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Posted in: Divorced, separated Japanese fathers also fight to see children See in context

Bottom line, “This is a country that allows kidnapping.”

His admittance should not be a case that allows Japan to ignore childrens' rights. Rights and protection are different cases. The different points should be weighed in two different courts, not lopped together to give Japan a wholesale dissmissal of a system that would reward (court-accepted) good fathers and benefit children who are subjected to divorce's tug-of-war.

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Posted in: Powerful typhoon lashes southwest Japan; expected to make landfall Thursday See in context

I still think hurricanes are worse.

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Posted in: Why do you think successive Japanese governments have refused to sign the 1980 Hague Convention on International Child Abduction, which seeks to ensure that the rights of access of both parents are pr See in context

Making no mistake, what Christopher did was a valiant thing, albeit illegal in Japan. The Hague Convention would have diffused this before it happened. Japan needs to draw consistent lines in its immigration policies, among which is the Hague.

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Posted in: Why do you think successive Japanese governments have refused to sign the 1980 Hague Convention on International Child Abduction, which seeks to ensure that the rights of access of both parents are pr See in context

-->hokkaidoguy and timor, great points!

Our personal angsts about Japanese "racism" and xenophobia aside (while there may be cause), plenty of recently elected officials recognize the growing importance of foreign integration. That said, lawmakers are faced with a tough choice to sign the Hague Convention, and therefore set into motion a domino effect of reform that would upend the socio-cultural paradigm of family life in Japan. Or, not sign and therefore bolster Japan's international independance where it doesn't hurt their standing with key partners (like the US).

Reforming the Koseki is a scary proposition. It's rooted so far into their fabric, it's not really a conceivable option.

The next hurdle is finding common ground between Japanese courts and the courts of the Hague Convention signatories. But before finding common ground, what's culturally acceptable and unacceptable among the member signatories would need addressing.

The Hague Convention is for the benefit of children, indeed protection. Not parental rights (as much as I would like, as a parent myself). The notion of what's best for children is debatable in different hemispheres.

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Posted in: Obama's campaign vow meets harsh Afghan reality See in context

Uh, yeah, madverts, because why? McCain "knew" where bin Laden was? Sorry, but the idea of taking the war on terror to Afghanistan wasn't a bad idea, but walking through the door was another. If Afghanistan couldn't be tamed by other powers, what are the chances now? Nil.

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Posted in: Obama's campaign vow meets harsh Afghan reality See in context

No, sarge, Islam didn't screw up Afghanistan. It's been a country in flux ever since before Islam came. Contemporarily speaking, super-power military action has fueled the problem, and we can thank US for the Taliban. The policy should shift to building stronger relationships with the doors leading in and out of this poppy-dependant country. No one can control the region, so it's better to address terrorism from a logistical and collective standpoint. Let them have, just don't let them out.

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Posted in: White House says Obama will not walk away from Afghanistan See in context

I thought Obama was smarter. Rather than wage a futile war, he'd be smarter to draw back the troops and build a diplomatic net around Afghanistan. Let Afghanistan be its own box-trap (since it cannot be bridled; no one has ever controlled that area concretely). Make it a mountainous trap for the would-be terrorists and foster proper relations with its border countries instead. Better than repeating history!

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Posted in: Man arrested for abusing 4-year-old daughter in Mie See in context

True, dolphingirl. It's up to adults to own their responsibility, that is, mindfully stop the abusive cycle that can perpetuate itself. Sadly this man didn't. Now his daughter is injured physically and emotionally. The father needs counseling, but he also should also pay a price for his action. The tragedy of child abuse plays well beyond the incomprehensible act: healing needs time (for the family), and incarceration may be just what is needed to knock sense into the father.

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Posted in: Man arrested for abusing 4-year-old daughter in Mie See in context

Any father that beats (especially injures) his child deserves to be thrown under the bus. As a father, I easily have the sentimental right to play armchair judge and jury.

Irrespective of the family sevices offered here (or any country), there are some that will raise a hand against women and children. But certainly those services and friendly support can help change that. There's no need to "man up" to give friendly support.

But whining 20 and 30 year old men need to use a little more intestinal fortitude to deal with life's up's and down's before beating dependant, helpless children. Again, pathetic.

