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I have received many e-mails from Japanese women living in other countries. Those women, who wish to divorce their husbands and return to Japan with their children, asked whether their cases are subje

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Kensuke Onuki, a lawyer belonging to the Daini Tokyo Bar Association, who is an expert on the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. (Yomiuri Shimbun)

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Thankfully most industrialized nations are party to the Hague Convention - which in reality protects the child from being taken out of a country by one parent, and never being able to know the estranged parent. . . .Japan has finally conceded to sign this Charter - ensuring that children born in mixed marriages have the protection of the right to know and have a relationship with each parent.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I wonder about these Japanese women who marry foreign men... It's not as if they entered an arranged marriage. Why do they feel the need to divorce and hightail it back to Japan? Did they just want the experience of living overseas and giving birth to a "hafu" baby? Or they all just had a superficial relationship with their husband so reality bit them hard? Why not stay put after the divorce and let the child and father continue their relationship?

5 ( +10 / -5 )

I feel terrible for these women. They have as much right, if not MORE, to take their children out of the country. They are the mothers.

-41 ( +2 / -42 )

Any country that signed the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction will immediately return an abducted child if the parent removed the child without the court's permission. Therefore in order to leave the country you need to check your custody decree because some decrees contain certain restrictions or criteria you must meet before traveling internationally with your child. You have be very careful because if you disregard the requirements noted in the decree, you could be arrested and charged with kidnapping. Since all custody agreements differ a divorced mother must obtain written permission from the child's father and if you intent to permanently relocate to your native country. In the end the court will evaluate the circumstances surrounding the move and a judge will decide if the move is in the child's best interest.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

kimuzukashiiiii I feel terrible for these women. They have as much right, if not MORE, to take their children out of the country. They are the mothers.

Fathers have rights ,too . . . Surprisingly - for you perhaps -they LOVE their children too , and want to be involved i n their children's lives . . .Besides, apart from the Virgin Birth, a "mother" can not become a" mother" without some male fathering the child . . IT TAKES 2 TO TANGO!!! And fathers have rights too.

DenTok2009 I wonder about these Japanese women who marry foreign men... It's not as if they entered an arranged marriage. Why do they feel the need to divorce and hightail it back to Japan? Did they just want the experience of living overseas and giving birth to a "hafu" baby? Or they all just had a superficial relationship with their husband so reality bit them hard? Why not stay put after the divorce and let the child and father continue their relationship?

What an inane or maybe even racist comment !!!! . ...... People fall in love or marry for various reasons - -------- In FACT, MOST marriages - if you really break it down - are MIXED marriages : Irish marrying Germans, American marrying French, Japanese marrying Canadian, Koreans marrying Italians, Chinese marrying Scots , Turks marrying Norwegians. . and the permutations go on and on and on . . . Divorces happen . . .Are they good ? Perhaps not . . But no one - i.e. NO " Healthy" person CALCULATES to marry and divorce. . . .

13 ( +18 / -5 )

@semperfi You seem to have a comprehension issue. Read the quote of the day and my comment and rethink your response.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Hopefully Mr. Onuki told those women to grow up and pull their selfish heads out of the sand.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

NO " Healthy" person CALCULATES to marry and divorce. . . .

Unfortunately a lot of people marry and make contingency plans for divorce.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

DenTok @semperfi You seem to have a comprehension issue. Read the quote of the day and my comment and rethink your response.

:-) perhaps you can try your own advise !!!

Strangerland :NO " Healthy" person CALCULATES to marry and divorce. . . . Unfortunately a lot of people marry and make contingency plans for divorce.

That is apples and oranges, and you know it. It is a responsible thing to do pre-nup agreement - especially if you come into the marriage with money - to address problems IN THE EVENT of a divorce. . .Just like one makes a WILL or buys insurance IN THE EVENT of a misfortune. . . . That does NOT mean one hopes for it. - - HOWEVER, that being said - CHILDREN are entitled to the care and love of BOTH parents . . . No ONE parent cannot supersede the right of another . . .

