politics

Clinton urges Japan to take action on child abduction issue

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Here's to hoping there is more than just a lip service response.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

How ironic that this comes at the same time Japan will be bleating on about the handful of Japanese abducted to NK

8 ( +11 / -3 )

We as Americans havve a few complaints an gripes with Japan like this one... I wonder, what are the main complaints the Japanese people have against the USA?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

hoserfella - You called it, JT provided it. The top national headline is currently, "Japanese abductees, families hope for resolution of issue with Kim's death" lol

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Enabling bicultural children from divided homes access to both parents and grandparents and other relatives from both sides of the family will be good for Japan, good for the US, and most of all good for children and families. There is still a long way to go, but Sec Clinton and FM Gemba's cooperation on this matter is a step in the right direction.

Right now, three of the 10 people on the FBI's Parental Kidnappings 10 Most wanted list were Japanese. Change is desperately needed.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I don't think most readers here know just HOW many American fathers have had their children taken away from them. Denied access to them.

Of course the issue goes beyond Americans.

Worst story I ever heard was from an American who was cooking dinner for Thanksgiving. He had invited his best friend and girlfriend over for dinner. He was so busy preparing things that he could barely focus on what the Japanese mother was doing.

Very quietly she packed a few things and ran out into the night with the newborn child. He never saw that baby again and to this day he has no idea where she is. However Japan's family court is aware of the situation and asked him to pay for everything. Last I heard that was over 2 years ago.

There are more and more stories out there. Father's have no rights here. I'm talking about the good fathers. Men who work and have been denied an important transition in their lives based on the whims of a selfish partner and bureaucratic court system here in Japan.

America would not be in Japan's face if you weren't denying basic human rights to father's. What's worse is the abuse to the child. Children have a right to both parents. Somehow Japan thinks it's above God's grand design. There's a reason it requires a man and a woman together to bring forth a child.

13 ( +14 / -2 )

Great post NetNinja. I wish I could give you more than just a single 'thumbs-up'.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

He had invited his best friend and girlfriend over for dinner. He was so busy preparing things that he could barely focus on what the Japanese mother was doing.

I'm sorry, did I get this right? A guy invites best friend and GIRLFRIEND over for family dinner, and wife runs off? Ok, this one time my sympathies goes to the wife.

Otherwise, convention signees should try to work out an extradicion plan. I'd like to see "dear mommy" try to take a vacation anywhere.

-5 ( +1 / -5 )

Please update your hairstyle, Mrs. Clinton.

The long hair isn't working.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

hoserfellaDec. 20, 2011 - 07:20AM JST How ironic that this comes at the same time Japan will be bleating on about the handful of Japanese abducted to >NK

Not the same thing. One is a family dispute the other is foregn government spay activity and kidnapping of total strangers.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

GaijinTechie.....Hahahhahaa His best friend's girlfriend, of course. I don't think he was planning a freaky Thanksgiving.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Have to admit, anytime a Japanese person brings up North Korean abductions, I bring up this issue. Most Japanese have no idea and are pretty appalled by it. Though not enough to demand changes. I covered this in my classes a few weeks ago and my students were shocked and disgusted by the whole thing. Wonder if they'll feel the same way when they get older and have kids.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Well, that's just one of the most heinous stories I've ever heard..

@NetNinja

Is there a group or organization that is supporting these fathers? Do they have a website or something? I'm curious, is this happening to American mother's as well?

I wasn't aware that this kind of problem existed in Japan. I always assumed that we were on good relations with Japan. I never imagined that they were abducting children. Thanks for sharing.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I have lived here and long time and truly do care about the welfare of Japan. Which is a big part of why I have to say "Japan stop being backwards." It does Japan harm, it does families harm and above all does children wrong.

Japan do you really enjoy looking foolish to the rest of the developed world? Because this issue and whaling certainly go a long way towards making Japan look backwards and undeveloped.

So why endure this kind of bad press? Especially when it does not reflect well upon the majority of people in Japan who are wonderful and iconic of the modern world.

