national

U.S. says it won't tolerate loopholes in child abduction issue with Japan

73 Comments

The United States pressed Japan Thursday to let parents see children snatched by estranged partners, saying it would not tolerate loopholes as Tokyo moves to resolve the longtime source of tension.

Western nations have voiced concern for years over citizens' struggles to see their half-Japanese children. When international marriages break up, Japanese courts virtually never grant custody to foreign parents, especially men.

Hoping to ease a rift with allies, Prime Minister Naoto Kan has voiced support for ratifying the 1980 Hague treaty that requires countries to return wrongfully held children to their countries of usual residence. Japan would be the last member of the Group of Seven industrial powers to sign it.

Testifying before a congressional committee, senior U.S. official Kurt Campbell said that the United States was "quietly" speaking to Japan about the domestic laws that will accompany the Hague treaty.

"We will not rest until we see the kinds of changes that are necessary and we will certainly not abide by loopholes or other steps that will, frankly, somehow negate or water down" the agreement, said Kurt Campbell, the assistant secretary of state for East Asia.

Japanese critics of The Hague treaty often charge that women and children need protection from abusive foreign men. Japanese lawmakers are considering making exceptions to the return of children if there are fears of abuse.

Campbell voiced confidence that The Hague treaty already included safeguards.

He also urged Japan to give parents greater access outside of the treaty. If Tokyo ratifies the convention, it would only apply in the future and not to the 123 ongoing cases in which U.S. parents are seeking children in Japan.

"We are prepared to use all necessary political and legal means necessary to facilitate contact and access for parents and abducted children," Campbell said.

But under questioning from lawmakers, Campbell indicated that the United States was not pushing for a separate agreement on existing abduction cases, saying that for Japan "it's a complete non-starter."

Representative Chris Smith, who has championed the abduction issue, pressed for an agreement on current cases. He feared that Japan's entry into The Hague Convention would "result in lost momentum" as no children would immediately return.

"Delay is denial, and it does exacerbate the abuse of a child and the agony of the left-behind parents," said Smith, a Republican from New Jersey.

© AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

73 Comments
Login to comment

Yeah, yeah, yeah. And the talking and debates will go on for years and years if not decades whilst Japan considers all its options. Meanwhile many parents will continued to be denied access to their children.

When will these cruel 'custody related' laws be dragged out of the middle ages.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Japanese lawmakers are considering making exceptions to the return of children if there are fears of abuse.

There's the loop hole, just cry wolf and the convention does not mean a thing... All they would have to say to the kidnapping Japanese person is "are you scared of that person?" if they answer "yes" then bam the convention means nothing.

Tackle the real issues Japan, foreigner parents should be able to see their own children!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I thought this was good until I saw this:

But under questioning from lawmakers, Campbell indicated that the United States was not pushing for a separate agreement on existing abduction cases, saying that for Japan “it’s a complete non-starter.”

The US & the Rest of the world should not let Japan off on current cases!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

And again, we see this sly, sidestepping and dishonesty from the Japanese. It is never ending!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The time is now to let up the pressure. Get these law makers in the corner and apply as much pressure as possible and accept NO substitutions! If the U.S. and the UN let up on Japan, they will no doubt keep dragging this out as long as they can and in the meantime, you will have more and more Savoie cases and abductions pop up and the problem will never rectify itself on its own. When will Japan realize that the system needs a complete and drastic overhaul?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I was told by an admittedly embittered source, speaking from firsthand experience, that Japanese men suffer the same nearly-automatic denial of custody.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Sadly, but realistically speaking here, this I fear is way down on the list of importance when it comes to relations between Japan and the US.

If Japan chooses to go it's own path does anyone actually think that the US is going to do anything? I for one doubt it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japanese critics of The Hague treaty often charge that women and children need protection from abusive foreign men.

Why didn't they just say "those beastly foreign men". What about the women? Oh, I forgot, domestic abuse if fine if it's against a man.

Japanese lawmakers are considering making exceptions to the return of children if there are fears of abuse.

There we have this "loophole" in a nutshell.

"Fears of abuse". No proof will be needed, just the "he hit me once, he might do it again. I have no proof, but I'm Japanese and he isn't. I'm scared for myself and my child waaaaaaaaaaahh". And it'll be same old same old...

4 ( +5 / -1 )

What does the US expect - that those Japanese mothers move back to the US with their halfu kid(s)? To do what - become their wife again? No job, no green card, no way to support their kid(s), no way!!

LOL

If it's the other way around, what are those US dads expect - that they're gonna be welcomed with open arms here in Japan? I doubt many will even take the trip over here.

