U.S. lawmakers pressure Japan on child custody rights

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  • 0

    bcbrownboy

    Oh dear, what's poor lil Japan going to do? Bullied by China, now bullied by the US. Life's not getting any easier for the galapagos isles west.

  • 0

    NuckinFutz

    The only thing Japan is going to understand is economic pressure. Give Japan a deadline to join and comply, and if it doesn't apply some sanctions to get their attention.

  • 0

    Zenny11

    NuckinFutz.

    Pls, pretty please, also apply that to all the other signatories that signed but didn't implement too.

  • 0

    alladin

    Well, then there will have to be a lot of sanctions on Japan before Japan makes a move to do the right thing because they are all so hard headed people who will not change for anything or anyone. Or is sure seems that way...

  • 0

    NuckinFutz

    Zenny11, I agree! Everyone should be subject to the same laws and penalties if they sign a UN convention. Even if Japan signs it will continue to hide behind the article that allows them to protect their children from 'domestic violence' (which in Japan only needs to be alleged, not proven!) Each and every Japanese parent who has abducted children will claim their foreign (and even Japanese) spouses were abusive just to get around the law. Will Japan support these claims and continue to avoid returning the children? My bet is their behavior won't change.

  • 0

    Zenny11

    NucckinFutz.

    My story is slightly different my son was abducted by his mother within Japan and I got zilch help from the authorities here. Granted things worked out as me and his mother got back into contact and he is now living with me(long story as she was terminal when she did it).

    But if the law is not enforced locally it won't be for international cases. If it would have happened in my home-country his mother would be in Jail now for abduction.

    So agree long way to go.

  • 0

    Klein2

    "makes a move to do the right thing"

    The right thing is to leave children in the undisputed care of one parent, not let them be ping pong balls and bargaining chips in the US court system.

    Japan should have never started down this road of becoming like every other screwed up divorce-ridden country. Now it has to let bickering parents destroy children's lives.

  • 0

    herefornow

    Klein2 -- disagree. An abduction is an abduction whether the motive is political/espionage or racism. Which, let's all admit it, is what's behind Japan's Family Registry and their inability to recognize dual custody/parental rights. The U.S. is simply tired of Japan's "sympathy" on the issue, and their "sincere efforts to deal with the problem".

  • 0

    minello7

    At the present I am going through the Japanese system,regarding my children. Zenny11,thankyou, you are the only one here so far that understands the problems.Only those fathers of children involved can explain the hurt and emotional pain and frustration ,that not only the children suffer not having a father in their lives ,but also the fathers at not seeing their children. Statistics worldwide have proven that about 1 in 4 children from one parent families end up with some emotional problems ie:,drink ,drugs, crime. Fathers rights or lack of them is a problem in numerous countries,the laws favour the women in most cases.Having their fathers input into their lives is something the judical system has not tackled,thats Judges ,Lawkyers and social workers. Here we are dealing with family laws that were made in 1896. Change has to be worldwide to these archaic laws regarding divorce and child custody. In most cases the children are never consulted ,although they have have a "Convention of the Rights of the Child"bill just like the "Human Rights" bill,that entitles them to be heard,their opinions,what they want ,but their voice is never heard in court. I could spend the day on here trying to explain,but not today. My fight goes on every day,just like many fathers worldwide.

  • 0

    thekeykeeper

    @Klein2 and herefornow

    I myself have children here in Japan and my wife is Japanese, if we were ever to get a divorce I would not allow her to deny me the right to see our children. And I believe that all loving parents say the same thing. The other thing here is this; if a Japanese woman who has kids from a previous marriage remarries then her new husband's family will look down on the children from the previous marriage. Not only that, by reading reports here and watching the news the children from previous relationships are more likely to be abused or killed all together. (This happens all over the world but still).

    The other thing that has come to mind is this, it isn't only American fathers that are wanting to see their kids, it's also fathers from other countries as well, their families have been torn apart not because of one parent but by the selfish acts of the other.

    Japan is a country of hypocrisy, meaning it wants North Korea to admit and return the people they have kidnapped in the past, now not only is the US but other countries as well (the US is just taking the lead because the US is Japan's closest ally) wanting Japan to return the children that were abducted by their Japanese parents and brought to Japan unlawfully.

  • 0

    sakurasuki

    @thekeykeeper, how do you know your wife will behave exactly the same after you get a divorce? The problem you don't know that.

  • 0

    jforce

    It is sad that Japan has these outdated laws that make parents (Usually the father) suffer in the mixed-marriage world. I've had my fights with the government over legal names and such, and it always seems there excuse is "that's the way it is", without the "why?" or a hint of advice on how to proceed within the system. It's even more frustrating sharing your personal information with these town/city office officials that have no formal education in civil service or any desire to think outside the box. I think a lot of them don't want their peaceful civil servant job to be shaken up, so they simply shrug a lot of foreigners off. This kind of lackluster attitude continues right up the government chain and it isn't surprising these old laws still exist. Keep fighting the good fight people.

  • 0

    Zenny11

    munello7.

    Hope you get sort out. Read below.

    Thekeykeeper.

    If and when you divorce(hope it won't happen), DON'T let it go to court they are biased against the father.

    Rather sign the divorce papers with your wife. I did that as we got divorced AFTER my wife abducted my son(not going into details).

    On the Divorce Papers you state who gets custody, what visitation rights & times, alimony, etc. Takes about 20 minutes to fill and file the form.

    If you can work it out that way it is the best, I did it with my wifes lawyer being present. Repeat don't go for the court route.

    Agreed that after marriage families in japan no longer communicate or acknowledge each other.

  • 0

    Osakadaz

    Thank you America! Klein2 your response is a little to glib.Parents are humans and humans do tend to find it hard to live together.In most countries there would be a little more support available to both parties and a family court that would make a decision based on fact, that would try to find the best outcome for the children. I have a wife who has severe emotional problems.I often find myself on the receiving end of verbal and mild physical abuse.She has received tranquilisers but doesn't take them.Sometimes it is just impossible to keep the peace in my house and my baby girl has to watch it all. She is a good mum for the most part and I promised her that I will never abduct our daughter but she threatens to do it whenever she has had a bad day.This issue is in my mind every day of the week. I have no legal grounds of recourse and if that awful event were to eventuate I could have my gorgeous girl stolen from me. Even in Japanese family cases the children are usually awarded to the mother,regardless of the mother's aptitude to raise the children. I applaud the US for trying to encourage Japan to do the right thing.It is the right thing.

  • 0

    neogreenjapan

    There is no shared custody in Japan. If people get divorced it usually is up to the mother to decide whether the father has a right to see their children or not. There are many fathers in Japan who are not able to see their children. I am not talking about fathers living abroad but Japanese fathers living in Japan.

  • 0

    fishy

    neogreenjapan-

    true, there ARE many fathers who are not able to see their kids in Japan, but there ARE also divorced couples who share their kids on a regular basis. It always sounds like in Japan when you get divorce, father is complitely shut off, but I just want to mention that it isn't always like that and I actually know two Japanese/non Japanese couples (divorced with kids) in Japan and they have worked things out nicely.. During Christmas break, kids go to the father's home country to spend vacation with their side of family.. In the summer, kids spend time with the mother's side of family in Japan. Kids live with mothers but they visit their dads (both families) one or two weekends every month, depending on their schedule, could be more (if there are national holidays).

    I also know a few divorced Japanese couples with kids -- they share their children as well and the kids go to dad's place for dinner several times a month and the fathers also attend kids undokai and other school events as well -- Actually in cases of these couples, they complain that the kids' grandparents don't really understand why divorced couples still communicate and kids go to both houses, but younger generations have better understanding of the importance of having access to both parents.

    Having said that, it IS a good thing to set up a law to ensure those children from divorced families to have access to both parents because it is true that there are good number of divorced couples that just cannot work things out.

