Japan expected to ratify Hague Convention on child abduction

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  • 5

    Tamarama

    Clearly something that needs to happen, not just in word, but deed as well. Plenty of guys here that face this scandalous situation. I hope for your sakes things change.

  • 5

    heretoolong

    Why the heck hasn't Japan ever ratified it? Is it, possibly, in effect to be able to keep foreign parents from "taking" their children home when family disputes arise or divorce happens? Is it only to protect Japanese family members while screwing over foreigners from access to their own kids?

  • 8

    my2sense

    Product of “brainwashing”. 99 out of 100 will do this too. I have been prepping my net for years in case it happens. I taught my 5 year old how to use Skype on an iPad and even call him when I see him online if I am away on business. Another trick is to get your kids into your home country. I buy my kid flag patches, point stuff out in movies, and the little things. Make them proud to be bicultural. As for this new HC ratification... we will see but I don't see much change. PM is meeting the US president who is multicultural and I hope POTUS pushes it hard with a smile.

  • 6

    bass4funk

    Why the heck hasn't Japan ever ratified it? Is it, possibly, in effect to be able to keep foreign parents from "taking" their children home when family disputes arise or divorce happens? Is it only to protect Japanese family members while screwing over foreigners from access to their own kids?

    Japan will make sure and do everything to make sure that foreign fathers will receive little from this. I don't think Japan is sincere at all at resolving this issue, not a bit, but because of the US and the other industrialized nations, putting pressure on the Japanese, they will sign this, but definitely unwilling. Their first priority is NOT about being far to the children which is THE central issue. he children are the ones that suffer, why is it that the child has to be with one parent and is not allowed to be with the other? Because the mother doesn't like her Ex spouse, that gives her the legal authority to deny the foreign father from having any contact with his children? Really interested in seeing where this goes. I'm not holding my breath.

  • 9

    ChibaChick

    Well said Bass. If this had anything to do with childrens welfare they would have signed years ago. This ratification will mean nothing to me until I actually see it in action.

    This sentence:

    Ratification of the convention would not automatically change Japanese laws

    says it all. Even countries who HAVE ratified it willingly can drag cases out for years. I see Japan signing but then doing nothing about it until absolutely forced into a corner case by case. Which can take years, by which point the damage will have been done.

    I just dont understand women who deny their childrens (good) father access to them. Cant they see the damage it will cause? Even in my marriages darkest moments - and like all marriages we have had them - I could never conceive using the kids as a weapon against him. Its just evil.

  • 2

    FightingViking

    "These cases are particularly cruel - birthday or Christmas presents are returned,"

    This is SO true...

  • 10

    afanofjapan

    I actually had a Japanese friend try to justify not signing the Hague convention to me.

    His words: "There are problems with domestic violence in the US. America needs to solve domestic violence before they force Japan to adopt this backwards treaty"

    He called the return of the children to the US etc "forceful return" yet could not see the hypocracy of his words.

    He seemed to think of it as giving abused women a 'safe haven' in Japan, and said the idea of shared custody, or the thought of a father being given custody was a silly western idea that shouldnt be forced on Japanese people

    Needless to say, i dont talk to him much anymore

  • -1

    FPSRussia

    This has happened to every one I know. Good friend of mine had his child taken on Thanksgiving Day while he was cooking dinner. That woman never said a word. Later she claimed she left cause he wouldn't marry her even though he was supporting her.

    Later she falsified marriage documents. He fought it, lost. She then took money from him. It was so bad he left Japan.

  • 1

    Scrote

    I hope someone asks Abe what laws he will introduce to ensure that the treaty can be enforced in Japan. Of course, he won't introduce any and it will all be a worthless piece of posturing.

  • 2

    ChibaChick

    a fan - that is shocking. Wonder how he would feel about it if HE was on the receiving end. It is absolute nonsense that overseas has a worse DV issue than here. It is just more widely reported and taken more seriously, thats all.

  • 10

    Disillusioned

    Yep, Japanese women are just mean when it comes to joint custody. I'm in the same boat as Watanabe. My ex is a complete nutcase and demands I pay her money - up to a thousand bucks a month depending on her mood - and then will deny me access to my kids or, if she is in a good mood she 'might' let me take them out for lunch once or twice a month although, I haven't seen them since November. I'm sure it gave her great pleasure to deny me access over Christmas. And, his comment about 'brainwashing' is also very true. The last time I saw my kids my daughter said to me, "Why don't you want to see us? Mummy said you don't love me." My only course of action is to cop it on the chin and hope she will one day change. I have no legal discourse at all! I have seen a private lawyer for advice and was told to accept it. The lawyer also suggested I just forget the kids and go back to Australia. WTF!?!? This was my lawyer that I hired to get access to my kids and he told me to forget them? The state of joint custody laws in Japan is a bloody shambles! Whatever the woman says she gets. When we first separated we went to a mediation court at city hall. Her demand was I pay her 3,000yen per hour per child for visitation and they court supported it. It took me 5 months and three mediation meetings to get some sort of agreement and, of course, I was not allowed to see my kids during that time. But wait! The real kick in the balls is yet to come! If she gets seriously injured or dies her parents get custody of my kids, not me! Oh, one point that she adamant about was, the kids cannot leave Japan until they are 18. Just ego-tripping ijime BS!