-16 ( +4 / -20 )

It's a fact that in a lot of countries/cultures it is still considered okay to hit one's wife or children. Just sayin'...

-14 ( +2 / -16 )

This farce is gonna go on forever and there will never be a settlement of the issue of these kids. The only thing they 'may' achieve is a paper agreement that will mean bugger all cos of the logistics in cross-continental parenting. There are too many differences in the two countries' child custody laws for there to ever be an agreement. By US law the father is compelled to pay an agreed amount of child support based on his income and may face criminal charges if it is not paid. However, there are no such laws in Japan. It is entirely up to the mother to set an amount of child support and she can deny the father access to the kid/s on any given whim regardless of child support payments. They will just pull the 'abuse' word out for good measure. This is where this will all come undone. You will have these Japanese trouts demanding extortive amounts of money in return for visitation and they will pull the pin at the first chance they have to site abuse. As much as I do feel very sorry for the kids and fathers stuck in this situation, they will all be lucky to see any end to this farce until Japan creates some sort of domestic joint custody law and child support scheme. - My Jap-ex actually suggested I pay 3,000yen per hour to see my kids, which was supported by her lawyer and presented to me in the mediation court. I sh!t you not!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

was told by an admittedly embittered source, speaking from firsthand experience, that Japanese men suffer the same nearly-automatic denial of custody.

HT, this is common knowledge here, Japan is primitive in many regards, this is a biggy!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think that the only thing that might light a fire under some butts here was if Europe, AMerica & others initiated a SPECIAL DUTY of say 5% on anything made in Japan or under name of a Japanese company.

This foot dragging is disgusting, might be time for some real hardball, its likely the only thing Japan can comprehend, sadly

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My Jap-ex actually suggested I pay 3,000yen per hour to see my kids, which was supported by her lawyer and presented to me in the mediation court. I sh!t you not!

Is that on top of monthly child support payments?

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

Japan (with its evergrowing greying society) needs every future-taxpaying child it can get its hands on. No way they're gonna let them shipped off to some other/third-world country instead.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

Japan DOES love it's loopholes! Be it 'scientific research' or with the abduction issue (Japanese abducting children, not NK!), so good on the US here for sticking to their guns.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

MrDog: It actually says "fear of abuse", doesn't say "previous abuses".... so basically if a mother say "I think my ex-husband might abuse me" enter the loophole and Japan will protect the kidnapped kids under these "I think" evidence.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Why Japanese are Dumb on this matter....Must be punished .

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The US is right to press Japan on their sneaky loopholes. At the same time, the forces of good need to be careful about the cases it highlights. For example, the Christopher Savoie case made a mockery of the nobleness of this cause and the Japanese side ran with it. There are some foreigners whose cases are pretty flimsy, but they are in the minority. The less vocal minority of these cases will suffer under Japan's loopholes. I admire the tenaciousness of Chris Smith. Good on him.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Kids have since grown up and there are fathers out there still searching for their children. Yes the fathers are on social network sites or Googling names on a daily basis hoping a now grown child will surface.

Japan is asking to be forgiven for past abductions as it is afraid that WE will hammer Japan for compensation or international law of restitution .

We will get justice for our children who have been poisoned against us.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

sorry, I mean "less vocal majority"

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

sorry but its not going to be changed until it works the other way - until all the pretty "halfu" (and by that I mean the caucasian cute ones) babies being taken out of the country outweigh all the halfu ones being taken in.

When the recent bubble of russian and american females having babies with J-guys bursts, and these ladies start taking their kids out, then Japan will consider signing.

Until then, no chance. Sorry dads.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

you will have more and more Savoie cases and abductions

If Savoie is the standard (and he was the only case you mentioned specifically) then Japan should win this one. Apparently America has problems of its own.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Japan DOES love it's loopholes!

And so does the most litigious country in the world, the U.S.A.!

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

I am glad that America is seeing this loophole nonsense for what it is, and I also admire Chris Smiths tenacity, but really, unless Japan changes domestic law to allow both parents access, I dont see how signing this treaty is going to make a lot of difference. It doesn`t seem to be well enforced by the countries who even ARE signatories.

My heart goes out to everyone who has lost their children in this way, and I sincerely hope that a speedy resolution is coming for you.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"When international marriages break up, Japanese courts virtually never grant custody to foreign parents, especially men."

