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Nebraska court rules Japan has jurisdiction in child custody case

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Oh well, it's what the court decided. I'm willing to bet most will side with the American father in this case, just a wild hunch. Though he didn't say anything about taking him to the U.S. and keeping him there.

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rjd_jr: Are you a Japanese Nationalist?

The problem is that hell never be granted any custody or visiting rights once she returns to Japan with the boy. Unlike in the US where she has the freedom and it is the law that she has the right to see her son. We all know the child custody battle and abductions between Japan and other countries and they dont favour foreign parents. If he has access to his child in Japan then maybe the two parents can work out something fair but we all know the track history regarding these situations in Japan and shes going to file for custody in Japan and they will disappear from the fathers life. Absolute stupidity on the US judges part. She needs to do her research...

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I think her US Citizenship, the fact he took the child from Japan without telling her, the fact child was raised in Japan were all in her favor . He messed up seriously thinking that he could get a sole US custody of his son .

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I can see the father's point of view in this situation clearly. Being a foreigner, he will not be granted visitation rights to see his son. There is simply nothing he will be able to do if his son is returned to Japan, if he pushes the matter Japanese immigration may not even issue him a visa to enter Japan, making visits impossible. I would have thought that the boy's being born in Nebraska would have given the court jurisdiction, aren't people born in America considered American citizens? Some may say that the father's taking his son to America without telling his wife was an extreme action, but he understood clearly that foreign parents of Japanese children have no rights whatsoever in Japan, so there really was no other option.

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Why do men have kids with these women?Hard to feel sorry sometimes.But I wish America would just put the foot down with Japan on this issue.It's embarrassing when we rave on about Nth Korean abductions all the time,yet Japanese mothers kidnap children with no coverage at all.

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Couple marries in Japan

Move to the U.S. Long enough to have kid.

Move to Japan where the kid learns everything in Japanese.

Dad takes kid back to america, without telling Mom.

U.S. Court says they can't award Joint custody, based on the residence of the kid.

The U.S. court is behaving EXACTLY as everybody is demanding the Japanese court do had the situation been reversed. (e.g. kid born in Japan and then taken to U.S. or whatever and raised in english and then the mom suddenly dissapearing with the kid back to Japan)

Can't have it both ways, folks.

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He has sort of sealed his fate. If he'd pulled this in America, between states (say California and Nebraska), the wife would be granted sole custody and he would be fortunate to get government supervised visitation rights, because he's shown himself to be an abduction risk.

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Father, Smart Move! Judge, Dumb Move? Many of you are aware of Japanese Courts failure to grant custody and visitation rights to the non-custodial parent which makes us sympathetic to the fact that the father broke the law. I can only assume the father broke the law because he was afraid of how the Japanese Courts would rule on custody, and most importantly visitation rights. For that reason I would say he made a smart move. The dilemma for the Nebraska Supreme Court becomes how to ensure the fathers rights are granted by the Japanese Courts. It appears the Nebraska Supreme Court has chosen to allow Japanese Courts to take precedence in this case. On the other hand the father could appeal the case to the US Supreme Court. There was a similar case regarding a Japanese women who wanted to return to Japan with her daughter over her ex husbands objection after she was awarded custody by the New Jersey Supreme Court. The case worked its way up to the US Supreme Court but they refused to accept the case. The Nebraska Supreme Court could be opening the door for the US Supreme Court to make a ruling on rather or not a US Citizens Parental Rights take precedence over a foreign court ruling that does not afford those rights to US Citizens, in this case Japanese Courts. If you are sympathetic to the father don’t assume it’s over. This case could be the one the US Supreme Court hears, and sets a precedence for the lower courts to follow. Let’s hope the father continues to fight. Another option which could resolve this dispute is to have the father and mother go back to Japan and get the divorce and visitation rights, of course the child would remain in the US until the Japanese Courts make a ruling on both. The father would have greater bargaining power to ensure his visitation rights. Should the Japanese Courts fail to grant, fail to guarantee, and not be prepared to enforce the father’s parental rights then the father could demand that a US Court uphold his parental rights. This puts the onus on Japanese Courts to change their laws, and enforce parental rights. It also sets a precedence on how to resolve these disputes.