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Divorce is a billion dollar industry. The family courts and lawyers thrive on it.

I believe that Japanese are law abiding citizens. Even those women who are unaware of divorce law are often aided by the Family Courts in Japan.

Now the rules have changed. With that said I'd expect those women who wish to be in complete control of their marriages will ask their foreign spouse to reside in Japan. If the male spouse wishes otherwise the divorce will come quicker than expected or the marriage may not even take place at all..

With that said, if you are man who wants to marry a Japanese woman you should do so in your home country. At least outside of Japan men have human rights. Here in Japan marriage is a Japanese woman's second income or primary income.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Ask the newly divorced Takeda Kumiko about her problems. Her former husband had not been at home for weeks at a time and raising the child mainly fell into her laps now they are having a divorce the husband is demanding EQUAL custody.

Not all cases are like this but even a single case should require to examine what equal custody means.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

You do have to admit though - with Japan FINALLY agreeing to the Hague Convention standards, and with the protests and anger we've seen about the misogynists in politics lately, Japan seems headed in the right direction regarding gender equality. It's not there yet, and it's taken a very long time, but at least there's progress. Better late than never.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

It's not easy for women to get married and then live in a foreign country. Leave friends and family and all the familair Japanese things behind. I think the change from Japan to saomrwhere (say) in Europr or the US is really tough one to make.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

Wakarimasen: It's not easy for women to get married and then live in a foreign country. Leave friends and family and all the familair Japanese things behind. I think the change from Japan to saomrwhere (say) in Europr or the US is really tough one to make.

I agree - it is definitely tough. But they agreed to it, and they need to be responsible for the results of that decision, even if it is difficult. Living in a foreign country is much, much less difficult than having to live without your child who was stolen.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

I read about this in the paper yesterday & this lawyer DID tell women married overseas that if they did take their kids to Japan that the Convention would apply.

Sounds like this might help prevent some future kidnappings. Doesn't yet seem to be doing much for people whose kids were already kidnapped or for those denied access in Japan

5 ( +7 / -2 )

They are the mothers.

So? They "own" the child do they? You see a child is a thing that someone has claims to? What warped comment. Women demand fathers be more involved but when it comes time to divorce, some women seem to think that the child is rightfully theirs. It's disgusting and more needs to be done to protect fathers - and foreign parents in general - from this line of thinking. Plenty of fathers out there who are way better parents than mothers. Gender shouldn't matter in custody cases but sadly, many seem to think it should.

**NO " Healthy" person CALCULATES to marry and divorce. . . .

Unfortunately a lot of people marry and make contingency plans for divorce.**

I think folks are foolish to think marriage will last forever in this day and age. I certainly have not made any "plans" to divorce but have made sure that if it does happen, it won't mean I'll be living in poverty or needing mommy and daddy to bail me out. IMO, more people need to think about the "what ifs" if the marriage doesn't work out. Nothing wrong with that. A lot wrong on planning it from the start though.

Ask the newly divorced Takeda Kumiko about her problems. Her former husband had not been at home for weeks at a time and raising the child mainly fell into her laps now they are having a divorce the husband is demanding EQUAL custody. And to many J women here, that would be the perfect life. A walking ATM with little input on the kids and never home. Did SHE help contribute to the family pot? Did she actually encourage the father to spend time parenting? Did she "allow" it? From what I have seen first hand many women don't "allow" fathers to help out but then turn around and complain they don't do enough. Two sides to every story and I am sure the husband has a few comments to make about what it was like to be married to her.

It's not easy for women to get married and then live in a foreign country. Leave friends and family and all the familair Japanese things behind. I think the change from Japan to saomrwhere (say) in Europr or the US is really tough one to make. Just as it isn't for men. What's your point? If these women weren't up for the move, they should have rethought marrying a foreigner. However, many of them see it as an escape from Japan but when things aren't perfect, they demand to return home with their child. Very unfair and Japan has gotten away with those for far too long.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

My ex-fiance would only accpet a future whereby we moved back to her small country town and lived next door to her family. Living in my home coutry, or even a big city like Tokyo, was simply out of the question. I could definitely see a situation in the future where she'd basically divorce and return home, and she was not willing to compromise on anything. After all the sacrifices I myself had made!