    It's all well and good to hear Japan intends to ratify the Haigue, but with no domestic laws about joint custody, I fear it be not be ratified, it will be barstardized to the Japanese. They have also previously stated that, if they ratify it they will not acknowledge any previous cases. I read a report a dew weeks ago the over 60% of businessmen have contemplated divorce, but will not go through with it because of this bullshit!

  • 2

    bass4funk

    @FPSRussia

    Wow!

    @afanofjapan

    His words: "There are problems with domestic violence in the US. America needs to solve domestic violence before they force Japan to adopt this backwards treaty"

    This just irks me to no end! How can someone say such an idiotic thing like that. Japan is immune to DV? Not only is it not, but most of it goes unreported and even if it reported, often the women go back, particularly if they have kids. They'll put up with the abuse rather than give up the child support. It's an often vicious cycle that NO one wants to talk about. So who has the backwards policy? At least in the US, a women can leave her abusive husband, go to court and still file for child support. They are in no way obligated to stay in an abusive marriage.

    He called the return of the children to the US etc "forceful return" yet could not see the hypocracy of his words.

    But Japan and the Japanese law is forceful at keeping kids "hostage" in an environment that they might not want to be in or are uncomfortable being in.

    He seemed to think of it as giving abused women a 'safe haven' in Japan, and said the idea of shared custody, or the thought of a father being given custody was a silly western idea that shouldnt be forced on Japanese people

    In other words, American and foreign fathers are not worthy of having any access or rights to see their kids. You can give your seed, after that, roll over and keel over your job is done, you have contributed in helping Japan to repopulate its society, however, you are a foreigner and sorry to say, your purpose has been served, now please return to your country of origin, we got what we wanted. Sorry, to be so direct, but that statement what your friend said, sums up what these Japanese draconian laws are really all about in dealing with the child custody issue. Everything else is just a ruse.

    Needless to say, i dont talk to him much anymore

    Probably, a wise thing.

  • 1

    maitai62

    Its about time Japan recognizes the importance of the child maintaining frequent and continuing contact with BOTH parents. The med/psych research shows it is best for the child's mental and emotional development/health. I hope domestic family court laws will follow too.

  • 3

    Canadaman

    I'm in the same position. It's a nightmare. Multiple nightmares. Do u know the saying"I don't wish this on my worst enemy"?. Now I know what it means.

  • 4

    ChibaChick

    Disillusioned - my heart is breaking for you and your daughter. I am not religious but if ever there was a reason to offer up a prayer or two it would be for you. So I will try it anyway and see what happens! Good luck x

  • 6

    Hikozaemon

    This article is a bit of a mess. It makes valid points but gives the wrong impression that things like access of fathers to kids are something that the Hague Convention would fix.

    Just to be clear, the Hague Convention is a procedural convention, set up to resolve situations where (1) parents in divorce proceedings get conflicting custody orders from family courts in different countries, or (2) where parents seek to gain an advantage in family court custody proceedings by taking their kids to another legal jurisdiction.

    The convention is a mutually agreed mechanism to determine (1) which family law applies, and (2) where the proceedings should take place. And "wrongful" removal of a child is not inherently prohibited by the treaty. The stability and interests of the child are prioritized. Even a kid wrongly taken from the US and brought to Japan in violation of a custody order can become settled in life in Japan, attending school and making friends, whereby Japan becomes the "habitual residence" of the child. In such a case, the treaty would say that the Japanese family court would have to resolve the custody issue, but applying US family court principles.

    The issue here is that courts will always clearly find ways to favor the law and principles they know over those of another jurisdiction. I find it hard to believe that a Japanese court will ever grant joint custody applying US family law, or indeed, that a US court would block paternal access to kids in the way a Japanese court would. But this is what he convention is for - settling the procedure so you don't get conflicting orders. Signatory states "trust" the family law systems of the other countries to handle cases appropriately.

    The cornerstone of the convention is "habitual residence". If a parent removes a child from a jurisdiction to gain an advantage, the key is for the other parent to act before the residence of the abducting parent becomes the habitual residence of the child, thereby getting an upper hand in terms of forum, even though in theory, the forum is supposed to apply the law of the other country. So a parent can still theoretically benefit from child abduction, even with this convention. And it will not be a great help to the many foreign mothers and fathers that have tried for years to get access to their kids in Japan. In fact, my fear is that this convention will remain a sort of false hope, given that in most old cases, the kids will undoubtedly be determined to be in Japan now as their habitual residence.