My theory is that the same stodgy, grumpy, self important old men who are keeping the government and economy backwards and ineffective are behind the unwillingness to open up on this issue or to end whaling. In most counties, we could wait them out and replace them with more clued in people when they die off. But in Japan, well, they have already trained a second tier of equally stodgy kohi to replace them. Leading most of us to the sad inevitable conclusion that none of Japan's problems are likely to be propery resolved in the imaginable future.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Not the same thing. One is a family dispute the other is foregn government spay activity and kidnapping of total strangers

Ossan - its the same thing. Both illegal in any International Court and both sanctioned by the governments of Japan and North Korea.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Japanese courts virtually never award custody to foreign parents.

Treats foreigners like dogs, disgusting.

3 ( +7 / -3 )

Readers, the issues are not the same thing. Please discuss them separately on the different threads.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

gogogo. Sadly not only true of the family custody issue. But largely true in how the nation deals with the rights and humanity of anyone who isn't Japanese. It is a shameful situation and a big reason why Singapore and other sites in Asia are far more attractive to the best talent from abroad.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

By the way, Japan has signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Children which states the following under Article 9:

"Parties shall respect the right of the child who is separated from one or both parents to maintain personal relations and direct contact with both parents on a regular basis, except if it is contrary to the child’s best interests."

Japan continually violates this internationally guaranteed right.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

"Japan is the only member of the Group of Eight industrialized powers that it not part of the 1980 convention that requires countries to return wrongfully held children to their countries of usual residence."

I too would like to see the Japanese government actually make a commitment on this issue instead of just the usual lip-service and like comments. It's ridiculous that in this day and age, a nation which considers itself developed is so hopelessly behind the times.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

What, surely when the word "Abduction" is used, we have to automatically think of Japanese as victims, poor helpless brave victims of evil from another nation (Bad foreigner! Dangerous foreigner!)

How dare Hillary suggest Japanese think about abduction as though it might be more complex than that. Japan is the victim and all countries should help, and when Japan abducts others, please show manners and pretend it didn't happen.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

The child carries dual citizenship almost always and it seems to me that Japan thinks they are protecting a Japanese national by denying a western father (usually) due justice. I would like to know why airlines let the children on international flights without a letter of consent from the parent that is not in attendance and take the time to contact the parent to verify. I have heard of a few stories locally in Banff where this has happened to two very good fathers...it is so cruel to the child and parent.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan steals children from the rest of the world through an archaic family law system of sole custody post separation and divorce. From 1992 to 2009 this has affected an estimated:

2.2 million total children in Japan 115,000 children of dual nationality 3,825 children with dual American nationality The US State Department also reports 374 American children have been abducted from the US to Japan since 1994. 3,825 + 374 makes an estimated more than 4,000 children who have lost a meaningful relationship with their American parent.

Japan needs to change its system to one of joint custody (kyoudou-sinken). It needs to protect the human rights of children and non-custodial parents.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Crystalyle - "Is there a group or organization that is supporting these fathers? Do they have a website or something? I'm curious, is this happening to American mother's as well? "

bachome.org

1 ( +1 / -0 )

not to the more than 120 ongoing cases

They would if they(you) can read instead of just rant.

Yes Japan should sign it.

Also US should ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. As of November 2009, 194 countries have ratified it,[1] including every member of the United Nations except Somalia and the United States of America

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The Japanese family is different. It could be argued to be working better than Western versions with lower divorce and single parent rates. Applying the Hague treaty to the domestic situation would have negative impacts on the Japanese system. Japanese get married to have children, rather to have tru-luv-foreva. If they could have children even after divorce then there would be considerably less of an incentive to remain married, in a similar way in which perhaps the "sexual revolution" ("sexual liberation") impacted negatively upon the Western marriage. The Japanese need to work out a way of applying the Hague treaty and dual parentage in those cases where one parent is from another culture. This is going to be difficult since estranged Japanese parents are going to want to be treated in the same way as American ones.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Perhaps people should look more deeply as to why mothers leave with the children. You really need to know more about the relationships to make a fair judgment. It seems that most readers want to blame the mother without knowing the real causes of failure in the marriage. This does not only apply to Japanese women either.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Today I went to the Family court, they asked me Why Why Why do want to see your children. I said Why do you not want me to see my own kids. She would not give me an application form so I looked her in the eye and said to myself I pray to Allah to help me see my kids I said to her I will see my Kids not I would like to because I will never ask anyone if I can see my own flesh and blood. She finally handed the paper after consulting with a lawyer LOL

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@VicMOsaka I like how you are willing to investigate the situation. I respect that. What you don't know and you'd have to experience it for yourself is how Japan's Family Court likes to fast track cases. At every moment they are willing to pop the question....well....maybe mediation is impossible.

A Japanese women can fast track 6 - 7 meetings in one year. A foreign man can possible get his claim to Family Court 2 - 3 times in one year. Fair enough for you? They'll do that while asking most men to pay so they can hobble him from putting up a defense.

As for you comment about why women leave? It doesn't matter who wants to leave. The system is tilted in her favor. You could be like "I can't take this anymore" it's time to get a divorce.. She says No....That's it.

Waddi Andii isn't even fighting his wife. On the surface they might label it "Kramer vs Kramer" however the real enemy is the bureaucracy that is working for her. Japanese women don't have to do anything but turn it over to the courts. After that, you are not fighting your spouse, you are fighting the system.

Don't even try to go after her. You don't have to expose her. You'd be spinning your wheels. You might fight the system because that is what is deciding everything against men.

I'd love to discover when Japan decided to rape it's men of their parental rights. It must have changed after MacArthur left.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

His best friend's girlfriend, of course. Oh thank god. I thought I fell through the looking glass reading that.

Well, even Japanese divorce dads don't fare so well in Japan. It is no wonder that foreigners (who, according to the constitution of Japan, are not allowed basic human rights) get screwed automatically.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The issue of parental kidnappings by Japanese nationals directly impacts countless JT readers.

Many have lost contact with children/grandchildren/nieces/nephews/cousins/friends who have been abducted to Japan, and still many more live with the constant fear that this will happen to them. As long as this situation persists, it is the children that suffer the most harm.

Thank you JT for keeping this in the public eye.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Hilary is bringing this topic up now because of political reasons. It is no coincidence that the abduction issue with NK is happening at the same time and for the Japanese to get their abducted ones back then the USA needs to get their abducted children back. It is the only way that Japan will be able to see eye to eye on this issue. It has been customary for thousands of years for the women to be the main caretaker since she is the mother. Mother is of course more important than the Father the younger the child is and especially when breast feeding there is no question about this. The baby was in the mother for 9 months (Japan 10 moon months!) so the child naturally feels closer to the mother and rightfully so. Still the father has his rights to see his child and if he can take care of the child as well as the mother then he should have his share of time. If it is just an ego thing then they are just hurting the children. The father can become the mother if he is willing to spend the time nurturing the child and not just hand over the kid to the grand parents. If the father is too busy with work then he should not take the child unless he is willing to live with his parents which is unlikely and more likely the mother will live with her parents. I am in a similar position and am allowing my child to remain in Japan because it is best for him and that is what he wants to do. First the child should be asked what he/she wants to do. If there is brain washing which may be common then that will first need to be removed or that parent should be penalized.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I agree with Clinton. Japan should take steps toward solving this problem. Generally, mother has privilege in caring child in Japan(I think this system is dubious). But it is not the case with foreign countries. it is only in Japan that mothers are allowed to take their children to their home without agreement of parents.

Maybe, today, it is very difficult for fathers, especially for foreigners, to retrive their children in Japan. Clinton may as well put more pressure on Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

By the way, Japan has signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Children which states the following under Article 9:

"Parties shall respect the right of the child who is separated from one or both parents to maintain personal relations and direct contact with both parents on a regular basis, except if it is contrary to the child's best interests."

