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European Parliament urges Japan to revamp child custody rules

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And of course the Japanese government will pay attention to that. Phewy!

13 ( +19 / -6 )

Japan has thus far blatantly ignored overseas court rulings.

6 ( +23 / -17 )

Good Luck with that one.

9 ( +16 / -7 )

Actually I would be surprised if Japan ignores this. Japan is not North Korea.

-30 ( +9 / -39 )

I'm sure they will form a committee to discuss, reflect on this embarrassing, regrettable situation. And the committee after a year of meetings will resolve the situation as being too hard and it's again regrettable that foreign governments don't understand the unique Japanese culture that treats children as chattels, and foreign dads mums as disposable.

23 ( +33 / -10 )

"Urges"...if their urges are anything like the one Abe often talks about, this is sadly going to fall on deaf ears here!

7 ( +13 / -6 )

TrevorPeaceToday  06:51 am JST

And of course the Japanese government will pay attention to that. Phewy!

Maybe yes, maybe no. But the same European Parliament also passed a resolution urging Russia to return the four Southern Kurile islands to Japan. And we all know how far that went.

3 ( +15 / -12 )

This is one of the worst aspects of Japan.

17 ( +24 / -7 )

Good that the Union push this matter and brings a spotlight to such a grave matter,this is no matter of sarcasm or jokes.

I saw soo many cases of foreign parents suffering for such cruel and inhuman unjust way to treat child custody with the foreign side denied even the right to be a parent.

Japan in many aspects is still living in the Edo era.

6 ( +17 / -11 )

True but there are some striking similarities.

Many striking similarities. What EU did is a good thing. USA should push too.

2 ( +13 / -11 )

That are really good news.

It's gonna make my day.

There's still some hope in the fixing of the -retarded- Japanese MOJ

-1 ( +13 / -14 )

I still feel the pain . My Child is now 35 years old but her mind has been poisoned against me.

21 ( +25 / -4 )

One of the many heartless Aspects of Japan

12 ( +18 / -6 )

Instead of urging, the EU could treat this as a human rights issue and put the FTA with Japan on hold. They never should have concluded the trade deal before this issue was resolved anyway, but oh well. Money talks I guess.

But I concur with most of the above- urging isn't going to do squat. Japan needs to be both shamed and hurt economically for this to have any effect. Besides freezing the FTA between Japan and EU, the EU can also halt visa free travel from Japan. That would send a message that the EU is serious. Other than that, this urge is useless

11 ( +15 / -4 )

More Japanese dads are affected by this phenomenon than foreign dads.

How do we get these guys on board, mobilised and vocal?

14 ( +16 / -2 )

I thought “urge” was a word only used in Japan.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

Japan isn't a colony.

-18 ( +8 / -26 )

parental child abduction ? a very strange insane vocabulary.

-15 ( +9 / -24 )

Abe has no time to read the resolution. flush.

-18 ( +7 / -25 )

has failed to comply with international rules on child abduction.

But its principles have no direct application to domestic abductions.

Would be hard to comply I think

6 ( +9 / -3 )

n1k1T said "Nothing scares me more then Akie ! Just imagine what Japan would look like with Akies in power."

I will be on top.

-9 ( +6 / -15 )

Parliament members expressed regret that Japan, as a strategic partner, has failed to comply with international rules on child abduction.

In what specific ways has Japan failed to comply? It's not as if they ignore official requests made under the Hague Convention.

If the EU want to be sure that every child gets returned, they should focus their efforts on amending the convention to remove the various provisions that allow for a child to remain with the abducting parent if a court determines that removal would result in psychological/developmental harm, or when the child expresses a desire to remain in Japan. This discretion (allowed by the convention) is why not every child is automatically returned.

-9 ( +11 / -20 )

It is a disingenuous, dubious of the European Parliament to blur the issue of child abduction with access and visiting rights. Family court judgements are not the business of a foreign judiciary.  

The first two paragraphs specifically refer to child abduction   

Members of the parliament are "concerned over the high number of parental child abduction cases due to the reluctance of Japanese authorities to comply with international law," the resolution said.

The third paragraph is frankly outrageous having far reaching political implications to Japan sovereign duty to rightly or wrongly advocate and implement a system of justice without foreign government interference.

The resolution also called on Japanese authorities "to enforce domestic and foreign court decisions on the return of the child and on access and visiting rights after the parents' relationship has ended, in order to bring their domestic laws in line with their international commitments and obligations."

I am sorry Cosmos1, my comment/opinion clearly appear to be unsympathetic to the desperation you must feel.