    The article is right to address the more important issue of domestic family law, and the definite anti-father bias that exists therein, among other issues, including the lack of a concept of joint custody. This lack of compatibility with other family law systems is partly why signing up to the Hague Convention has been a challenge for Japan. There is indeed some hope that it may be a source of external pressure for Japan to bring its family law legislation more into line with other countries. But that is a separate issue.

    What hopeful parents tied up in messy child custody cases need to understand is that the convention is not in and of itself a solution to their issues. It is merely procedural and only likely to be of benefit in new cases of recent abductions.

    Peace

  • 1

    gogogo

    Lip service, they release the same statement every 6 months, nothing changes.

  • 1

    tmarie

    I wonder what Koizumi thinks of all of this. He kept two sons and the wife got the baby (not born at the time of the divorce). He had REFUSED to meet the youngest son. While I think there are many fathers in Japan heartbroken and wanting to see their kids, I also think there are many more who really don't care. I hope this helps those who care and want to be in regular contact with their kids. I've spoken to a few and the brainwashing and stories are horrific and sad. I am thankful everyday that my parents were mature enough (and it IS maturity that is the issue here) to put their differences aside for my sister and I. It is a shame that Japan, and many Japanese, have no come to terms that that kids are NOT possessions to be used as a weapon.

  • 1

    Hikozaemon

    tmarie - the reason the Hague Convention was agreed was because divorce and nasty child custody disputes are so COMMONPLACE in western cultures. Japan is only catching up.

    Family law in Japan is still based on the time and age that divorces were almost unheard of and reserved for extreme cases, of death, or violence, or extreme abuse. Divorce is treated as a de facto death of the father in the family in most cases.

    Japan's Family Law has not kept pace with the reality that more and more people with young kids do divorce now - and that divorce rates are particularly high in international marriages.

    The issue is of Japan catching up to the west in nasty divorces and custody disputes, not of such things being some special problem in Japanese culture.

  • -1

    Disillusioned

    Here is the homepage of CRC Japan. The heartbreaking stories of child abduction by Japanese women will bring years to your eyes. However, bear in mind, these are specifically international abduction cases. There are many more estranged fathers within Japan.

    http://www.crcjapan.com/

  • 3

    kimuzukashiiiii

    While I think there are many fathers in Japan heartbroken and wanting to see their kids, I also think there are many more who really don't care

    This!!! I have a few friends who have been divorced here, and this is kind of general attitude I get from them. The Japanese mens train of thought is often one like "ill give up all rights and access to the child, as long as you dont make me pay anything." It is interesting that the guys who are paying money every month are often the ones who are meeting their children semi-regularly.

    Lets not forget that, in Japan, when a couple divorces, only ONE parent can be granted full legal custody and sole physical custody of the child. When you divorce in Japan, you KNOW that you are signing away your rights to the kid (unless you get shinken) and I really do feel for the fathers abroad in this sense, as they did NOT sign up for this.

    In my own experience, my ex walked out on me and my child when the baby was a little over a year old. HE decided he didnt want contact anymore, and that he didn't want to pay money to us either. I struggled for a few years as a single mother, and eventually Thankfully I was lucky to remarry an amazing guy, and my child has a wonderful father (he adopted my child at his request) and now has a happy family with siblings.

    If my child were to hit adulthood, and decide to contact the biological father, then I would obviously, always support my child.

    However the thing is, as a mother, you have to protect your child. If your childs biological father wants contact once in a blue moon, at his own beck and call, I can totally understand why a mother would refuse this. It messes up the child.

    My child is now balanced, settled, and happy, she has a family who love her, and does well in all aspects of her life.If my ex wandered in one day (after X amount of years) and suddenly demanded access, I would also refuse. I can totally understand the Japanese womens point of view (for the women who divorce within Japan.)

  • 0

    bajhista65

    This Japan system is really bad for the offspring when parents are divorced. I have experienced it too. My ex wife and her family reported something to the Koriyama Shi, Fukushima Ken police and the police kept calling and harassing me when I moved to Osaka. Police said that I was reported planning to kill my children and their mother. My kids have been brainwashed completely. Communications were cut from my children. This bad system of Japan only hurts the children emotionally and physically not to mention spiritually and not their mother. I know my youngest boy have been suffering emotional trauma due to the stopped communication . Their mother cut all their mobile phones and computer access that I gave my kids. I know the lawyers have taught them what to do. All I can do now is wished for my children's good health and well being.

  • -1

    tmarie

    Hiko, well aware of the issues and reasons so but sure why you felt the need to lecture me on it. As someone who had parents divorce in the early 80s well aware of the issues, previous mind set - mom always got the kids - and the like. Japan is dragging its heels on this but this is a small step. Better than nothing though.

  • -15

    YuriOtani

    This will not change a thing about Japanese courts. I understand what the foreign parents go through but hate the ideal of foreign people dictating Japanese law.

