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Two fathers in Europe demand action against Japan over parental child abduction

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Japanese have proven to be impervious to int'l criticism, reciprocal actions on Japanese citizens might force some aciton.

20 ( +28 / -8 )

Good luck with that.

It won't happen during this government's time.

17 ( +21 / -4 )

The two men -- who both became estranged from their children after their Japanese wives took them without consent -- say Japan should be sanctioned for breaching its human rights obligation under the EU-Japan Strategic Partnership Agreement.

Absolutely!

In order to initiate diplomatic actions, the French Senate on Feb. 5 unanimously adopted a non-binding resolution calling on Japan to respect its international commitments under the Hague Convention.

a non-binding resolution calling on Japan...Lame. Weak. BUT... better than other countries who do nothing.

9 ( +17 / -8 )

who both became estranged from their children after their Japanese wives took them without consent 

"Estranged" is probably not the correct term to use here: it implies an emotional separation by one or more parties. One might imagine that neither father nor child are "estranged" - they're separated due to de facto kidnapping.

24 ( +29 / -5 )

Good luck fellas! I left Japan because my Japanese ex wouldn’t let me see my kids and they only lived a few kilometers away. It’s just too easy for Japanese women to cry abuse and cut the father off completely, regardless of the facts. I think they like the attention they get from complaining about being a single mum. She has two cute and healthy children that win all their sporting events. She did thank me for my genes though. What a gal! And, what a ridiculous system!

28 ( +33 / -5 )

Mothers in international marriages should not have to find it difficult to escape abuse and keep their children with them. The fathers use international law to continue to abuse their ex wives.

-51 ( +5 / -56 )

Mothers in international marriages should not have to find it difficult to escape abuse and keep their children with them. The fathers use international law to continue to abuse their ex wives.

Huh? How exactly does one "use international law" to commit abuse? What rubbish.

36 ( +39 / -3 )

I have never known a Japanese wife to go so far as stealing away children. Unless, the husband was a drunkard, violent, or refused to work for the family. If it happens beyond those circumstances I believe it would be a distinct, and very small, minority. Drunkard, and/or violent - would account for most.

-33 ( +4 / -37 )

Minami SmithToday  05:09 pm JST

The fathers use international law to continue to abuse their ex wives.

Rather a sweeping generalisation, isn't it? Or are you saying that's what actually happens in all failed international relationships?

20 ( +23 / -3 )

Interestingly I told a female Korean friend about the lack of joint custody in Japan and child abductions that leave foreign fathers without any means to contact their children. She was shocked and had not heard of such an issue in Korea. I wonder if Japan really is unique, in a bad way, with this sole custody system.

12 ( +17 / -5 )

Because I don't think the situation in Japan will change during our life time, one advice to foreigners wanting to marry that cute Japanese lady: be VERY, VERY careful, and make sure you know her very well before signing the papers. Unfortunately, I know some cases where the cute, stylish and quiet baby doll transformed in Dracula's mother once the papers were signed, and especially once the kids were born...

14 ( +20 / -6 )

japanese are backwards regarding any laws but it is time that they wake up and be more fair to foriengers. U are born japanese so what ???.U can bully all other nationalities. Full of disrespect.

-1 ( +10 / -11 )

Unfortunately, most Japanese are not interested in this matter at all.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

Japan will simply dig in its heels, as it always does in the face of foreign criticism...pretty ironic, for a country that values "flexibility". Guess that only works one way.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

kokontozaiToday  06:09 pm JST

Unfortunately, most Japanese are not interested in this matter at all.

Neither are most non-Japanese unless they have first or second hand experience with the issue.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

I think a lot of Japanese fathers and his parents (grandparents) suffer from this problem but feel there is nothing they can do.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Mothers in international marriages should not have to find it difficult to escape abuse and keep their children with them. The fathers use international law to continue to abuse their ex wives.

This is an obnoxious comment, neither of the fathers in this article committed abuse of any sort. The vast majority of fathers being victimized by this system are in the same boat.

18 ( +21 / -3 )

Unfortunately, I know some cases where the cute, stylish and quiet baby doll transformed in Dracula's mother once the papers were signed, and especially once the kids were born...