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Posted in: Tokyo police nab 31 train gropers in Sept, including 15 repeat offenders See in context

Moonbeam: Tooooo true! The chikans problem (at the bottom of the rather full barrel of sex crimes in Japan) is certainly influenced by the porn industry. Magazines and alluring soapland marquees will only go so far...Next comes upskirt photos and ass-grabbing. Pathetic.

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Posted in: Man arrested for abusing 4-year-old daughter in Mie See in context

Disgusting. Next thing you know he'll make an emotional "iwake" (lame excuse) like "my parents were hard on me..." blah blah blah. MAN UP and be father. I wonder what the conviction will be, if any.

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Posted in: American father arrested in Japan had asked Tennessee court for help See in context

Auntplum, great post. Indeed, we're all on the outside of this looking in. Cultural paradigms aside, Christopher's case isn't really about him or Noriko. This really raises the question about what is best for the kids. Both parents made bad choices and compounded an otherwise containable problem. Again, cultural bias aside, most cultures maintain a model that espouses a father and mother raising their children. Of course Japan and the US are far apart, but a more reciprocal judicial system (yes the Hague) facilitates a way that both parents can be a part of the childrens' lives.

Yes, Noriko should raise them primarily, but the system should allow Christopher to remain a presence, financially and fatherly.

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Posted in: Tokyo police nab 31 train gropers in Sept, including 15 repeat offenders See in context

SmithinJapan... I agree, these losers are getting off way too easily (pun not meant)

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Posted in: American father arrested in Japan had asked Tennessee court for help See in context

Such a crock! The kids should see their father; he wan't abusive, yet the Japanese gov't hides behind the excuse they need to protect Japanese women and children from abusive husbands and fathers. What about abusive Japanese husbands and fathers?! I hope Christopher's case makes a crack in this archaic Japanese policy.

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Posted in: Tokyo police nab 31 train gropers in Sept, including 15 repeat offenders See in context

Yeah, they should mete out stiffer fines (no pun meant). But this "chikans" patrol campaign does look like a big PR push. And I agree, 50% prior offenders means the MOJ isn't doing enough.

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Posted in: Tokyo police nab 31 train gropers in Sept, including 15 repeat offenders See in context

Yeah, they should mete out stiffer fines (no pun meant). But this "chikans" patrol campaign does look like a big PR push. And I agree, 50% prior offenders means the MOJ isn't doing enough.

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Posted in: American arrested in Fukuoka for kidnapping own kids from ex-wife See in context

Like I already posted: •he naturalized four years ago; he should've give up his US passport •their divorce was only legalized in the US; they're still married in J •there's nothing illegal about going to the US consulate, given these two points. But we all know his arrest was spawned by 1.) his recalcitrant wife's (still married in Japan) call to the police and 2.) the fact that a non-Japanese looking man with kids (no matter that his honseki is filed in Tokyo) was going to the US consulate.

This may bend in his favor as a Japanese citizen. In this case, where's his offense?

If, as a sworn naturalized Japanese national, he summoned US support, then he risks losing his honseki and, consequently, any priviledges. He would otherwise be treated as an American breaking Japanese law: intent to whisk them away. But as Japanese, intent can be deflected.

If I'm wrong, then I'll be in big trouble for taking my children to the consulate. I don't intend on relocating them. Will the cops bum rush me and toss me in jail? No way,...Unless my wife wanted to screw my life.

Last point: CNN was mistaken to break this article calling Christopher "American"... Based on his Japanese naturalization, they should've clarified his status. Sorry, but the conflict in his status will be a make or break point.

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Posted in: American arrested in Fukuoka for kidnapping own kids from ex-wife See in context

P.S. T_rexmaxytime, my wife is Japanese, and we have children. Even she finds Noriko's action shameful and unfair towards the children, no matter what Noriko claims Christopher did.

Remember, the children's interests come first. I have good reason to believe this isn't just a Western viewpoint.

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Posted in: American arrested in Fukuoka for kidnapping own kids from ex-wife See in context

@ T_rexmaxytime (sorry, said T_rexmaytime before...typo)

You make a good point (in English...but seriously, post a translation of the Japanese like I did, or post elsewhere).