But what proportion go to court ? About half such marriages break. I know hundreds of divorced foreigners who have kids. I don't think they went to courts. They all have custody of their kids or weekly days of visit. Maybe it's a Kansai thing, as here most divorced J-Dads keep seeing their kids. I don't say they get along greatly with ex-families all the time and find the good arrangement easily, but they deal with it normally and no party fear they will be cut from the kids nor from support.

I think it's important to precise. It's not all black as the article says. Obviously, the problems often occur when a Japanese person moved abroad to follow a spouse... and then wants to go back to Japan after marriage ends. Or when foreigners settled in Japan want to go back home, taking the kids. At least one selfish parents. Maybe 2 selfish parents. Yes, the current law is bad. But I doubt that changing would solve all problems of such families. Well, I'd say use contraception if you are not ready to make the effort of living in your future kid's country of residency.

"Meanwhile many parents will continued to be denied access to their children."

No, it's children being denied access to a parent.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

**HumanTargetJul. 29, 2011 - 04:19PM JST

I was told by an admittedly embittered source, speaking from firsthand experience, that Japanese men suffer the same nearly-automatic denial of custody.**

YES!!!!! That's RIGHT. My husband is ONE of them.....

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

AND BY THE WAY....

Let me QUOTE myself from a previous similar article....

when it comes to Custody...

BlueWitchJul. 25, 2011 - 04:32PM JST

Even after signing the Hague Convention, NOTHING will ever change unless the DRACONIAN/OUTDATED/BACKWARD/RIDICULOUS Domestic family laws change once and for all.

Remember that besides the international abduction, children brought to Japan, there are many many many more being abducted inside the country, domestically!!! So NO, unless the domestic laws are changed, everything will stay the same.

Shameless government of japan that keeps stealing children!!! SHAME on them!!!

ps, My husband lost 2 small children to his mentally challenged ex-wife who ran away with them while he was at work. and yes, this happened in japan to japanese, and the police did NOTHING to help him! Just protect the abductor as usual...

and when it comes to who gets Custody...

BlueWitchJul. 25, 2011 - 04:35PM JST

miamum wrote:

They also have a child constitution that should support contact with both parents, but apply very outdated points of view to it that child only needs its Mother - unless of course the Mother happens to be foreign in which case the childs Japanese-ness overrules everything.

EXACTLY!!! Magnificent post there, miamum....very very true.... Custody always goes to the mother unless.....she happens to be foreign!!!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

He should have paid child allowance instead of being a deadbeat dad...

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

You say she is mentally challenged.... What's your proof for this accusation?

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

The kids were not being harmed in any way. What could the police do?

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

I know plenty of fathers here in Japan who have sole custody of their kid(s)....

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

It seems that this character [SKEPTICAL HIPPO] main goal is to troll around in this forum and stir smegma in most of the threads.

It makes me laugh that HE/SHE is so "sure" of the details of other people's situation as to post things like;

You say she is mentally challenged.... What's your proof for this accusation? The kids were not being harmed in any way. What could the police do? He should have paid child allowance instead of being a deadbeat dad...

Does this character knows my husband in person or anything??

Let me just clarify that his EX is indeed mentally challenged, certified and everything. She has been previously monitored by Child Protection Services for physical abuse inflicted on the children, reported by her own family! He does indeed pay the juicy amount of 80,000 yen for both kids every month, yet no visitation.

Skeptical Hippo, Do your homework and present EVIDENCE before making such irresponsible and defamatory allegations against posters you DON'T know.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Skeptical Hippo, Do your homework and present EVIDENCE before making such irresponsible and defamatory allegations against posters you DON'T know.

I got a better idea. How about you just answer the darned questions without venom and without trying to label a question as an allegation. That would really help immensely.

Just protect the abductor as usual...

I think that statement must be a bit off. If the abductor were a male it would not be so, would it? This I conclude from your own posts, so....

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

He should have paid child allowance instead of being a deadbeat dad...

Not true. I am very good friends with one of his wife friends, as to how much, I have no idea, but the man paid his child support.

You say she is mentally challenged.... What's your proof for this accusation?

What proof do you have she is NOT?

The kids were not being harmed in any way. What could the police do?

True, but the kids have the right to see their dad. As long as he didn't physically or mentally abuse them, she or any woman has no right or justification to dictate if the father can see his own children or not.

I know plenty of fathers here in Japan who have sole custody of their kid(s)....