The cute sweet and dependent character is just an act. what you see is not what you get. all that bottled up obligation to parents, work superiors etc will be unleashed on the foreigner. enter at your own risk.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

The most effective recourse is to do what they did. When a japanese family visits, take the children. The japanese govt will protest. And the EU would be like, we must listen to our courts. And then they can do a child exchange.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Unless you’re totally ignorant about the reality of Japanese Society when you get married, you know this is what you were in for. That being said, realistically, by the time you get done fighting this, your kid will be of legal age. Want to be part of your kids’ life? Stay in Japan somehow.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Foundation of this law needs to be looked, decide if it needs update and call for referendum, if such a thing exisit in Japan.

The horror of your child taken away and being cut off must be true to both parents. The child has no choice but humanity should speak above law to care for our little ones and their future.

Isn't custody, joint custody and being non-custodial parent....mean.... just an another law that need to be obayed?

Whatever the reason for divorce, child has the right to be loved by both parents.

It is evil if the law restrict the right to children.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Isn't custody, joint custody and being non-custodial parent....mean.... just an another law that need to be obayed?

I think that it should instead be obeyed.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I have never known a Japanese wife to go so far as stealing away children. Unless, the husband was a drunkard, violent,..

I don’t know how many Japanese wives you’ve known or know ,but I would try, if I were you, to step outside my little social clique of a handful of married women and see the real effect that the Japanese government’s neglect to adopt the same rules of joint custody that the rest of the developed modern societies have put into place is having on foreign men and their children. It’s tearing families apart and is effecting the innocent fatherless children the most.

Wake up Japan! Keep fathers in their childrens’ lives.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Mothers in international marriages should not have to find it difficult to escape abuse and keep their children with them. The fathers use international law to continue to abuse their ex wives.

I have some sympathy for your view. I know of such a case. I also know of a case where a father was denied access to his kids for no reason other than his ex-wife found a wealthier husband. In both cases, both parents said they had been wronged. Who to believe?

My own view is that the law should pay no heed to the "rights" of either the mother or the father. The welfare and views of the child should be the only concern. Not an easy task, I admit. But ignoring the pleas of parents in these cases may not be such a bad starting point.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

http://content.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2036246,00.html

That article says it better than I can. I'm not personally affected, but know women who are.

The law is used to compel mother's to stay or return to dangerous situations, and pass their children to men who have been violent. Domestic violence is no longer an effective defence to taking your children to safety.

Its the children who should come first, and the fallacy that all fathers are safe to have contact with their children us dangerous to the children and their mothers.

I know nothing of these two men's personal situations. I didn't not agree with their lobbying to change the way things are.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Well i learn from other cases, what I did was nationalize my three kids get then a passport from country of origin and here they are with me, the mother now want to come to live with us, i told her it's fine because of kids, i let her talk to then every day via Line,she is the one who never calls then, i always have to make the calls,anyway, the good thing is, in my country no one can take a minor without the writing concerns of the other parents if one is not traveling.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

So you took the children, by out playing her, and boast of how she is so alienated that she has low contact, and only through you? But that's ok, because you are a man.

If a woman had done the same not only would she be censured, but probably lept on in international proceedings.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

Minami Smith

Didn't you understand?

I am the one who have to call her, because she won't even do that!

Aand on top of that I agreed for her to come to live with us, because of my kids need her mother too, something that it seems Japanese dont have a clue a child needs.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

you took the children, by out playing her

Which leaves her legal recourse to try to get them legally.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

And you guys wonder why women just go home with the kids!

The law is an ass. Not fit for purpose.

If I read right, the poster is claiming he took the kids away from their mother and legal residence, and if she wants to be with them, she has to live with him. But he is being somehow magnanimous?

Truth is international marriages are just too risky.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

70% of children lose contact with a parent after divorce in Japan.

it isn’t a man vs woman issue and isnt about DV or foreigners.

There are Japanese women who can’t see their children.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

What a silly statement. Any mother who steals her children without the consent of the father or the courts is a kidnapper and a criminal.

A Japanese lady I know in Australia had an abusive alcoholic husband. She left him and was given a shelter and government assistance while the divorce happens. You can’t seriously think kidnapping is justified in this case.

