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Nagoya High Court orders mother to return son to father in U.S.

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Very interesting.

With this as precedent, I wonder what will happen in the future in the event that the spouse seeking the return were non-Japanese, particularly if it was a non-Japanese father.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

"who wields illegal psychological influence on him."

????

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

The Nagoya High Court ruled in favor of the father in a dispute between parents, who are both Japanese, over the custody of their American-born son who was brought to Japan by his mother without the father's consent in 2016.

As noted, this decision was relatively easy for the court as it involved only Japanese. Let's see what happens when it's a foreign spouse!

16 ( +18 / -2 )

It is very interesting because a) custody is not usually given to the father; and b) the father lives overseas, the mother in Japan. It's good to see this happen - following international law. It will become a citable case that will help parents in similar predicaments.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

So, one out of a few hundred children stolen from their parent (usually father) and brought back to japan. It’s intetesting that the dispute was between two Japanese nationals. I guess it does give some hope for the other hundreds of parents whose children were stolen. Now, if they would just focus some attention on the thousands of fathers in Japan who have been denied any visitation of their kids, things would start look a lot more rosy.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

@silvafan

I'm sure it's lost in the translation. As someone having been through a custody battle, I understand exactly what the judge's intended message is.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

One of the biggest problems I’ve seen and is my family’s problem too...the foreign parent does not speak Japanese, and the children do and don’t speak their foreign parents native language.

They end up speaking a hybrid form of usually Japanese/English at home while toddlers and when they are teenagers it’s clear that the parent is no longer able to speak the same language.

If there’s any relationship problems or divorces, who is usually the odd one out?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Bold move. Now if only Japan had effective measures to enforce such an order …

9 ( +10 / -1 )

When I divorced in Okinawa at the City Office (Urasoe); I was told that due to the fact I signed an UnContested Divorce (as did my wife) I still had / have "Visitation Rights" to see my son, and could go to where he lives with his mother, ANY TIME of DAY, as long as I called first, to inform her. To DENY ME to see him, is / was ILLEGAL.

I often wonder what the story is here, with people (men) not being able to see their children (unless they GAVE UP their "Rights" somehow). Anyone more Legally Informed care to comment ?

9 ( +9 / -0 )

WA4TKG

Never personally myself but my brothers have. Even though we are all born and raised here, the wife (s) pulled out the gaijin card with fears of their safety and the kidz shouldnt be left with foreigners etc.

Sounds like you are your wife were civil about it all. Perhaps when a local wants to get away with stuff, you may find yourself very defensive or guilty till proven innocent, much like other situations involving halfs or foreigners here.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Was kind of hopeful until it mentioned Japanese father.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

The ruling would surely have gone differently if the father were a foreign national. The case probably would not have even been heard in those circumstances.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Had this been a Western court, with their misandrist judicial system, the mother would have gotten custody even if she had beaten up the kid till an inch of his life. Must toe the feminist line, after all.

Well done, Nagoya High Court!

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

Had this been a Western court, 

This is where we should stop reading. When someone makes up some random 'act' about 'The West' and how it supposedly supports an abusive woman over a non-abusive father. Details, eg an actual country? None. Understanding of what striving for gender equality actually signifies, ie it improves the parenting situation for men and women alike? Nada. Proof, eg citing a case? Nil. Chances that the poster will drag out a link from a tabloid paper about one exception to prove a non-existent rule? Extremely high (which is what the poster must be).

Overworked social workers and courts have made mistakes, this is true, and children have suffered and died as a result. But in wherever the west is, children's safety and security is a priority.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

random *fact

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Well done to the High Court of sticking to the Hague Convention. I bet the father will never get the child back though.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

the ones i know complaining are foreigners who easily got influenced by other foreigners telling them they don't have any chance of custody and never even tried to fight for their rights no its foreigners complaining of Japanese who take their kids to Japan without their consent. Now Japan has agreed such practices are illegal under the Hague Convention they now need to enforce the law when Japanese nationals break these laws.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Do the courts have any way to enforce their rulings? If they don't it will just make them more of a laughing stock than they are already.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Not that it matters but I am curious-

How old is the child since the court said it was in the better interest of the child to stay in Japan?

What is the visa status of the Japanese father living in the U.S.? Is he on a work contract and returning to Japan years later or does he have a green card?

Did they divorce while in the U.S. and she brought back the child against U.S. /Japan court orders?

There are a lot of missibg details here.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"When I divorced in Okinawa at the City Office (Urasoe); I was told that due to the fact I signed an UnContested Divorce (as did my wife) I still had / have "Visitation Rights" to see my son, and could go to where he lives with his mother, ANY TIME of DAY, as long as I called first, to inform her. To DENY ME to see him, is / was ILLEGAL.

I often wonder what the story is here, with people (men) not being able to see their children (unless they GAVE UP their "Rights" somehow). Anyone more Legally Informed care to comment ?"