Me, too, but it has nothing to do with the current laws that are outdated and need to be brought to 21st century standards.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

You are doing a very good job of sinking your cred and your case BlueWitch. If this is the sort of argumentation being presented by the American authorities on this issue, it is no wonder Japan gives them the stiff arm.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

**chewitupJul. 29, 2011 - 09:51PM JST

You are doing a very good job of sinking your cred and your case BlueWitch. If this is the sort of argumentation being presented by the American authorities on this issue, it is no wonder Japan gives them the stiff arm. **

What makes you think that we are Foreign? Because my ENGLISH seems REALLY GOOD? LOL I'm sorry to say that yes, I was born and raised here, 30 years ago and still living...same with Mr.Bluewitch and all our children. But unlike him, I spent a great deal of time living abroad when I was a student. I consider that a great gift. KNOWLEDGE!!

Don't judge the book just by looking at the cover, ok?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

All readers, please keep the discussion civil and do not get personal. Focus your comments on what is in the story and not at each other.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

**bass4funkJul. 29, 2011 - 09:50PM JST

He should have paid child allowance instead of being a deadbeat dad...

Not true. I am very good friends with one of his wife friends, as to how much, I have no idea, but the man paid his child support.

You say she is mentally challenged.... What's your proof for this accusation?

What proof do you have she is NOT?

The kids were not being harmed in any way. What could the police do?

True, but the kids have the right to see their dad. As long as he didn't physically or mentally abuse them, she or any woman has no right or justification to dictate if the father can see his own children or not.

I know plenty of fathers here in Japan who have sole custody of their kid(s)....

Me, too, but it has nothing to do with the current laws that are outdated and need to be brought to 21st century standards.**

@bass4funk

Thank You, your post speaks for itself. Nothing but truth.

and to go back to the main topic, as I have stated before and will state again............

UNLESS THE DOMESTIC DRACONIAN/STONE-AGE LAWS ARE UPDATED, NOTHING WILL EVER CHANGE!!!!

TIME TO JOIN THE 21 CENTURY AND HAVE JOINT CUSTODY!!!!!!!!!!!!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

So according to you, calling my husband a "dead beat dad" is not a disgusting allegation??

I was not aware that that was aimed at you and your husband. Sorry about that.

Abductors are both Male and Female!!!

Yes, I know that. But earlier you said:

Custody always goes to the mother unless.....she happens to be foreign!!!

So what you want to say is that the Japanese authorities favor the Japanese parent first, and the mother second, yes? That would mean they don't protect the abductor.. That would mean they protect the Japanese mother abuctors and not the foreign father abuctors. Totally different from what you said. As cos said, I think its important to be precise, but you are raging and all over the place.

Seriously, you need to be more careful with your statements. I completely agree that racism and sexism are inherent to the Japanese system, but my problem is with attempting to paint foreign courts as being pure and devoid of that. Foreign courts might be more complex and more inclusive of things such as the mental state of one of the parents, but that is not to say they necessarily make better decisions or that the end result is actually better or more fair.

I don't think the problem is with Japan refusing to sign the Hague convention or even using loopholes. I think the problem is that Japan needs to make some changes at home. The most clear problem seems to be not so much who got custody, but the simple fact that visitation is being denied. I think it would go along way for concerned people like yourself to focus on that and get that straightened out first.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

So the mother didn't let the father see their kids and he wanted the police to do what? Give her a fine, arrest her? What crime was supposedly committed exactly?

Exactly....

If he had wanted leverage, he should have gone to family court where they would have provided him (free of charge) with a 'kousei shousho' (divorce contract) outlining each other's 'rights' with respect to the kids e.g. No visitation No child allowance etc.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Funky:

the kids have the right to see their dad.

Says who? The dad? Where does it say that?

They were divorced. Right? Ex-wife got full, sole custody. Right?

If he didn't want that (and end up only paying without anything in return) he shouldn't have gotten divorced.

Did he not know how things work here in Japan?

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

but the man paid his child support.

Don't even go there. My mom says my dad did not pay, and he said he did. I was the kid and I have no idea. There is no way you can know these things or who is lying and who is telling the truth unless you have seen the cashed cheques or bank transfers and I guarantee you haven't.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

chewitupJul. 29, 2011 - 10:16PM JST

So what you want to say is that the Japanese authorities favor the Japanese parent first, and the mother second, yes? That would mean they don't protect the abductor.. That would mean they protect the Japanese mother abuctors and not the foreign father abuctors. Totally different from what you said. As cos said, I think its important to be precise, but you are raging and all over the place.

Actually..in most of the cases, unfortunately YES. Foreign Mothers especially those from Asian countries get denied custody. Several excuses are used..such as; inability to speak the mother's native language, born and raised in Japan, and of course, the most notorious of all...No koseki tohon of her own!