  • 2

    tmarie

    Patrick, indeed. Which is oh so interesting when you look at how Japan views domestic violence here between locals. Very little is done and its often seen as a family issue that the cops and the like font want to get involved in. A foreigner?! They're all over the place demanding care for the woman and child even if the stories are BS and have no evidence to support the claims. Xenophobic to say the least.

  • 2

    GW

    Too many sad stories, Japan & its people can be incredibly primitive in their thinking at times, truly astounding!

    May all the foreign & J-spouses who want to remain in their kids lives get their wish & soon!

    Japan needs serious re-think in so many areas of life & work but I am not sure many can even SEE, let alone want to change much unfortunately.

  • 6

    tmarie

    Yuri, how are foreigners dictating anything?! You sure do like to blame "us" for everything.

  • 4

    Disillusioned

    I understand what the foreign parents go through but hate the ideal of foreign people dictating Japanese law.

    How can anybody dictate a law that does not exist! It's is about time Japan pulled its head out of the sand and joined the 21st century!

  • 0

    Knox Harrington

    GW:

    Japan needs serious re-think in so many areas of life & work but I am not sure many can even SEE, let alone want to change much unfortunately.

    Well put. These are some scary stories some of you share and I feel for you. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like much will change, even if Japan signs this. There is a way of stonewalling in Japan that really bugs the hell out of me and I think this is exactly what will happen with messy divorces even after this is (might be) signed.

    Much like GW said, although a modern country in some aspects, Japan sometimes just feel behind the times.

  • -2

    tmarie

    Knox, it isn't a feeling, it is. Can anyone give me an example of how Japan is socially ahead if its times or even parallel with other G8 countries?! I would have given you electronics years ago but even now they're so far behinds its not funny. I don't have much faith things will change with this law but it is a legal leg to stand on, which didn't exist before.

  • 3

    ambrosia

    Hikozaemon - Family law in Japan is still based on the time and age that divorces were almost unheard of and reserved for extreme cases, of death, or violence, or extreme abuse. Divorce is treated as a de facto death of the father in the family in most cases.

    Sorry Hikozaemon but you've got it backwards, not that I blame you since the idea of a Japan with virtually no divorce until the influence of the west is myth that Japan likes to imagine about itself. In reality, Pre-Meiji Restoration Japan had some of the highest divorce rates in the world, so high that they shocked visiting Europeans. In order to emulate western family structure the Japanese government made divorce more difficult. As a result of this it became more shameful. Prior to that it was not seen as shameful but a relatively normal thing. The people who would have been less inclined to divorce would have been those who married for political purposes, to join powerful families, etc. If you are interested in this topic I highly recommend giving this book a look: Divorce in Japan: Family, Gender, and the State, 1600-2000 By Harald Fuess

  • 0

    ambrosia

    Yuri: We've heard this complaint before you and you've already been told that "foreign people" will not "be dictating Japanese laws". This is an international treaty. What about that don't you understand?

  • 2

    PeaceWarrior

    @ambrosia,

    Thanks for the book recommendation. It's now on my must-read list.

    Cheers.

  • 11

    Daniel Wass

    I understand what the foreign parents go through but hate the ideal of foreign people dictating Japanese law. @ yuriotani. Speaking from my personal experience i am concerned you may not fully understand what foreign parents go through, and how in fact japan is arrogantly imposing japanese law on foreigners. My son was removed from Australia almost 3 years ago, he has not been seen or heard of since. Like the article mentions Christmas and birthday presents sent to japan by my family are returned to sender. My son is an Australian citizen and was removed from Australia illegally. If Japan has a sincer concern of the west dictating it family law, japan needs to learn to respect the law of it's international friends.

  • 2

    ambrosia

    my2sense: It's unfortunate that you are in a relationship that, for whatever reason, makes you feel you have to prep your son for the eventuality of your separation but it is good to know that you are being proactive and realistic. Sadly, a high number of marriages will end in divorce, regardless of where the married couple comes from. Given the laws and the cultural norms in Japan, I think anyone going into marriage with a Japanese person, particularly if the woman is Japanese, would be well advised to learn about the very real custodian possibilities in the event of a divorce. That may seem cynical to some but to me it's practical and wise to be prepared.
    All of the magical thinking in the world isn't going to make things go your way when the other person is determined to do the opposite.

  • 1

    ambrosia

    Sorry - custodial.

    Boy, an edit button would be nice, wouldn't it?

  • -1

    Shumatsu_Samurai

    I should point out that this article is wrong about Japan being the only G8 country not to allow joint custody (also known as "shared residence"). This is very rare in the UK, and a judge will almost always order children live with one parent - usually the mother. There have been terrible arguments over access to children when mothers have not allowed it, and courts are still reluctant to jail mothers who don't comply with their orders to allow the father to have access to their children.

  • -1

    tmarie

    I should point out that this article is wrong about Japan being the only G8 country not to allow joint custody (also known as "shared residence"). This is very rare in the UK...