In theory, that's how it should be. If both spouses are okay, then there is no problem. It's possible for children to see both parents all the time.

But, if you wife suddenly decided that she didn't want you to see the child, for whatever reason, you wouldn't be able to just go to her house. If she didn't want you to come to the house she could call the police, just like you can't go to anyone else's house.

Then you would have to apply for visitation. You would fill in forms, and then they would tell you that the first mediation to discuss this will be in a month or two or three depending on how busy they are.

During mediation, the idea is to come to agreement as to how many times a month you have visitation. If you can't agree, you will go back a month or two later. During this time you won't be able to see your child.

It could take 6 months of mediation. If at the end there is no agreement then a judge decides. In order to decide a court person will interview you, your wife, your child separately. If the child says he wants to see you, then theres a good chance you will get to see your child for a few hours a month.

But if the child says they don't want to see you, the court won't force the child to see you. He might suggest that in order for the child to begin to want to see you, you can write letters. Once a month, Once every two months, or in some cases once every six months.

If the ex hates you or for some reason never wants you to see the child, the mediation and subsequent court proceedings will be ample time for her to convince the child to say they don't want to see you.

In which case it could be years.

Even in this Nagoya case, even though the order has been given, police will not forcibly take the child away.

So, the father in America may still have a battle on his hands, as is the case with others who have had the court clearly tell the mother to send the child back but still have no effect because she just refuses.

The moral of the story is.....get on with your ex. Make her realize that its all in the best interests of the child. But, just know that if she really doesn't want the child to see you, it can get very nasty and take years whether you have three lawyers or none.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

"Do the courts have any way to enforce their rulings?"

They can fine the woman. But if she doesn't pay, they probably won't send her to jail.

They can send people to collect the child. But if she is with the child and won't let him go and he says he doesn't want to go, they won't struggle with her or arrest her.

So, the person who takes the child in the first place wins. There are many people who haven't seen their children for years.

I think in this case, the boy will insist that he hates his father, hates American and will refuse to go.

Remember, he has had two years of no contact with his father, and two years for his mother to brainwash.

And in the end, after two years, he himself may genuinely NOT want to go back. The only hope is if the child really does strongly want to go back, and isn't afraid of angering or hurting his mother.

The family court in Japan, is pretty much a joke. It works if both parties are happy to work together. But if they were ....they wouldn't be in court in the first place.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I should add that it works the other way as well.

There are mothers who don't get to see their children. They are in the minority, but they are out there.

So this isn't a sexist discriminatory problem entirely.

In Japan, one parent gets custody. They usually give custody to the parent who lives with the child.

Once custody is decided, the other parent has to apply. And that can take so much time that the bond is broken and/or the other parent gives up.

150,000 children a year in Japan lose contact with a parent.

But when a recent popular Prime Minister didn't see his own son after divorce, and the sons he took didn't see their mother - and most people didn't know, care, or think it was a big deal, its hard to see this changing.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

"One of the biggest problems I’ve seen and is my family’s problem too...the foreign parent does not speak Japanese, and the children do and don’t speak their foreign parents native language.

They end up speaking a hybrid form of usually Japanese/English at home while toddlers and when they are teenagers it’s clear that the parent is no longer able to speak the same language. 

If there’s any relationship problems or divorces, who is usually the odd one out?"

I sympathize with you. My advice is to learn their language. And if anyone here is reading and has young kids, please teach your children your own language. If you don't you'll regret it.

But, in the end, in custody cases it won't matter if you can speak the language or not.

The first one who kidnaps wins.

So more advice, if your marriage is rocky, be prepared to one day not have your kids around. If you think divorce is on the cards, talk to your kids as much as possible, and make sure they have phone numbers and email addresses memorized, and that you tell them that if they want to see you they really can tell the court that.

I know too many people who haven't seen their children or grandchildren in years. And I'm talking 5, 10, 20.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

gaijinpapa

Agree %100! Its so sad seeing kidz and parents that can’t communicate fluently.

Not to mention that your very value is at least doubled and you will have excuses and more paths availiable to you. I know a lot of dirty blonde hafu. kidz who speak no English and tell me that they no longer can converse with their dad (usually) well.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Gaijinpapa,

you hit the nail right on the head with your posts! No matter how much you hate your ex, it's a bad example for your children. You've got to get along to go along

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It’s sad when the parents and children cannot speak the same language. But that said, it doesn’t mean they can not communicate. I have a friend who doesn’t speak so much Japanese, nor does his daughter speak that much English, but they still know enough of the other language to be able to communicate.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@wtfjapan

you are not wrong, but there are also a lot of foreigners who are smart enough to know and fight for their rights and was able sort it out.

what i'm trying to say is there are also foreigners who would just complain about it but didn't actually do anything and just use the "because i am a gaijin so i have no rights in japan" excuse.

i'm not saying japanese spouses are never at fault, but if you let someone do these kinds of things to you, it is partly your fault. it's a general truth. doesn't matter which nationality or ethnicity you belong to.

no its foreigners complaining of Japanese who take their kids to Japan without their consent. Now Japan has agreed such practices are illegal under the Hague Convention they now need to enforce the law when Japanese nationals break these laws

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

According to NHK, the mother has already done a runner with the child in response to the decision.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20180717/k10011537371000.html

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Rainyday

If that's the case I hope the mother doesn't take "drastic action" as she sees no other way out. many's a time, that's the way they selfishly end it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Strangerland

Agreed, and I apologise if I made it sound like people can’t talk at all.