I don't think the problem is with Japan refusing to sign the Hague convention or even using loopholes. I think the problem is that Japan needs to make some changes at home. The most clear problem seems to be not so much who got custody, but the simple fact that visitation is being denied. I think it would go along way for concerned people like yourself to focus on that and get that straightened out first. ***:

The thing is that even if they sign the Hague convention, nothing will change unless they change their domestic laws regarding custody and visitation. I have to admit that when it comes to foreign/japanese couple, the Japanese parents tends to get custody is the GREAT majority if time, both male and female. IT'S an undisputed fact. SAD but TRUE. The preference is persistent and really disgusting in these family courts. And at the end, even if the Japanese spouse gets custody, then why deny Visitation to the Foreign parent?? RIGHT?? How painful for the children, really!

I am for JOINT CUSTODY!! Many many Japanese are for Joint Custody!!! We want Joint Custody!!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What makes you think that we are Foreign?

What makes you think I think you are foreign? The comment you quoted was about the political situation between Japan and American, not about you.

Again, you really are not helping your case.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

inability to speak the mother's native language, born and raised in Japan,

Those are fair points depending on age of the children. The kouseki crap is not.

In fact, those points you mentioned (minus koseki) is precisely what is wrong with the Savoie case. That guy made every step to raise his kids in Japan then up and changed his mind one day! Its so ridiculous that I think he must have bribed the judges. Those kids did not belong in America and neither did their mother. But under the Hague they would get shipped right back there.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Skeptical HippoJul. 29, 2011 - 10:27PM JST

Funky:

the kids have the right to see their dad.

Says who? The dad? Where does it say that?

They were divorced. Right? Ex-wife got full, sole custody. Right?

If he didn't want that (and end up only paying without anything in return) he shouldn't have gotten divorced.

Did he not know how things work here in Japan?

HOW COULDN'T HE?? HE IS JAPANESE!!!!!! He still pays child support monthly. Ex-wife got full custody because she ran away with the kids FIRST, In Japan whoever runs first gets custody, period. That's status quo. Also, believe or NOT, She used to physically abuse him, like slapping him over the head and such... He endured those things for 9 years before finally filing for divorced. She took the children and emptied the house and that was it. Very typical. I wonder what makes a human being do such things other than mental disabilities.

Still, I have 4 kids and there is NO way I would take my kids and run away for the hills...and even if a divorce was painfully necessary, why would I deny the father of my children to have contact with them?? NO WAY!!! He is their FATHER and if it wasn't for him, I would have never gotten pregnant. I am not ASEXUAL like some sea animals, LOL. Children needs both PARENTS!!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I am for JOINT CUSTODY!! Many many Japanese are for Joint Custody!!! We want Joint Custody!!

Not really possible with parents in different countries. But if both are in the same country I suppose that would be possible depending on circumstance, although complicated. You cannot deny the complications.

then why deny Visitation to the Foreign parent?

A lot of times I hear about cases llike that that are utter crap and just someone being selfish, greedy and emotional. Sometimes though it sounds like denying visitation was the way to go. But how to really know? Without a camera in their houses 24/7 you can't know. Its he said/she said and its darned hard to figure out who is lying, or worse, who is not lying "as much".

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

**chewitupJul. 29, 2011 - 10:36PM JST

inability to speak the mother's native language, born and raised in Japan,

Those are fair points depending on age of the children. The kouseki crap is not.

In fact, those points you mentioned (minus koseki) is precisely what is wrong with the Savoie case. That guy made every step to raise his kids in Japan then up and changed his mind one day! Its so ridiculous that I think he must have bribed the judges. Those kids did not belong in America and neither did their mother. But under the Hague they would get shipped right back there.**

But then again, I'm more familiar with DOMESTIC ABDUCTION cases, my friend....... Unfortunately, I need to educate myself a little more when it comes to International cases like the Savoie's case. If only people knew how often children get abducted, Japanese to Japanese. It's very SAD! The fact is that when I talked about these foreign mothers (Japanese husband/Foreign Wife) that lost custody I was referring to Nationals from the Philippines, China, Korea and a few from Europe and even 2 cases from the U.S. None of them had the intention to move out of Japan, they worked and lived here for a number of years when the abduction occurred. Most of them were just left over another woman. The husband simply took the children and vanished. It happens often, more than people think. But not many talk about it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

And again, we see this sly, sidestepping and dishonesty from the Japanese. It is never ending!