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Judge disregarded the law. The child is born on U.S. Soil to an American father and a mother with dual passports. That kid is an American citizen first, and the judge violated the child's rights. That the child 'learned' everything in Japanese is irrelevant. Without knowing more about this case, one might guess that there's something about the father that led the judge to make this (bad) decision, there are other unpublished details, or maybe Nebraska is biased towards Mothers' Rights over Fathers'. But had the mother been Iranian or Egyptian or something like that, you can be dang sure the court would never have decided to send the child with the mother.

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Were the father a Japanese citizen, he could return to Japan, get a divorce, and then attempt to file for custody or visitation rights. But, he is not a Japanese citizen, and because of this, he will not be granted custody or visitation rights.

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Returning to Japan is a viable option because we don't know what the mother will agree to in the custody dispute. The mother could agree on visitation rights without the Japanese Court making a ruling on that issue. On the other hand if she is awarded custody and refuses visitation rights then Japanese Courts should make a ruling. If they don't then the father has some justification for his actions. In my view the US courts would be fair in ensuring that parental rights are fundamental rights that no courts cannot take away without justification. I would agree that a big part of this story is missing, but I'm assuming the father has no reason to be denied custody or visitation rights by a Japanese Court other than the fact he is a gaijin, which is wrong.

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pointofview,

rjd is right. In this case the father was in the wrong for taking their child away without the consent of the mother and in this case the US courts ruled correctly.

Unfortunately it is the Japanese courts who do no rule in the same manner when Japanese spouses bring children to Japan without both parents consent. The rest of the world would like to see the Japanese courts act in the same manner as this Nebraska case.

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A message left Friday for Stuart Carter's attorney was not immediately returned.

The couple married Nov. 11, 1994, after Stuart Carter was stationed in Japan. Because of his military duty, they later lived in California, Kansas and Nebraska, where their son was born.

Stuart Carter had argued in court documents that his son's residence is in Nebraska and that the time they lived in Japan should be considered a temporary absence because the move was for a military assignment.

The uniform custody law recognized by Nebraska and most other states allows for such absences, although the conditions are not defined. Also under the law, a foreign country that does not have human rights violations, such as Japan, is treated as though it were another U.S. state for the purposes of such cases.

The Nebraska Supreme Court disagreed with Carter and said the couple had "significant ties" to Japan before moving back there in 2002.

Koenig said that because of the move, the boy's first language was Japanese and he had close contact with his mother's relatives.

"His whole culture, his whole life has been Japan, until he was brought (back) here," she said.

Koenig said that is why custody should be determined by a Japanese court. She said the boy's day-care provider, doctors and close family members — all of whom would likely testify at a custody hearing — are there.

"All the evidence is in Japan," she said.

I've always argued violations of parental rights are fundamental human rights and the Japanese Courts are indeed in violation of these rights.

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Interesting that the article says that the mother has American and Japanese citizenship? I thought that was illegal under Japanese law unless you were a minor?

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Well he could look at the bright side: at least she is now financially responsible for the kid. I'd say without visitation rights for him should mean that they don't need any child support.

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poor father, I would hate to see his legal bill, especially if he comes back to japan to fight this.

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He has to pay about 20,000 USD in legal bills. If anyone care to read the judges ruling go to the link below.

http://www.militarytimes.com/static/projects/childcustody.pdf

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divorce is a sad case and worse for the kid no matter how it ends

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And if the shoe was on the other foot, do you think that a Japanese court would side with the foreign (non-national) party or hand the case over to a foreign court to decide? I would not hold my breath. By default, this interpretation of the law by the court in Nebraska seems to resonate in Japan.

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Nahoko Hata Carter holds U.S. and Japanese citizenship.