Japan continually violates this internationally guaranteed right.

Unfortunately Article 9 has a built-in loophole. The courts can simply rule that maintaining direct contact with both parents would be contrary to the child's best interests. Voila! No violation of any rights or conventions!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

timtak: "It could be argued to be working better than Western versions with lower divorce and single parent rates."

Japan has, I believe, the highest divorce rate for seniors in the world -- at least since the law passed that women could receive half of a man's pension if they divorced. As for the idea that a legal marriage works better because there are less instances of divorce, that's just ludicrous. A family is no more functional simply because they have not filed for divorce than a couple that HAS divorced. And regardless we aren't talking about couples who live in separate rooms and hate each other but don't get divorced, we're talking about kids who are abducted by one parent after said parent leaves the other and flees to Japan, where they are protected by outdated laws. Surely you're not suggesting that THAT 'works better than Western versions', are you?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The West should tie the issue of helping Japan with North Korea's abductions with the issue of Japan helping them with these abductions. Scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours, and all that jazz.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Currently, if the father has any contact with his children after divorce (assuming they are with the mother) she cannot claim any single parent benefits.

I have this problem with my ex-wife. She is afraid that if i go anywhere near the house (Which I still pay for) she will not be able to get heavily discounted medical treatment for herself and OUR daughter as a single parent.

Currently you are not classed as a single parent if the other parent has ANY contact. How messed up is that...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Japanese family is different.

timtak, european and american families used to be different as well. Society is changing, lifestyle is changing and so is parenting.

Even in the west 'shared custody' or the access of both divorced parents to the child is a new concept and it took a while before it started working there as well.

From my european experience I would say that many parents have learned that it is possible to overcome seemingly adamant aversions because the law forces them two.

I would even go so far as to say that in my country there is a new culture of divorce which kind of requires divorced parents to get it together for the good of the child. Many divorced parents even manage to become friends again and to organize the future of their children in a friendly atmosphere together. If this happens divorced children can have as happy a life as non-divorced and they often are even feel privileged to have more custodians then non-devorcees, if they come along well with the new partners of their 'real' parents.

Also Japanese parents can learn that the responsibility of being a parent far exceeds the responsibility that two adult people have to take for each other.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@tokyokawasaki

Don't be mad.....but that's BS. There's one significant mistake that women love to claim...."Someone is watching". I think it takes a sledgehammer to get the message home. Nobody in Japan's legal system cares about you. No one.

They're at home eating Shabu Shabu and smoking on the balcony. Nobody is out wasting their time to watch your ex-wife. Nobody.

Have no illusion.....if you ex-wife lied to you....she lied to everybody else as well. She wants all the money she can get. Nobody is watching. She's got a new man too. He's paying for her. He doesn't know your paying her as well.

What's messed here is that she convinced you that some secret agency is out watching and patroling. Nobody cares, the world is not watching. As a matter of fact, they don't want to know. If they knew, they might have to speak to you. They might have to do some real public servant stuff.

Go to the court and make a claim. Never stop. You should not have to pay child support for 20 years for a child you aren't allowed to see.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

VicMoSaka mentioned the very obvious point of why women leave...they need to leave if it's an abusive or dangerous relationship but that doesn't condone kidnapping the children and leaving the country. These women do have lives where they live, stay with friends etc. to sort it out legally as this is the country of the family. Here in Canada we have a really good support system for helping woman in such situations (I am sure there is even better in other countries) Very poor moral compass for the children that if you don't like the laws of the country you live in just leave and go to a country that is backwards enough to suit you. Both parents have the "human right" to have access to their children law or no law.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

By the way, Japan has signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Children which states the following under Article 9:

"Parties shall respect the right of the child who is separated from one or both parents to maintain personal relations and direct contact with both parents on a regular basis, except if it is contrary to the child’s best interests."

Japan continually violates this internationally guaranteed right.

Let's not forget Article 7.1:

1.The child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and, as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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