TimeiClic -- unfortunately, when Japan was blowing and going in its amazing reconstruction from WW II, and became the second largest economy in the world, it got away with such behavior because governments were not willing to call them out on it. Foreign companies needed to do business in Japan too much. Now, the bloom is clearly off that rose, but the politicians and bureaucrats, who came up during this time, don't seem to have grasped that. Probably because they are simply too internally focused. But they want to try to keep playing by the same rules. Tough for a society to come to grips with the reality of its declining influence/importance.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

**chewitupJul. 29, 2011 - 10:43PM JST

I am for JOINT CUSTODY!! Many many Japanese are for Joint Custody!!! We want Joint Custody!!

Not really possible with parents in different countries. But if both are in the same country I suppose that would be possible depending on circumstance, although complicated. You cannot deny the complications. **

TRUE, there are always risks for COMPLICATIONS, especially when one parent is suffering some kind of "mental issue" or something related.

**then why deny Visitation to the Foreign parent?

A lot of times I hear about cases llike that that are utter crap and just someone being selfish, greedy and emotional. Sometimes though it sounds like denying visitation was the way to go. But how to really know? Without a camera in their houses 24/7 you can't know. Its he said/she said and its darned hard to figure out who is lying, or worse, who is not lying "as much". **

There are times where REAL Domestic Abuse and Physical Violence towards one spouse or the children are REAL and taking the kids and running away is completely justified. But WHY LIE using this horrible situation just to get favored in the family court when it's clearly NOT true?? Some cases are REAL but then some cases are NOT. Believe me when I say that I have seen tons of domestic cases downright LYING about domestic violence just to win custody, and they do win in fact. It's a MESS!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Even if Japan does sign the treaty, there is still one more potentially big loophole: the fact that children take the mother's name (be it her maiden or changed name) at registration...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Skeptical Hippo: "He should have paid child allowance instead of being a deadbeat dad..."

My guess is that this has been touched on, but you're suggesting the man should have just paid money to an estranged wife who demanded he never see his own flesh and blood and that he should not complain about it? How much should this guy have paid monthly while his wife criminally abducted his children and not allowed him to see their father again?

I'm sorry, but the whole of Japanese law regarding children, be it their protection, custody, assault, abduction, you name it, is about as up to date as things are in Myanmar, and yet Japan purports itself to be an advanced nation (wow.... almost spit out my coffee there!). Japan LOVES to 'make laws' (ie. lip service) and never make any rules or put any thoughts towards how to enforce them. They suggest local governments do the work for them, and then when loop holes are found they tend to exploit said loopholes. This nation will join the Hague convention within the next few years, I reckon, and the central government will pat themselves on the back, then say it's voluntary for each prefecture, then do nothing when the inevitable problems occur, but will be outraged about any abduction involving JP nationals.

It would be the funniest stuff comedy has seen if it weren't so sad, but that's Japan. Just get Ebizo to roll his eyes and say 'shouganai' on justice.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Says who? The dad? Where does it say that?

They were divorced. Right? Ex-wife got full, sole custody. Right?

If he didn't want that (and end up only paying without anything in return) he shouldn't have gotten divorced.

Did he not know how things work here in Japan?

Of course. The children have EVERY RIGHT to see their father, so you are saying because the mother for whatever reason, ANY reason can just say, "No, you can't see MY children." They are NOT a possession. They are individuals with rights and as I said before, unless there were physiological or physical abuse, the children should be able to see their fathers when they want to. I am so sick and tired that many women think they have the right to be judge and jury.

As for how their marriage was or the flaws and trials and tribulations they went through, we can't and shouldn't speculate as if we know 100% all the facts. He might have a good reason for divorcing her OR she might have a reason for not wanting to be with him, fact is; both are NOT saints, so don't just put all of the responsibility on the man. How things work in Japan, the murky jury is still out on that one.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Even if Japan does sign the treaty, there is still one more potentially big loophole: the fact that children take the mother's name (be it her maiden or changed name) at registration...