  • 0

    fishy

    Zenny-

    and when you divorce(hope it won't happen), DON'T let it go to court they are biased against the father.

    I agree on this.. Do not need to go to court at all.. it is a total waste of money and time (and your energy). All of the couples mentioned in my earlier post (divorced couples with kids who have worked things out), they did not go to court, they sat down, took time to talk and worked things out by themselves. They all say that they have a mutual interest to make their kids happy, so even though their marriages did not work out, they still want to make their kids happy.

    And my advice is that when filling out a divorce form, KNOW EVERYTHING THAT IS WRITTEN ON THE FORM AND WHEN YOU SIGN IT, KNOW WHAT YOU ARE SIGNING FOR. Too many people sign without really understanding what they are signing for.

    And know just because your wife is Japanese, that does not mean things do not work out, There are plenty of Japanese women who let their kids see their fathers. And there ARE good number of Japanese/non-japanese couples (divorced) who have worked things out without money and court being involved, so don;t get freaked out. Calm down, sit down and talk. Show respect towards each other even after divorce because SHE IS YOUR CHILD's MOTHER and you are her child's father, make sure you both really understand that you two are involived no matter what as long as there is a child to raise.

  • 0

    ratpack

    I always feel so sorry for the kids in a divorce. The kids don't hate mummy the way daddy hates mummy nor do they hate daddy the way mummy hates daddy but they are dragged into the tug-o-war they don't really want to be part of.

  • 0

    fishy

    minello7-

    At the present I am going through the Japanese system,regarding my children

    I wish you and your wife (ex) could work things out without going to court because it is a long process and it can really hurt your feelings on the process, but since you are already going through the process, I wish you the best of luck and I hope you and your wife (ex) will come to a mutual understanding that your kids need both of you.

    I really don't think she believes kids don't need a dad, I imagine she just wants to get rid of you and move on, but she also needs to realize that she canNOT get rid of you from her life as long as there is a kid (kids) involved, and it is called responsibility. If she is to put her child before her, she would know what this all means, but I am also imagining that she is still being emotional?

    I hope she will calm down and think, think and think more.. she needs to think and know that the child's happy face makes a mother happy..

  • 0

    kstar

    In reality, the US system also seems to be very against foreigners as well. The mom in this case does not seem to be a druggie or an abuser of her children, in normal cases, in most western countries, the mother would be given custody. Why then did the mother lose custody, in the US, to her American ex-husband? Probably because he was American and she was not. I can see how Japan is wrong in this case, and the US is indeed better because they do allow visitation rights to the Japanese mother (hence how she got the chance to abduct them), but how much better is the US system?

    This whole child custody thing is very unfortunate, but in reality it is a zero sum game. "Families" aren't torn apart. They already are broken. In these cases, when it comes to the children, they almost always lose. The only winners, assuming both parents are decent people who want their children in their lives, are the ones who get custody. If the father gets custody, the father wins, and the mother will lose her children. If the mother gets custody, the father loses, and loses out on being part of their lives. This is the same thing here. Don't lie to yourself that there are no women in the US who try to prevent their husbands from visiting their children, because there are. It's just to ex-couples who live on different continents the separation is much more apparent.

    It's very unfortunate, but the only real win is shared custody, and across oceans, this is hard to do.

  • 0

    Klein2

    "An abduction is an abduction whether the motive is political/espionage or racism. "

    Yeah. I grew up with kids faces on milk cartons. Imagine my surprise when I found out most of those kids were actually in a warm place being cared for by a parent. Reporting a kid as "kidnaped" is just the first step to start court proceedings in the US, which devolve into a grabby lawyerfest. Keep that mess out of Japan.

    "if we were ever to get a divorce I would not allow her to deny me the right to see our children. And I believe that all loving parents say the same thing. "

    Yeah. Good luck with that. SOunds like you have a great marriage with a loving life partner. Loving parents work out their problems instead of divorcing.

    Immature people should not get married, have kids, and then let lawyers and judges sort out their lives. Japan has a system that awards the care of a child to one person who is responsible for bringing up that child. That is the way it ought to be, period. I have seen it and lived it the other way. Frankly, it only works with people who are mature enough not to divorce in the first place, which means that it never works.

    America cannot do much teaching about social justice in this area, in my opinion.

  • 0

    porter

    @kstar: I agree with everything you say except in a place like the US when a woman tries to prevent the father access to the kids, the law protects the father's visitation rights. That is what is missing in Japan. Regardless, a divorce in any country is NASTY.

  • 0

    neogreenjapan

    fishy

    true, there ARE many fathers who are not able to see their kids in Japan, but there ARE also divorced couples who share their kids on a regular basis. It always sounds like in Japan when you get divorce, father is complitely shut off, but I just want to mention that it isn't always like that and I actually know two Japanese/non Japanese couples (divorced with kids) in Japan and they have worked things out nicely..

    Good to know that there are couples who can work things out nicely when they do break up, but due to Japan not having any shared custody laws, in the worst case, you can have extremely selfish mothers and the fathers are then left with no legal support or anything. Just saw a documentary on NHK about a bunch of fathers in Japan seeking legal support to be able to see their children but this was very difficult. Japan should absolutely do something about this problem. I know a father who hasn't been able to see his child for 3 years. Me being a father too, I really feel sorry for him. Must be terrible not to be able to see your own child.

  • 0

    Klein2

    "Thank you America! Klein2 your response is a little to glib."

    Frankly, you don't know glib until you have lived with divorce all around you for 40+ years.

    "Only those fathers of children involved can explain the hurt and emotional pain and frustration ,that not only the children suffer not having a father in their lives ,but also the fathers at not seeing their children. "

    That, frankly, is BS, too. Cry me a river. The kid feels 10 times worse, but the kid gets no say in whether or not his daddy leaves the home. How could only a father understand that? If daddy wants to stay in the child's life, daddy should not get divorced. It is as simple as that. I suspect that a lot of daddies know how to make children, but can't have a decent relationship with a woman, but they "love their kids." Uh uh. Be a stand up guy and you won't need to beat a mother over the head with a legal stick.

    This joker Savoie dumped his wife and shacked up with a woman of his own race in short order. He used lawyers to make things convenient, and now he and his ilk are using Congressmen. It stinks what he did. He should have respected his vows he made solemnly in front of his family, his community, and his God, done the right thing, and worked things out in his marriage.

  • 0

    mindovermatter

    Republican Rep. Chris Smith said, “Americans are fed up with our friend and ally Japan and their pattern of noncooperation.”

    Couldn't have said it better myself...

    Now as they, Japan, "Time to stand the xxxx by....!"

  • 0

    EbiChiri

    Japan doesn't give two hoots what other countries think about its laws. The only way there will be any action on this issue is if there are some kind of sanctions. Hit'em where it hurts, in their pocket books.

  • 0

    Klein2

    "Good to know that there are couples who can work things out nicely when they do break up, but due to Japan not having any shared custody laws, in the worst case, you can have extremely selfish mothers and the fathers are then left with no legal support or anything"

    No. The WORST case is where the kid is not supported, and this shows just how selfish your world view is. Forget the father. The father takes a hike. The father chooses divorce in the first place. Why should the courts protect people who break contracts? After daddy leaves, the CHILD should be the only important concern of the courts. The state must protect the child. That means giving the child to the responsible parent, separating them from daddy, who broke his vows, and then arranging support for the only family unit the kid has left. Typically in such situations, the father will withhold child support, showing that if he can't get what he wants, then the mother and child be damned. He will create hardship for vulnerable people to assert his "rights."

    I wish no children had fathers like that. It very well might be that failing the test of marriage should disqualify men from being fathers. That is a social experiment I am willing to support.