And you guys wonder why women just go home with the kids!

Weren’t you just whining when you mistakenly thought the poster above had done that?

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Minami SmithToday  01:44 am JST

http://content.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2036246,00.html

That has nothing to do with the situation in Japan.

I'm not personally affected, but know women who are.

The "I know people who..." line of argument generally carries little weight. Maybe I know people who are affected too. Maybe I don't and I'm just making it up.

The law is used to compel mother's to stay or return to dangerous situations, and pass their children to men who have been violent. Domestic violence is no longer an effective defence to taking your children to safety.

There is absolutely nothing in the article to indicate that the mothers or children in these two cases were in any danger from the fathers, so it looks like you're going off on a bit of a tangent here.

Minami SmithToday  05:42 am JST

And you guys wonder why women just go home with the kids!

No, I don't think any of us wonder that. This has nothing to do with what the fathers might do - it's pretty obvious that in Japan it is socially acceptable for mothers to deny fathers access to their children regardless of whether they're right to do so or not and that the authorities will let them do it.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

gaijinpapaToday  05:50 am JST

70% of children lose contact with a parent after divorce in Japan.

it isn’t a man vs woman issue...

Indeed it's not, although I think the custom of ex-wives keeping the children is primarily intended to benefit Japanese fathers who want little to do with them even when they are married.

On the topic of abuse though, how many times have there been stories in the media about children being abused by their mothers' new partners? The natural fathers never seem to be anywhere in the picture, presumably because they're off exercising their right to vanish out of their children's lives and enjoy themselves.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Anyone knows French, German? Any European language?

子の親権問題 or Child custody issues

Japan recognise it as a problem. Access you local Embassy web site.

You might be able to find the link in Japanese quite easily but not in English (UK).

What's going on here people?

Is there a law for web site to keep the same content when the site has different language options available?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Minami Smith

I don't think anyone would disagree with Wives leaving abusive and violent husbands. However i do believed this issue is not about that particular situation its specifically to do with Wives essentially kidnapping children with no warning or explanation to their partners, it does happen and there are a myriad examples of it online.

Whether it is to do with the couple not properly discussing the issue or simply the wife wanting to get back at the husband.

It shouldn't be acceptable for either parent to just up and leave with the kids to another country with no warning and then bar the other parent from seeing or communicating with their children for the rest of their lives.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Unfortunately as it stands the Hague disagrees strongly and with extreme penalties with women leaving abusive husband's and taking their children. It is absolutely reason Japan should not cooperate with Hague proceedings.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Unfortunately as it stands the Hague disagrees strongly and with extreme penalties with women leaving abusive husband's and taking their children.

No, The Hague convention does not state these things.

It is absolutely reason Japan should not cooperate with Hague proceedings.

A) Japan is a signatory to the convention, by their own behest. No one forced them. Instead, we are calling them out for not living up to the agreement that they willingly and knowingly signed on to.

B) Kidnapping is a crime. Taking children without the approval of either the father or the courts is a crime, and is not justifiable. There are legal recourses and shelters in first world countries for mothers in these positions. Stealing the children extrajudicially makes the mother a criminal.

I’m not saying I don’t sympathize with these women. What a horrible decision - stay with a horrible person or maybe lose your kid. But kidnapping is the wrong answer, and instantly puts the mother in the wrong. Japan agrees. That’s the convention they chose to sign on to.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Mothers in international marriages should not have to find it difficult to escape abuse and keep their children with them. The fathers use international law to continue to abuse their ex wives.

Absolute tosh!

I have never known a Japanese wife to go so far as stealing away children. Unless, the husband was a drunkard, violent, or refused to work for the family. If it happens beyond those circumstances I believe it would be a distinct, and very small, minority. Drunkard, and/or violent - would account for most

Also absolute tosh!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Truth is international marriages are just too risky.

Wow! With oversight like this, you should probably get out more!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

https://gspp.berkeley.edu/global/the-hague-domestic-violence-project/hague-dv/hague-convention-and-domestic-violence

Educate yourself, strangerland

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

“A court need not return a child if the return would pose a grave risk … that … return would expose the child to physical or psychological harm or otherwise place the child in an intolerable situation.”