Really? I guess there's a first time for everything. Same old story again. Look after your interests before you commit. Learn the lesson from so many before you.

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Kawasaki has a huge plant in Japan. Nebraska like most places favors mothers over fathers. Sad story. Wonder how the woman is staying in Japan. Hasn't she over stayed her visa yet? Time to deport her. That is what Japan would do to him.

As for who would be a better parent, not really sure, but have you seen any of the American hunter women there (women in yokosuka) lately. They are more slutty than even Roppongi girls. Most are too strange for Japanese men so they hunt out Americans for a husbands. I think this is a no win, no win situation for the child.

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Sounds to me like they should use a mediator and settle this in a way that allows them to maintain a relationship the puts them both in a positive relationship with their children.

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Mediaition is failing miserably in Japan. The Japanese parent simply waits out the mediation process and the japanese courts rule in their favor. It could be worth a try if the japanese party is trustworthy, reasonable, and level headed. Mediation, as it currently stands in Japan is a waste of time and money unless the Japanese courts start to rule in favor of foreign parents in some of these cases and enforce visitation rights. A favourable ruling on behalf of a foreign parent would awaken the mindset of Japanese parents who deny foreign parents access to their child then they would see the value in mediating a respectful settlement. But as it currently stands the only thing that works in the mediation process is money, if the gaijin has it, and the Japanese parent does not then they will try to settle.

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A lot of pro-American husband opinions here, but at the end of the day this guy made a huge mistake by taking his son home with him without the consent of his wife and without agreed legal custody of the child. The court in Nebraska are totally in the right. As I said before, our courts of law (the US/ UK etc) protect parents against child abduction such as this (and as such it backfired on this father), but the Japanese courts do nothing when Japanese parents do the same thing. By law, neither parent should be allowed to take a child to their home country without custody or consent and that's what this guy did wrong.

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Hate to say this, but there is probably a reason why the mother wants the son. Depending on the divorce decree she would loose her ID card. That means no base access for her over here. However, the son, being still a dependent of the dad will have an ID card. The mother will be able to use that being that she is the guardian of the child for base access. Sounds too far fetched, well I have seen a few cases of that here in Yokosuka. Not sure what the allure of being able to go the Exchange and Commissary is, but I know of at least two cases similar to the scenario I have just explained.

Not sure how the mother can have both citizenship status. I would argue that she is probably a legal alien resident, and not a full US citizen. Able to get both sides of governmental support (i.e. Social Security both in US and Japan).

A lot of scheming done on her part, but the child is in the middle.

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Sorry, this guy basically kidnapped his child and took him overseas. No winners in it, but he was the one in the wrong.

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Northlondon and bamboohat,

The Judge should have been more aware of the potential for the father to never set eyes on his child again. Right or wrong for his actions, there should have been stipulations that would give the father Supreme Court protection against his wife leaving with the boy if she plans to disappear with him forever. Wheres the pressure from the officials and media for Japan to act in the same fair fashion as the Nebraska court did? That wont happen and as a result the case should have been looked at more closely. In the end these custody issues with Japan and other countries will never go away because people just don`t care enough...

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Northlondon- you seem to be the only person with a brain reading this story. I read the whole paper regarding the Supreme Court decision. I bet most of the people posting comments are brain washed military people that sides with the American father despite his actions. Can you imagine going to a day care and your child is gone? He knew what he was doing was wrong and that is why he only told her when he was already in the airplane. WHAT A PSYCO! He has to pay 20,000 USD in legal bills? That is nothing close to what he did. What about her bills? A foreign fighting for her son custody in the United States? I bet she has over $100,000 in attorney fees herself. One day this child will grow up and tell the whole world his story. Not from the American or Japanese point of view but from his own experience. How traumatic! I PRAISE THE MOTHER’S ACTION FOR FIGHTING UNTIL THE VERY END! MAY GOD KEEP HER AND HER CHILD SAFE!

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