Change is sorely needed to rectify a gross injustice.

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

I am sorry Cosmos1, my comment/opinion clearly appear to be unsympathetic to the desperation you must feel.

No problem dude, I follow your logic

1 ( +3 / -2 )

If the EU want to be sure that every child gets returned, they should focus their efforts on amending the convention to remove the various provisions that allow for a child to remain with the abducting parent.

If true, good point, and further work needs to be done ! Do you by any chance have a link to this document

if a court determines that removal would result in psychological/developmental harm, or when the child expresses a desire to remain in Japan.

Wait, "a court" ? Who has jurisdiction over these cases ?

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Japan is still very backward and North Korea-lite in the social aspects. If the EU put the FTA on hold and sanctions against Japan on certain things, they would certainly force LDP cronies to bow down.

Japan doesn't quite export much to the EU, nowadays. China already accomodates the EU's basic needs, and now Vietnam has the EVFTA, so EU's reliance on China will become lesser. The EU can already produce its own hi-tech goods, so there is no need for Japan. In this case, the EU has nothing to lose if it sanctions Japan temporarily.

Japan isn't a colony.

They already are under the US. No Japanese leader ever dares to attack or criticize any American leadership, while Corporate America now owns many important assets in Japan. American corporations are on a buying spree in Japan.

In the shadow, China also colonizes Japan in a certain way through ethnic Chinese (Taiwanese), with ties to the CCP, who owns many important real estate assets in Japan.

7 ( +16 / -9 )

http://www.frij.net/m/index.asp

I have been a life long member of http://www.frij.net/m/index.asp BUT Que Sera, Sera

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Just as a matter of interest ……..

Guide to the family court Japan……….

https://www.courts.go.jp/english/vc-files/courts-en/file/Guide_to_the_Family_Court_of_Japan2018.pdf

In comparison…

The Hague Convention (Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction)

Overview of the Hague Convention and related Japanese Legal Systems

https://www.mofa.go.jp/fp/hr_ha/page22e_000250.html

The term, legal definition in respect of “abduction” and “removal” appears to be indeterminate.

n1k1, make important/crucial point jurisdiction.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

@n1k1

Do you by any chance have a link to this document

You can read the convention at the link below. Articles 12, 13(b) and 20 contain the main obstacles to removing a child.

https://www.hcch.net/en/instruments/conventions/full-text/?cid=24

Wait, "a court" ? Who has jurisdiction over these cases ?

Ultimately Japanese courts have the final say if the child is in Japan. First you apply to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and then a petition is sent to the courts for a removal order. This is when the other parent gets to present evidence that the child is settled in Japan, or there would be psychological harm if they were sent back, or they would suffer some other 'intolerable situation', or the child has expressed a desire to stay, or their human rights would be violated in some way.... The discretion is quite broad.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Thanks for that M3M3M3.

So this "discretion" in the convention acts as a loophole that can be exploited in countries where the courts are strongly biased to their own citizens and, in this particular situation, mothers?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Thanks M3M3M3!

I think both the text in the article, EU and you are saying the same thing. This convention is not enough of a framework to do anything. The technical bits aside, there are real families hurting and something has to be done in Japan and also in EU should Japan feels it isn't fair.

Japan is already a party to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, an international treaty providing a framework for the return of a child abducted by a parent living in another country. But its principles have no direct application to domestic abductions.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Funny that some people here try desperately to defend such outdated and cruel system.

The European Union isn’t perfect,but for sure about social welfare,human and animal rights so as death penalty and weapons law can teach to some of these countries.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Japan if you cant & seems you WONT do what is right for non-Japanese parents at least have the STONES to do what is right for the 100s of thousands of Japanese parents who have had their children abducted from them!!

FOR SHAME!!

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Since 1980 and EU is only urging?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

This one's personal. Still haven't seen my children since February. I have 2 coworkers that haven't seen their children in years. Hopefully the Japanese government can pass some progressive laws for a change.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

@ Cosmos1, thank you for the link to frij.net. I’ve signed the petition there and wish you and all those other fathers in the same situationall the best, keep fighting! Was readibg through some of the comments in the petition list..just heart breaking. Japan needs to change.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Yeah, good luck with that.

And Japan is supposed to be a country / society that puts family first. There's a reason why my avatar name is YeahRight.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

It is abundantly clear that Japan does not respect human rights, concerning child custody or anything else.

It does not respect the rights of its citizens, and it does not give a damn about foreigners.

I am not sure what the European Parliament can do about it.

