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brianprager comments

Posted in: Japan to allow criminal checks beyond 10 years for jobs involving children See in context

Is it not helpful, even necessary, to see this issue in its wider context? It's a consequential weakness of Japan's legal practices that children's fundamental rights are neither sufficiently enumerated nor defended. Enormous harm is done to the vulnerable by failing to hold adult perpetrators responsible for abduction and psychological and physical abuses. Asserting the rights of adults is obviously important; but overwhelming children's interests in order to do so - deferring to the capacity of adults to articulate their needs but failing to provide representation of children's interests - inverts the first priority of legal protection. This issue above is an instance of a logic that permeates law governing children's interests in Japan, such as its family law which separaties it from criminal law and provides no representations on behalf of the child. No legal barriers to protecting children from harm should stand nor be erected. Yet hidebound ways of a defensive adult society persist. Shameful.

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Posted in: Bannon confident of Trump win in 2020 despite investigations See in context

"This entire movement throughout the world" of populism, including Prime Minister Victor Orban of Hungary and Matteo Salvini, deputy prime minister of Italy, "is really based upon people like Prime Minister Abe."

News reporting ought to do better than to neurally affirm the claims of Steve Bannon. Bannon praises Abe aside Orban, Salvini, and Trump under the rubric of "populism." Yet, that term attempts to secure a benign profile of current political developments. Recall what Adorno observed in 1959: "The survival of National Socialism (Nazism) within democracy" was more dangerous than "the survival of fascist tendencies against democracy." The cult of the market alongside the cult of the state distinguishes them from historical fascist regimes, but their conceptions of charismatic and authoritarian rule strongly evoke that archetype. Congratulations Mr Abe; enjoy the praise.

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Posted in: I believe we, as Japanese nationals, should respond with all of our hearts by fully backing possible military action or revisions to the Constitution that will enable it should the Abe cabinet decide on such a course to recover abduction victims and demonstrate Japan’s sovereignty. See in context

This statement is idiotic right wing foolishness; a product of the Japanese far right party's manipulation of this issue to stir up nationalistic prideful, "victimization/hurt" feelings in the Japanese public. Statements like this, concerning a handful of uncertain outcomes to serious abductions cases that occurred 40 years ago, should be set alongside the literally millions of Japanese family child abductions that, with intention, destroy children's psychologically secure development in low-to-no-standard court proceedings. A structural element in the order of Japanese governance with a widely-known and recognized international dimension- hundreds of thousands of global child abductions by Japanese nationals. Yet here is another politician making a play for military build-up and increased Japanese aggression over a minor issue that beneficiaries of Japan's return to militarization favor.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. ambassador meets families of Japanese abducted by North Korea See in context

I agree with what you said there serendipitous1. The one thing to add to that point (from my perspective) is to remind people that a real understanding of how this works means it is the parent is in the position of having to seek relief despite the active opposition of the forces organized by the state. Police, courts, everything from border control agents to the threat of imprisonment, are all arrayed against parents finding the abducted child. That's one part (but not all) of why I feel it's so important to see through the charade performed by these officials. Not that I blame the parent for going along with it - it's an opportunity for a bit of publicity for what they truly care most about; but parents are all being used by state authorities, who want to appear as humanitarians while they go on exercising power in other arenas.

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Posted in: U.S. ambassador meets families of Japanese abducted by North Korea See in context

I think the comments here are almost getting it right. The principal error I see people making is in thinking that the US government and Ambassador take this issue seriously. The Japanese state uses this issue for photo opportunities, and to keep it as a card to play in the regional geo-politcal outlook, and for domestic political consumption in Japan. ("Look how morally consistent the Japanese state is!"). And because Japan remains the US principal client state in E. Asia, it sends every Ambassador to do the photo-op dance with the families. So the U.S. most certainly does not care at all... one drop... about the N.Korea abduction victims.