I'd say there's a significant number of people (men & women) who could relate to this.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Trouble is it also traps women in abusive marriages, away from the support of family and friends, and makes it impossible to escape without making the horrendous decision of leaving behind their children with their abusive father and often the mother is then left not knowing her own children. Whilst MOST men are not abusers, some are, and for these women, the convention is an absolute tragedy.

-17 ( +3 / -18 )

Trouble is it also traps women in abusive marriages, away from the support of family and friends, and makes it impossible to escape without making the horrendous decision of leaving behind their children with their abusive father

This is a myth bandied around by the establishment. The fact is that these women have whatever lines of defense against abusive husbands exist in the countries they live in. And if the husband is abusive, the woman should be able to get legal custody of the child, in which case taking their child back to Japan will not be kidnapping.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

It is absolutely not a myth and works both ways. Non Japanese women trapped in Japan with abusive husbands have little chance of support or legal redress and face losing their children to their male Japanese spouse. Sometimes the only way out of these situations is to get as far away as possible, which the convention makes impossible. Then these poor women are pursued by the law for trying to get themselves away for their safety, and that of their children.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

Unlike creating a kid, marriage is work. Kids are fun.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The bottom line is this....You can't run from your problems anymore. Deal with it.

If it's an abusive husband then you have to deal with it in the country you are in first. Vice versa likewise

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Trouble is it also traps women in abusive marriages, away from the support of family and friends, and makes it impossible to escape without making the horrendous decision of leaving behind their children with their abusive father and often the mother is then left not knowing her own children. Whilst MOST men are not abusers, some are, and for these women, the convention is an absolute tragedy.

And many foreign men are "trapped" in marriges here because the wife knows that she'll get custody of the kids if the father finally has enough and walks out. Women hold the powere here with regards to custody and many, many play on that power - as we saw above with Kimuzu making her comments. If I had 100 yen for every unhappy male I know here trapped in a loveless marriage, foreign or Japanese, where they are treated like an ATM and stay only because of the kids, I could easily buy a McHappy Meal.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Japanese citizens hold all the power here.

If both are Japanese, the mother gets custody....if one is not Japanese, it is never the foreign spouse that gets custody, male or female

0 ( +2 / -2 )

**Japanese citizens hold all the power here.

If both are Japanese, the mother gets custody....if one is not Japanese, it is never the foreign spouse that gets custody, male or female**

BS. While it is not easy, I know of and know more than a few foreign women who have custody. Dads, be it Japanese or not, nearly never get the kids though which is an issue.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@LaWren: Sorry, but you are aware Japan signed the Hauge, right?

Additionally, I think the real myth here is thinking women who are somehow trapped by abusive husbands. You realize in a court of law you can present evidence and present a case against an abusive partner...right? And that fringe cases like this can not dictate the rules for norm.

I'd like to think the justice system has a pretty good handle on how to do things fairly, as opposed to the "kidnap the kids and block access to the husband" approach.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@kimuzukashiiiii

It's obvious that you have no regard for the rights or well-being of fathers.