After some bitter experiences, I decided NOT to do business in Japan any more. May be in a few decades (if we are lucky) Japan will reform itself, but it is highly doubtful.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Doesn’t affect me personally, but on the basis of justice and equity, here here.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Like berating a naughty child who refuses to listen.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

A child who refuses to grow up.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This is why you should never get a divorce once you have a kid with your partner.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

My reality: The last 7 plus years. Have one 3 hour visit allowed by family court each month since March 2016. Younger son (15) comes, haven't seen elder son (17) since May 2017. Before March 2016 fewer irregular visits due to vague family court order. (They live 4 km away) I have payed ¥120,000 to my wife every month as ordered by the family court.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Divorce is not a prerequisite! Many of these fathers (mothers too) are still legally married and yet do not even know where their kids are!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Hope they can learn to respect humanitarian causes and rights, and not just use the 'japan is a unique culture and you must respect, understand, and follow it' typical statement. I know if they had such a law when I was there, my friend would still have his child. They want the world to follow them and abide by their harmnony and 'wa' but dont follow things when it does not fit their comfort zone. pure control on their behalf. They'll probably try to throw money at it in replacement of actually following through.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

My reality: The last 7 plus years. Have one 3 hour visit allowed by family court each month since March 2016.

It's reading the real stories that really break your heart.

Personally I would move into the same street, not 4km away.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"parental child abduction ? a very strange insane vocabulary."

Au contraire. After a divorce in most case both parents will have some form of joint custody with the parents granted visitation on schedule set by the court. They in effect share raising the child. Visitation schedule changes must also be approved by the court. This is done to ensure both parents are part of the child's life and isn't denied contact with one of their parents. But what do you call it when one of the parents runs away somewhere with the child and hides, denying the other parent the ability to see their child? That is parental child abduction. What else would you call it?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

MickeliciousToday  08:34 am JST

More Japanese dads are affected by this phenomenon than foreign dads.

How do we get these guys on board, mobilised and vocal?

I suspect that one of the reasons the authorities keep dragging their feet over this issue is that they assume Japanese dads on the whole aren't bothered, and that they would actually prefer to just disappear out of their children's lives. Former Prime Minister Koizumi, for instance, clearly isn't bothered about having a third son he's never had any contact with. Whenever there's yet another horrible story about child abuse, the biological father often just isn't in the picture. I think therefore that getting Japanese dads on board could be tough, unfortunately.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Unless there is some kind of financial/ economic penalty, Japan will pay no heed.

They of all nations know what “urging” really means.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"I suspect that one of the reasons the authorities keep dragging their feet over this issue is that they assume Japanese dads on the whole aren't bothered, and that they would actually prefer to just disappear out of their children's lives. Former Prime Minister Koizumi, for instance, clearly isn't bothered about having a third son he's never had any contact with. Whenever there's yet another horrible story about child abuse, the biological father often just isn't in the picture. I think therefore that getting Japanese dads on board could be tough, unfortunately"

Asian societies still see it as the mothers duty to raise children and a fathers duty to earn the income. Courts in Asia, not just Japan, still favor granting custody to mothers. China is no different. In fact it is their default position. You don't find Mister Mom too often in Asian societies that I have seen. Mr. Koizumi's two older children who he has custody of were raised by his sisters. Japan does not have a system of visitation rights as one finds in the west.

I would bet more than beers that third son of Mr. Koizumi weighs heavily on his heart. It must be one of his great regrets. Divorce in Japan is still frowned on. As a result cooperative arrangements for visitation and shared child rearing are uncommon. Divorces can be more of a winner take all situation.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I would bet more than beers that third son of Mr. Koizumi weighs heavily on his heart. It must be one of his great regrets.

Did he ever let his ex-wife see her other two sons?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan does not like being told what to do... nor does China.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"Did he ever let his ex-wife see her other two sons?"

Probably not but we don't know that for a fact. Divorces lead to hard, bitter feelings and I would guess neither former spouse wanted to see or speak to each other for any reason. So they didn't. In the US a family court would order the former spouses to communicate with each other a certain number of times per week on a court run website / message board. The court would also force the former spouses to share child rearing by assigning visitation days to each parent. Each would be required to share medical and day care expenses for the child. In many US states failure to pay child support or the other expenses on the part of one parent leads to the revocation of drivers, business and professional licenses and their passport if any. None of these may be restored until back child support and the other expenses are paid up. These measure force parents to be involved in their children's lives even some, though not all, of the former spouses seethe with hatred for each other. The court orders force them to be civil for the sake of their children.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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