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Posted in: Top court rules for father seeking return of child to U.S. See in context

The song remains the same.... Japan has no law providing for the return to the home country of kidnapped children; therefore the accession of Japan to the "Hague Convention" in 2014 is as cosmetic as the rest of the international treaties it and the USA supposedly belong to (and don't miss that the US, in addition to authoring so many such "human rights treaties, does not relinquish authority to any of them). So this means, what? That the mother is in violation of the written law which says that Japanese really "should" obey court rulings, but they don't have to. There is no law in international child abduction cases requiring Japanese people to comply. International parental abduction is not a crime under Japanese law; only kidnapping children to take them out of Japan or away from a Japanese parent is considered a crime. Therefore, it doesn't matter that another court asserts this "illegality" one way or another. Until Japan and its practitioners of family law violations are held severely accountable BY LAW and IN PRACTICE for their wrong-doing (that is, child abduction is understood to be what it is, a form of severe and irreversible child abuse) then the ruling of a pseudo-court (without powers of enforcement) is meaningless. How many decades of earth-shattering news stories like this have we seen? Yet not one child has been returned by order of a family court, the Supreme Courts, or any other order in Japan.

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Posted in: Japan returns boy to Germany under new child custody treaty See in context

Misframed questions about who is the better parent cannot really be addressed in a news forum like this one. What people asking about this case's particulars may not understand is that international parental child abduction is and has been at EPIDEMIC levels in Japan for decades. Unlike those states worldwide that have joint parental custody and laws protecting the representation of children in the legal system, Japan has thousands of abducted children within its borders with no meaningful legal recourse available to parents. What responsible persons have been trying to achieve through advocacy and activism on behalf of parents and children is to impress upon Japanese officials from MOFA to MOJ to family court and to the Japanese public at large that this destructive epidemic victimizes children (beyond repair, as a comment above states correctly, such that children's emotional development of parental attachment is turned against them, causing extreme and generally repressed internal pain that is exceedingly resistant to treatment) and parents, whose being -as parent- expecting to maintain and protect the bond with his/ her children for life- is shattered. Japan is full of wounded persons, the damage to whom is ill-understood if at all. This case is a half-measure; MOFA employees informing the parent that a court could conceivably rule against Japanese jurisdiction over the case, thus embarrassing Japan and forcing the family to return home to Germany to finalize a custody agreement which, given the ruthless act of abduction of the child by the mother, would not be likely to go well for her. When Japan ceases to provide safe haven for child abduction, then it will be possible to understand that it is the systemic abuse of jurisdictional determination, masking the crimes themselves, that must end: and that requires a serious, effective legal reform and education out of regressive attitudes.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Hague Convention loophole See in context

Addressing the numbers question above, and its context: The article / poster combination IS confusing. That difficulty in the message is born of trying too hard to emulate the US State Department line in portraying the problem: this happens when parents are desperate to obtain assistance from unresponsive governments and are over-matched by the overwhelming power of national States on both sides of the Pacific. The two governments we're referring to (the US and Japan, although many others are involved in this tangle with Japanese international child abduction) have obstructed parents from raising their children, and have either condoned the abuse (as in the case of the Japanese government which has condoned international child abduction for four to five decades), or (in the case of the US Department of State and executive in general) turned their backs or blew smoke and mirrors while exerting themselves for the things they really care about instead (tying Japanese finance capital, and shoring up the encirclement of Asia in the overseas military empire.) So what is a desperate parent to do? To gain the attention of international institutions, one must make estimates of the number of abducted children based on Japanese Interior Ministry statistics in those things they are willing to count (counting divorces in Japanese international marriages, the numbers of children per Japanese marriage, the percentages of children in Japan who are able to maintain a parent-child relationship after marital separation.) This is required, because the governments of Japan and the United States refuse to count the number of abductions, have refused all requests for this information, and have actively thwarted efforts to find the numbers out, because the truth would be more likely to stir up trouble, or protest, or expose gross, immoral conduct, once it is revealed how rampant international child abduction is in Japan. Or, one can follow the other option, and ask exactly how many child abductions have been officially recognized by the authorities in the US, and how many cases have been filed with the Japanese. By far the greatest number of cases, vast numbers of them, are of course, never filed with the Japanese, because to do so is costly and is demonstrably pointless: in the 30 years since this treaty was written, not one child has been returned by a Japanese family court to the parent in the country of origin from which he or she was abducted. So, there you have the two numbers: roughly. About 400 cases are officially recognized, with the US Department of State constantly busy reducing the numbers by dropping every case they can. Many, many parents have witnessed this; it is how diplomatic scandal avoidance is done. Or, one can make ballpark estimates based on the known facts, and the known practices of Japanese family courts. My guess (guided by the work of others who also study this) has long been that the real number of American minors who have been abducted (roughly 18 years worth, counting only those years from which children would still BE minors now) is about 4 thousand. But, some people say 10... And really, the precise number is difficult to come by. However, what is not hard to ascertain is that the two governments have been colluding in keeping a damper on this issue for decades. So, sorry ladies and gentlemen. But there is no honor due to Abe's government, nor to Obama's, nor to any others, for the ongoing abuse this constitutes, and for the many, many schoolchildren who are still held in Japan, not knowing what has become of the parents who were raising and loving them so much before the abductions took place.