He's wrong for adultery, but even in Japan (especially in Japan) infidelity is not a crime. It is grounds for a legal divorce that favors the wronged party. Principles aside, Noriko impatiently took the children against the law. Yes, she broke the law, period. Her action, not his (no matter how selfish he is) put the children in the middle of an uglier situation.

The children come first, not Christopher, not Noriko, only the kids.

At least in the US, the children had a chance to be raised and financially supported (albeit separately) by two people who love them. And, with reasonability and confidence, allow them to benefit by freely traveling between Japan and the US without fear of estranging either parent from their lives. Except Japan ignores the Hague Convention, which would have removed Christopher's paranoia (among many many many other estranged parents).

The responsibility of the parents should maintain the children's best interest at all times, not either parent's selfish agenda.

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Posted in: American arrested in Fukuoka for kidnapping own kids from ex-wife See in context

@ T_rexmaytime:

How is the Hague Convention "anglo saxon point of view"?

The Convention was drafted to “insure the prompt return of children who have been abducted from their country of habitual residence or wrongfully retained in a contracting state not their country of habitual residence.”[1] The primary intention of the Convention is to preserve whatever status quo child custody arrangement existed immediately before an alleged wrongful removal or retention thereby deterring a parent from crossing international boundaries in search of a more sympathetic court. The Convention applies only to children under the age of 16.

How does this definition impinge on Asian "family culture" and "justice"

Before you answer that, what is "Asian family culture"? I doubt your definition will be "Pan-Asian" enough to fit within the myriad of cultural ideas existing throughout this hemisphere.

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Posted in: American arrested in Fukuoka for kidnapping own kids from ex-wife See in context

「4年前に日本に帰化していたことが」...a line from the CNN.co.jp stating the father became naturalized in Japan four years ago. Follow the link for the full article in Japanese.

http://www.cnn.co.jp/usa/CNN200909300021.html

The Japanese report goes on to say that his "honseki" is filed in Tokyo. So, I'm not sure what the State Dept. can do for him. As a naturalized citizen, he is subject to Japanese law. (Point #1)

The report also states that their divorce was NOT filed in Japan (even though it was finalized in the States in January). This means that they are still married under Japanese law. (Point #2)

Under the "dai roppou" (Japanese Law) police can act under a legit assumption of suspicious behavior or more. (Still no excuses for hauling the guy off, but...) Naturalized or not, without a fat sign saying "NIHONJIN", the guy will always be taken for non-Japanese. Finally, a phone call from the mother, Noriko, is plenty to set the authorities on an otherwise anxious-looking non-Japanese man with kids trying to rush into a place Japanese police cannot enter (US sovereignty). (Point #3)

IF Points #1 and #2 are really true, then no one did anything wrong, they're still married with kids, and they tossed a Japanese citizen in jail based on a phone call and looks. He is their father, and he is married under Japanese law, therefore he has the right be with them.

Point #3 was not illegal. Japanese citizens are allowed to enter US consulates for US-related business. My wife can go in lieu of my unavailability. The cops wouldn't descend on her like Christopher for obvious reasons.

But all this hyperbole is for naught; the capable hands of the flaccid State Dept. and the inept Japanese MOJ will surely complicate this beyond measure. It'll get stacked on the other dozens of unresolved abductions. Maybe Christopher will released, only to either renounce his naturalization (after invoking State Dept. involvement) and go away, or use the marriage and citizenship to his advantage.

Bottom line: she should've never abducted the kids in a manner where she was clearly playing international law against him.

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Posted in: Man arrested for paying 14-year-old girl for sex See in context

@womenforwomen & isthistheend: 100% right on about the fact that the multi-leveled sex-for-sale industry opens the way for many avoidable sex crimes. Coupled with a society bent on emotional repression, it's no wonder this happens. This must be addressed from the top (federal level) down, beginning with creating a larger gap between the actual act and (unfortunately) irrepressible porn industry.

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Posted in: Noriko Sakai's yakuza upbringing in spotlight See in context

I'm waiting for someone to say she got her drugs from an NJ. Step 1) drug bust, i.e. major shift in news from more socially important talk; step 2) incessant disclosure of irrelevant information, i.e. endless variety show blathering; step 3) link NJ affiliation, i.e. deflection.

Perhaps this Yakuza thing is just a deflection... but what a poor testament to what feeds people these days. "Give her a break, give us a break"

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