    So what exactly is wrong? You have just stated that while it is rare, the UK does have shared custody.

    Ambrosia, cheers for the book info.

  • 1

    Samantha Zoe Aso

    Shumatsu Samurai. The UK has had shared custody for many a decade now. My own parents are divorced and kept it amicable for the sake of myself and my siblings.

  • 2

    Marilita Fabie-Fujisawa

    Hi Disillution, apparently my son is experiencing the same thing. In the meantime it's the time consuming meetings with the family court seeking his rights to see his baby girl that will turn 1 on March. And yet, according to the moods of his ex wife we are all left in the air thinking whether we will ever get to see our one and only grandchild or not...we haven't seen her since she was 2 months old. That's after the wife just woke up one morning and decided that life wasn't as comfortable as she thought it would be and decided to seek divorce from my son...it's the saddest thing that's ever happened to me and my husband..we had so many plans on how to spend it with our grandchild, not one has been fulfilled...last Xmas, I put up the Xmas tree thinking the wife will have a change of mind and bring our grandchild at home, but it never happened...so...this is my question...will it make things better with the signing and joking of The Hague treaty???? I hope and pray it does.

  • 2

    Samantha Zoe Aso

    To all those poor souls out there bearing the brunt of this injustice, my heart goes out to you all. I had a British friend a few years back whose japanese husband was extremely violent and she returned to the UK for a holiday to try to get her head together. She genuinely had no intention of staying and had a return ticket. An order was issued and police went to her parents house where she was staying. She was informed that if she didnt return with the child within a week, the child would be taken from her and held with Social Services until arrangements could be made to return the child to Japan. Back in Japan,when she called the police out next time hubby starts getting pushing her around, they didnt want to get involved. So Japan has no compunction in utilising the Hague when it suits Japan. Otherways, we hear locals spouting off about respecting Japans laws and culture and basicallyignoring` requests from other countries to return children who had been taken without consent .I switched off there and lost quite a lot of respect for Japan on this issue.

  • 1

    Cortes Elijah

    About time this law is changed. I wish the best futures for all those fathers out there that they can get their children back!

  • 1

    Daniel Wass

    It's called "having your cake and eating it too"

  • 1

    Steve Christian

    Even if the Hague Convention is ratified, it has flaws of its own. Then you have courts and their flaws, in every country, and the simple fact that you have two parents and at least one refuses to cooperate.

    All that means the kids still lose. Some seem to think the Hague Convention is a fix-all. But I don't think so. Some cases you look at and think it was a good thing the child was taken away. But the Hague Convention would favor crooked people who know how to play crooked lawyers and crooked judges on their home turf.

    What I would prefer is not ratification of the Hague, but just some simple respect and equality for foreign born parents who have a child with a Japanese spouse. Its a much more important issue than parental child abduction.

  • 3

    tmarie

    Exactly Sam. The same is done to the locals with regards to domestic violence but a foreigner in there and accuse them? The cops take a very keen interest.

  • -1

    bokuwamo

    I have been through the entire divorce proceedings in Japan and had been involved with a custody case in America. Both have problems with enforcing court orders by local law enforcement. Until there is a way to have all the laws, in all the countries enforced first. There is not going to be any true international custody case with justice being serve properly. To assume that all foreign spouses of a Japanese marriage are somehow entitled to have custody in any form is not being opened minded to the realities of any custody dispute.

  • 0

    AustPaul

    Japan needs a bit of 'gaiatsu' from time to time to get things going.

    Disillusioned, did your kids get dual passports? You should consider a letter of support from Julia...hope it works out for you.

  • 0

    AustPaul

    You too Daniel Wass...if your son was a citizen and removed from Aust without your permission that's child abduction plain and simple. If you had advance warning you could have got an interim order from the family court which would have stopped her at the border. Again, this would make me livid and would be putting pen to paper to Julia or Tony if he gets in.

    As I said before, Japan needs to get with the times and start to show respect and decency to foreign residents. You can make a song and dance about it up there (hard i know) but pressuring your own govt may be more worthwhile . Good luck all affected by this

  • 0

    malfupete

    I can't believe reading that an ex-wife charges a dad 3000yen an hour to see his own kids!!!

    Its pretty obvious that laywers are involved in this.. doing all these things to essentially make the father bend to the will of the ex and get a better settlement but no promise of even seeing the kids

    sorry for my lack of info - Does the hague only work between countries that have ratified it? Can't you take back your kids and get the hell out of the country asap without fear of having to return them if Japan hasn't signed the treaty? (assuming your kids are citizens of your home country too)

  • 0

    YankeeX

    It's about time!

  • 1

    MoBass4u

    What really needs to happen is that countries like the US, UK, Aus etc make it illegal for a Japanese woman to leave the country with her child unless the non-Japanese spouse is present at the airport and freely gives permission. End of all international kidnappings...

    Best idea I've seen. Having them surrender the passport is ineffective......any $2 lawyer can trick the courts into handing it back to them for "obtaining" new ID.....that's what happened in my case.

  • -5

    YuriOtani

    tmarie the posters and US Government want to change Japanese law to reflect their superior American law. Never mind it traps Japanese women in America to stay in America. The American will go to the court and claim he/she is the better parent due to wealth. They will give them a better home. So the Japanese spouse loses custody and gets visitation rights in a foreign country.

    I have never been through a divorce. Not an option for me being Roman Catholic. I have faith in my spouse to do the right things. Those who are worried about divorce why did you marry them? There is a Japanese side to this story. There are a lot of foreign people that walk from their families and never pay a yen in support. There are many Japanese who have foreign fathers and they can not speak English and suffer because they look foreign. So the mother charges them 3000 yen an hour to visit. Is this man paying support to her?

    There are two sides to every story. The ideal that the American way is superior and must be spread to the heathen countries makes me angry. Please read your words again and try to put yourself in their shoes.

  • -1

    bokuwamo

    There are so many things that have to change in both Japan and America to make custody cases equal to both sides. Which, I don't think is going to happen any time soon. My case ex-wife Japanese had illegal custody of kids. American court said kids should be returned to America. When she did not. The American court issued an arrest warrant. The ex-wife worked on a US military base. Asked how come she was not arrested. 2 reasons; Japan does not due a criminal back ground check in America for Japanese citizens and a arrest warrant issued in America is not valid for Japanese police to use in Japan. Only a small piece of a very big puzzel. Getting Japan to honor American laws with all the different state laws attached and getting America to honor Japan's laws, don't think it will happen. Being a Roman Catholic myself, I had my mariage annulled and divorced, somethings are possible.

  • 8

    Gramie

    YuriOtani,

    I don't really understand your point of view. You talk about how difficult it is for a Japanese spouse whose children stay in America, but the reverse would be equally true for an American whose children stayed in Japan.

    I'm also Roman Catholic, but in the process of getting a divorce (and then an annulment) from my Japanese wife. You may have faith in your spouse to do the right thing, but when your spouse has attempted to kill each of your children (and held a kitchen knife at your throat), threatened suicide multiple times in front of the children, told your children "I wish you were dead", and many other things, then for the safety and wellbeing of the children the spouse has to leave.

    I find your logic so tortured and bizarre that I have trouble knowing how to answer. It sounds as if you are doing everything you can to justify taking children away from foreign parents.

    No one has suggested that the American way is superior. Many have suggested that the Japanese way is terribly flawed, because it damages the children and causes them to never see their non-custodial parent.

  • 3

    Daniel Wass

    Thanks Austpaul. That’s the path I have taken. You may like to visit YouTube = JEADWASS. I continue to lobby both parties and on the 5th February this year my family and I handed over a petition to Julie Bishop (deputy of the opposition) and Louise Markus (my federal MP) requesting our government demand of Japan to locate Sean and confirm his safety and welfare. Sean has family in Australia, he is my own flesh and blood. It is disgusting Japan does not have the common decency or respect to acknowledge the simplest of human rights, it is disappointing and unacceptable my own government doesn't stand up for these rights and represent us. It is hard to expect Japan to change when our own Governments show lack of direction, don't take this issue seriously and have floored policies and procedures. @ Yuriotan. "two sides to every story" is a very important point. However, I fail to see how child abduction is justified by this point. "two sides to every story" highlights the hypocrisy of the Japanese position.

  • 1

    Daniel Wass

    "yuriotani" gomenasai - poor spelling

  • 1

    tmarie

    Oh Yuri, thanks for the laugh. Yes, the horrible US. It isn't an international law it anything right? It isn't that Japan expects the rest of the world to play by Japan's rules, right?! You do get that the reason this has become so problem because Japanese women aren't obeying the laws of whatever country they're living in and kidnap kids and flee to Japan right? You want foreigners to abide by Japanese laws when in japan (which is fine) but then you expect other countries to allow Japanese nationals to ignore the laws of the country they're living in. See the problem there? Any Ida how many Japanese women have ignored the laws in the country they lived in and kidnapped kids and fled? Thousands. And Japan won't give this kids back and abide by the laws of the country the case was decide in. So in fact, it's actually Japan that is forcing their laws into others.

    Catholic. Thanks for that laugh. As someone also raised catholic you seem to be unaware of his many catholic get divorced.

  • 4

    tmarie

    And have you ever wondered about all the Japanese men who walk away from their kids? Doubt it. You only see this as a US vs Japan thing. As always.

  • 4

    MoBass4u

    @tmarie My ex actually told me that since she was Japanese she did not have to abide by the laws of the US. When first told she could not leave with the kids she had a meltdown right there in the court.
    That was when she was told to surrender her passport as a condition of visitation. All the good that did. For $5000 her ........aturdney dooped the system and actually encouraged her to flee. He knew the Japanese system and money talked VERY loud. I remain hopeful that this will change things but I'm only fooling myself.