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Posted in: Abe skips reference to WWII remorse in his speech See in context

There was no "sacrifice" of Japanese young lives. Only murder. Sacrifice implies a higher cause; the good of someone or something. This was a war for domination, plain and simple. And dominate, murder, slaughter, they did. The concept of attacking and destroying the lives of all peoples of Asia to "protect" them from Western imperialism is still a trope of the LDP and Abe and his like today. But the real answer to whether or not this is the case lies in the resistance of the countries Japan attempted to destroy. The destruction of Japan, the resistance to Japanese slaughter, was Asian peoples, organizing themselves to kill their murderers. This is concept number one for conceiving of the history of the war. Everything else follows from this understanding. Japan should be deeply ashamed to have such a man as its Prime Minister.

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Posted in: Korean campaigns for removal of Japanese flag from French stores See in context

Most of these are arguments that are identical to those of the Zaitokukai. Japanese can and should understand that the fear and threat felt by Koreans and Chinese are continually reinforced not merely by political deployments within their own countries, but by numerous actions - nationalist street demonstrations and constant zig zagging, backpedaling and truly ridiculous apologia for war atrocities proposed by Japanese officials and educators - that belie all the gestures of reconciliation and reawaken the horrors of memory; and not 500 year old incidents either, but immense suffering in the lifetimes of parents and grandparents. The great German philosophical, historical and critical writer, Walter Benjamin, said, "It is not dreams of liberated grandchildren that drive men and women to rebel, but memories of enslaved ancestors." You can praise imperialism for bringing the world together, but the victims whose families were slaughtered and denigrated should not be expected to think of it that way. She asked; the store complied - most likely because there was a level of agreement between them about the past, and about how it is being remembered today. A near-century of militarism and occupation, ending with digging bloody, anonymous graves for millions of "others" will not be forgotten, regardless of whether you wish it to be. The immaturity here is all on those who think the recent past is irrelevant, or gone, because you'd like not to be reminded of it.

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Posted in: U.S. hopes for new Japan stance on child abduction See in context

Mr. CH3CHO says "What is the big deal with the jurisdiction?" and I'm sorry (!) , this is merely obtuseness which is intended to confuse the issue, and provide a veneer of justice for kidnapping children to continue. Which is precisely the point as to why Mr. Kerry's optimism, described in the article, is so obviously false, and a matter of diplomatic nicety, but not justice for children or families. A child grows up in the US, loved by his parents above all other things in life, is kidnapped to Japan, and hidden for a few months. In nearly an instant, upon getting off the airplane there, Japan declares that it has "jurisdiction" and supports the kidnapping, declares that the child is instantly a resident of Japan, and that the parental rights of the other non Japanese parent are permanently terminated. And Mr. CH3CHO says, this is a defect of the American court system, not the Japanese. A lawyer for international abductors could not have said it better.

Allowing children to retain double nationality, officially, in order to give the child and the family options until the child comes of adult age is an obvious "good" - a benefit that exists in order to secure that people have the freedom of living in either or both countries, as it is a heritage & family value, etc. Exploiting this as if it is a legitimate use of the law, or a legal maneuver that is not obviously criminal in intent is pure obfuscatory, dare one say, malevolence. If we are led to believe that this is what the Japanese system is designed to do, then what are we to do but speak out against it until children's and parents' lives are no longer ruined by Japan. Thanks for the opportunity to get this issue into the open.

