enacted in law and enforced without fear or favor by the family courts

The specter and tone of kidnap, abduction, should be avoided at all costs.

For a Brother and Sister to be forcibly parted from a life together as natural siblings, is a gross human rights violation.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

@darknuts

It's ridiculous that Japan still has not worked out this issue.

A cynic would say that Japan has worked out this issue exactly as it wanted to.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I feel for you sir. I have a son my Ex fiancée refuses to let me have contact with. And Japan courts and laws can kiss my rosy red............

3 ( +4 / -1 )

She has now deprived her own 2 siblings from being able to not only see one another but the younger one from seeing her father as well. This NEVER ends well and permanently scars both children. These children will grow up one day and Ai Fukuhara will have to answer to both of them for what she has done, their own mother who is responsible for protecting them.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Those who blame it all on “xenophobia” art misguided. Our ex-daughter-law, Japanese, alcoholic, abusive, and adulterous, walked off with the daughter of our gullible son, also Japanese, knowing that the absurdly unjust law was on her side. Not being able to see his daughter, now for years, has sent him into a tailspin…All those we know, including former Ai-chan fans, are disgusted with the piggish ping-ponger.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Thanks for your story Khuniri - I met a Japanese lady a long time ago and observed she also drink a lot, talk abusive, and had a history of dating low-quality Japanese men and ran for the exit - had I pursued that woman, I would be sharing your story as well

1 ( +2 / -1 )

In my experience, it is better the children are left only in the mother’s custudy. 

 have doubts that he can take care of children. Obviously he isn’t even capable of keeping the son nearby otherwise she couldn’t have taken him and flee or travel back from Taiwan to Japan with the son.

These two statements are soooo messed up and wrong.

I'm an ex-pat, US citizen, who's Japanese wife walked out on me and two children. She demanded a divorce and I required she leave the children to me, legally. She said, fine, they're yours. At age 5 and 7.

I allowed her access to the children on weekends, but she skipped well over half of them, excuse after excuse, late on a Friday. While I needed the weekend for work, it became an undependable situation, so weekends were not my time, and while not 24/7/31 days a month, it was close, at times.

Now in their twenties, the kids have university degrees, and they are in the work force, doing well. I got to experience the children's growth. Pretty much all one can ask for in life is to give and understand giving is the gift to yourself more than whomever receives.

Many people tend to not understand that one, but it's real. It's easier not to give, of course. I believe the gains are very high, and I grew a great deal more than the kids in many aspects.

My ex? She thinks she's won something by having access to the children and not having to care for them. She makes a ton of money, now, but she missed out on things she doesn't realize. Too bad for her.

I'm thankful my ex gave birth to the kids. I don't take that lightly. A woman's work is difficult.

She bailed at times soon after birth. There were times she wouldn't hold her own baby for months at a time. There are circumstance and it can be difficult for a new mom. On surface, in Japan, to people who didn't know her lack of child care, she was a wonderful person, and an icon at work. They thought she was the one raising her kids and she let them believe it, if not promoting it.

In Japan with attitudes favoring the mothers and believing men can't care for their children, it was automatic the Japanese believed her. As the two statements above by other posters would indicate. In other parts of the world, people know both male and female caretakers exist, so it is not near a slam dunk the mother is the main caretaker, as it is in Japan, where men do little and mothers think they're everything to a child on the whole. Kids need both parents and it should be a 50/50 task of child care. That's what I thought would happen. I was a naive foreigner.

Japanese people or anyone who sticks by the mother knows best in raising children just do not understand how wrong a blanket statement that is. There are a lot of women here who cannot deal with the multi task of their lives with raising children and there are a lot of men who can.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

sunfunbun

well done to you and great achievement.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Impossible to have dual custody in Japan because the archaic way of the Japanese samurai blue thinking is women should own custody but how is that going to fit when gays and lesbos have children and gets divorced??? Again japan got some mad issues its like a 3 ring circus here

3 ( +5 / -2 )

antiquesaving

I have no idea why you got so many downvotes for your informative and sensible comments.

It really shows how few people know much about this issue.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

桜川雪July 28 12:52 pm JST

I don't get why parents without any visitation or custody should have to pay child support. If the other parent denies them access to their child, they should then be denied access to their money.

I think there is a very valid reason for adopting this and would in a way give the J-gov a little bit of cover, well better than they are currently viewed on the subject. I would make an exception where there is reasonable and substantiated evidence, not just claims, the parent seeking soul custody has been a victim and or children in some manner. If a parent asks the court to have soul custody and NO visitation rights what-so-ever then they must waive any spousal and child support or any other compensation.

I mean if the courts are going to soul custody without visitation rights then let that be the consequence. Maybe that would deter some, maybe not all that many but at least that's NOT going to be a second stab in the back for the parent who is on the losing end of the ruling.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"...uninformed opinions.. or are just plain ignorants."

CORRECTION: 'ignorance'

(Question: Freudian slip? Mechanical error? Arbitrary miscalculation?)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites