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U.S. warns Japan child custody laws could harm bilateral ties

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LOL "even though a U.S. court gave him full custody of the kids when Noriko fled"

so what? just the opinion of a us court... hardly an international opinion or decision maker for the world..

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I don't think there is anything funny or LOL about this.

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I agree with you 888snaff

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Given Japan's record of honoring signed agreements I wouldn't hold out hope even if they sign the Hague Convention! Japanese will simply claim abuse (and no proof is required in the Japanese family legal system) and say the convention doesn't apply.

It is good to see presure being cranked up. The only things that ever get Japan's attention seem to be brute force and money!

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I doubt it will even pinch bilateral ties. Marine Bases maybe...

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I wonder what the stats are like when the father is Japanese and the mother is NJ.

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What about the abusive Japanese husbands? Why does japan still in this day and age need to go out of their way to specifically blame a certain group outside of the Japanese as a scapegoat. My Japanese friend is divorced twice (no kids) to Japanese men due to domestic violence. Doesn't the Japanese government know couples get divorced for many reasons besides abuse anyway thus most parents still wanting to provide for their kids after the divorce...

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i agree with the U.S. on this issue 100%

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I'm not sure why "888naff" and "Katsuro1000" believe a court ruling has no merit. It signifies that the party not following the ruling is breaking the law of that country and the signatories to the treaty are suppose to honor the court rulings of that country.

If you break a law in Japan that isn't a law in another country and flee, extradition treaties would still need to be honored for the turnover of a suspect back to Japan.

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Laws that allow only one parent to have custody of children in cases of >divorce—nearly always the mother—set Japan apart from most other >developed countries.

Although it is up to each state here in the US, joint-custody and visitation rights are indeed quite common here. However, 99.9% of the time the mother is the residential custodian "allowing" the father to see his child for X hours and Y minutes and z seconds every third weekend provided it's not a holiday in which case the mother gets to keep the child and the child gets to call their daddy daddy only when with him, because at home daddy means mommy's new boyfriend, oh and tell daddy his check is late. While the Japanese custom of totally breaking off the relationship and depriving the father and child of seeing each other sounds awfully harsh, the American alternative while embracing such vitues as "the child must never be seperated from the parent" in reality is as messed up as the Japanese system in different ways. And because it's such a mess I really wonder whether we are in the right pushing our system onto the Japanese.

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888snaff,katsuro1000,I hope one day you will face a similar position and then maybe you won't be so flipant with you mindless comments. A father or mother for that matter,foreign national or a Japanese citizen, that is denied joint custody,and the right to be a part of their childrens life,because of laws that don't belong in the 21st century.Is moraly wrong. This is an international matter, and the sooner the Japanese government realises that if it wants to be accepted on the international stage it has to make changes to certain laws, to come in line with the international community.

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Japan needs to respect the courts of other countries. If Japan wants respect of its laws and courts it must respect other countries.

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YuriOtani... Well said!

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although I have no kids here(thankfully) & am not from the US I thank the US govt for these much needed doses of gaiatsu!

If Jpn needs to be dragged kicking & screaming into the previous century so be it!

My guess is that on more issues with Jpn you will see other countries being more fwd & not clouding their points in an avalanch of diplomatic mumbo jumbo afraid to offend the easy offended Jpn.

Jpn you had better start waking up, yr power & influence is waning quickly so you had best start being more cooperative with the rest of the planet.

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Re Pukey2's question about what happens with abusive J fathers and Nj mothers: I do know of a case near me where a very physically abusive Japanese father was given a Japanese court order not to have any contact with his American ex-wife or child. And it upheld this even after the father made several court appeals. I'm sure it helped that the mother was fluent in Japanese and could navigate the Japanese social services and legal systems.

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However, 99.9% of the time the mother is the residential custodian "allowing" the father to see his child for X hours and Y minutes and z seconds every third weekend provided it's not a holiday in which case the mother gets to keep the child...

Ossan, as the child of a broken marriage who spent my teenage years in a situation similar to what you describe (although nobody ever suggested I didn't call my father "Dad"), I totally disagree with you. Staying with our father every second weekend and going to his house for dinner once a week was vital to maintaining our relationship with him and also for maintaining his mental health, as he would have been distraught if he couldn't have seen us. As a 34-year old I still have a great relationship with my father, and I can't believe you are seriously suggesting that it is better for the children not to see their father at all, or something similar.

Ossan, did your parents divorce when you were a child, meaning you know what it's like to be a child in that situation? I'm assuming no.

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chubu:

Well, good on the courts for doing the right thing.

YuriOtani:

Japan needs to respect the courts of other countries. If Japan wants respect of its laws and courts it must respect other countries.

Yeah, sure. What drug are you on today? Tomorrow, you'll be backing the Japanese authorities again.

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I think that in past the majority of times when parents separated and there were children and it was in Japan of Japanese, the logical thinking was for the mother to leave and leave everything behind, including the child/ren. This is what I am most familiar with. However, of recent, the last 10 years the figures show that women are taking the children with them more and more. I think they have been hearing foreign systems that they think they deserve something when they leave. It is slightly like bribery. If the women left and then asked to see the child, I think it would be different, mostly. I agree with Ossan, enforcing a foreign system and saying it will affect bilateral relations seems totally as wild as anything else, and if anything a dominating attitude. Ive heard, those that supposedly care, state they are sympathetic with the child and that the child needs both parents otherwise they will be scarred. These people annoy me because they dont seem to get that the divorce,separation alone leaves a scar, and however things may from that point be organized doesnt change or alleviate that scar.

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What a disaster really, with this draconian country and its feudal way of thinking. I wonder..what does it takes to change the 200+ year-old laws in here? murder? extorsion? bribes? suicide? I'm still waiting for my little boy and I'm glad I'm not dead yet. I'm hoping and praying.

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I agre with YuriOtani for once. japan should shoud stop being so beastly with custody laws.

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"He is one of about 70 American parents in that position"

So a country of 300 million warns a country of 200 million about the issues of 70 people.

Am I following it right?

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angelo,

Am I following you right in that having kids abducted is all right with you?? If so what number shud the US wait for before taking some action, wud love to hear yr answer!

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People - fight together on this one - 'cos its one fight worth winning.

I have two children here in Japan and I sympathise with the fathers.

Thanks JT for taking this up.

Children need both the male and the female to develop into balanced humans. Too many Japanese people, in my opinion, have been over-feminized by too much mollycoddling and not enough tough love from Dad.

Kids need Mum and Dad, or Mum and Mum if Mum is a very butch lesbian.

This issue is gaining ground now. Keep up the fight !!

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"...set Japan apart from most other developed countries."

Economically developed,yes.

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ChrisBiggins at 08:55 AM JST - 3rd February

I agre with YuriOtani for once.

japan should shoud stop being so beastly with custody laws.

Absolutely! YuriOtani, well said.

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Please please stop coming at it from the point of "parent`s rights". Parents can look after themselves and if they have made mistakes of judgement maybe they have to live with them.It really makes me sick hearing Steve Christie talking of "his rights". The group name "left behind parents" really disapoints me.The only thing to focus on is the rights of the child.They are the only innocent parties here and their rights are 100% of the argument.

Be sure that the Japanese government is going to listen a lot more closely to this argument. However do not expect any change soon.

In the meantime think very very carefully before making a child with a Japanese person and if you do it make sure you do everything you can to protect that childs rights in the event that things do not work out between you and that Japanese co parent.My biggest advice would be to get as far on side as possible with your childs grandmother and stay there. In the end they are the thought leaders in the family and will control what happens.

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japan's laws are right. women most of the time care for their kids. yes, there are poor mothers out there, but most of the time women care for their kids.

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Wow, did YuriOtani really just say that?

I agree, and I don't think a lot of Japanese agree with their government's policy either. It's outdated, and is a dilemma for Japanese fathers as well.

The only dilemma Japan has is that if they respect a foreigner's father rights, it'll be ironic if they don't overturn their domestic policy (i.e. how Japanese divorces are handled). And that would be earth shattering for some people, however right and just it would be.

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Children deserve access to both parents regardless of the marital status of their parents! The laws should reflect this. The ONLY exception should be when a parent poses a legitimate threat to the welfare of the child.

Japan continuously sets out to prove it is still a medieval state with laws that are archaic, xenophobic and outright backwards when protecting human rights.

Shame on Japan for the harm this causes to children who are robbed the love and care of their parents because of these backwards and heartless laws.

Men have very good reasons to fear that if their relationships fail that their children will be taken away from them. Foreign men have far more to worry about even if the wife is living abroad. All she has to do is go on holiday to Japan and not come back. The man then has no recourse. This is absurd.

I sincererly hope the US follows through on its threats with regard to this situation. Japan needs us far more than we need them. So maybe it will make them think like a developed nation for once.

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Ossan -- Apsara is right, your post is, as usual, based on your perceptions of reality, influenced no doubt from watching too much U.S. prime-time TV, and not the facts. Sure, joint custody arrangements have problems, but to say that they are not a better alternative than basically pretending that your father is "dead", is foolish. And, yes, I do speak from experience. My wife and I divorced in the states over ten years ago, and she had "residential custody" of the kids initially. And, yes, I made mistakes in dealing with that situation, which certainly caused my kids some pain, which I wish I could somehow undue. But I never stopped trying to be a dad to the kids, and they knew that. As a result, I ended up being a single dad to two of them when they decided they wanted to come live with me. They are both now college-educated and happy in their adult lives. And that never would have happened if I had been cut off from them.

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Pukey2 , I do not always support Japans position. I would think the number is much higher than 70. This is very tragic and Japan needs to reverse course and do the right thing.

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I think Japanas laws are ghastly on this issue. One of my friends married a Japanese lady and she was registered mentaly ill in Britain and he needed a nanny to care for thekids. But she took them to Japan and he hasonly seen them for less than 1 hour in the last 2 years. He cried so much and wanted to end it all, but i had to help him over it.

Why not be civilised Japan?. I always thought Japan were the good guys until i went there and looked deeper into how they think.

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As I wrote on a similar thread a couple of months ago, only when the US gets angry will Japan start to seriously consider resolving this issue. Indeed, perhaps it is time for the United States to hold Japanese nationals who are married to US citizens at arms length to prevent the Japanese spouse for engaging in such parental kidnappings. Hopefully in the US Congress there is somebody with enough stones to suggest a special class of visa to the United States for nationals of countries who fragrantly ignore the Hague Convention (based on the FBI parental kidnappings homepage Japan might be joined by South Korea). Any such bill introduced before the House would require that, Japanese nationals married to US citizens and living in the US, be ankle tagged with locating devices to prevent their absconding with their children from the United States. Moreover, such persons traveling from the United States to Japan would be required to have signed permissions (in triplicate) that were to be submitted at the airport.

Anyway, I don't think such legislation would stand a hope in hell of passing into law, however, just having such a bill read on the floor of the US Congress would act as a well-placed kick to the rump of the Japanese bureaucracy who are stalling on the ratification of the Hague Convention.

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The number IS much higher than 70; 70 is just the US citizens, but add to that the number of French, Canadians, Australians etc, and you have thousands of families torn apart by these unfair laws. Not to mention the thousands of Japanese families that are also the victims of an unfair divorce court system. re: yesterday's article in the Japan Times http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fl20100202zg.html

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While affirming the importance of Washington’s ties with Tokyo

Why are these ties important? What has Japan done for the US lately?

The Japan-US relationship is basically a free ride for Japan with no corresponding advantage to the US.

I really wish the diplomats would grow a pair and demand that Japan either make itself useful or go its own way.

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This is a waste of time. No laws by U.S. Congress will change any laws in Japan. This is good for the congressmen/congresswomen to look good to their constituents, nothing less.

Sad situation, nonetheless.

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"I really wish the diplomats would grow a pair and demand that Japan either make itself useful or go its own way."

With the inept DPJ causing so many conflicts this may well come to pass. If Japan screws up the base issue, the US may soon say, fine "We prefer China as a partner." Business has already done this. Just look at the attention business gives to Non-Japan Asia vs Japan.

Japan's government had better pull their heads out and soon.

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So if Japan signs the Hague convention, everything will be OK? This Hague Convention is sounding to me more and more like a magic wand that will set everything right. However I do not like magic wand concepts that much. I guess I need to search much more about this. We are planning to have a kid with my Japanese wife and these news scare the heck out of me.

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Ossan -- Apsara is right, your post is, as usual, based on your >perceptions of reality, influenced no doubt from watching too much U.S. >prime-time TV, and not the facts.

Jerseyboy, my perception is based on personal as well as close friends experiences. If you've never been divorced you aren't qualifed to pass judgment on my opinion.

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Japan shouldn hurry up, sign and ratify the convention and punish short-sighted Japanese women who hastily marry foreigners with little thought. So this thought to be the ideal 'blue-eyed tall blond husbando' whom they had chidlren with turned out to be a deadbeat. Too bad! it will be a premium if the foreign court denies the hafu-child with deadbeat blood to live in Japan with their stupid mothers.

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Ossan -- did you not read my post? I explained that I AM divorced. So I can very well pass judgement on your opinion.

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so what? just the opinion of a us court... hardly an international opinion or decision maker for the world..

Yeah, not like the father is an American citizen and not like the courts are the law or anything, right?

Japan is the only Group of Seven nation that hasn’t signed the convention, arguing that it could endanger Japanese women and their children trying to flee abusive foreign husbands.

What about about abusive and/or mentally unstable Japanese women? This law allows them to run away and be protected

... cultural assumption that kids should be raised by mothers

A look at most young kids in Japan these days shows the fallacy of this assumption. Mothers don't "raise" their kids, they let them run loose.

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Not only for the sake of bilateral relations and Mr. Savoie, but also for the sake of this nation's own people. What about the Japanese woman whose child was spirited away to... was it Egypt?... last year? She'll never see her child again thanks to her own nation's laws.

And Yuri, good comment. For a change, we agree on something. I just can't understand for the life of me how NOT changing the current laws benefits Japan in any way whatsoever. Well, okay... I can see how it benefits the few people who kidnap their children, bringing them back to Japan, but seriously!

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Sounds good to me. Japan it's your turn to step up.

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Sorry jerseyboy I don't believe you. Why? Because if you have been divorced then you'd have recognized that what I was saying wasn't from watching too many movies.

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arguing that it could endanger Japanese women and their children trying to flee abusive foreign husbands.

How can they say this with a straight face? It beggars belief. Unveiled xenephobism.

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Japan should tell the US to hush-up. Look at the North and Iran - what does the US do to them?

Also, since when does an outside country have the right to make or modify the local-law of another country?

Why doesn't the US get on Afghanistan for all the Drugs the farmers are producing, legally?

What's that one country where prostitution is legal? Switzerland? Why doesn't the US get on that country?

All BS from the US....

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candlestick,

This is an international treaty that we are talking about, no one can force Japan to sign it, but in the end Japan should do so as it likes to consider itself a world leader and first rate country with respect to law. Being outside of the treat puts Japan outside of the international community. If you do not think that trans-national child abduction is a bid deal then continue to support the current position otherwise see the wisdom of signing the treaty.

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Yes the Japanese have a simple way of dealing with this... "Thank you for your opinion Mr Obama, we will think about it..."

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Just another issue that Japan needs to rectify to then allow itself to be considered a modern leader in the world. In these times of the global village, such isolationist laws are outdated and illogical.

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sad it is for the father, the child, and yes even the mother. however, signing some vague hague convention etc. will not resolve this issue. after all the US too has signed many international conventions even though it usually does what it likes, just like many other countries. rather than shouting and screaming in silly, narrow nationalist terms, using stereotypes, be it for the japanese or the americans, it's best to resolve such issues at the level of commonsense...ie. don't make this a diplomatic row...enough blame to go around!

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i don't see the need for general "anti-japanese" sentiments being expressed here. that's simply because i naively believe that stereotypes do more harm than good, but heck, that's just me!

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I agree with Apsara, concrete, tkoind2: A child needs to be able to see both his/her parents. It's essential to the child's well-being and emotional stability. If a child is torn away from one parent after a divorce, the child is likely to have feelings of resentment, anger and guilt. This will have an effect on the psychological development of the child and may still affect him/her in adulthood. This is not a cultural thing, this is a universal truth; children need to be loved and cared for by both parents.

The assumption that a mother is a better parent is just that; an assumption. A woman's role has traditionally been raising children and the man's role has been to work and provide for his family. Men were never given the chance to stay home and raise their children. But times are changing and men are showing that they are just as capable of being caregivers as women. Japan has to catch up and leave their traditions, which are based on false assumptions, behind.

Another false assumption is that the mother is running from the husband because he was abusive. Abuse is a completely separate matter and should be left out of this issue. Of course if one parent is proven to be abusive or unfit, then the other parent should get sole custody. 

I am happy to hear that the US is pressuring Japan into taking action. I hope other countries follow suit leaving Japan with no choice but to change its family laws and sign the convention.

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I get tired of the abusive line that they tow with this.

To be honest, in many cases I think Japanese dads are much better with the kids here. Take a look at a park. Moms all sit together, ignoring their kids and gossip. On the weekends the dads are out playing WITH their kids. It is a shame that divorced parents don't have a right to do that.

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Let me say that the vast majority of these cases are NOT CUSTODY ISSUES. They are KIDNAPPINGS that occur right off American soil to Japan in violation of US State and Federal laws!!! I am an only living parent to my daughter who was kidnapped and is held in Japan by a more distant relative. I have friends who had court orders sent to the local Japanese Consulate IN THE UNITED STATES forbidding travel of their spouse outside of the United States and the Japanese Consulate officials proceeded to outright break our federal laws by issuing a Japanese passport to his spouse IN A FALSE NAME so she could flee the United States to Japan with his children. In the 58 years since Japan assumed full sovereignty after World War 2, no child kidnapped to Japan has EVER been returned from Japan to ANY foreign country. That's right, thousands of children from around the world kidnapped to Japan and NONE has ever been returned, making Japan quite literally a black hole from which no child ever returns. How can they call themselves a US Ally??? JAPAN...RETURN OUR STOLEN CHILDREN!!!

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As a man I am outraged by these laws which are retrograde and deeply sexist! Japan shame on you, change these anti-father laws now!

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The US needs to mind its own business and worry about home and nobody else.

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It is time for Japan to wake up, and join the real world. Enough is enough. Japan cannot continue to ignore issues of basic human rights, and escape severe punishment from the international community. Come on, Hatoyama san - we all hoped you would change the old ways after years of fascism from the old and disgraced LDP - wake up, or resign and call another election.

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All Jwomen claim abuse. Ask any divorced woman why they split and they will say this. Of course, there are some that are real. But, in my opinion, most are just lies in order to save face as being "divorced".

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My heart goes out to people like Steve Christie, and I wish him and the others success. It is unbelievable that Japan is one of the few, or maybe the only, "civilized" (sic) country not to ratify the International Treaty.

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Japan needs to play fairly with all other countries, if it expects to be treated fairly with.

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I agree Japanese child custody laws are straight out of the dark ages and their justification of such laws very discriminative, but getting Japan to change laws to give foreigners a fairer crack of the whip is like asking a dog to stop licking his nether regions simply because they are asking the Japanese government to include rules that Japanese men don't even get.

One point that is missing from this article is child support. If the US intends to pressure the Japanese to address these laws, the US will also have to include an international child support system to ensure the dads are supporting their kids.
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Candlestick - Japan should tell the US to hush-up.

The US is speaking on behalf of the poor fathers who are being denied access to their own flesh and blood. I am sure your stance would be popular with these parents who are suffering heartache due to Japan's current heartless & stubborn stance.

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If you've never been divorced you aren't qualifed to pass judgment on my opinion.

I would like to suggest to you that if you haven't been the child of divorced parents then you have no idea how children in this situation feel and what is best for them. I have quite a number of friends and relatives whose parents are divorced as well and all were very happy to have been able to see their fathers while growing up, even if only on weekends and holidays.

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Reading through this article again, it seems that Mr. Campbell is being used as a blunt object to know some sense into Japan. Then again, I am inclined to believe that Campbell is getting some bad advice from his minders if he expects Japan to meet a 4 month deadline. Realistically, if any change is going to happen in Japan (and you can bet that Japan will try and stonewall), it is going to take either an cataclysmic event (for example, the US linking this to the alliance fiasco and calling Japan to book), or it is going to take a lot longer than 4 months.

Furthermore, I see little difference between this issue and the problems that Japan has with North Korea over the "alleged" abductions of Japanese nationals. If Japan does not want to move forward with the Hague Convention, perhaps it is time that Japan's soon-to-be-former allies (basically every other country in the first world) stonewall on their support of Japan vis-a-vis the North Korean abduction issue.

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cultural assumption that kids should be raised by mothers

Wow, and what a great job the mothers are all doing!

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Exactly, this is about kidnapping and not even child custody. It's ironic that Japan wants our help on the North Korean abduction issue when they're the child kidnap capital of the world.

So no, Japan certainly cannot just brush this off. They're purposely harboring criminals who kidnapped children by every definition of the law where the crime occurred.

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I'm really interested as to what pressure the U.S. is willing to exert on the Japanese to get them to act on this issue. On the surface it would seem the U.S. has so much leverage over the Japanese but they don't use it. Start with, as the poster above me mentioned, with the NK abduction issue. But maybe those who were abducted were born to a NK parent. Perhaps they were running away from a abusive Japanese spouse.

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I don't get it. Both our governments are as bad as the media. One minute we talk about the importance of bilateral relations. The next minute I read something like this and wonder. There are far more pressing issues then this. It is not worth hurting relations over something so trivial. This is of coarse an important issue I agree but why make such a major spectacle over the matter. I have had lot of time to consider both sides and neither has a simple answer. Although I do agree that some change needs to happen in some form. Abuse has very little to do with why these abductions take place. It has more to do with society, culture and saving face then anything. This goes for both Japanese and foreigners alike. Anyone who has been around Japanese in general knows the difficulty in reading between the lines. What one believes or really thinks vs what is being said can be very vague and misleading. Body language, your behaviour, blood type (believe it or not,) the "What If" scenario, not sending clear signals can all be factors.

What are her true feelings? How should we raise our kids which likely will get the polite response. Her taking on the burden for you as to save face or embarrassment from you or others. Marriage in Japan is a strange animal to begin with and takes on a life all it's own. It's the sort of married roommate mentality that many Japanese men fall into after marriage. Japanese women on the other hand are not used to the more equal relationship mentality many in the west promote. Traditionally woman have always been the caretakers in Japanese society. What will people think how I am raising my kids? This shouldn't matter as is between parents but this might be going through her mind. These small signals many people likely miss for those you are not attuned to it. It is as the the eyes of the world are always watching you even behind closed doors. Therefore reassuring her she is doing the right thing is paramount!! The only way to resolve this is to understand the causes behind the effect before any real solution can be put forth. Be it Japanese men or otherwise. A change in a long outdated law though is a step in the right direction.

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I am a non Japanese divorced father of 2 Japanese children, I cannot return to my country with the children due to the way my country enforces the accord so it would make my life easier if Japan signed. That said one thing that this article and most of the comments fail to realize is that even if Japan singedthe accord tomorrow it would change nothing because the civil laws with regards to divorce, custody and parental rights would need to be changed before the Japanese court could ever honor a request to return a child!

I got lucky and my ex did not want custody so we signed the simple divorce paper and I got the children. This is not always the case and if the parents decide to fight over the children or if one decides to refuse the divorce, then things get messy!

There is no such thing as a divorce without fault so to just go to court and ask a judge to grant you divorce is not possible the judge must have a reason so that is when the sh!t hits the fan! Accusation of wrong doing by one spouse or the other must be made whether true or false if you want the courts to grant a divorce.

The same goes for custody you must prove the other spouse is not good for the child if you want custody! This is taken to such and extreme that even when the two parents agree to change custody from one to the other the custodial parent must declare themselves not competent ( sick, mentally ill, financially unable) to keep the children in order to transfer the custody.

The family laws as they are just won't allow for no-fault transfer or removal of children from a parent without declaring something wrong with them!

As for this being a foreign VS Japanese thing, well it may be more difficult for the foreigner trying to see or get custody of their children BUT my 2 Japanese friends have been fighting for 3 and 4 years in court for visitation and custody against their Japanese ex-spouses with no more luck then the foreigners!

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If family laws in Japan are so unfair, how come I am being made to pay child maintenance for akid who I didn't want with a woman I never want to see again and who got knocked up purely of her own volition (sure, I was involved but not aware of her intentions)?

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Take it or leave it!

U.S.A needs to mind its own business!!

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how come I am being made to pay child maintenance for akid who I didn't want

Because you didn't take the steps necessary to ensure you didn't make a child you didn't want.

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My mom pulled the same crap and i didn't know where my dad was until i was able to locate him at the age of 28, it did wonders to my life. I'm 31 now and meeting my dad was the best to have ever happened to me. Life is great

Every child has the right to see their parents, even if one of them is on death row, they still deserve to know.

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limboinjapan, I am curious about what legal aspects prohibits you from bringing your children back to your country. I know that the United States generally requires permission from both parents before a passport is issued with the express purpose of preventing international abduction. Certainly, it would be absurd to tie this to unrelated issues such as North Korean detainees. However, I could see pressure in the form of requiring a notarized release from both parents before any dual American-Japanese minor is permitted to leave the United States. That would be a hassle for many Japanese citizens and encourage them to pressure their government.

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angelxtears Take it or leave it? You mean "we Japanese will do whatever we like, and to hell with the rest of the world?" That might have worked in the past, dear, but not any more. You want your country to be "internationalized?" Well, wake up and smell the roses, baby - if you want to be treated with respect by other countries, you have to abide by the international rules - and thpose include something called "human rights." Ever heard of human rights?

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What is the situation with the foreign mothers, who have been divorced by their Jhusbands? Who gets the custody of the child?

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angelxtears wrote:

Take it or leave it!

U.S.A needs to mind its own business!!

Apparently you have NO CHILD that has been kidnapped or abducted by a Japan citizen. If you were in a situation that I or others are in perhaps you would change your attitude.

When it comes to the U.S.A., and a child who is a citizen of the United States of America, it is OUR BUSINESS.

I do hope that something gets resolved real soon. When the children are involved and taken away from another loving parent, the child is scarred for the rest of his/her life. Let's do what is right for the sake of the child, and not support "revenge" - for the demented.

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Take it or leave it! U.S.A needs to mind its own business!!

How dense can one person be? Those children born to U.S. Citizens. yea... they are also US Citizens the vast majority of the time. Even if they are not, they are the children of citizens.

So your proposal is that the US leave the situation regarding it's own citizens alone.

Great. Just what we need. More people that know nothing about anything making bad decisions based on flawed emotions.

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womanforwomen:I read that in this case j authorities give custody to j citizen in this case scenario it will be father. Imho: law needs to be change, definitely, but being a realistic person I don’t think that changes will occur in next future…

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Bring out the Big Guns!

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Laguna:

You hit the nail on the head! I am not from the USA bu my country also requires both parents sign for the passport and most (not all) signatory countries require signed and notarized permission from the other parent when one is traveling alone with the children!

If Japan would modernize their family laws in accordance with this accord and sign it, then I could use the local court system to either get permission to travel or at least collect the 7 years of child support from my EX who sees the children when she feels like it and make 3 times what I make!

The laws here are vague on visitation and child support, but put simply if you get a court ordered divorce with child support there are ways to force collection of the support, but if you go with a simple mutually agreed (green paper) divorce the authorities are either unable or unwilling to get involved in forcing child support payments!

How this accord would help is simple. All signatory countries have to agree to bring their local laws up to a minimum point of compliance with the accord!

That is the biggest sticking point for Japan, the accord does not just cover custody but also covers children rights and support!

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angelxtears at 03:41 PM JST - 3rd February "Take it or leave it! U.S.A needs to mind its own business!!"

They are. They are supporting their innocent citizens who have been wronged by the archaic and xenophobic laws of this oppressive regime. Imagine, the most powerful country on earth - economically and militarily - willing to let ties with the second most powerful economic country on earth for a handful of its citizens. Amazing. Yet, I'll bet your pathetic and insignificant country wouldn't show a 100th of such support for your whining, tear-streaked face. Jealousy sucks, huh?

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Aspara- you are speaking from the position of the child and you were very lucky. Not all children of divorces are as blessed.

jerseyboy- "your post is, as usual, based on your perceptions of reality, influenced no doubt from watching too much U.S. prime-time TV, and not the facts"

That's very impolite.

Moderator: Readers, please focus your comments on the topic, not at each other.

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the U.S. warned Tokyo on Tuesday that it must revise its family laws or risk hurting ties between the two longtime allies.

Big Bully attempting to exercise pressure again? Does it have a leg to stand on in creating legislation for another nation? Is that because it is renowned for always making the right decisions in international diplomacy? Campbell should tone down his rhetoric. He sounds like a real jerk to me with his ultimatum. He could do this in front of a high school class, but ought to know better than trying to address another nation this way.

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**womanforwomen at 05:34 PM JST - 3rd February

What is the situation with the foreign mothers, who have been divorced by their Jhusbands? Who gets the custody of the child?**

I didn't. He took my baby boy(18 months at the time)in July 20th 2004 from the day-care while I was at work and stay hidden until the divorced was finalized. The Mito Family court gave full custody to him on the grounds that my son was staying with him and they thought he was happy and healthy or so they said. Not even once, I've been allowed to see or regain custody of my son. He's 5 years now. I'm still struggling to stay alive.

I've been having very invasive, recurring thoughts about going to my ex's house and lit them on fire. Vivid visions too.

Only the Lord knows how broken and sad my heart is.

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Forgive me, I meant 2006, not 2004.

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@KyokoSmile You had better get some help quickly if you feel like that. I am praying for you.

Moderator: Back on topic please.

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KyokoSmile

I feel your pain. You are not alone, Japanese face the same nightmare, daily. Anyway your child will want to know his Mother sooner or later, the day will come and you will be loved for ever. Best of all he will understand. He will understand, as he is living in Japan, and is exposed to the riggers of everyday society. Your day will come, it is only natural for a child to seek his birth mother.

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For those who have expressed the oppinion that the USA has no right to tell Japan what to do in its own country, I must agree that is true, but laws were violated in the USA and there for it becomes the business of the USA.

Japan is not obligated to sign the accord or change its laws if it doesn't want to, but at the same time the rest of the G7 nations all of whom have expressed dissatisfaction with the way Japan has been handling this and other issue, do not have to continue with Japan as a member of the G7 and can easily reduce it to the G6!

This is just logic, Japan does not have to accept what the other member are saying or requesting but like every CLUB, members pay there dues and follow the rules or the other member will asked them to leave, that is the downside of being a member of an exclusive club!

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kyokosmile

hang in there, keep doing the right thing, pls dont do something rash.

take care

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Japan is not obligated to sign the accord or change its laws if it >doesn't want to, but at the same time the rest of the G7 nations all of >whom have expressed dissatisfaction with the way Japan has been handling >this and other issue, do not have to continue with Japan as a member of >the G7 and can easily reduce it to the G6!

I agree with the firest pat. But the second part is outright silly.

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OssanAmerica;

I am wondering if you read my next paragraph?

If you did please let me know if you ever decide to create and exclusive business club so I can join and then proceed to just do as I please without following the rules and benefit from you and your friends!

The G7 is a group that is not only based on an economic standard but also social and political, you should read the charter!

So they are well within their right to remove any member that does not satisfy those requirements!

If an American came to Japan committed a crime then fled to the USA and the USA government turned around and said to Japan "sorry that's not a crime in our books, so though luck" you would be the first to be screaming about USA arrogance and disrespect for Japanese laws and people!

Well that is precisely the situation we have here! These people broke American law and the USA in in its right to complain and even threaten in order to have their laws respected and so justice is served!

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Japan will not be dictated to.

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It seems that some people have focused on a false assumption that the USA is dictating to Japan, when the facts are that 8 other countries have also expressed their frustration with this situation and most of them are Japan's major trading partners!

As they say "if you don't like the rules the get out of the sandbox" so if Japan doesn't like the rules it can look for some other countries to play with!

No one is forcing Japan to do anything all they are saying is "if you want to trade with us you will have to deal with some of our rules" if Japan doesn't like it, it can look for some new trading partners!

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limboinjapan- the G7 addresses far far wider and globally crucial issues than just one issue pertaining to the comity of Family Court law accross national borders. I'm not saying they don't have the "right" to throw Japan out of the G7, I'm saying it's silly to even think they would over such an issue.

This is not a criminal case, it is an arrest warrant for contempt of court. A court which is only recognized in that state.In order to enforce a warrant issued in one state in another, a court of the other state has to approve it. If comity can not be applied, that warrant may not become valid outside the state of issuance. Now if such a hurdle can exist between state and state, imagine state and another country like Japan. Japan or any other country is under no obligation to recognize judgements or warrants issued outside of that country unless comity can be applied and a Japanese court issues a warrant.

So to answer you, yes the US can threaten and complain, but at the end of the day this is a matter of jurisdiction. And the only way to resolve this problem is through discussion and negotiation with the goal of reaching an agreement.

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OssanAmerica;Wrote:"This is not a criminal case, it is an arrest warrant for contempt of court. A court which is only recognized in that state."

Please check your facts! Go to the FBI's website and you will find that some of these Women are on their wanted list, if that not US wide then I don't know what it is! All those on the list have Federal arrest warrants issued on them!

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No Japanese court can issue any warrants for crimes done outside Japan! Japanese laws do not permit extradition of their citizens! The best we can hope for is that Japan puts them on trial here!

But oddly enough most of our countries will extradite our citizens to Japan! Again a one way street!

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@TokyoRoughGuy: Do you say that because you think Japan will ignore the issue under the guise that they feel they are being dictated to, or because you personally feel the US is dictating to Japan and/or you support the Japanese position?

As has already been quite intelligently stated, this isn't just a simple issue of the US trying to bully Japan into doing what the US gov't wants. Japan is literally IGNORING the laws of pretty much every other country on the planet for the benefit of it's own citizens, who are obviously not ALL fleeing abuse--this is kidnapping, people.

Speaking as an adult who grew up under divorced joint-custody from age 7 on, I can say that my life has been infinitely better with contact to both of my parents. Although my dad was military and moved around a lot, (I'm not Japanese, that wasn't an issue here) I spent entire summers with him, and later (when we all lived in the same state) lived with him and visited my mom on weekends. I'll admit that the back and forth can be trying on a child depending on the relationship of the divorced parents, but what Japan is doing/allowing is wrong. They are maintaining a policy under which the children will grow up taught that what happened to their foreign parent was okay, possibly based on lies of abuse. What kind of country, especially a country in a position of world leadership, openly supports the disregard of international laws within their own jurisdiction? If this were to exist on a global scale, it would be tantamount to anarchy. (Please do not just quote me on anarchy and argue about its political, social, economic pros/cons--that's not what this is about.)

Bottom line, if Japan is ill-equipped to realize that they are members of a global community in which their laws cannot be blindly exercised over all others, perhaps they should reinstate their isolationist policies and save the rest of the world the trouble of dealing with a brick wall. (Again, please do not just quote this and yell about the economic ramifications of Japan isolating itself; I'm simply stating that is what their actions seems to suggest they really want: no foreigners within, no foreign ties without.) But if the Japanese gov't and Japanese citizens are going to interact with the rest of the world, then they need to get it through their heads that once they leave Japan's borders, THEY LEAVE JAPAN'S BORDERS.

I have little knowledge of Japan's internal statutes, but if their laws concerning child custody are really so archaic as I've read here, then yes, there needs to be a change--not for the purpose of conforming to international treaties, but for the purpose of showing each other a certain level of human civility. Foreigners living (or visiting) Japan are not just bodies (which brings up the whole other issue of the rights of non-Japanese in Japan). Concerning Japanese court involving foreigners, their voices deserve to be heard equally as human beings, and considered objectively. When there has been no foul play (and they should really require evidence for such claims) it is a clear demonstration of failure within the Japanese court system when the Japanese parent is granted sole custody on the thinly-veiled basis (or not at all) that they are Japanese. Citizenship shouldn't matter, especially when it comes to the safety and health of children.

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OssanAmerica;Wrote:"This is not a criminal case, it is an arrest warrant >for contempt of court. A court which is only recognized in that state." Please check your facts! Go to the FBI's website and you will find that >some of these Women are on their wanted list, if that not US wide then I >don't know what it is! All those on the list have Federal arrest >warrants issued on them!

limboinjapan - I was refering specifically to the J-wife in the Savoie case. ANYONE on the FBI wanted list is wanted on a criminal Felony charge, not on a contempt-of-court in a civil divoirce case.

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the police prevented Savoie from entering the US Embassy. Had he made it, he'd have his kids. This Hague Convention is from 1980, you'd think there would have been about a 1000 cases against Japan's decision by now. Japan has to tell it's citizens that they are a part of the world, or not. Make a choice. The fence isn't it.

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Kyokosmile, It was you I was thinking about. From the day you revealed the sad story, I have been keeping you in my mind. I think the many posters here will share their experiences and any information available that might help you. Cliffworks is extending some help to foreigners here.

While i am against any beligerent moves that might upset the people of this land, I am all for everyone having their peace. In many instances concerning the problems, we tend to attack them because they don't do the things how others want them to. If the matters openly disussed in the friendliest manner to the Jauthorities, I am certain that they will adjust. US should understand that Japan is like the little naughty youngest brother, who wants to outsmart and be better than others in the family. All these sanctions, bans and embargos do not scare anyone these days.

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Campbell said that if Japan didn’t make changes within four months on the issue, Washington would ratchet up the pressure on the Japanese government

Better Stand the Fxxk by Japan!

Time to start getting in line with all the other developed countries...

No more games...

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Many of you are approaching this from a non-sensical standpoint. Japan is a sovereign nation and doesn't have to respect the laws of other countries. The real problem is reciprocity. Japan shouldn't expect to have things only one way. Take for a example the recent case of a Czech father taking his half Japanese child out Japan against the wishes of the mother. The Japanese side deserves no sympathy if they're not willing to deal in the reverse situation. Holding them to their own standards, is the only way you get them to question their position.

When someone kidnaps a person from Japan, Japan should only expect the cooperation of the destination country if Japan would cooperate in the reverse case.

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In addition Japan needs to clean up its act regarding all divorced parents, Gaijin or Japanese. Visitation rights and monetary judgments should be enforced with real criminal penalties, otherwise its all just a painful joke.

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This is more of a cultural issue. When in Rome follow the Roman Way and Roman Law. In the context of the Japanese culture, this makes sense.

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Many Japanese women are trapped in foreign countries because their government refuses to sign the Hague Convention.

They get custody of their child but are prevented from leaving the country by the father who quite rightly argues that his children would never see or hear from him again. There are definetely more cases of this than there are cases of Japanese women "kidnapping" children back to Japan.I was a family court and immigration lawyer in New Zealand for several years and saw and heard of many such cases.

So the Japanese government is not protecting the rights of its citizens at all.It is simply refusing to become part of the world for the sake of it

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All I can see in the conventional Japanese family law is. . ., an out-moded racial politics that gave the US Supreme Court the utmost power in the nineteenth century, such as Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. (19 How.) 393 (1857),or Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896).

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We are no longer in the 19th or even the 20th century anymore and this notion that Japan has some great difference when it come to marriage and divorce with the rest of the industrialized world is only in the minds of the Japanese bureaucrats and a few "Japanophiles".

The reality is that the Japanese are now getting divorced at rate comparable to the rest of the industrialized world but the laws have not kept up with this fact! If what I have read in the papers recently is correct a couple is getting divorced in Japan every 2 minutes that make 240 couples a day around 70,000 per year. Maybe it is time thebureaucrats got their head out of their @ss and took a look around at Japan today!

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We are no longer in the 19th or even the 20th century anymore and this >notion that Japan has some great difference when it come to marriage and >divorce with the rest of the industrialized world is only in the minds >of the Japanese bureaucrats and a few "Japanophiles".

Nevertheless, as a sovereign state they have the right to their own laws, and only they and they alone can and will change them to suit the needs and changes of their society. If respecting the sovereign rights of Japan as a nation alone is sufficient to be called a japanophile, then it follows that one who refuses to respect their sovereignty is a japanophobe.

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‘While Japan claims to be a country of human rights, there are many incidents in which human rights have been violated, and therefore we need an agency that deals with human rights appropriately,’’ Hatoyama told reporters.

Fits right into this discussion.

If respecting the sovereign rights of Japan as a nation alone is sufficient to be called a japanophile, then it follows that one who refuses to respect their sovereignty is a japanophobe.

No, that would make them a realist.

Blatantly defending Japans racism and inequities make you a Japan Appeaser.

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Japan has signed extradition treaties with two countries, South Korea and the United States. Under the extradition treaty with the Unted States, Japan has obligeted to follow the standards of the REQUESTING country, not the requested country, so if the US asked for extadition for violation of the International Parental Kidnapping Act (IPKA), Japan would, under the treaty, be obliged to comply. The United States needs to begin extraditing these kidnappers now and get our stolen children returned.

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I am not an expert in this subject.

Let me share the little I know. There are a few jfathers who are suffering from the statute regarding the divorce.One Jfather was told by the authorties that he has failed as a father. This is a very deep insult for him. The reason his wife filed divorce was due to the number of other women he had in his life. He had a choice to settle down with his wife and take care of the kids, or to lose his right as a father and continue his lifestyle with many women. Divorce laws in the old times did not take the mixed marriages into considertaion and those laws are redundant and not applicable now.Law has to be revised. More than that, it will do loads of good if a study was done to find out why majority of the mixed marriages are failing. There are successful mixed marriage posters here and maybe they know the secret. Maybe, it will be worth it for those Jpeople who aspire to b spouses of foreigners what adjustments they hav e to make in their lives to have a successful relationship.

Beligerent acts intimidates the people and does not work with some people. But presenting the cases of the many who are suffering here due to this ill-fitting law can help Jland to change.

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judaisers -

by your reasoning - "when in Rome...." and this is a "cultural thing" - then the women who brought back(abducted) their children from foreign countries to japan should have followed such advice.

ie - followed the laws of the countries they were living in and abided by those countries cultural mores.

They shouldn't have expected such countries to be "little japans".

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browny1 at 02:01 PM JST - 4th February judaisers - by your reasoning - "when in Rome...." and this is a >"cultural thing" - then the women who brought back(abducted) their >children from foreign countries to japan should have followed such >advice. ie - followed the laws of the countries they were living in and abided by >those countries cultural mores. They shouldn't have expected such >countries to be "little japans".

Strange, for your argument to work, those women had to be legit to bring back their children. If it was "abduction" there's no way they could have done that. I think their husbands were the ones who ignorantly left their wives and their children. And then, later they decide to complain about it. You can't do that! Only ignorant countries will allow such a thing.

Once again, when you are in Japan, you have to follow Japan's law.

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I know one thing. In japan, with mixed marriages the child, in order to be registered with the Japanese gov, has to have proof of Japanese lineage. It is extremely hard for the child to be given the father's surname (if the father is gaijin) and be recognized. It wasn't until a few years ago that children of mixed were recognised as having two parents, even though the parents were still married and living together.

Judaisers (cultural thing) argument holds no weight. That is like saying slavery or genoside is ok because it is a cultural thing. Japan's womens liberation movement is still at it's infancy. the Idea of a woman's place is in the home is still a very strong and believed sentiment here. Jusaisers obviously has no knowlege of the goings on and is making an argument primarily on ignorance of the topic. "When in rome" Is the quote this person likes to use. If you may have read history Rome like all other Imerialistic rulers believed the world should do as the romans do. So in retrospect That quote works for the other side of the argument. The falsified abuse argument is very very true. All people who are not of japanese blood are outsiders. even if they were born and lived their whole lives in Japan. Japan's belief that a child should be raised by its mother is not correct. the correct statement is "child rearing is woman's work". Divorce rates are high because. The mojority of husbands in Japan still believe this, do not help out at home, and do not see their wives as equals. There for the Children do not see their mother as an authority figure. With the younger generation, I am happy to say this is changing. Women are now growing up with a strong personality and not a blank slate waiting to find a man and absorb conform to his personality and interests. I am an American who has Just married a Japanese woman, a woman who I am gratefull of having a strong persanality and a sence of honesty. a sence that is lacking in this country, It is the norm to lie even though the truth is no worse to hear. Adultry in this country is 50/50. I know Just as many if not more women who cheat on their spouses/partners. Sex In this country Does not mean the same in the western countries. If you have ever kissed a Japanes woman you would know this. It is very unsensual. Marriage in this country Has no more meaning than "will you go out with me" and "I am 30 now and wnat children so I will get married". this law will not change Until the younger generation ages enough to take control.

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Opinion. I think the mixed marrieges that fail are because one or both parties do not take into account the extremely different cultures and do not want to compromise. the foreign spouce wants to move back to their native country and the other will not. I know of many that ended that way. and many that have survived because one person was willing to sacrifice their homeland to be with the one they love. these are that chances you take, If you are not willing to accept them or do not think about them before you get married then it will be a doomed one.

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judaisers; Your post make no sense! do a little research before you go off saying things! Many if not most of the USA cases had court ordered rulings on custody with clear penalties for the violator some even had court orders specifically forbidding them from leaving the country with the children and in at least one case the Japanese consulate arrange for a passport under a false name in order to violate US LAW!

We can talk about following Japanese laws when Japan and the Japanese learn to follow the laws when they are in another country!

You can't ask other to do what you won't do!

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judaisers- The clarity of your statements are anything but clear.

If my comments are not worthy enough, please read japanisch & limbo's for a more thorough reasoning.

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If respecting the sovereign rights of Japan as a nation alone is >sufficient to be called a japanophile, then it follows that one who >refuses to respect their sovereignty is a japanophobe.

No, that would make them a realist. Blatantly defending Japans racism and inequities make you a Japan >Appeaser.

Constantly posting anti-Japanese posts without regard to facts or debate as a guest makeds one a Japan-basher and a troll.

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Now that the fight has begun, I'm still stressing the importance having Japan guarantee a parents right to maintain contact with their child and that they create an enforcement mechanism.

If they won't guarantee the right then take the matter to the ICJ and lets get it on. Let them see if the rest of the world agrees with their customary practice. I've argued the rights of parents to maintain contact with their child are fundamental human rights.

When four months have passed the countries pushing for this should move quickly to the ICJ and file the case of human rights violations. The African countries, South American countries, and other Asian Countries need to stop sitting on the sideline watching, their citizens have been affected too. You guys need to get in the game.

What can we expect in four months? Well, let's set some criteria for them to meet.

(1) Their government has to reveal the physical address and location of every child.

(2) Their government has to allow the embassy staff at the respective embassies to visit each child to verify the child's well being.

(3) Their government has to set a date and location for reunification of each parent and child and hold them responsible for ensuring the child's presence.

(4) Their government has to pay transportation and hotel fees for all foreign parents who has to come to Japan for the reunification.

We want action now, not words! If they don't wanna move let's just take it to the next level.

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While I am not married to a Japanese woman, and we have no children yet, I have friedns and family members who have had them, and even a few gaigolujin friends who've married Japanese and had divorces. One of my friends was an Egyptian named Ashraaf. He onwed an Egyptian RTestaurant in Hokkaido, and, after he and his wife divorced, left Japan for Egypt with their son. Soem friends of mine who spent a lot of time in the Mdiile East said that the Japanese Mother will likely never see her son again. After hearing some of the horror stories on how Japanese Spuses literally kidnap and deny the other spouse parental visitation rights, I am convinced that Ashraaf did the right thing. His wife and her Dad got his business. If Ashraaf had stayed, I wonder what else they woudl have gotten?

My basic preomise is this: Japan needs to address this issue, and do so maturely and correctly. Basically signing a treaty with no intention of enforcing it is useless. Until Japan takes steps in-country to deal with this, such as revising divorce and custody laws, no amount of pressure from without will force Japan to do what is right (not even the Pacific War did that)! Japan has to WANT to and have the DESIRE to do so. Until that happens (and it may never, barring some catastrophic upheaval, seeing how racially elitist Japanese Society generally is), no amount of international pressure will cause Japan or her government to sign the Hague Treaty.

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I hope everyone understands that a revision of Japanese Laws that would guarantee visitation rights to overseas parents could very well ensure alimony and child support payments to be paid by that overseas parent as well. And if Japanese law follows the laws of some US states, the failure to make payment could result in an arrest warrant, meaning could get picked up on entry at Narita.

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This situation is deplorable! Wake up Japan this is 2010! These laws are deeply sexist and anti-male. Fathers those of you fighting for your rights I commend you! Those women doing this should be ashamed of themselves!

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igotchu It seems that someone got You! When you marry a Japanese person most likely you marry into their culture or you need to know about that.The ladies believe that the child should be raised by it's mother so it is a natural reflex when you devorce them or separate you give up both.If you are lucky then they give up their right but till the law in their land change and their culture dies out then this is how it will be. Don't hold your breath!

I have heard that Lots of the foreigners who acted cool and kind to show that they were better than the Japanese guys or say they will liberate the Japanese from the chains of their culture fail and are not kind anymore. The Japanese guys understand the Japanese ways and laws but the outsiders don't. They are caught in a limbo because of their ignorance.

Igotchu words:- (4) Their government has to pay transportation and hotel fees for all foreign parents who has to come to Japan for the reunification. We want action now, not words! If they don't wanna move let's just take it to the next level.

The foreign partner didn't understand the Japanese system or simply the ways of the Japanese people read japanisch post you can learn some things from there. The ladies enjoyed the thrill, it happens in the US too, it does not have to have the element of international marriages, but it did not last and the money also so you want the government to pay for your trip to Japan now. How about that lets say:-Governments should pay domestic trips in the US also.

As OssanAmerican said you will have to pay alimony or all your money when the Japanese revise their laws to be American laws !! will you be ok?

The ones to blame here are the adults involed who brought inocent children in their mess,not governments or cultures. It is sad that Two adults who said they love each other can't come to an understanding for someone they love their own flesh and blood,but they put pressure on governments to understand.

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**The ones to blame here are the adults involed who brought inocent children in their mess,not governments or cultures. It is sad that Two adults who said they love each other can't come to an understanding for someone they love their own flesh and blood,but they put pressure on governments to understand

I have to say I agree with this. My husband and I are very happy but we have also sat and talked about "what if" and we have both agreed between us that, barring one of us becoming violent or an addict or something, we would never separate each other from the children because that would be so detrimental to them. We have worked out a worst-case scenario, agreed on it, and filed it away in the hope we never have to look at it again. Our children are OUR responsibility, together or not. Certainly not the governments.

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Globis007; Wrote: "When you marry a Japanese person most likely you marry into their culture or you need to know about that."

This statement cuts both ways! When a Japanese marries with a non-Japanese, they also should know they are marrying into the non-Japanese culture!

I have been reading and posting about this and other articles regarding the same subject and it is amazing how many people have ignored the fact that in many cases (particularly the ones mentioned in this article) these couples were living in the USA and not Japan, but it seems that the non-Japanese is the one that must adjust to the Japanese way and never the other way around or even meet halfway!

All we ever hear on this subject either form the Japanese government or the posters here is "Japan is special and sees things differently"

Well I got news for all these comments: EVERY COUNTRY IS DIFFERENT! Why must everyone else try to understand about how Japan views things but Japan doesn't need to show the same consideration to others!

I am divorced I have custody and I thought my ex and I had an agreement, so I stayed in Japan at first for the children's sake but as things got worse and the EX reneged on just about everything we had agreed upon, what was I suppose to do?

Well judging by many comments here and the way Japanese seem to do things, I should just cut my EX and her family off and hold out for payments in exchange for a 15 minute or so visit with her children once every few months!

Well I haven't done the Japanese way, despite the fact that the EX has been a pain in my @ss and broken just about every agreement and pays nothing for the children, I have never cut off her or her parents access to the children!

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right on

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What about when the wife is the foreigner? What happens then? Do the Japanese still side with the wife then?

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Interesting that this issue might harm bilateral ties. I think this is posturing due to the current Japanese government's separation from U.S. wishes.

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Well said, limboinjapan: my wife and I are cross-culturally married (my wife is Korean and I am from the USA), and we both have made the choice to accept and embrace each other's culture. I even offerfed mty wife to take Korean Citizenship and take her family name (she only has a younger sister) and if she had agreed to that, I would've done it, even going so far as serving in the Korean Military. She said "No" and instead wants to be coem a US Citizen. This is a decision we have made, and it has made a big difference in our marriage. I love Korea, Korean people, and the Korean Culture, and my Korean Mom (that's what we call my wife's mother) is wonderful, as is all of my orean Family. Our Family in the States have welcomed my wife with open arms. It just makes life much better when both sides choose to give and keep open minds. If only the Japanese government would realize this with regards to Japanese-Foreign marriages....

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I'm not Japanese, but my my wife is. Our child bears my family name and is a recognized Japanese citizen (住民) with a proper juminho (citizen registry). I can attest that it was not difficult at all. User Japanisch is wrong: "It is extremely hard for the child to be given the father's surname (if the father is gaijin) and be recognized."

...back on topic, Japan should heed the warning. The Hague Convention is major part of addressing the needs of children internationally. Succinctly, it aims to protect children more as unavoidable globalization blurs international lines (literally and judicially).

For Japan to hem and haw about it (under repeated international pressure from Her peers within the G8 and UN) is tantamount to putting Japan's laws ahead of the needs of children. The Hague is not an attempt to usurp any nation's judicial sovereignty, but Japan obviously (and historically) resists such outside pressures.

Further, Japan's right has tended to emphasize (and exaggerate) spousal abuse (physical and verbal) by non-Japanese husbands as leverage to argue against the Hague Convention. Some claims of abuse are legit, no doubt, but due process to measure truth and fiction, where the best interests of the child should be top priority, are wholly absent. Hence the 70 (known) cases from the US alone.

Finally, since Japan recognizes duel-citizenry for minors, it stands for greater reason to get on board with the Hague. It shows further cooperation with member-nations that can also lay protective service for children carrying two passports...such the Savoie's, or my child.

I would add that my wife is equally disgusted at the lack of justice afforded to the outstanding cases of child-abduction. Before Japan can ever hope to put further leverage on N.Korea for Her own claims, joining the international community at large would be smart.

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User Limboinjapan made a good point about the diversity of all nations. I'd encourage readers to research the signatories of the Hague Convention. The list is long and diverse. Each nation with their own laws. But at one common point exists: the innocence of children. The Hague is a bridge for legal diversity while providing the widest door for child welfare.

I fail to see where Japan loses Her uniqueness by embracing a convention that serves children better.

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Actually the majority of countries in the world have not signed the Hague, and several of the minority that signed it have not ratified it.

As to the diversity of the countries that have signed, they are in North and South America and Europe. Most of the countries in Asia (like China and Japan) and the Middle East have not signed it because it conflicts with cultural, religious, or existing legal standard. Of the G8, Japan is the only Asian culture, and at least two of the other G8 countries have been accused of non-compliant behavior in enforcing the Hague. Japan is not unique in having a problem with this treaty, neither is it unique in not signing it into law. Japan should not sign a treaty it will be unable to comply with after ratification.

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I totally agree with you, igotchu. It is time that we take action against Japan. I am an American Navy Veteran and it has been 3 years since I have seen my little girl. My ex-wife is holding her in Japan like a prisoner. What really gets me about the entire thing is that the Japanese parents believe that they are the best providers for "their" children. Excuse me? Haha. Japanese parents, are you serious? You are as equally the best provider as the foreign Dad or Mom is! Our kids needs both of us! Not just one because the child was born with two parents. Am I right? Now, I am not a dead beat Dad, and there is not a day that goes by that I personally don't worry about my daughter and her well being. I have made every single attempt to contact my daughter alongside with the help of my mother as well, yet our effort are thwarted by them simply ignoring us as if we don't exist at all. What's more ruthless about my particular situation pertaining to this matter is that my ex-wife never would allow me to even have my daughter registered with the American Embassy. Like I stated earlier, I am an American Navy Veteran and served for 5 years in Yokosuka, JP. My government better very well hear my plea and take action as I served my country without question and in the highest military fashion that could be expected. I have a record that verifies my actions as well! I am even going to go as far to state on here that after living closely with Japanese citizen and being the observationist that I am, that their government is going to do to our government as they do to foreign citizens that live in Japan. They are a two-faced race and nation. They will tell us what we want to hear, yet do another behind our backs. By the way, I am not afraid to state who I am. My name is David Farmer and I live in Mississippi. You can take my word for what I have stated here. Quite frankly, I am fed up with trying to use some type of personal diplomacy to work out a reasonable situation with my ex-wife! As I imagine, every caring and loving father of their son(s) or daughter(s) in Japan are! I even have a friend, who has a cousin that had a kid in Japan and his child died. The Japanese family did not even let him know that at all! I believe his story is more heartbreaking than any. Which raised a lot of worry in my own mind. What if that happens to my daughter? I will not even know nor be given the chance to be at her funeral!! How insane is that? Seriously, Japan, your in a major violation of human rights and need to get the led out of your royal bottoms and sign the Hague Convention Treaty already! After all, isn't America and Japan allies and does not our military provide protection to your borders because you all fear North Korea and China? Think about it!

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