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Posted in: U.S. hopes for new Japan stance on child abduction See in context

There is almost no chance that Japanese will enforce the actual parent's custody of kidnapped kids. Kidnapping children into Japan is not illegal under Japanese law - it is a means to obtaining permanent custody. Dividing children permanently from their parent is Japanese "custom" and isn't considered "wrong" or a crime by Japanese, as we all heard from Diet member Ito last year. What is illegal is to get a child OUT of Japan, unless ordered by a court. How would one get court-ordered custody of a child that has been kidnapped into Japan, in a country that regards kidnapping as a normal means to wresting custody from the child's parent, and practices this every day?

And I would re-emphasize that the Japanese adoption of the Hague treaty - which we must remember is a civil treaty, not a criminal one - is something that was desired by elites and agreed upon by elites in Japan and the elites in its partner countries. It is not the desire of parents of kidnapped children to have Japan join or not join, because there is no direct benefit; in fact, It makes essentially no difference. Japan has already signed other treaties that it is in open defiance of that would protect children's right to their parent and make kidnapping illegal if the treaties were observed. It bears repeating: children kidnapped by Japanese nationals from abroad into Japan will not be affected by Japan signing the Hague treaty and adopting its "implementing legislation."

Mr. CH3CHO is wrong, and is misrepresenting the truth for reason known only to him . The Hague convention pretends to provide a remedy for the abduction of children, and creates a rule that would be new in Japan if it were observed, that stealing jurisdiction by kidnapping a child so that a new custody determination in a Japanese court can be made is not allowed. But stealing jurisdiction by kidnapping children is considered a normal "custom" to Japanese judges and family courts, and happens every day in Japan.

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Posted in: U.S. hopes for new Japan stance on child abduction See in context

It's extremely and traumatically sad that the comment section here under this story is being trolled by a reader, above, who is bent on fudging the issue and misinforming your readers! I don't want to call him out; but it should be easy enough to recognize. Every parent who has lost a child into Japan - and there are thousands of us - knows that Japanese courts do NOT consider the laws of the countries from which the children have been abducted. That is the larger point of the endless historic delays with regard to the convention, and the current dissimulation of the Japanese government, which has not treated the abductions as crimes, nor changed the enforceability of preexisting custody one iota. The fact that it has been hopeless for non-Japanese to get their child back from Japan once the Japanese parent has successfully kidnapped the child and crossed the border into Japan is one of the key reasons why the courts are not full of cases involving US children. Numerous parents in despair of losing their children to Japan have quite rationally been unwilling to enter into an extended and exorbitantly costly legal proceeding just to make a point which is lost on the Japanese anyway. We love our children. We do not love pointlessly throwing resources into a garbage disposal.

Mr. Kerry says he is optimistic and that the issue is important, but one must look directly at the record to evaluate how meaningful this politician's statements are. The government of the United States, via the State Department, has an office for keeping records of international abduction cases and providing assistance; and it is an UTTERLY POWERLESS agency that has a success ratio of zero in getting kidnapped children back from Japan. The frustration and outrage that we parents experience at having our children stolen and being stone walled by our government in order not to ruffle the feathers of nationalist Japanese sensibilities is a "productive" process in this sense: it "produces" abandoned cases, and keeps them out of the courts. And it produces more abductions, serviced by the cottage industry of abductor-attorneys in Japan.

The issue is abduction disguised as custody determination, so the JT reader who is telling you here that it is not a custody issue is deceiving you! The approach taken by various governments of insisting that the Japanese sign the international abduction convention without first changing the custody laws - which currently allow a parent who has kidnapped a child into Japan from abroad to obtain custody and terminate the parental rights of the chlld's parent very easily - was bitterly opposed by parents of abducted children, who knew very well what the outcome will be. But governments like treaties much, much more than they care about children. The appearance of a regulated international environment is all they seek. Once the Japanese sign the convention and adopt the implementation procedures they prefer -- which we already know are written to continue to allow Japanese courts to transform child abductions into custody determinations by reserving for Japanese courts the power to make the decisions to NOT return children -- then, the heat from various grinning foreign officials such as Mr. Kerry will be allowed to dissipate; and Japan will continue easing its way down the long pathway of non-compliance with the treaty, for which they will get the occasional scolding or slap on the wrist, if that. And the Japanese are counting on this.

The only way the situation can change, in my opinion, is to make it absolutely illegal for Japanese to bring children into the country without first obtaining a legal guarantee that the child will be returned, or the parent must face criminal, not civil, penalties. Frankly, I would impose an absolute ban on children's travel into Japan due to the grotesque history of human rights violation and abuse of children constituted in this manner; but that is more of a dream-wish than a hope.

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Posted in: Court rules parents who keep estranged partners from seeing children can be fined See in context

According to the article, it is finally being seen in Japan that “the needs of the child should be considered and prioritized by the law" - but many stories around the Japanese press, and any number of the comments above, indicate that not surprisingly, there is a lack of general knowledge of what "the needs of the child" means. It is NOT a mere conjecture of received opinion to state that children are grievously harmed by interference in or termination by one parent or their families (or the courts) of their relationship with their father or mother. There is a huge body of literature, always growing, on this topic. I and several others among the readers here, have children who have been and are currently being victimized by the Japanese system, by the absence of law and law enforcement to stop one parent from interfering in and terminating the relationship between the other parent and the child(ren). So this ruling - a fine if one parent fails to meet his/ her obligation to the child to maintain a court-ordered visitation schedule - is a significant baby step by Japanese courts, which have been principally interested to now in maintaining Japan's archaic "clan"-like structure of child possession via kosekis and single-parent custody, in the right direction of now giving a darn about children's well-being, healthy psychological development, and protection from trauma. Modern economic life has already far outstripped the applicability and usefulness of the traditional legal family form to the contemporary Japanese public. The courts must catch up - NOW, and FAST- with what people are already living outside of their bureaucratically narrow window on the world. This case is a glimmer of light towards achieving that. And It is vital that forms of force - such as fines in this case, such as publicity, and other forms of coercion - be brought into play when necessary against parents whose selfishness and possessiveness are being used against their own children, whether they psychologically understand it that way or not. Protecting children is in their interest, and in society's best interest. Finally, the reader who stated that mothers are more nurturing than fathers is really wrong. Males and females both experience equal levels of empathic response towards others by the time they exit puberty and adolescence, and are therefore both capable of tenderness and being nurturing, particularly towards their own children - which is one reason why Japan's extremely stiff gender normativity is so harmful, and requires the action of courts (such as in this case) to counteract it on children's behalf. Let men nurture their children along with their children's mothers, and they will do so. But you must let them, first.

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Posted in: Court rules parents who keep estranged partners from seeing children can be fined See in context

The worst, most misguided view here s the one that claims that a father who is cut out of a child's life for more than a few months is better off giving up completely on a relationship with the child for the child's sake. This is truly and completely wrong, as there is no "too late" when it comes to returning to being a father to the child although of course sooner is better than later. This seems to be the idea that allows the abhorrent lack of legal structure for handling divorce & child custody to persist, that somehow it is just fine for mothers to keep fathers out of their children's lives under all sorts of circumstances. For all the inconvenience to parents here who are trying to co-parent, there are many systems, worldwide, that are so much more humane.

It is frustrating that Japanese courts keep making rulings like the one discussed in the article without dealing with the larger issue of how hopeless it is & how misguided for left behind parents to try to deal with Japanese courts at all, given that they will not & cannot make binding rulings in favor of joint custody for the sake of the children.

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Posted in: Court rules parents who keep estranged partners from seeing children can be fined See in context

CH3CHO - Thanks for the reply to my comment here. I'm concerned that you've mischaracterized what I wrote. The last of the items you quoted - that Japanese men are "uniquely indifferent to the lives of their children after divorce" - is how kimuzukashiiiii characterized Japanese men, and was said by me ironically. Widespread belief in this supposedly intrinsic characteristic of Japanese men is being used here, and everywhere, as a justification for parental abduction. Yet a second of reflection should make it obvious to all that this "indifference" is the result, not the cause, of what amounts to a legal prohibition of continued parent-child relationship. From a psychological point of view, the "indifference" is feigned, and internalized; a defense mechanism against the horror of the routinized, banal way that Japan strips children of their parent and prohibits the relationship from continuing. It is the pose that is required of men who have lost their flesh and blood children to the abduction "machine" in Japan. And anyone who has held a child in his arms and raised him for 5 years (as I have) and then had him "disappeared" half way around the world under the protection of the Japanese state knows that the removal of the bond of father and child is not done with any less violence than yanking a limb out with pliers. It is a violent act of sociopathy, guaranteed by Japan.

I don't want to get pedantic about reading the comments; but the remaining objections you raised to my argument were all in the form of "I know, we have this law, BUT... " ... These statements: "we have no contempt of court... so, ignoring a court judgment is not a crime" means that the court judgment is rendered meaningless. "Kidnapping by a parent is a crime" you say, but there is no means to punish the kidnapper or have the child returned, because the courts have no power to enforce that law; and as a matter of practice, they don't make it a habit of making judgments that they cannot enforce, ever. The remaining point - that various financial prerogatives exist for "the custodial parent" in a system that is entirely rigged to create a "custodial parent" without even a remote provision of legal rights for both parents or for the child - makes the argument moot. It is a systemic provision of exclusive custody by illegitimate means, with no punishments for wrongdoing. Children are routinely taken across international borders against the rule of law, against decency, against children, in order to reach the safe haven provided by Japan to child abductors. This will not change because of the judgment discussed in this article. But it is a sign that not everyone in Japan enjoys seeing children and parents forcibly separated from one another.

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Posted in: Court rules parents who keep estranged partners from seeing children can be fined See in context

I want to add the VERY important point, that for many, many men, THERE IS NO RATIONAL REASON to pursue a court case to obtain custody of their children in a Japanese family court, because (1) they have NO chance of winning custody, and (2) Japanese courts only award ONE parent custody of the child. See how it goes? A foregone conclusion to have NO access to your children. The lack of court actions is evidence that men are hopelessly resigned to the fate of having to lose their families and suffer in silence. Reset the system to automatic joint custody as the baseline assumption unless powerful evidence against one or the other particular parent can be proven in court beyond a shadow of a doubt, and you will see a change in the make up of family court cases in Japan. Or are the Japanese AFRAID to stick out their necks and ask for equal family rights for fathers, mothers and children?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Posted in: Court rules parents who keep estranged partners from seeing children can be fined See in context

@megosaa "I have a friend who... " is not an argument for the protection of children and parents' rights to maintain an uninterrupted relationship. Japanese lack of family law INDUCES the kidnapping of children by one parent, INDUCES the parent to make false charges of threats or violence against the other parent, INDUCES families to renounce their obligations to their children ... and why? Why is there no protection against parental abduction? Why is there no legal force behind child support in post-divorce parenting plans? @kimuzukashiiiii I still see the endless confusion of outcomes with causes. Why are Japanese men uniquely indifferent to the lives of their children after divorce? It's not genetic, you know! Why do Japanese men live lives in which the "job comes first" and they "move on" in "nonchalance," abandoning their own children? You've identified a horrible social pathology in Japanese society, without looking for what forms the destructive psychology of Japanese work-submissiveness and emotional living death. Do you and your friends and family not care that this is all rooted in grotesque sexism and gender-rigidity, which is perpetuated under the umbrella of social / economic pressures that force this ugly, miserable choice on Japanese men and women, year after year after year? I think to assert that people are "happy" with this is quite blind. I know we don't have to remind you of the negative population growth and extraordinary suicide rate in Japan. The Japanese state has pretended to be powerless to do anything about Japanese family practices, generation after generation. Yet six people in a Japan today thread have identified the problem and solution in one day. When women and men work, are educated to the same competencies, and give up their attachment to outmoded forms of work slavishness, Japan will rebound with happier people, fewer economic problems, and a healthier generation of children. I must add: I want my son back from his abductors, and it is killing me to be unable to have him with me, 100% because of the Japanese government!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: Court rules parents who keep estranged partners from seeing children can be fined See in context

People who have objections to court enforcement of the children's right to both parents, and the right of both parents to their children, and the prevention of one parent from abusing the absence of enforcement which exists in Japan to now, are still unable to grasp the point because they are confusing outcomes with causes. Lack of enforcement of children's rights, lack of children's right to their parents, lack of respect for children's continuous lifelong deep attachment to both of their parents, is the cause of a much higher level of possessiveness and dangerous acrimony in divorce, and far more contentiousness in the child's life due to hostility between the parents. This is in essence an invisible problem to so many in Japan because they passively accept as "normal" what is actually a social pathogen: the permanent exclusion of one parent from the rest of the life of a child of divorced parents. Eliminate the option of the forced removal of one parent from the life of the child (which today gets fathers who want to have a normal (to now "non-Japanese" style of) equality with their wives in raising their children arrested for trespass and kidnapping). The current system drives children and parents to despair, and drives parents to outright acts of hostility, stealing children from their other parent in order to secure "custody" under Japan's shameful family court system. It must be reformed with a hard, fast blow to those who abuse it, so that children's lives will at last be protected, and the courts at last begin to offer a source of security to the parent-child relationship.

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Posted in: Cabinet approves child abduction treaty See in context

Let's remember when evaluating this development that this is what government elites (particularly Clinton as Secretary of State) in the US have pushed for years, and what Japanese elites have elected to do to address the Japanese state's image problem as a state run by corrupt party bosses and bureaucrats with little or no regard for human rights abuses. Parents of kidnapped children however have had to run alongside this process, attempting with no one in government circles really interested in listening, to shout out that our children are sill missing. Adopting the Hague, Japanese style, with all the xenophobic reservations in front and the principles of caring for children under a reasoned set of constraints set in international governance to the rear, leaves 20 years of ruined families suffering the spiritual agonies of their children's abduction to Japan untouched. That has ALWAYS been our chief objection to the limitations of the Hague Convention. The battle is not won; and any celebrations are more than pre-mature. They are a form of denial and disavowal. The crime of international kidnapping is an albatross that should be hung around Japan's neck. Send our babies home!

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Posted in: Five things girls do in winter that Japanese men find adorable See in context

Gee whiz girls and ladies! It's still 1956 in Japan. What "girls" really want is to know how "cute" they are to "men" who really like to "touch them more" in the winter. Try as you may to restore them, profound and far-reaching gender relations have already taken place in Japan, and it would behoove your paper to perform the service of alerting the population to this fact, and help it to be understood. I don't think articles like this help adults to learn to take each other seriously. The Japanese women I know will be ridiculing this; and lord help the boys who will buy this.

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Posted in: Abe to meet Obama in Washington on Feb 22 See in context

I have to disagree. Japan is still, and is perhaps more than ever, the U.S. State Department's declared #1 Asian priority; the key state in the U.S. self-defined mission of maximizing its influence and military power advantages there. Appeasing and supporting the worst factions of the Japanese government's worst tendencies (its saber-rattling far right; its territorial breast beating; its obsessive politically motivated use of the North Korean abductions; and its more than 50 years of record-holding international parental child abductions!!!, and corrupt political and -industrial partnerships, with their shoddy construction and mafia-like hold on the police, the public dialogue, energy policy, etc...) - as long as the Japanese party in power buckles under and doesn't let politics disturb the continuation of numerous, high-impact, highly autonomous U.S.military bases all over Japan. In recent years "Japan bashing" evolved into the threat of "Japan passing" but the reality remained much the same. Japan is the junior partner; and the Japanese political class has gone along. The only tolerated differences are between those who want Japan to assert more and those who want Japan to remain less assertive of its diplomatic and military role on its own.

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Posted in: Japan says it will join child abduction treaty See in context

This isn't intended to be insulting to SushiSake3, but to address the kind of statement he/ she made here:

"This is one thing that I don't understand. Why should Japanese courts respect the rulings of foreign courts? This is Japan, not America/UK/Mexico/Australia/Sri Lanka, etc.... If you - the general reader - think this should happen, then do you also agree that a Japanese with a Japanese court order could come to your country and expect to have that court order automatically enforced?"

The Japanese government is lying to you in very significant ways about this; and the first and most important is that it wants you, the Japanese citizen, to see this as a treaty and issue about custody disputes. It is not! It is child abduction. The reason that the children have been taken to Japan (as in my wife's case) is not because they couldn't share custody in countries like the United States, etc. It's because a parent is under no obligation to put her/ his child first and share custody in Japan. If Machiko Terauchi, a Japanese child abductor, had litigated custody in the United States, she would have had 50% of that custody, without fail, shared with our son's father, me. But she knew she could get away with kidnapping him to Japan because she would have the power of the Japanese state - police, courts, etc. - allowing and protecting her from prosecution for this crime against her son and her husband. AND, she also knew that BECAUSE Japan has no joint custody and supports abduction, she would be in danger of not being able to travel back and forth to see her Japanese family with her son as she was until then accustomed to do. So the reason that abductions happen is BECAUSE no other country can, nor should they, trust a parent to take any child to Japan, because the danger of abduction and no return is too great. If Japan had joint custody and respected the mutual rights of children to BOTH of their parents, then there would be no problem with Japanese and non-Japanese sharing custody after divorce. But the Japanese people and their family courts violate fundamental human rights daily, and force non-Japanese courts that know about the issue to put restraining orders on Japanese parents living abroad, in order to protect the children from being abducted. The CULTURE and HABIT of abduction flows easily from the lack of child protection practiced by Japanese family courts, and all related government agencies. So, protect children from this, and the abductions can cease, and the children of Japanese divorce will have at least a CHANCE at recovering their lost mental health in a generation or two.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Posted in: Obama to host Noda at White House on April 30 See in context

I am VERY surprised to see that with this article it appears to be allowed to speak of Japanese state supported, state sponsored systemic abduction of children. Numerous previous posts on this topic have been disallowed or removed. Congratulations! 2 1/2 million children of divorce have been permanently disallowed from maintaining their relationship with their parent by Japanese anti-family court and the Ministry of Justice. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is an active partner in the international cases, of which there are approximately 4000 American children (which is where I am writing from) who have been permanently removed and denied their parent by the Japanese anti-family court. The numbers of international abductions and Japanese abductions (disguised as "custody determinations" in Japanese court) are STAGGERING. Among the many questions before us now is, Will Barack Obama betray another generation of children by mumbling private congratulations to Noda for promising to sign the Hauge Convention and FAIL to CONFRONT the government of Japan with the ongoing abduction, hence flagrant abuse, of children? I think I can guess the answer.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: What do foreigners find strange about Japan? NTV finds out See in context

I find it strange that, in this day in age, a first world country has segments on TV asking foreigners what they think about said country.

Why strange, I think its a good question, why is it so strange to ask questions these days:) For sure, some of the answers are not great, but if everything in life was perfect, we would all be dreaming:)

I think the comment about questions here was made because this truly incredibly stupid question is asked everywhere, every day, constantly, and is considered polite by the Japanese. This sort of interrogation of foreigners has a typical japanese undertone of aggression and resentment, yet the question itself is completely inane, and there is virtually nothing to say in response to it that is not equally devoid of interest.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Ishihara agrees with Nagoya mayor's Nanjing massacre denial See in context

Ishihara and Kawamura: two disgusting peas in a disgusting, long lied about Japanese pod. There are the sickening lies of these "officials" protecting Japan's elites, and there is the rest of the human race, which does not and has no reason to dispute this hideous component of Japanese fascist assault on China, Korea and South East Asia. The education debate on this and the whole of Japanese actions in the 30's and 40's, and the current political garbage forcing teachers and students to sing Kimigayo and salute the flag while worrying about the idiots in the royal family and their "succession" rights, are all of a piece. Japanese political affairs must grow up; the planet must not continue to tolerate them and their disregard for human standards. Ditto Japanese child abduction.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Mane event See in context

This photo is typical japanese sexism. It's about the cat.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Taiwanese man sought in connection with murder of two students kills himself See in context

How magical that after being searched, handcuffed, placed in the back of a police car, ridden all the way to the station and brought inside, he somehow managed to free his hands, produce a knife (where might it have been hidden?) and stab himself to death. Oh, and by the way, he was a foreigner. Non-Japanese. Amazing how those foreigners manage to get themselves killed in police custody in Japan. Don't people get it?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't to set up 7 panels to deal with abduction issue See in context

While 2 1/2 million Japanese children have permanently lost their parents due to the actions of the family courts of Japan. Where one of every five people in Japan have had their lives gravely, adversely, directly affected by state sanctioned child abduction and parent removal, Japanese people continue to be subjected to an endless stream of internal diversionary propaganda about N. Korean abductions.

Moderator: You're on the wrong thread. The two issues are not even remotely related.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: 3-year-old boy falls to death from apartment balcony in Tokyo See in context

Remove chairs??? Remove the MOTHER. 100% parents' fault. Prison for murder, child neglect. EASY, like you said

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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