Great. None of us would want children to be returned to physical or psychological harm.

That whole quote is a mess though, as it says this:

Domestic civil and criminal law often takes this exposure into account, but in Hague Convention cases there is a general reluctance to acknowledge this as an acceptable reason for not returning a child back to another country.

Even though the Hague convention states it clearly, and the write even acknowledged that.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It's easy for anyone to cherry pick one or two pieces to support an argument you're trying to make.

I have first, second and third hand knowledge of such cases in Japan.

But I want to point out something that is being overlooked. The large amount of Japanese men who also suffer from this status quo situation.

Admittedly there are jerks out there... of the male and female variety both. But are you saying all, or maybe even just the majority of foreign men are abusive spouses? If you include Japanese men in that figure of men who lose contact with their children, would you still say the majority were abusive?

The major difference between the foreign and Japanese fathers is that the Japanese ones think that it is normal and that they have to suffer in silence.

I suggest that if you see abusers and oppressors everywhere that you start to question your own perceptions and look back at your history to see if there is something that may have caused that perception.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The take away is, get to know your partner very well before marrying. After marriage and kids, it becomes much bigger than yourself, the children suffer from a divorce.

When I was in the military, we had to get permission from the base commander, and in one case the Col. did not like Japanese it seems, and denied all marriages.

now that I think about it, he was quite wise.

Unless your partner has lived overseas, I dont recommend marrying a Japanese. the hardships for both involved are too much due too the difference in cultures.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It clearly states that the courts do not accept domestic violence as a Hague case defence. 

And you’re claiming I have bad reading comprehension; I can count two things you wrote there that were not part of the quote you claim to speak of.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Minami Smith, I'm grateful you're not a counselor for families.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Sure Why not but Nothing will change so you need to think before you act.

marriage and family is big responsibility, maybe some of you need to think first

0 ( +0 / -0 )

some of the foreigners need think with their head instead of ................. before making a serious commitment like marriage. Maybe in U.S or Europe, trying it 2,3,or 4th is not big deal and marriage itself is not a big deal but when you are in Japan, you need to really think first, what you are doing with Japanese spouse has direct impact on your kids who are ultimate victims here. I am not going to mentioned about being half in Japan,that's another topic,

so you can complain all you want, do you think Japan will change, i don't think so.

so unless you are in for long haul, don't get married here in Japan,

0 ( +0 / -0 )

when you are in Japan, you need to really think first, what you are doing with Japanese spouse has direct impact on your kids who are ultimate victims here. I am not going to mentioned about being half in Japan,that's another topic,

so you can complain all you want, do you think Japan will change, i don't think so.

so unless you are in for long haul, don't get married here in Japan,

0 ( +0 / -0 )

so unless you are in for long haul, don't get married here in Japan,

If I listened to that advice, I wouldn't have had my companion of the past 20+ years, nor my two beautiful children whom I love more than anything.

But yeah, I suppose I should have lived according to your rhetoric, right?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Strangerland Feb. 19 11:40 am JST

Current training curricula for judges and lawyers on the Hague Convention equate violence against women to "a custody issue," and insist that it should be settled in the child's country of habitual residence (Hoff, 1997 and OJJDP, 2002).

Since a "Hague case" presumably concerns whether the kid should be returned to the place from which she's abducted and proceed from there, this is close enough to what Minami Smith summarized I'll give her the point.

The basic point is that the pretence of the convention is that we need to stop child abduction and further, the court from which the child is abducted is best placed to adjudicate things on the facts. Thus the general trend of the document (while it does have exceptions posited) is to demand courts where the child was abducted to to NOT look closely at the facts and let the other court sort it out.

OK, but really, think about it. Do you really think that the other court will be fair about it after this sequence of events? The pressure is there to deliver a ruling that would prevent another move, because to admit the abductor had the right idea after all would be to admit the entire back-and-forth procedure is a waste of everyone's time and possibly a danger to the kid. Best to sweep it under the rug.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How do they get away with all of this? I swear they have somehow brainwashed the international community to do whatever the hell the want. Why is the UN and other countries scared of them? they should learn to step outside of their boxes and respect the culture of people from other countries, specifically the universal one of parent hood and humanity.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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