However I do still think that a parent and child not being able to speak is very tough. I don’t have kidz and can’t relate to that part, but my mother is estranged from all her kidz and she is Japanese.

She doesn’t speak English, and her children don’t speak Japanese as they didnt grow up here, just me. The lack of communication and thus assuming as a teenager that “mom dont get it” was one of the wedges that split people.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

She doesn’t speak English, and her children don’t speak Japanese as they didnt grow up here, just me. The lack of communication and thus assuming as a teenager that “mom dont get it” was one of the wedges that split people.

That’s a sad story for all of you.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I sympathize with you. My advice is to learn their language. And if anyone here is reading and has young kids, please teach your children your own language. If you don't you'll regret it.

This is some of the best advice anyone could give. I have seen far too many children who can not communicate with one or the other of their parents because there is a language gap.

Typically it's the father, but not always, that is lacking in Japanese skills, and the child being born and raised in Japan, focusing on Japanese can not communicate with one of their parents as they should, and their father, for whatever reason, doesnt take the time nor effort to learn to communicate with their child.

I CAN NOT and DO NOT understand how any parent can not make the effort to communicate with their child!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I CAN NOT and DO NOT understand how any parent can not make the effort to communicate with their child!

> I sympathize with you. My advice is to learn their language. And if anyone here is reading and has young kids, please teach your children your own language. If you don't you'll regret it

100% Agree

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Futaro Gamagori

Regarding the partial blame you lay on one of the parents....

You say that its at least partially the others fault for “letting it happen”.

Can you elaborate on what exactly you mean? Also, are you Japanese? Because I am, and I wonder if you are aware of how racist in general authorities are toward foreigners. I am accutely aware of this being a Japanese with light eyes and hair and people assume I am caucasian.

Do you really think that its both parents fault if until now Japan infamously 99.9% of the time gave the child to the local and told the foreigner to forget about it?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

You say that its at least partially the others fault for “letting it happen”.

You didn't ask me but I would like to say, divorce is the product of two adults failure to communicate, and children are the victim.

I have been married over 30 years, have 3 grown children, and yeah there were plenty of times the two of us literally wanted out....we did not stay together because of the children, we stayed together because we worked through the problems AND most importantly communicated with each other.

No marriage is haven but to learn that there is a difference between like and love and folks CAN work things out.

If they can't and they take it out on their kids or use their kids against one another....then BOTH are arses!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Thanks Yubaru, I agree totally. I am too married and only for 2 years so I’ll glean from the 30 years of wisdom.

My above post was not so much a real question, more like me calling out Mr Gamagori’s post a few threads above.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I CAN NOT and DO NOT understand how any parent can not make the effort to communicate with their child!

I agree. I'm one of the least talkative people and a non-English teacher but my kids have no problems communicating with me. It baffles me how so many people can teach English for a living, many with flexible hours that give them more time with their kids (while I'm working overtime), yet they can't teach their kids basic communication skills.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@thepersoniamnow

does it matter if i am japanese or not?

don't believe everything you hear; don't be a victim of sensationalised news

if you're japanese then you should also know that there are a lot of japanese fathers who can't have access to their children even on the phone or don't even know where they are.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ha! Gamagori San, you think I’m a victim of sensonalist news? Thats so sweet of you to care!

First of all, I am well aware that in general Japan never gives custody to the male. Most of the world doesn’t...so yeah that part I get, it is certainly not a Japanese thing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You can make marriage work you need to sit down and talk out the problems my wife and I have been married 46 years and II'm not the easiest person to be around at times someone said that marriage isn't heaven I'm white and my wife is okinawan

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yubaru, what you said is true.

But you can’t always use your experience of marriage to judge other couples.

Sometimes there are just really bad people. In that case you can argue that the person was wrong to marry them in the first place, but sometimes you just don’t know people.

Being married for 30 years doesn’t mean you could stay married to anyone for 30 years.

It means you stayed married to YOUR spouse. Congratulations by the way.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

One more post for those going through this or who may do so in the future.

The Family Court is not really trying very hard to get parents to see their kids.

In the end, they are civil servants doing a job.

If judges and court staff were really interested in kids, they wouldn’t rule for a couple of hours visitation a month.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Long overdue Japanese women have been running back to Japan for years and taking the kids out of the country illegally with them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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