  • 0

    fishy

    neogreenjapan-

    I know, and that is why I said what I said (read below). For people who are not mature enough (or being so selfish they cannot respect the other person) it is good to have a law to ENSURE that children get access to both parents.

    Having said that, it IS a good thing to set up a law to ensure those children from divorced families to have access to both parents because it is true that there are good number of divorced couples that just cannot work things out.

  • 0

    Eyeblack

    NO No NO. I do not respect USA lawmakers at all and absolutely refuse to have Japan forced to give up their children to these monkeys. Stand firm Japan!

  • 0

    cnc

    thekeykeeper

    there have been cases involving parents from third world countries. The reason they are not in the news is because the Japanese authorities have nullified the marriages after separation and have cancelled their naturalizations and deported the gaijins. So, I guess they are a little shy to come out because once deported they cannot even get the Japanese embassies in their respective countries to accept their visa applications, let alone granting them visas to come back.

  • 0

    Klein2

    "I know a father who hasn't been able to see his child for 3 years. Me being a father too, I really feel sorry for him. "

    I don't. It is totally, entirely, his own fault. It is not even fate, as though he were hit by a truck for not looking before crossing the street. He made his bed and now he has to sleep in it. He paid a lawyer and all his fees so he could say goodbye to his family. Who twisted his arm? He could have seen his child every morning for the last three years, but CHOSE not to. Fathers who leave their children leave their children. It is as simple as that.

    Look, I have argued this before. I will leave this to others. Protecting irresponsible people is NOT what Japanese law should be used for.

  • 0

    Klein2

    "If she is to put her child before her, she would know what this all means, but I am also imagining that she is still being emotional?

    I hope she will calm down and think, think and think more.. "

    Fishy is correct here. It should be her decision, not the courts' or the father's. Daddy should have done some think think thinking before he chose divorce, I suspect.

  • 0

    neogreenjapan

    I don't. It is totally, entirely, his own fault.

    I think most people and countries would disagree with you here. Despite, parents getting divorced, it is best for their children and parents to be able to see their kids. I find the way you think to be more backward.

  • 0

    tkoind2

    Klein2. your thinking on this point is frightening. So you want people who see divorce as the right decision, to choose between seeing their kids and making the right marriage decision for their lives? Nonsense!!!

    Parents, so long as they do not pose a threat to their children, should have the right to see them. Children should have the absolute right to see both parents, again, unless there is a threat to them.

    Divorce is a modern fact. 50% of relationships or so. So Klein2, your 18th century view has long since been erradicated, as it should have been.

  • 0

    tkoind2

    One more thing Klein2. In most cases this kind of dogmatic thinking just harms the kids. You need to think about them. If a parent can see the child, he or she should. Even if that person left before, there should be the opportunity to repair relationships. People deserve second chances. Thank goodness you are not the one to make this decision.

  • 0

    neogreenjapan

    * Divorce is a modern fact. 50% of relationships or so. So Klein2, your 18th century view has long since been erradicated, as it should have been.*

    Agreed. Both parents should have equal rights to see children. There should be laws to prevent parents from blocking parents to see their children, unless one of the parents is known to abuse his/her child, or have severe drug or alcohol related problems or other serious issues.

  • 0

    Osakadaz

    Klein2 you seem to have a bit of an issue with fathers.If only the world was as black and white as your worldview.Assuming that fathers are the problem is a bit wide of the mark.In the case that a mother was physically abusing the child or in a severe state of depression then according to your view they should automatically be given custody because they are mothers? And why the assumption that daddy decides to leave? What if mummy gets up and takes the kids while daddy is at work bringing home the breadmoney? Sometimes the person that wants the divorce is the mother. I look on Japan Today and see stories of kids being abused,starved, murdered and abandoned, having pornographic images of them taken and sold.. and in 99% of the cases it is by the mother. The issue here is that fathers do not have any protection or legal recourse if the mother goes haywire.Fathers are very capable of love.I am assuming that a Japanese court would still give a non-Japanese mother custody rights because she is the mother,but I don't know if that is true or not. Divorce IS an ugly thing that should only ever be a last resort, but denying visitation rights to either parent (unless it can be PROVEN that one spouse is abusive to the child) is inhuman.

  • 0

    Airion

    Klein2, what about mothers who abuse both their husband and children, and run off with the children? This all becomes the father's fault and the abusive mother is rewarded? This is the situation that the House of Representatives wants addressed. It's not about cases where fathers chose to leave their children. You're generalizing that every situation is the same, when of course, it's not.

  • 0

    Klein2

    "Klein2. your thinking on this point is frightening. So you want people who see divorce as the right decision, to choose between seeing their kids and making the right marriage decision for their lives? Nonsense!!!"

    Yes. I don't imagine that would make sense to you. You never should have gotten married and had kids if you do not feel that I am right to your very bones. Surrendering your family to an institution should be deplorable to you. A man who wants to live with a family has to keep his promises. It is as simple as that. Having your cake and eating it too is my definition of nonsense, and you fit the bill. If making decisions as a man is nonsense to you, maybe your wife should know about that, because your kids certainly will... Daddy.

    "Divorce is a modern fact. 50% of relationships or so."

    Reason enough not to go encouraging it. I wonder how that trend compares with "one-parent families living below the poverty level." All that hardship because daddy wants to be a boy, and the courts support him in that crusade. It is a social disgrace in the US that has spawned the term "baby daddy," and now TKO thinks that Japan needs to grow up and emulate that.

    "I find the way you think to be more backward."

    You go be progressive then. It makes sense to me that men who break their vows to the people they love deserve whatever hell they get. It also makes sense that one parent must be responsible for the child, and should make any and all decisions about that child's welfare. I have seen what happens to families when a father's lack of fortitude is allowed to infect generation after generation. Japan's system is predictable, reasonable, and typically provides better outcomes.

    By the way, I love the way Republicans are all gung-ho at increasing government's role in family matters. Maybe the Tea Party, if it is not too hypocritical, can look into this and get rid of some RINOs. And shouldn't congress be doing something else with its time?

  • 0

    cleo

    what about mothers who abuse both their husband and children, and run off with the children? .... This is the situation that the House of Representatives wants addressed

    Then what is Chris Savoie doing in there? He is the one who lied and abused his wife, forcing her to live without support in a foreign country in the shadow of his new ready-made family, he's the one who chose to leave his marriage and Japan.

    Every family is different, every divorce case is different. It's impossible to say what should happen in every case. There are plenty of fathers who have been denied access to their children and who have been given a raw deal, and they do need help. But Chris Savoie is not their poster-boy.

  • 0

    Airion

    cleo- I think we all agree Chris Savoie isn't the right poster boy for this issue and it would have been better that he not appear at the news conference. But the House and US Goverment officials are addressing the larger problem, not him in particular.

  • 0

    Raymasaki

    Tough! IF the kid is born in Japan he should stay in Japan, IF the mom wants it to. IF its an american Woman Jp man & the kid is born in the US then it should stay here. Oh well if they get Divorced. running off with the kid to your home country isnt gonna Help anything.

  • 0

    tkoind2

    Klein2 and Cleo you are both missing the forest for the tree you have your noses glued to. The greater majority of people suffering under this problem are not Sovoie. They are normal loving people who could not make their marriages work and are now facing the entire loss of contact with their kids in an unfair manner. Take a step back and see the big picture.

    Klein2, do please return to victorian society. Relationships are no longer imposed, people make choices and you have no right to impose your provential morality on them.

    If a partent is not a danger to the children, he/she should have access to them. This is right for the kids. Period. Parents should not let their mutual distain spill over on the kids. Kids need to be able to see their parents.

    I am not married, no kids. But I have seen plenty of couples break up and then make things right for their kids. I have seen quite a few mess this up and harm their kids emotionally for stupid selfish motivations.

    The rights of the child to see his/her parent must and should take priority over all other considerations with the exception of exposing the child to danger. Period.