But can I ask you, how do you feel about foreign mothers living in Japan, married to Japanese men, abducting their Japanese children from Japan and taking them to their 'home' countries?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

If somebody asked me for my opinion on their international marriage to a Japanese, Id have to say....think it over hard, I mean think over everything. Your whole world, or your spouses world, will be turned upside down. The freedom to find work like you could in your country of origin for you in Japan will disappear simply because your a gaijin and likewise for your spouse, but that toodepends on what country your spouse relocates too. With many Japanese, it usually is a one way street, so good luck with that. It can be a very tough life for both partners. Yes, some are successful, but many arent. Know what your getting into.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

For those Japanese women who marry foreign men! Its ok to party in Japan but once the honeymoon is over and you move to a foreign land its time to grow up and forget about Hello Kitty and the cute little things. Life is not the same in Japan as in other foreign countries, when these women meet foreign men or vice versa both should investigate where they want to live and go there often to stay and be part of the environment that they plan to raise a family in. Cultural difference plays a part, yes she or he will miss home and friends and family, but where you chose to stay is home and where you will raise your family so think hard about marriage because it is easy to get in but hard as hell to get out of because someone is going to pay the price!!! Nobody wins,the lawyers get richer!!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"..subject to the cases?" - Yes.

Hence:

"Luckily, kind and loving J-women has highly respected Hague (& Geneva) convention in the glorious nation of Japan, to rely on." - No.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I feel terrible for these women.

I feel terrible for their children.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

So what? I'm sure there are just as many, if not more, foreign guys, residing in Japan, married to Japanese women, who want to get out of their marriage. But they are stuck there due to the archaic divorce/custody laws. Why do these Japanese women deserve more sympathy?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

It not that I have no regards for the rights of fathers - they do have some rights. However the few making the noise about this are the severe minority. There are an awful lot of fathers (and not just in Japan) who just bolt, never seeing their kids again.

But I mean lets face it.... when a couple split, in the very, very vast majority of cases it is the women getting full custody, while men slink off into the sunset with a younger girlfriend. This is particularly bad in Japan. The men never see their kids again. The only reason being because they dont WANT to. If Japanese men en-masse wanted to, then the old "only one person can have custody" rule would have been changed years ago.

I do feel sorry for these women. If a couple (for example Japanese wife and American husband) have split, then she is effectively trapped in America, with no support, possible language issues, and no friends. How can we say that is better for the child than being taken back to Japan? Of course, in an ideal situation, they would do it all legally, not have to abduct her children. But there is the threat of violence, or even aggression or control that makes it difficult to leave.

This goes for any woman in any country.

And Taiko666. If a woman I knew was in the position she felt that she HAD to leave Japan with her child, for whatever reason (violence, abuse etc ) I would help her get out. I seriously doubt that most women would take such a dramatic step out of anything other than desperation. It comes from fear and needing to protect your children - its fight or flight.

I challenge any other MOTHER to tell me she would not do the same, if she felt she was at risk of losing her child, or putting him or her in danger. Because only mothers can understand this instinct.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Kimuzukashiiiii, I totally agree with everything you have said. As much as some men with axes to grind against their Japanese ex's, and women-hating females dont want it to be true, you are speaking the absolute truth.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It not that I have no regards for the rights of fathers - they do have some rights.

Some? But not near as many as you think the women should have, clearly. This is clearly gender discrimination. I don't think the few making noise are in the minority at all. Every Japanese and foreign male I know who has kids and who wants a divorce or got one has made noise about custody.

But I mean lets face it.... when a couple split, in the very, very vast majority of cases it is the women getting full custody, while men slink off into the sunset with a younger girlfriend. Back that up please with some sort of stats or research as I think that is BS. You seem to have an issue with men for whatever reason.

The men never see their kids again because the ex wife won't let them. That is well known here. And no, many men want to see their kids but Japan doesn't really support the idea of joint custody nor the father seeing their kids after the divorce.

If a Japanese women is "trapped" with no friends, that's because she didn't make the effort to make friends. Do you feel the same way about foreign women? Do you support them fleeing Japan and taking their kids to a country they don't know, perhaps might not speak the language and perhaps have never been to?

Challenge? My mom didn't do any of this. Nor have many of my divorce foreign female friends living in Japan. You clearly don't have an understanding of this topic and are cherry picking from your limited experiences. Frankly, as a woman, you're opinions scare me. Fathers deserve way more credit and respect than you are giving them.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Im sorry Tmarie, but No, I dont think that fathers should have equal rights to a mother, in the case where a mother is in the position that she needs to flee the country, for whatever reason. Either should Grandparents, uncles, Aunts, cousins or other DNA relatives. Unless the mother is a drug addict, mentally unstable or a danger to the child, the woman should be given primary custody. I dont see why on earth she would not be. Its not gender discrimination - Its biology. Its how it always has been and always will be.

The mother carried the baby for 9 months, and often breast fed for an awful lot longer. The mother is usually the one giving up her career, getting up in the middle of the night. That bond is hard to break, for both mother and baby.

I dont understand why you think men are so great Tmarie. Some of them are real jerks. Some of them beat their wives, and their children. Men use children as weapons just as often, if not more, than women do. And for a woman in a foreign country being told by your spouse "Ill take the children and you will never see them again" is enough to make any mother run screaming for the airport.

I know (think?) you don't have children, and I really don't want to be patronizing, but until you have children and feel the love that comes with them, and the feeling that you will protect them no matter what, it is impossible to understand what I am saying.

Probably I would have said the same as you... before I had children.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

@Kimuzukashiiii: As a man, I find your posts idiotic. If the tables were turned, how would you feel? If men had total control and could simply swat the woman aside, how would you feel? Being unable to see what is most precious to oneself is probably the absolute worst fear a parent can have.

Apparently you have been so burned that there is nothing but scorn in your heart regarding men. Luckily you are in the minority as we have an international agreement (The Hague) between MANY MANY people that protect my rights to see my kids should I ever get divorced.

You seem so worried about the extreme fringe cases- if you are one of them then I truly feel pity for that, but you can't just blanket statement an entire half of your species just because "some of them" are jerks or abusive.

To the point, I believe in Japan the kids might do better with the father: Mothers often don't have jobs, or can't get decent paying ones (not their fault so much as the system we live in). Additionally it's more often than not that the mother decides to off all her kids in appalling fashion (usually involving balconies)

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Kaynide, you don't seem to care about the actually not so rare cases where an abused woman and her children are stuck away from their home country with their abuser, who happens to be their husband/father. Which is perhaps not suprising, nor a unique point of view.

However, to then be so willing to use as a reason to rip childen away from their mothers, the incredibly rare cases where a depressed mother, who cannot see any way forwards misguidedly but in her own mind, altruistically, kills herself and her children, seems somewhat unfair.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@LaWren: I do care very much about abused women. Unfortunately, abuse happens everywhere to both men and women. But the majority of these abused women are not living in some third world country, nor are they in typically in a country that is particularly dangerous for women to be in (eg Pakistan).

Women (and men) taking justice into their own hands is something out of a cowboy movie and has no place in the Japan we live in today.

Would you say that I should break into another man's house to steal back my property? Should a husband go Liam Neeson on his ex-wife to get his kid back? We have these systems for a reason- like it or not.

The legal system is designed to do what's best for the kids, which isn't always with the mother.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Kaynide.. As a man? .. Try to speak and consider what is being said - as a PERSON. Your words and opinion show a monstrosity of understanding of this subject, to which kimuzukashiiiii and LaWren have shown obvious hard fought and paid-for knowledge of - and are bringing some very sad FACTS to light. If You do not KNOW - that these - Your words: " If men had total control and could simply swat the woman aside.." .. Are in most cases EXACTLY what is going on - what is taking place DAILY - and what these women are suffering. Men DO have total control. Men and their wants and needs rule the WORLD - in regards to the subject at hand, this is MORE than accurate, and i speak as a MAN. .. Your lack of ability to perceive this problem objectively almost makes me embarrassed to admit that. But as a MAN - I see an overwhelming percentage of the kinds of situations described by kimuzukashiiiii and LaWren - where the woman is defenseless - without a voice to be heard, nor a right to be honored. They are given nothing but abuse and DIS-honor and are without mercy of a husband who needs not to show any - because the system allows it by ignoring the plights of the women who are suffering these situations without representation or recourse.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The legal system is designed to benefit men and fathers, instead of do what is best for the children - to be with the mothers, and not their fathers and their fathers new girlfriend.

Women and children are not property and the law should not "return" them as if they were.

If the law is an ass, and fails to protect children and women and keep together mothers and children, then what is left for Japanese mothers stuck abroad, or gaijin mothers stuck here, other than to run and hope they are not caught up with?

Men are the ones with the power, especially since Japan signed the convention, generally with the money and the ones who suffer in the end, are the children.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Im sorry Tmarie, but No, I dont think that fathers should have equal rights to a mother...

I hope to never, ever see you complain about the rights of women in this country when you are clearly sexist yourself and are more than happy to discriminate against others based on their gender.

Unless the mother is a drug addict, mentally unstable or a danger to the child, the woman should be given primary custody. I dont see why on earth she would not be. Its not gender discrimination - Its biology. Its how it always has been and always will be.

It IS gender discrimination. You think one gender is better BECAUSE of that gender. Many Japanese women do not work. They can't afford to look after the kids so you think having kids live in poverty is better than living with their dad? You think someone who isn't a drug abuser or mentally unstable or the child isn't in danger means they are a good parent? Seriously? Neglect ring any bells? Unkind?Nasty? Petty? Mothers who view their kids as possessions are some of the worst parents I have seen.

The mother carried the baby for 9 months, and often breast fed for an awful lot longer. The mother is usually the one giving up her career, getting up in the middle of the night. That bond is hard to break, for both mother and baby. What does any of that have to do with a child who is no longer breastfeeding? PLenty of men get up in the middle of the night and bottle feed. Your sexist views are shocking. Bonds with mothers are very easy to break. Not everyone likes their mother and not everyone has a great mother. You're suggesting mothers are perfect when clearly many are not of child abuse by mothers wouldn't be such a widespread issue.

I dont understand why you think men are so great Tmarie. Some of them are real jerks. Some of them beat their wives, and their children. Men use children as weapons just as often, if not more, than women do.

Because there are many great ones out there. Just as there are some very nasty and b*tchy women but I wouldn't suggest women are all this way because of a few bad apples. Some women beat their kids and husbands. I also highly doubt as many men use their kids as weapons. You're a fine example of a woman who would use hers when the time suited her.

Disgusting that someone of a gender that is often looked down on and treated as lesser would then turn around and do the same thing.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

@shado I absoultely agree that the rights of women is a terrible situation globally, but Japan is not in such a situation regarding this specific issue. There are places women can go if in an abusive relationship. It is incredibly hard to take that first step, but channels exist to help.

Again, I am talking only this specific issue (child custody rights and abuse). I just feel that people have been sold on this myth that foreign husbands are hell bent on taking away the children and that they are more abusive than the mothers.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Don't take the law into your own hands.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I hope to never, ever see you complain about the rights of women in this country when you are clearly sexist yourself and are more than happy to discriminate against others based on their gender.

How am I sexist? How is stating what is biologically normal sexist? Are you angry that men are denied the right to carry babies in their womb too? Would it be fairer if they could breastfeed? What I Am doing is putting forward an opinion of women who might need help. You are the one who comes across as hating women here, not me.

It IS gender discrimination. You think one gender is better BECAUSE of that gender.

Where did I ever say that women are better than men? Please...

Many Japanese women do not work. They can't afford to look after the kids so you think having kids live in poverty is better than living with their dad?

Japanese single mothers have the highest employment rate in the world. More than 90% are in employment. Much more than the employment rate of married women. Its a Shame the dads are not contributing child support every month though...

What does any of that have to do with a child who is no longer breastfeeding?

It has been proven that children who were breast fed have closer bonds long term with their mothers than those who were not.

You're suggesting mothers are perfect when clearly many are not of child abuse by mothers wouldn't be such a widespread issue.

Of course I am not. That would just be ridiculous. We see on here every week children who are killed or abused by their mothers and their fathers.

You're a fine example of a woman who would use hers when the time suited her.

Oh really? And what EXACTLY is that supposed to mean, Tmarie? Since you know so much about my private situation? In my opinion, Being cheated on, left for days at home alone with a small child, being humiliated, emotionally and physically abused are perfectly adequate reasons to take your child, and yourself away. I got a divorce, I did not run away. BUT I would have, If my ex would have refused to let me leave.

My lawyer agreed, so did the police, and so did immigration when I took my child out of Japan. LEGALLY, by the way. No child support, no contact. He never wanted to see his kid again, and could not care less. How is this using a child as a weapon?

But Im sure in your opinion though my ex was father of the year.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

If, in that kind of situation Kimu talks about, your Japanese ex refuses to let your children go, then you have two choices as a mother - become a felon in the eyes of international law and run with the kids, or else stay in an abusive marriage where you are "owned" by your husband and controlled through love of your children.

It is shockingly easy for Japanese nationals to use the divorce system here to suit themselves. Either refusing to divorce, which drags it out for years, or else divorcing you without your knowledge, and handing themselves custody of the children. The police in Japan are not interested in domestic violence committed by Japanese nationals, only by gaijin spouses on their Japanese partners. In the end, whichever way you turn, a foreign national will lose their children if the Japanese spouse refuses to let go. Yes, even a mother. There are plenty of cases outlined on the internet, which make my heart ache for the poor women separated from their children by vindictive Japanese ex's.

I really feel for Japanese mothers trapped abroad, they deserve to be able to return to Japan with their children. If their husbands were treating them well, no doubt they wouldnt see the need to suffer life as a single parent in Japan, and run.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@kaynide .. This statement of Yours - " I absoultely agree that the rights of women is a terrible situation globally, but Japan is not in such a situation regarding this specific issue. " .. is blatantly, plainly false. Especially for a foreign Woman who has married a Japanese Man and come to live here. The avenues open to Her for to turn to for help with abuse of any kind - physical, mental, emotional - is ATROCIOUSLY inept, unfair, and uncaring - serving ONLY the Japanese husband. It leaves the foreign Mother feeling hopeless - with virtually no choices in the matter. Having drastically negative effects on the children.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Shado: I will respectfully concede on the issue- while I disagree, I can really only base my opinion on personal experience and knowledge about how things are supposed to work according to law. In my city there is a lot of support for foreigners about legal matters, including the new hague convention...but if you feel so strongly then it clearly can not be representative of Japan as a whole. Around late May I was able to attend a meeting that explained me my rights specifically regarding the Hague. Anyway, I live in inaka, and in this particular place the foreign community is pretty small and things are pretty tightly knit.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It doesn't happen often, but I'm 100% in agreement with tmarie here, and appreciate her support on behalf of men. The comments that children are never better off with the father because some fathers such, is disgusting. Some mothers suck too, so the reverse logic could also be applied (and would be just as wrong). The best interests of the child have nothing to do with the sex of the parent they end up with, and everything to do with the quality of the parent they end up with. In some cases that will be the mother, and in some cases, the father. But to think that this can be decided purely based on sex is sexist, and honestly doesn't speak to the intelligence of someone who would make such a claim.

Comments by Kizumashii and LaWren make feel feel dirty just for having read them. I really hope their comments are not representative of the belief of many women out there.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

It is cultural here in Japan. Unique way of general thinking in the world that men are here for breeding but cannot do what women do: educate, feed, be nice with the kids. Men in Japan must not smile, feel natural or be simply gentle. I live it everyday. I laught at some comments above from Kimuzukashiiii where men are considered simply abusive persons and never to be trusted because she chose the wrong husband...you should have married me. LOL Seriously,travel a little and see that many men in the world would do huge effort to make their wife happy. Not all of them. Conversely, many women will please their husband til the end. Problem in Japan, education is teaching that men are inadequate to do anything except work. And see men after making the kids as a waste. I see it all a round me that sex after kids is useless, as romance, love and all the necessary feelings men need. This is the real explanation. Bad men and women everywhere. Good people too. Then Japanese system emphasizes both gender to extreme situations easily. My Japanese wife is clever enough to understand what I bring to my kids often although I don't have the title of "perfect dad" : happiness. Good luck for everyone and please marry only for the rest of your life. This is called commitment and faith.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@Kizumashiiiiii:

I'm not sure if you're serious or just trolling hard... in all fairness I am going to assume you're serious....so:

How am I sexist? How is stating what is biologically normal sexist?

According to Merrium-Webster (you know the Dictionary people), that is exactly what being sexist means. Quote "Sexist: behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex "

Where did I ever say that women are better than men? Please...

Your Quote: I dont(sic) think that fathers should have equal rights to a mother,..., the woman should be given primary custody.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

kimuzukashiiiiiJUL. 08, 2014 - 07:28AM JST It not that I have no regards for the rights of fathers - they do have some rights.

There it is READERS. The fatal flaw revealed!!!

Notice how this individual has chosen the word "some right". He's honest in his response and this is great!! Because of this response we can now clearly see that the word "SOME" must be changed to "EQUAL rights".

Father's should have EQUAL rights.....not some.

I'm not bashing you Kimuszukashii. No, not at all. In fact, the sole purpose of this post is so that you can see the flaw in your logic.

Have a good day!!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I dont understand why you think men are so great Tmarie. Some of them are real jerks.

One can admire men as a whole, while still realizing that some are jerks.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

When the rights of the father mean that the children are deprived of the nurturing only a mother can give, when the rights of the father mean the right of the woman to a safe life free from physical, emotional and financial abuse is compromised, then no, the father should have no rights at all. I like men, there are some good ones out there, there are an awful lot who aren't though, and these entitled, selfish, dangerous men ruin lives.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@ Strangerland -- You miss the point in so many ways - of the comments and perspectives being shared here by those You are complaining about - that i barely know where to start. .. But lets use THIS for an example - Here is one of the things You said:

" The best interests of the child have nothing to do with the sex of the parent they end up with, and everything to do with the quality of the parent they end up with. In some cases that will be the mother, and in some cases, the father ...."

No kidding? .. THAT is what some of us are complaining about. What You are saying there is NOT the criteria being considered in the decisions and judgements affecting or imprisoning the Mothers in the situations being addressed. The fact of what You said there is NOT the deciding factor in these cases - the only 'fact' is that foreign Mothers have NO rights, while the Japanese Husband is automatically given control over custody and future of the children AND their relationship to their Mother. Based on the single fact that he is a Japanese citizen while She has come from another country - NOT on what You said there. i don't think You even realize You are SUPPORTING their claims. And .... FURTHERMORE - Your comment towards LaWren and Kizumashii are personally insulting and You owe BOTH of them an apology.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@kimuzukashiiiii and @LaWren

It's perfectly possible for the woman (=mother) in a family to be the abuser, to be mentally unbalanced, to be violent to her spouse or to her kids. THAT'S why mothers and fathers should have equal rights and custody of the children decided purely on merit, not on gender.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Yes, quite a lot of men who wish to retain control over their ex wives or hurt them do claim their wife is inadequate/crazy/violent in some way when it is absolutely not the case.

Women who have health issues who affect their children are picked up by the system, especially outside of Japan, and given the necessary support so they can remain with their children if at all possible.

Fathers can be fathers, good men can do the job of a father very well, by good men I mean those who do not abuse their wives and try and take her children away in case of a divorce. That said a man can never be a MOTHER to a child, and children need a mother much more than they need a father.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Kimuzukashiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii and LaWren,

Such silly comments. Both parents can love equally as much. Enough with this crap about letting women pack up and take (both parents) kids back top Japan. We all know what happens when they get back to Japan. Bye bye dad. The kids are bicultural and should experience both cultures and spend time with both parents. If either the father or mother is a threat to the child then different story but that`s basic logic.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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