  • 2

    tmarie

    Mo, what is worse is the embassy tells these women this. Japan expected everyone to play by their rules. Even when not in Japan. I think their passports should be kept and I also think that kid's passports need to be flagged and an authorized letter needed for kids traveling with one parent. Pain for many? Yes. But safe for all.

  • 3

    ambrosia

    YuriOtani: tmarie the posters and US Government want to change Japanese law to reflect their superior American law.

    The Convention was adopted unanimously on the 24th of October, 1980 by Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Japan, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.K., the U.S., Venezuela and Yugoslavia. The drafting committee was from Finland, France and the U.K.

    As you can clearly see, Japan initially voted for the adoption of this convention, the drafting and implementation of which were a very international effort, despite your insistence this is something the U.S. is trying to impose on poor, little Japan. Yes, American is a powerful country which can and does use that power to pressure other countries to agree to things they may not like. All powerful countries, Japan included, do that. I'm not going to defend that but your continuously and blindly siding with Japan on this smacks of nationalism and ignorance. This isn't an issue only for the U.S. but multitudes of countries and it works both ways. It doesn't favor one country over another but certainly keep trying to convince us all that it does.

    1 in 22 registered marriages in Japan are "international". In 80% of those marriages the husband is Japanese. Is it only Japanese women who deserve protection from abusive spouses? Do Japanese men not deserve to be able to see their children if they want?

    Those who are worried about divorce why did you marry them?

    They were probably not worried about divorce when they first married. That said, there is absolutely nothing wrong with knowing the laws and customs of the country of your spouse. Educating yourself doesn't mean you're worried about getting divorced. If you prefer the hide-your-head-in-the-sand method of dealing with life, that's your business.

    There is a Japanese side to this story.

    Yes, and pray tell us, what is it? Who is Japan's Elian Gonzalez?

  • 2

    MoBass4u

    @tmarie Yes, in my case it was the consulate in LA. When confronted about it the would only continuously repeat "she has rights too". Indeed she did I believe that this particular subject has a much better chance of being settled fairly outside than it EVER WILL in Japan.

  • 0

    tmarie

    Mo, sorry to hear all of this. Like I said, I am glad my parents were mature enough not to use my sister and I as weapons. Japanese women on the other hand...

  • 1

    my2sense

    Great thread btw... all give two cents and I am following up on all comments.

  • -5

    bokuwamo

    Where is the thought process of people who marry a foreigner in a foreign country? My first big question. You are married in a foreign country, than go back to your country for whatever reason. File for divorce and custody. Than you want that country to follow your countries laws. Abducting or taking kids to your home country is usually not the right thing to do. There are but's to this, real abuse, drug use and other issues. Each case having their own unique problems. Come on folks, most people don't live in la la land. Where they never have to think of possible future events in a international marriage. I say most.

  • 0

    kaimycahl

    Japan expected to ratify Hague Convention on child abduction

    I didn't live in Japan I lived in LA she came here got pregnant and then by my surprise I am told I have a child. With that said I was also told come get the child my parents don't want me and the child here. I make arrangements go to the US Embassy in Tokyo claim the child as mine, then she tells me the child needs more shot and need to stay longer I said ok her is $3000 to take care of our child until the agreed upon time to return. Well guess what I was out doing yard work and I was summond to come to court my Japanese ex hire and attorney here and took me to court here in the US and sued me for child support $3000 per month here in Los Angeles. My attorney argued she didn't have jurisdiction because neither my son or the mother lived in the US for the required 3 months to claim juridiction. The A$$whole judge here said he had the jurisdiction to hear the financials for the the child care and support payments but not or child custody, so that meant she could keep our child in Japan and just collect the money and I never see my child again. My attorney argued this and the judge said all I had to do was get an attorney in Japan and file the order in Japan and they will honor it. That judge had his head up his anal cavity. So hague is a joke even the US courts is a joke at least the JP protect their citizens the US courts let US citizens get robbed!!!! I bear witness to that OUCH!!!

  • 2

    MoBass4u

    @tmarie Yes, it is good that there are still people that think of the needs of the children instead of the selfish vengence fueled reasoning in so many of these cases. I guess there is some sick pleasure in exercising control with the governments backing. My heart goes out to all who have and continue to experience this. Although my kids are now grown (21 and 23) we had a brief relationship about 10 years ago. They are now fully brainwashed into thinking that they only exist to care for her. No independent thoughts or desires for their own future. They are to this day told that me, my wife and their half brother are not good for them and that they need to stay with her. I love them and wish them all the best. I hope they will one day think for themselves.

  • 1

    bass4funk

    @yuri

    tmarie the posters and US Government want to change Japanese law to reflect their superior American law. Never mind it traps Japanese women in America to stay in America. The American will go to the court and claim he/she is the better parent due to wealth. They will give them a better home. So the Japanese spouse loses custody and gets visitation rights in a foreign country.