    Will see if I can get a time machine for the Victorian thinkers to return home.

  • 0

    fishy

    But Chris Savoie is not their poster-boy.

    agreed. there are divorced parents who i feel sorry for, but in case of Savoie, I just don't.. he's a selfish person who wants everything his way.

  • 0

    cleo

    The greater majority of people suffering under this problem are not Sovoie. They are normal loving people who could not make their marriages work and are now facing the entire loss of contact with their kids in an unfair manner.

    Exactly. So having Savoie up front sends the wrong message. As you say, it's a forest that needs dealing with, not one rotten tree stump that shouldn't really even be there in the first place.

  • 0

    Klein2

    Airion, as a practical matter, the generalization has to be made. If you put the legal burden on a mother to prove that daddy is dangerous, or that she is safe, then you are effectively giving her no recourse at all because Daddy affords the lawyers and mommy can't.

    This is what Savoie did. He had his lawyers draw everything up and took what he wanted in a flash, leaving his ex in a carpy basement apartment wondering what her next move would be. Meanwhile, he was shacked up with his new lady and she was left with no recourse and nothing to show for the years she spent raising those kids in good faith while he fooled around.

    Japan's system is not perfect, but it solves the problem and keeps men from destroying families like they destroy their marriages.

    "Klein2 you seem to have a bit of an issue with fathers."

    Yeah. I think fathers should be responsible people. That is my issue. There is no license necessary to be a father, and it does not even require a 9 month physical sacrifice. So what rights does a baby daddy earn if he cannot keep his marriage vows? Why should society reward him for breaking a contract?

    "The issue here is that fathers do not have any protection or legal recourse if the mother goes haywire."

    Ah yes. The haywire wife. The claim made by every divorce lawyer who ever lived. Let's face it, a husband who does not keep his vows and meets his responsibilities can make up any old story he wants to get what he wants. I wonder myself, "Who marries these haywire people after dating them in their haywire state and then has kids with them?" Which again leads me back to the assertion that people must accept responsibility for what they do.

    "You need to think about them. If a parent can see the child, he or she should."

    If the guardian allows it. See? We agree. Your problem is that you think a court should be able to force a woman to let her child be under the care of the father against her better judgment. That is wrong.

    "People deserve second chances."

    Sometimes they do. Sometimes they don't. That is not for a court to decide.

  • 0

    pptoland

    Cleo, Chris Savoie gave his wife a $700,000 settlement, and in return he asked her to get a divorce in the United States. He did this with one interest in mind. To PRESERVE his rights to see his children by having his divorce in a country that protects children's rights to know and love both parents. IF he was truly a liar and abuser, he could have simply had a much much easier way out. He could have just gotten a divorce in Japan where NOTHING is enforceable. He could have abandoned his children and not had to pay his wife a penny in any divorce settlement or child support, but instead he paid his LIFE SAVINGS in return for the guarantee that he could maintain a relationship with his children by having a divorce in the United States. Instead of respecting this agreement, his wife gladly came to the United States for the divorce, took his $700,000, and then KIDNAPPED his children to Japan, where she knew she had a safe haven. So she took both the money and the children and he was left with nothing but a custody order giving him legal custody. Every action he took was in the best interest of his children. Every action his wife took was in her own self interest.

  • 0

    Junnama

    I can't say I'm shocked to read someone believing the divorce is always the fathers fault. Shocked no, sad yes...

  • 0

    goddog

    I recently got a letter from a lawyer forbidding me to make any contact with the X, so that means I cannot even call there and talk to my kids. I can be arrested. Sucks.

  • 0

    Airion

    To Klein2, being responsible means being responsible your actions as well as all the actions of your spouse, as well as responsible for being able to predict all future problems that will arise. Unless you're a woman, in which case you're never responsible for anything. It's your husband's fault you're that way.

  • 0

    knight1

    Japan, parents are parents!!! Love for a child is a universal right that exists in Japan or in the United States. I don't know whats going on with this custody battle. I think the dad or mom of "any" child should have the right to see their children. Both of our Countries belief in freedom, human rights, liberty, free expression, and the right to live a peaceful life.This custody could be resolved in a custody agreement or child visitation rights.No parent should be denied the right to see their children, no matter where they live or what country they reside in.

  • 0

    Klein2

    TKO. You don't value marriage and family the same way I do. That does not make me less of a person. I am sincere. If you don't care about your own family and society, you go off and do that. Tell your wife how you feel today. Hope that works out for you. She will probably wish she had married someone who cares a little more. Let your kids know early that they don't have to keep their promises to anyone if it is too "difficult" to do so. And if marriage vows only meant something in Victorian times, then I guess that is where I belong.

    "He could have abandoned his children and not had to pay his wife a penny in any divorce settlement or child support, "

    Yes. My point exactly. Just like China, having all the cards sometimes means you don't have to play them to intimidate people into doing what you want. You go on to represent the Savoie case from HIS point of view, which really brought me to tears, but your demonizing of her really tips your hand. He made his decision to shack up with this other lady. He chose his family with her. She birthed those kids and loved them enough to leave everything behind and make a new home with them.

  • 0

    kaminarioyaji

    Reading the comments of the above posters, something occurred to me. Has anyone here ever tried some kind of formal "pre-nuptial" agreement with their spouse-to-be regarding what would happen with children in the event of divorce? Anyone know how much legal water such an agreement would hold here in Japan? Of course, I realise that such an agreement would still be pretty useless in the case of abduction, but for parents living in Japan (both native & foreign) it might be an idea if it would hold sufficient water legally speaking (i.e. it wouldn`t be so easy to overturn at a divorce hearing)

  • 0

    pointofview

    This problem has stemmed from a failure of politics.

  • 0

    Zenny11

    Like I told my wife when we divorced (it was mutual due to financial, health, etc reasons). Granted the sons abduction but a bit of a damper on things as it happened before the divorce.

    "I am no longer your husband but I am still his father and both of you are still family to me.". And I assured her that it won't affect her relation with my family overseas(not the first divorce in the family), she was worried as divorce in japan often means complete spluit between families.

    Like I said best is to sit down and talk it over, have a lawyer present to take all the points down and than both parties sign up on the agreed points.

    Also living apart don't have to mean the end of "Family Life", still went to supper with the Ex and the son, etc. Marriage is between a woman and a man(traditionally) and splitting up should not affect the kids too much.

    Problems come in when one person wants to "get back" at the other party or get one better, etc. Here is where the kids become a pawn in the power struggle, etc.

    As for Klein2 and his views better not commented on. ;)

  • 0

    Klein2

    "divorce is always the fathers fault"

    Fault? What a strange way of looking at the world. A divorce requires a decision by a husband. Fault does not enter into it. You either choose to live with a family at any cost, or you choose not to. THAT is the part that seems to surprise people.

    I am all for raising the stakes in divorce, not lowering them. The former leads to better families and respect for marriage. The latter leads to poor single mothers and baby daddies and never-ending court supervision.

    You know what REALLY puts me in the minority on this subject? My healthy marriage. Everyone out there running me down has their own insecurities, secrets, suspicions, or transgressions. If you all just dedicated yourselves to improving your self respect and your marriages and relationships with your kids, you will never ever have this problem. Changing the law does not change you.

  • 0

    Klein2

    Changing the law does not change you.

    Nor does it absolve you.

  • 0

    fishy

    every marriage is different, every family is in different situation, everyone is different, but i hope, that when you marry someone, you are mature enough to think of your family (spouse and kids) before you.

    this whole problem is because of those selfish parents (whether it is the fathers or mothers), they think of themselves -- i want to see my kids, i want my kids to be in my country with me.. it's all about me me me.. but when you have a child, he or she has to be your top priority.

    sometimes you think you cannot be with your spouse anymore and you're so tired of him/her, you want divorce so bad, but sometimes you get through some rough time, things turn out better and you're glad.

    sometimes things are so bad that it seems like it is impossible to fix and you get divorce, but it is really best not to involve lawyers because then the person with stronger lawyer gets to really hurt the other. even when you get divorce, you should be able to be adults and be able to have a conversation regardless of how angry you are at your spouse, because you should have a mutual interest to make your kids happy.

    i sometimes hear stories that divorced couples talk through their lawyers, and i think that is plain stupid. BE ADULTS AND ACT LIKE ADULTS, then you should be able to talk to each other in person, not through lawyers. Lawyers are there to make one of you WIN, but this really isn't about winning and/or losing. It is not a game.

    forget about winning your child or losing your child, your child is not a game, he/she is a person.

  • 0

    tkoind2

    I have reality values. Family structures have changed. There are many manifestations of family. Why is your sole definition any more valid than all the others out there? Answer, it isn't. Your's is just one of many ways to have a family exist.

    Bottom line, all families have rights, children have rights, parents have rights. And you, dear Egg advocating friend, have no right to damn other people for how they view family. Nor to impose your victorian thinking on others. The law should and eventually will support the flexibility necessary to acknowledge and back the majority, who are now living in many manifestations of family.

    one more thought. Divorce most likely saves a lot of people from suicide, from domestic conflict, abuse and psychological problems. It can also lead to people finding new ways to become happy. Your dogmatic view discounts all these possibilities and makes me think you were a jilted spouse who is still very peaved about the outcome. Therefore not seeing things clearly.

  • 0

    fishy

    if and when those children of divorced parents want to see both of their parents, they should be able to and no one should be saying no to them.

    it isn't about those divorced fathers/mothers who cannot see their kids, it is about those children.

    parents, can make choices, and if they choose to divorce, they need to work things out. children, they cannot make those important choices like which parent to live with and etc.. and there should be laws to protect those children.

    i repeat...it is about those kids. parents, no more ME ME ME ME..

  • 0

    neogreenjapan

    I know a guy who wants to see his child but he is not allowed to by his ex. I hear there are many similar stories like this in Japan. He talked with his parents and they called her parents to see if there could be some kind of agreement but no. He then called his ex and said he is coming down just to see his child and when he went to her place she had gone away, some place. So now he is thinking about going down there without telling her ex. His parents are urging him not to and I have said that I'll go with him if you plan to go and see your child but not sure if this is the right choice. His ex have told their child that dad is dead. I am sure there have been some serious issues between the 2 sides. They live very far from each other. 8 hours by car or so. As for now, he just wants to see his child a few times a year. He is not thinking about raising the kid. Japan being a civilized society surely there should be laws from preventing this from happening. I'm sure laws will come in the future. This clearly needs to be addressed.

  • 0

    alphawolf

    Hmmm, soooo the Chinese and Russians and the Islands aren't the big concern of the US congress huh? This is more of an issue? Seems like something that can involve us into a war would be the focus. This should tell the "Okinawan bases are important" crowd how wrong they are.

  • 0

    tkoind2

    alphawolf. This is an important issue, as are many other issues. Do not expect any nation to give undivided attention to any one issue.

  • 0

    sf2k

    The House voted overwhelmingly for a nonbinding resolution

    that went well

  • 0

    responsibledad

    Does a responsible father who single-handedly cares 24/7 for a disabled son abandoned by his mother deserve to be stripped of all rights to see his daughter by a dysfunctional court? That is the reality in Japan.

    Did he chose to have a disabled child? Did he chose to a wife knowing she would abandon her own child while kidnapping another out of psychological necessity due to PTSD arising from a traumatic birth?- Unimportant to Japan's family courts Perhaps if Japan recognized mental health issues and encouraged counseling from qualified professionals many of the problems could be avoided. Then again, my y-chromosome may be interferring with my ability to be logical. Fortunately for my son, my responsibility to my family is beyond reproach.

  • 0

    BurakuminDes

    I wouldn't be holding my breath on Japan changing this any time soon. My heart goes out to the kids abducted by Japanese, depriving them of a norml childhood.

  • 0

    cleo

    Every action he took was in the best interest of his children.

    How was playing around while still married and deciding to shoot off to another country in the best interests of his children? How was making the kids witness their mother being subjected to abuse by his new wife in the best interests of the children? Savoie just wanted to have his cake and eat it, and everything he did, including tricking his wife to go to America for a new start where he promptly divorced her, was carried out with him and his wants in mind, not the best interests of his kids, who were born in Japan, raised in Japan and then suddenly whisked off to the wilds of rural Tennessee. How was that in the best interests of the kids?

    If he was really concerned about the kids he would have stayed in Japan and tried his darnedest to work something out. It's obvious that the children's welfare came second to him getting on with his own life and doing things his own way.

    Seems to me fishy is the most sensible and adult voice on this thread.

  • 0

    fishy

    Does a responsible father who single-handedly cares 24/7 for a disabled son abandoned by his mother deserve to be stripped of all rights to see his daughter by a dysfunctional court? That is the reality in Japan.

    so, you got your disabled son with you and your ex-wife got the daughter? even though you have one of the kids, you cannot see the other child? and even though she is supposed to have mental problems, the girl is handed to her because she left with her?

    every family, every divorce, every couple is different, but your case, i think, is a pretty rare case, and i am still trying to get the whole picture.

    you and your wife are already divorced, yes? you divorced because she ran away with the girl?

  • 0

    Nessie

    Statistics worldwide have proven that about 1 in 4 children from one parent families end up with some emotional problems ie:,drink ,drugs, crime.

    I've heard that roosters cause the sun to rise.

  • 0

    neogreenjapan

    The wife should give back $700,000 to the ex husband. With that money Savoie should come and visit his children in Japan.

  • 0

    fishy

    Often enough, I see that parents (when divorced) think like I am a better person to care for our kids than their mother, or the other way around. They say better for the kids but the reality is that it is a typical ME ME SYNDROME While I agree with many people here that there should be a law to protect the children and their right to have access to both parents whenever they want, but I don't agree with the attitude of I deserve my kids and my spouse doesn't..

    Whoever want to bash their ex spouse, they can go ahead and do that, but even if you get your child, that attitude does not get any respect from the kids. Respect your ex spouse and keep having conversation based on the mutual interest to make your kids happy children, and THAT ATTITUDE will be a gift to your children even after a divorce. Even if you are not married couples, you can still respect each other and be parents.

  • 0

    Junnama

    Last time I checked, a divorce requires the action of the wife also. What about her responsibilities?

  • 0

    neogreenjapan

    fishy. Sometimes things don't turn out that way. In those cases there are no laws in Japan. You are lucky to have had an understanding wife, not all wives are like that. Some are extremely selfish who deny letting fathers see their children.

  • 0

    Monkeyz

    It's probably worth mentioning, with all the talk of fathers getting a raw deal, that traditionally in Japan it was the father who got custody since he was the one who usually made more money. This was true until fairly recently.

    Of course, it changed since most kids barely know their fathers, but then what you ended up with was a lot of women struggling to get by (since child support isn't enforced). That might be a good place for Japan to start. Not just dual custody, but also enforcing child support payments.

  • 0

    responsibledad

    Fishy- There was an excellent summary of my situation in Metropolis- search for Daddy's Boy

    You can also get more info at Foreveryourfather com or on the Forever Your Father Facebook page

    if you speak Japanese, you might be interested in an Asahi news story on youtube watch?v=cIGRoj60F_o

    The only sure thing in Japanese Family court is the best interest of the child will not be served.

    Ironic that a website is potentially offensive and not allowed given the tone of many of the comments.

  • 0

    fishy

    fishy. Sometimes things don't turn out that way. In those cases there are no laws in Japan. You are lucky to have had an understanding wife, not all wives are like that. Some are extremely selfish who deny letting fathers see their children.

    Neogreenjapan-

    I know, and that is why, like I said before in one of my posts, that there should be a law to ensure those children have access to both of their parents. We're on agreement here. And just for your information, I am not lucky to have an understanding wife, because I AM THE WIFE!! :)) Well, anyways, I am aware that there ARE people who are not letting their ex spouses see their kids, and THAT IS WHY I SAID about the ME ME SYNDROME. Those people (whether it is the wife or husband) who are not letting the other see their kids are selfish and thinking just about themselves.

  • 0

    fishy

    responsibledad-

    thanx, i'll check out those sites :)

  • 0

    Disillusioned

    I fear the US is barking at a deaf old man. Japan doesn't have clear custody laws for its own people, so getting them to agree to international laws is like getting a dog to stop licking his goolies. Impossible!

  • 0

    fishy

    Responsibledad-

    Hey, I just quick checked out the foreveryourfather com site and saw the short video.. First of all, your little boy is BEAUTIFUL. And the family picture (your daughter and the mother of your children were in the pic, too) is a beautiful photo and I had a few tears seeing it. And yes, I speak Japanese (I was born and raised in Japan) and I will extend the website to my Japanese friends as well as my non-Japanese friends. God bless you and your beautiful children, and sending you my hugs.

  • 0

    timtak

    If Japanese parents can keep custody of their children and divorce, many of them will divorce because in a sense many of them they are "divorced within the home" anyway. The are so estranged partly because so much emphasis is placed upon keeping children with their mothers.

    Perhaps the Japanese can award dual custody to non-Japanese parents. But then Japanese parents will demand it too. In Japan it is not the (dream of romantic) "love", but the children that are the glue, or rather "children are staples" as the Japanese saying goes.

  • 0

    pointofview

    Other world issues are irrelevant. Parents who have been good to their children deserve contact with them. very simple. No debate needed. If one the parents intentionlly removes or hides children from the other parent and fabricates lies about a parent and tells their children such things should be in jail.

  • 0

    Klein2

    "The only sure thing in Japanese Family court is the best interest of the child will not be served."

    That should be

    "The only sure thing in Japanese Family court is that somebody will always claim that the best interests of the child will not be served."

    And that is true everywhere. An important difference is that Japan does not create a cottage industry of lawyers, psychologists, social workers, etc. to get involved in men's inability to take responsibility for their marriages and children. It is not perfect. A perfect world would have men stepping up and solving their own problems. But if men leave, the family MUST endure, and the head of that family is the one who is always there. That guardian should have ultimate authority, for better or worse.

    The Japanese system preserves a simple basis for life to go on. It does not take rights from the people who have shown responsibility and dedication to principles. If that happens, then it is done by the guardian, who has ultimate responsibility for the child's welfare. And everyone knows that from the beginning and makes choices accordingly.

    Sorry to be all Bill Cosby about this, but thinking that good things should come from people breaking promises should be a wake up call. Think I am kidding? Go do this today. Go to your wife and say these things:

    --If I divorce you, I want to see my children whenever I want, even if it is not convenient for you.

    --I don't think you are necessarily the best mother for our children.

    --Our marriage might not last even until our kids are 18.

    --I did not really mean those vows I said when we got married. The way I feel is more important than all those things I said.

    Seriously. Go tell her now. Some people say it is dogma to live one's life according to principles. I say that a marriage is a lie if you feel those things shown above and your partner does not know it. If things fall apart, then it shows just how flimsy marriage is when you base it on anything but trust and trust and trust.

    Try it and see.

    Then, ask yourself why you should expect someone who trusted you with everything to then leave her child in your care. They might do so, but demanding that someone do so is way out of line. It is not even fair. They trusted you and you leave. Getting a court order forcing them to do something brings the state between a mother and child, which should be done only when a child is unquestionably in mortal danger.

    One last thing about dogma. I did not bring it up, but I will follow through on that. As far as I know, major religions of the world condone all kinds of bizarre things, but not one condones divorce. Is that a meaningless coincidence, or is it a clue that maybe marriage and family are more important even than government? or money? or "rights"? Or is it a clue that marriage and family are MORE important than religion? and everything else?

  • 0

    tkoind2

    Like the US or not, this is the international standard for 1st world nations. Japan should feel shame over having such antiquated thinking about children.

    The reality is the world is now a place where people mix across borders. Laws must govern that reality fairly. Japan's laws are poorly thought through even for Japanese.

  • 0

    Klein2

    "Parents who have been good to their children deserve contact with them. very simple. No debate needed"

    Agreed. Who judges that? There is the rub. The person with the most information and a huge stake in the outcome should make that decision, and everyone should abide by that.

  • 0

    responsibledad

    Klein2- To be clear- you think a MOTHER who abandons her own disabled child should be awarded custody of her healthy child over the person described by the court as a "role model for parents"? I, the father, didn't leave my children or my wife. In fact, I have stayed in Japan in an uphill battle to keep my family (or atleast children) together. Wouldn't your dogma suggest that a woman's moral and biological imperative is to protect her own child? What happens when she effectively throws one of her children away? Should she be rewarded by being allowed to keep her the child she still wants? If it is all or none for a father, why does a woman get to pick and choose in your world view?

  • 0

    Junnama

    So your saying the father should decide?

  • 0

    neogreenjapan

    fishy

    Sorry about the misunderstanding. I agree with what you say.

  • 0

    tkoind2

    "Agreed. Who judges that? There is the rub. The person with the most information and a huge stake in the outcome should make that decision, and everyone should abide by that."

    To many personal issues enter into that kind of reasoning Klein2. The guardian may carry prejudices that are unfair or unwarranted. The state and law should arbitrate these situations as they do in most developed nations.

    Sounds like you want to decide, but it isn't your right to subvert the right of a former spouse based on your own prejudicial point of view. That is why we have laws, to assure that arbitrary decisions are not unjustly imposed.

  • 0

    responsibledad

    Junnama- no, I am saying the mother decided when she chose to abandon her own child. The court merely said, alright then keep the one you kidnapped.

  • 0

    Airion

    Klein2, what I can't understand but your argument is that you leave no room for the mother to ever be in the wrong. I asked before but you ignored it: what about mothers who abuse both their husband and children, and run off with the children? This all becomes the father's fault and the abusive mother is rewarded? You seem to suggest that this is the father's fault for marrying someone who eventually became abusive.

    What you ultimately seem to want to say is, it should not be easy for people to get divorced. If the consequences of divorce are severe, then couples will work harder to keep the relationship healthy. I can understand this. But the way things are, this only applies to the father. The penalties for the father (losing the kids, have them abducted to Japan) are huge, so he must try to make the relationship work. The penalties for the mother are slim. She can drop the marriage easily because she can just take the kids to Japan and they're hers. No need to try too hard to make the relationship work. Is this really in line with your values?

  • 0

    Kaz4r6

    Christopher Savoie married his wife and then they moved to USA. and in USA, this man made affair with american woman then he dumped and divorced his japanese wife.

    do you think the children will be happy living with step mother who made affair with other woman's husband ?

    shame on you American!!

  • 0

    kirakira25

    I think the only people that ever cause a problem in divorce cases are the husband and the wife. Why is it so hard to be mature, sit down and work out a solution that may or may not include divorce in the interests of the children?

    My friend had the lowest of the low done to her - her husband was cheating on her while she was pregnant and alone in a foreign country (and no, she was not denying him any conjugal rights) - she had every right and every reason to leave. But 7 years on they are still together because they SAT DOWN AND WORKED THINGS OUT. Equally, if it had ended in divorce, they would have sat down and worked things out because there is a bigger issue at stake here - a child. They were mature enough to put their own feelings of hurt and anger way below the needs of their new daughter.

    When divorces here go bad it is invariably because of the selfishness of one parent, and my heart goes out to anyone having to deal with that.

  • 0

    Piglet

    @Klein2

    The consequence of your system is that it also rewards irresponsible parents. I agree that marrying somebody is not a small thing. However, if one parent decides to kidnap the kid and leave the household, there is not doubt that the fault is his/hers. What I don't understand is that parental kidnapping is not recognized in Japan (it is even awarded, since the kidnapper usually obtains definitive custody), except if the parent is foreign.

    @responsibledad

    I checked your website and this really moved me. I sincerely hope your situation will resolve quickly. Will this movie be shown on movie theaters?

  • 0

    snowgirl

    @Kaz4r6: This is one case. What about all of the other fathers who are suffering because of this inane law? @Klein2: Why is the world so black and white for you? There is never a 'right' and a 'wrong'. There are so many exceptions to every rule, and you must surely understand this, unless you've been living in a self-righteous bubble your whole life.
    Divorce is terrible, but you project this assumption that you are the only one to have ever endured such suffering.
    Your opinion and feelings on this matter should be kept to yourself, since you're far too judgmental of others' rights and opinions. Mothers are not always innocent, fathers are not always to blame. Do you believe that children who grow up in a family where the parents' relationship is terrible, with yelling and hitting and swearing, is better than divorce??
    ..In fact, my mother grew up in a dysfunctional household like this, and in the end, her parents' divorce was the best thing for all involved. Like I said - NOTHING is simply black or white.

  • 0

    smallcanocoffee

    Who was the press agent for that congressman???? Those poor fathers with him???

    Tenn court records state

    Savoie was not even with the family or near the children, 700 miles away, for almost all of the childrens life and upbringing in Japan. Only with them for a total of 18 months in 7 years time.

    Savoie comitted adultery and then destroyed mothers dreams and family

    Savoie was abusive in emails and financial manipulation of mother in Tenn

    Savoie signed a document in Japan in order to get out of jail, he made a deal and just gave up his kids to get out instaed of waiting till court

    Savoie owes or may not have paid mothers parents back for entire college loans for him, hundreds of thousands

    Savoie was gaming the system of citizenship, in both countries

    Savoies new wife had to wreck her own family with children in order to marry savoie

    3 familes now wrecked, 2 sets of children now in divorced families because of Savoie

    Savoies new wife committed adultery in her family with Savoie

    Savoie was a Japanese citizen and mother would have had every expectation that her children and family would always be raised in Japan

    Savoie tricked mother into coming to Tenn then switched the divorce on her

    Savoie needed some kind of medication in jails, was what he said

    Savoie was attempting to kidnap the children back, is that in the best childs interests?

    Savoie wanted to make his Japanese wife move to Tenn, not NYC or Calif, or Florida

    Savoie is trying to collect money as donations now and sell interviews

    Japanese children only lived in Tenn for 5 months total

    Childrens mother had a restraining order against Savoies new wife.

    Savoies story changes all the time and his statements are unconformable

    Oh Yea…..he’s got the best interests of the children in his heart . And I see he won the father of the year award.

  • 0

    Noliving

    The mom in this case does not seem to be a druggie or an abuser of her children, in normal cases, in most western countries, the mother would be given custody. Why then did the mother lose custody, in the US, to her American ex-husband?

    What are you talking about? Savoie's ex wife was awarded primary custody of the children as long as she stayed in the US, she lost primary custody after she had abducted the children.

    It's very unfortunate, but the only real win is shared custody, and across oceans, this is hard to do.

    Not really considering it is done in the thousands every single day, the only real issue is money, and in terms of child abduction in the US, the difference between Japan and the US is that in the US they will actually hunt down the parent that violate a court ordered shared custody agreement whether it be a international or domestic custody arrangement.

  • 0

    Noliving

    I don't. It is totally, entirely, his own fault. It is not even fate, as though he were hit by a truck for not looking before crossing the street. He made his bed and now he has to sleep in it. He paid a lawyer and all his fees so he could say goodbye to his family. Who twisted his arm? He could have seen his child every morning for the last three years, but CHOSE not to. Fathers who leave their children leave their children. It is as simple as that. Look, I have argued this before. I will leave this to others. Protecting irresponsible people is NOT what Japanese law should be used for.

    Oh that is easy the person who twisted his arm is his wife, the person who initiated/filed the divorce papers. You know as well as I do that in the USA along with Japan it is the women who start/choose divorce not the men. And even if they don't sign the divorce papers it doesn't matter because the divorce will still happen it will just take a little longer. Just because a person gets married but then gets divorced does not make them a bad parent, they may not be good spouses but that doesn't mean they are bad parents.

  • 0

    Noliving

    Then what is Chris Savoie doing in there? He is the one who lied and abused his wife, forcing her to live without support in a foreign country in the shadow of his new ready-made family, he's the one who chose to leave his marriage and Japan.

    I think what the poster meant in terms of abuse is really more like physical abuse not, emotional "abuse". I agree that savoie having an affair and then luring his wife to the US just so he could divorce her for the simple reason that he was afraid that she would never let him see kids again, which in this case ended up happening, was "wrong" and well frankly he is a lot of negative words that I could say about him. With that said none of what he did proved he is a bad father, just that he is bad husband.

  • 0

    Noliving

    This is what Savoie did. He had his lawyers draw everything up and took what he wanted in a flash, leaving his ex in a carpy basement apartment wondering what her next move would be. Meanwhile, he was shacked up with his new lady and she was left with no recourse and nothing to show for the years she spent raising those kids in good faith while he fooled around.

    The ex wife of savoie was given over a quarter of a million dollars plus primary custody and the ability to take the kids to Japan as long as she promised to bring them back to the USA. What really screwed her over was that she couldn't speak English.

  • 0

    bicultural

    Make sure you know who you're getting married to and take your vow seriously. Throw in a bit of cultural understanding and international marriages do work. I'm living proof of that.

  • 0

    nieldevi

    416 American congressmen running for re-election in an environment of right-wing, politically motivated "correctness", vying for the Moral Majority vote so they can stay in their cushy jobs. Or, maybe they really do know what's best in each individual divorce case just by applying a blanket resolution (kind of like stem-cell research). Indeed let's take the load off of the Judiciary by passing laws that restrict and prohibit every just about about everything in every possible scenario, and for the kicker, let's make every other country obey, or else...!

  • 0

    Klein2

    "What really screwed her over was that she couldn't speak English."

    Well, you are right about one thing. She certainly got screwed over.

  • 0

    Klein2

    Thanks bicultural. There are A LOT of people like you and me. We are in all shapes and sizes and ages, and funny thing, we get through our lives without all of the drama and craziness that puts other people on the front page.

    It certainly can't be legislated, and people would just ignore the law if it were a law, but mutual respect and giving a lot more than one gets will ensure that other people will watch out for your interests.

    As crazy as it might seem, a child ties you to another person forever, so you might as well work things out if you can, and be prepared to give even more if you can't. Advocacy systems like that in the US pit partners against each other and rarely if ever produce outcomes that satisfy everyone. When one party gets slighted, attorneys encourage them to make up appeals based on health, molestation, or any other grounds available. It never ends. Once a child turns 18 parents start to go to court over college expenses.

    If you can't prevent a divorce, people, be prepared to pay for it the rest of your life. One way or another, you will.

  • 0

    Klein2

    "@Klein2: Why is the world so black and white for you? There is never a 'right' and a 'wrong'. There are so many exceptions to every rule, and you must surely understand this, unless you've been living in a self-righteous bubble your whole life. Divorce is terrible, but you project this assumption that you are the only one to have ever endured such suffering. Your opinion and feelings on this matter should be kept to yourself, since you're far too judgmental of others' rights and opinions"

    Nothing I do or say is going to keep people from doing what they want to do. I am entitled to voice my opinion because the US is DEMANDING that Japan change, and I do not think the change is warranted. The US system is not superior, and the system in the US in general is stacked against women. As a woman maybe you could be a little more subjective.

