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Enforcement measures eyed to settle child custody battles

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Japan signed the Hague convention but it was meaningless because there was no local laws that could enforce it. Really hope this gets fixed with this news.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Now that they know their children can be taken from them, expect a lot of them to go on the lam

2 ( +3 / -1 )

 Such disputes have been handled based on regulations regarding the seizure of assets.

Here is the biggest problem, seeing children as "assets" and not people. I have ALWAYS found this to be so asinine.

Children are people too!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

If you read between the lines of this proposal, they have totally missed the point. It is all about one parent or the other. There is nothing about joint custody or visitation rights. I have no doubt that this is why they need to enforce this law because 9 times out of ten the wife gets custody of the kids and cuts the father off. The same goes for court orders. They will be in favor of the mother having custody. It's very rare for a father to win custody of his kids through the courts in Japan. It took my ex-wife five years to come around and let me see my kids, which only happened recently. As a result, my kids are somewhat estranged (and brainwashed), but I have a future with them, unless she changes her mind again. I applied to the courts for joint custody and was told I was wasting my time and money. Japan still has a long way to go to get this custody situation sorted out. The Hague agreement means means nothing in Japan because there is no way to enforce it. Furthermore, even if an international parent applies to the courts in Japan, it could take three or four years to get a hearing and the custody will go to the Japanese parent anyway due to the cultural and gender biased system. It's a farce!

11 ( +12 / -1 )

@Disillusioned

I feel your pain brother. I hope i never end up in that situation.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@Disillusioned

I think you misunderstand what this article is referring to, which is in situations where one parent has been awarded custody in another country, but the Japanese parent abducted the child to Japan against the order of custody.

Japan is finally proposing laws to enforce foreign custody orders, as they agreed to do in 2014 as part of an international treaty.

As for your issue, most countries seem to prefer the mother in custody arrangements, despite it being the 21st century. But, considering Japan's traditional attitude towards gender in society, it's no surprise that it would be even more one-sided. Plus, in your case, there was probably some racism peppered in there on top of the sexism.

Good luck, though! The times, they are a changin', even if a bit slowly.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

And what happens when a mixed child is taken by the Japanese parent from overseas back to Japan illegally?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Hope this does get things settled and not just giving a lot of people hope for it only to be squashed later. @ disillusioned, chin up mate your kids brainwashing may well fade with time and your influence.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@dissalusioned. i feel for you. enjoy every opportunity. your kids will understand you love them.

parents continue to refuse to let the children go

there are 2 people who make a child.

the thing i hate about all this, is the fact that the state fines people, and parents have to hire lawyers. the money just goes to the govt, but should be for the kids.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"And what happens when a mixed child is taken by the Japanese parent from overseas back to Japan illegally?"

Good question! Unfortunately I believe the answer will be "nothing." Local law enforcement will not enter the quagmire of enforcing court decisions from other countries.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Japanese attitudes towards child custody in my opinion is old time tribal and they could give two hoots about any court order. This will take a long time to overcome (if ever). When and if you divorce the missus the standard playbook is you are dead and the kids are raised without reference to the derelict father. I have not heard any exceptions to this. In Japan it is a black and white type thing.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Japan's approach to custody is up there among with the worst things about the country. It is so out of step with international thinking. I have huge sympathy for someone is disillusioned's position.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Disillusioned ,

I,d love to know how you coped for five years, and how you eventually got to see them.

Re this article.

I hate the expression "give away" the children.

i agree with joint custody too, but it won't solve the problem?

Why? Because even if joint custody becomes a possibility, I predict that custody battles will become even uglier.

Money parent will argue for joint, but the other will still argue for single.

And in the case of a foreigner vs Japanese parent I predict that most judges will rule for single custody .

Regardless if the laws, people with money and lawyers and the willingness to lie can get around them.

Can both parents honestly think about the welfare of kids?

Every year 160,000 Japanese kids lose contact with a parent.

Thats regardless of Hague or any laws.

Every 6 or 7 years - a million kids end up not seeing a parent. Let that sink in.

And its not always the mother who gets the child. It's usually whoever takes the kids and runs first.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Men, if you only learn one thing from this article let it be this: if you marry a Japanese woman and have children you will have no rights if you and the wife divorce. She will take the children and your wishes---as well as your children' wishes---be damned. The Hague decision is basically worthless in this country as it will never be enforced so if you are married and miserable but you have children, just bite the bullet until your children leave the house and then you can do whatever you want while maintaining a relationship with your kids.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

And what happens when a mixed child is taken by the Japanese parent from overseas back to Japan illegally?

That is precisely what this article is addressing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This! (well noted, gaijinpapa)

Can both parents honestly think about the welfare of kids?

Every year 160,000 Japanese kids lose contact with a parent.

Thats regardless of Hague or any laws.

Every 6 or 7 years - a million kids end up not seeing a parent. Let that sink in.

And its not always the mother who gets the child. It's usually whoever takes the kids and runs first.

Sam Watters, I think you'll find that for foreign women marrying Japanese men, they are also at very high risk of losing any and all parental rights.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

People talk about the Hague as if it is only missing enforcement. It is missing fair court rulings in Japan. Those are few and far between because judges generally ruled in favour of the child abductor. Is it a chicken and egg problem in that the courts which generally do not rule against a child abductor because they can not enforce their own orders, and in not being able to enforce their own orders feel complete and utter shame and embarrassment?

The family courts need to actually understand what the best interests of the child are (i.e a child needs both of their parents unless one or both is proven without reasonable doubt to be dangerous), then they can make a ruling which supports those best interests, and then that ruling can be enforced. Otherwise, what will really change?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That is precisely what this article is addressing.

No Gary it isn't. It just merely mentions it.

The proposal has been made at a time when critics say there is inconsistency on the state's handling of such disputes between domestic and international marriages as the latter were already subject to rules of the so-called Hague treaty.

Japan in 2014 acceded to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, which sets out rules and procedures for the prompt return to the country of habitual residence of children under 16 taken or retained by one parent, if requested by the other parent.

We don't know if enforcement of international disputes will be the same as domestic ones. That's why we need more info.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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