    For the life of me, Yuri, I just don't know where you get all this? What you said, isn't even close to the truth.

    I have never been through a divorce. Not an option for me being Roman Catholic.

    So it's totally impossible for a Roman Catholic to get divorced? Never happened in the history of the Catholic teachings.

    I have faith in my spouse to do the right things. Those who are worried about divorce why did you marry them?

    What a ludicrous statement to make. You can ask ANY of these guys and I am sure they will tell you, that they had NO idea that their wives would act like or deny them their basic rights of letting them see their children after a divorce. How could they have known. There is NO way. I have seen it too many times. I have friends that have had perfect marriages and then one day after having children things changed. There is NO way you can forsee something like this happening. Because if these guys did, they probably would never have gotten married to these women, knowing they would have to suffer like this. What you are saying is so far off.

    There is a Japanese side to this story. There are a lot of foreign people that walk from their families and never pay a yen in support. There are many Japanese who have foreign fathers and they can not speak English and suffer because they look foreign. So the mother charges them 3000 yen an hour to visit. Is this man paying support to her?

    That happens everywhere, there are Japanese fathers that leave one family and start new ones and never have anything to do with the children from their previous marriage. Stop making it seem that Japanese men are the only responsible men on this planet and every other foreign father is a total deadbeat! Any mother charging any hourly fee to allow the father to see his child is total exploitation, not to mention spiteful and insincere!

    There are two sides to every story. The ideal that the American way is superior and must be spread to the heathen countries makes me angry. Please read your words again and try to put yourself in their shoes.

    Yes, I agree, but you are making this an AMERICAN issue, correction, AMERICA is pushing this issue, but this is an INTERNATIONAL issue! And Japan has always gotten away with this and the world DEMANDS that Japan catches up to the rest of the modern world and does the right thing. The right thing is to allow BOTH sides to be heard and BOTH sides to be treated fairly and in Japan's case, that would be the father. And if Japan were really sincere, the end goal in all of this the child's well being and if there is no abuse, the child is happy and healthy, the children's feelings should also be taken into consideration and NOT only go by what the mother wants, which in most cases in these types of situations over the top, highly exaggerated and often irrelevant when it comes to visitation rights.

  • -2

    bokuwamo

    bass4funkFEB. 23, 2013 - 08:23AM JST @yuri And Japan has always gotten away with this and the world DEMANDS that Japan catches up to the rest of the modern world and does the right thing.

    Sounds like you had a custody case past or present. If you think that the Hague act will do anything that is going to start bringing kids back from Japan, I feel sad for you.

    Read the act and all of the things it does not do and the things that it says it will do are mostly with the cooperation of the other country. In simple terms, it is not giving any one country the right to go into another country and enforce their laws. It makes requests that go through a long process before they are considered for action.

  • -3

    tmarie

    Mo, for your sake and others, I hope they do too! Your story breaks my heart and I'm sorry you've had to go through this horrible experience.

  • 1

    bass4funk

    @boku

    Sounds like you had a custody case past or present. If you think that the Hague act will do anything that is going to start bringing kids back from Japan, I feel sad for you.

    Nope, I did not, however, I have at least about 16 friends that come from all over that did lose a child/children. I am NOT saying that the Hague act will solve all the problems, we know Japan will do everything in its power to NOT abide by it, but it's a start, it's a beginning that Japan will take accountability and will be more liable to lawsuits and deeper scrutiny. And as long as the international community keeps the pressure on Japan, this too, will come to pass and it is THE best thing for the children.

    Read the act and all of the things it does not do and the things that it says it will do are mostly with the cooperation of the other country. In simple terms, it is not giving any one country the right to go into another country and enforce their laws. It makes requests that go through a long process before they are considered for action.

    But compared to now at least, Japan would have to take these complaints, requests and court orders seriously. Japan is in a losing battle, yes, it might take longer, but the noose is tightening, because fathers are parents as well, what makes them less of a parent than a mother? Or is the father just simply a sperm donor and that's it. Personally, I have had it seeing good fathers getting the shaft over some woman with a grudge! Funny thing though, if this were to happen to a Japanese man who was married to a foreigner and the woman took off with his children, this country would be up and arms.

  • 0

    AmericanSurfer

    We are still waiting for some sort of closure. The empty promises form the state department, congress and all the politicians is getting old. Japan had better implement the proper laws, so parents in the future don't have to go through all the B.S. we have endured thus far.

    Today marks 2 years and 7 months since the Japanese earthquake that struck Japan. I have been denied equal rights, human rights and the rights of the U.S./Japanese Govt. to see and have access to my only Son Kai Endo.

    Tim Johnston Japan Kai Endo Japan

  • 0

    Grassyinjapan

    Tim i feel for you, its only been 7 months for me and im going crazy. to know it could go on for years and years is going to hurt.

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