It's more than one. The family court system that doesn't recognize an irreconcilable issue as a legitimate reason to take the case. That's why many estranged couples make an allegation in a way to exaggerate that their partner is abusive, violent, confrontational, parental alienation etc. Neither arbiters nor court judges are interested in confirming if the allegation is credible or not. And, most importantly, there's no court contempt for falsifying or fabricating the allegation of spouse abuse. This makes foreign/non-Japanese individual extremely challenging in winning the custody or even partial visitation rights (3 times, 6 hours—required the consent of partner and the court).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is far far far down the list for Japan-US relations, someone brings it up once and while, but the US has far more pressing issues at the moment then to tell Japan what they should be doing. The US can't even get their own house in order.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I can not believe that some here even are even suggesting that abducting a child by either the Japanese or foreign parent is okay. If the child was not being harmed in any way than it is completely absurd. What is really sad is that some children that are too young to know any better are never told that the parent's "new" partner is not thier actual mother or father. So these much older cases of parents looking for thier grown children will never pan out. This not tolerating loopholes...is a bunch of garbage too. As has been stated before all the parent has to do is say he/she abuses me or may abuse me, and the case is closed. They have pretty much made that clear. Lastly all the regular posters or readers of JT know of the certain Trolls we have that post on every article, no matter what the topic, and just make rude, unfounded comments just to stir people up. Or better yet try to start some rant on something the article has nothing to do with. Kind of makes me imaginre some jobless scum that has no friends, and the only contact they have with "friends" is to make snide comments so someone will aknowledge thier existence.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I have read much on this subject. I hope the children and parents that have lost them find peace.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The US will not tolerate? What will happen if it continues? The word tolerate seems like a threat. Also, it seems that about 75% of international-interracial marriages are doomed to fail for whatever reason. Same race is about 50% resulting in failure. Is it worth it at all?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Jimny

You are absolutely right. Also add to that, most JT readers probably have never been through a torturous custody battle. It's easy to look at the situation from the outside. But coming from a multicultural family and having endured emotional abuse and both parents wanting the best for us, but also being selfish and never backing down can have lasting ramifications. I have always said, I feel for the kids, personally, I couldn't care less how the parents feel, it's NOT about them. It's ALL ABOUT THE KIDS! This tug of war, he said, she said, all the egos and the narcissistic, selfish attitudes only adds to the emotional, scaring of the kids. Some grow out of it, learn to adapt and adjust, others have very serious social and emotional problems that are very difficult or almost impossible to overcome without the proper help or psychological intervention. All I am saying is, it's easy to throw boulders at glass houses but unless you personally have gone through a nasty divorce, most people haven't a clue as to what a child is feeling, mentally, emotionally other than to speculate or assume as an outsider or know it all what is best for the child. Funny thing is, most people never really addressed this issue as far as what the children possibly want. They have rights and most kids do want to be able to have both parents in their lives at least have a decent relationship and we have to respect that. Kids aren't given the choice 99.9% of the time. Mostly, again, MOSTLY particularly in Japan's case, the mother gets custody and has the ultimate decision as to whether the father can see the children or not. And to make the argument, this is Japan and that's the system and the men should have known this before they got married doesn't wash. What man who married a Japanese national would have ever thought that perhaps one day, he might he could possibly get divorced and if he has kids, might not be able to see them? Most think that, that kind of situation could never happen to them. They don't carry a 24 hour crystal ball predicting what till happen in the future. Not to get off topic, but look at it from this angle. Saudi Arabia is the exact opposite of Japan and is also a country that has the same problem, but it's the men that have totally custody rights and the women have NO power when the men divorce their wives, then get the kids, case closed and the women can't do anything about it. This is another dilemma that no one talks about enough, either way, does that make it right in either cases? We cannot know all the particulars in a persons marriage, but we can at least change these outdated, one-sided laws and for once, and listen to all sides of these complicated issues and that includes asking the children and considering their feelings too. Because in the end, that's what this is all about, the children.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Of course there are some standards that should be recognised world-wide. And human rights are an international issue. But I am concerned that the United States of America is NOT the only moral country on Earth, and the insistence by one of their government officials that “We will not rest until we..." get our way, is in the form of a threat. The Savioe case is a glaring example of why Japan (or other countries) should not agree to subject their domestic justice systems to globalisation. Clearly the man broke the law in Japan, but runs to America and presents skewed and false testimony (and perhaps a bribe or two) to gain an outrageous and unreasonable ruling by a court over there, which, I may add, serves no benifit to the children whatsoever. And yet, because some politician from New Jersey said something out of turn, the entire court system of Japan (or any other country for that matter) has to bow down and kiss the pseudo-royal rear of the Moral Majority. OK, there I said it, but my belief is that the welfare of the children is paramount to the feelings of the parents, and especially to the intrusive behavior of the voyeur peanut gallery of do-gooders.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

But I am concerned that the United States of America is NOT the only moral country on Earth, and the insistence by one of their government officials that “We will not rest until we..." get our way, is in the form of a threat.

That is your right to believe that, but this is NOT about the U.S. imposing morality, but once again, the U.S. is leading this effort as well as OTHER NATIONS to ensure the rights of both parents and the children. No nation is perfect, every nation has its flaws, but who else is taking a lead on this...Russia, South Korea, Canada, Australia? At any matter, how you or I feel is totally irrelevant. It's all about allowing both parents access to the children and more importantly, taking the children's feeling into consideration.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

No (international) law is going to force a person with X nationality to live in the country of person with Y nationality for the purpose of seeing the child(ren) between those two people. They will allow the person to live there as in issuing a visa but nobody will ever force a person to live somewhere they fo not want to.

Dual custody just doesn't work between parents with different nationalities when one of then can't or won't live in the same country as the ex-wife/husband. Monthly visitation rights just don't work when the father lives is Toga and the mother in Tokyo. It doesn't even work when the father works in Osaka and the mother lives in Tokyo. People here discussing this issue should take into consideration the logistics and financial aspect of such a joint custody agreement. In most cases it's just not feasible.

In reality, the Japanese government is not going to stand by doing nothing while their citizens (mother and child(ren) in most cases) are being shipped off to live in a country they do not want to live and aren't able to properly raise their child(ren) because financial problems (what's she going to do for a living in Nigeria for example), linguistic problems (she might not speak the language), cultural problems, religious problems etc etc.

Forcing someone to live in a country they cannot or don't want to is cruel and will certainly be considered as inhumane by Amnesty International etc.

If people like Savoy are going to be granted dual custody, then do you think the Japanese government has the right to force him to live in Japan so that he can hold up his end of the "bargain"? Even if he has problems with the language, the culture, the food, the climate, the society and finding a job? Even if his ex-wife decides it's perfectly okay to raise their kid(s) in a place like Fukushima? Really??? I don't think so!!

The same goes for the Japanese mothers. They're nit going to be forced to live in a country they cannot function or raise their kid(s) just so the ex-husband can see them on the weekend or in most cases only once a month.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

taking the children's feeling into consideration By forcing them to live in a country they don't want to? LOL Got any other jokes?

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

If he didn't want that (and end up only paying without anything in return) he shouldn't have gotten divorced.

Did he not know how things work here in Japan?

Wow! So people should just stay married, regardless of whether it's conducive to the relationship with the kids? What a great idea! Stay married, let the hate grow more and more with each day, and just waste your life with the wrong person until the kids are grown up!

I think Skeptical Hippo, you need take the blinkers off!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

or.................... you can work harder........ do your absolute best to make the relationship work.......... you know, just because that's what the child(ren) expect of their parents

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

But isn't that exactly what you guys are all whining about? How the child has the right to see both parents... Quite hypocritical to say that after you leave your child(ren) with only one parent, don't you think???

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@Skep Like I said, only if you have been through a messy divorce and child custody dispute, can a person understand, people that just want to spew constant rhetoric, and think that they have or know all the solutions, truly shows they have absolutely know idea as to how the children feel caught up in this quagmire. Children have rights, bottom line. They are not toys and we must never pit and push our feelings on the kids. As a parent if you hold any animosity towards another family member and imposing your beliefs on your kids is a totally selfish act and reflects poorly on them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

or.................... you can work harder........ do your absolute best to make the relationship work.......... you know, just because that's what the child(ren) expect of their parents

OR...if all else fails and you gave it your absolute best and the only other alternative might just have to be divorce and then what? Japan isn't exactly famous for having A-Class marriage counseling.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Like I said, only if you have been through a messy divorce and child custody dispute, can a person understand

Who says I haven't??

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

No (international) law is going to force a person with X nationality to live in the country of person with Y nationality for the purpose of seeing the child(ren) between those two people. They will allow the person to live there as in issuing a visa but nobody will ever force a person to live somewhere they fo not want to.

International law may not do that directly, but through national laws, they do almost exactly that. Chris Savoie's wife got done over in just such a way, and the Hague convention backs up that decision by local U.S. courts. Mrs. Savoie was required to live in Tennesse to get custody. Of course you could say she could relinquish custody to Chris and then go live in Japan and travel sometimes to "see" the kids, therefore, she was not forced. But if you ask me, making custody contingent on where you live is forcing you to live somewhere. Especially when we are talking about someone as dishonest as Chris Savoie having custody.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japanese critics of The Hague treaty often charge that women and children need protection from abusive foreign men.

What about abusive Japanese women? I was married to one but THANKFULLY we never had children.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I've never been in that situation (fortunately I am in a very happy marriage), but from what I could read, I would recommend people in that situation to NEVER sign divorce papers before the situation is settled (ie the visitation rights are decided and put on paper). If your partner leaves the house with the children while you are still married, then you have a much better case to negociate as you still have all your parental rights (and don't listen to whatever thing any lawyer might say, as long as you don't divorce, you have joint parental custody at least on paper).

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