  • 0

    Klein2

    "The consequence of your system is that it also rewards irresponsible parents. "

    That is easy to fix. Don't get married. If you DO get married, marry someone who will be a better parent than you will be. It is not rocket science. It is simple responsibility and knowing what

    I DO

    means.

  • 0

    Disillusioned

    Kaz4r6 - Christopher Savoie married his wife and then they moved to USA. and in USA, this man made affair with american woman then he dumped and divorced his japanese wife. shame on you American!!

    Well, there it is in a nutshell! Is it possible the reason he had an affair was because he was married to an arrogant, narrow-minded bigot? Who then, stole his kids and hid in Japan? No reflection intended on your post Kaz4r6, of course.

  • 0

    Junnama

    The custody system is stacked against women in the us? Say wha...

  • 0

    Klein2

    "Klein2, what I can't understand but your argument is that you leave no room for the mother to ever be in the wrong. I asked before but you ignored it: what about mothers who abuse both their husband and children, and run off with the children? "

    Right? Wrong? You really are new at this. Nobody in a divorce is EVER right or wrong. Don't believe me? Go ask 50 people who are divorced and they will all say that they got ripped off with this or that. Then they call up their lawyer to have another run at the ex.

    In the J system, the court grants custody, and that is final. Great system. If someone marries such a loser that they have thrown their kid away, well, I hope it was fun while it lasted. On the other hand, if you married a great person, and she thinks you are the loser, she is probably right. Either way, when you divorce, you give up, and giving up means giving up. Seems crystal clear to me.

  • 0

    Klein2

    "To many personal issues enter into that kind of reasoning Klein2. The guardian may carry prejudices that are unfair or unwarranted. The state and law should arbitrate these situations as they do in most developed nations."

    No. The state and law obviously cannot do it. And they shouldn't. I would trust a mother to know what is right for her kid any day of the week before I would leave the kid with a judge and four social workers and dad's new girlfriend on the weekends.

    And again, everybody knows who gets the kid from from the beginning, so if you don't want your kid growing up with a crazy mom... don't marry her in the first place. Seems reasonable.

  • 0

    nieldevi

    Well, then there will have to be a lot of sanctions on Japan before Japan makes a move to do the right thing because they are all so hard headed people who will not change for anything or anyone.

    Alladin, please let the genie out of the bottle and tell us stubborn Japanese how to better ourselves and the antiquated legal system.

    I believe that this case was properly decided, given that the best interest of these children was observed. They were not raised in America and forcing them to stay would have been a hardship on the children, as well as the father appears to have been less than honest then and now. And I cannot honestly say that is always the case, but to try and micro-manage all custody cases based on the customs of another society is shear ignorance and disrespect. How about the Ayatollah moves over to your American neighbourhood and starts telling you what you're doing "wrong". I don't guess you'd like that much. Get a grip and quit complaining about everything Japanese. If you want to make things better, get off your high horse and try to help instead of only tearing things down.

  • 0

    Junnama

    After all there's no way a father can raise a child. Right?

  • 0

    responsibledad

    Fishy and Piglet- thanks for the words of support. Life As Dad has been submitted to Sundance and other festivals so it probably won't be available in any theaters soon. There will probably be a pre-screening in Nagoya soon- Check out Life As Dad on Facebook for updates. After the festival circuit, we hope to get it broadcast on NHK and other networks.

    Klein2- it would seem to me, the greater majority of people fighting for change are doing so exactly because they do not want to "give up" on their children.

    The Supreme Court of Japan made a video that clearly states "after divorce you may no longer be a couple, but you are both still parents to the children" and "the child's happiness depends on the love and affection of both parents"- Seems odd the Supreme Court contradicts the underlying law of striping one parent of all rights in Japan and recognizing the importance of both parents. Of course, the rulings consistently ignore the conclusions of the video. The supreme court video also negates the whole "cultural" argument. What if Japan simply honored their own "Children's Charter" passed in 1951 without any pesky American influence or the conclusions of the Japanese Supreme Court?

  • 0

    smithinjapan

    “(Japan) is continuing to make sincere efforts to deal with this issue from the standpoint that the welfare of the child should be of the utmost importance.”

    No they certainly are NOT 'continuing to make sincere efforts'... all they're doing is continuing to sit on their hands and hoping the issue will go away. Well, I hope for one that anyone against Japan getting a seat at the UN brings up the fact that they have yet to sign this convention (among other things). That is about the only way Japan will EVER sign this thing -- not 'with children as the utmost importance' but with removing the stigma Japan 'suffers' and to try and get a pat on the back from the international community.

  • 0

    bubzabub

    Japan needs to resist US pressure in this case.

  • 0

    cleo

    I think what the poster meant in terms of abuse is really more like physical abuse not, emotional "abuse".

    No, I meant abuse. For all his faults, I don't think anyone has suggested that Chris Savoie abused his wife physically (apart from the apparent use of force when he snatched the kids from her in Japan). He did a pretty good job of it mentally and emotionally, though.

    Is it possible the reason he had an affair was because he was married to an arrogant, narrow-minded bigot? Who then, stole his kids and hid in Japan?

    Sorry, but 'I don't like my wife anymore' is NOT justification for an affair, never has been, never will be.

    The very idea that making the Savoie kids live in Tennessee, after being born and raised in Japan, and in expecting their mother to give up her life in Japan and live in rural America where she had no social or cultural support and was obliged to watch her ex with his new family on a daily basis, was ridiculous and shows that the US legal system is a mess when it comes to deciding what's best for everyone concerned in a divorce. The convenience of Chris Savoie seems to have been the only thing given any consideration in the ruling. While the Japanese system is far from satisfactory, they only thing they have to learn from America in this particular case is How Not To Do Things.

  • 0

    forinagai

    Stoopit statement alert!!

    Eradicate all divorce by banning all marriage.

  • 0

    Osakadaz

    cool.Klein2 has all the answers. Next time my wife is screaming in the kitchen, ripping my shirts,swearing at me, throwing anything she can get her hands on at me, taking my daughter and leaving me threatening letters,sobbing and calling for me to call her mother or an ambulance and then throwing her mobile phone at me when I suggest that she can do all of that herself, or she is throttling herself with a pc cord in front of me but won't take the medicine her own doctor gave her, I will remember that it is in fact all my fault, and that I should have got the DVD that she asked me to borrow.Oh but that was 2 weeks of daily arguments ago. Please write a book Klein2.You are a genius.

  • 0

    Airion

    Klein2, when you divorce, you give up, and giving up means giving up, unless you're a Japanese mother, in which case you always win! Right, wrong? You're obviously new at this. It's whether you're a Japanese mother or gaijin father. The mother gets the kids and the father gets shamed, right or wrong has nothing to do with it.

  • 0

    limboinjapan

    @Klein2:

    Your view on divorce is way to simplistic and I must say one sided, my EX suffers from mental problems and refused to take medication or any treatment, I lasted 5 year after it first manifested itself at this point she was violent and sleeping around.

    The best advice I got from private lawyers and those at the ward office was to do what the Japanese do to take the children and hide for a bit, because in Japan custody is awarded to the parent that has possession of the children at the time of the divorce being granted.

    It luckily didn't come to that as she took off with one of her boyfriends and finally signed the divorce papers giving me the children ( Just so you know she had stabbed me with a knife on 2 occasions in one of her fits and then later did the same to her boyfriend) try reasoning with that!

    Now back on topic:

    The Hague accord seems real nice on paper but it is actually a red herring, Germany, France and the USA are all signatory but are also 3 of the countries that very often use internal laws and legal proceedings to delay or just ignore the accord and I suspect that Japan will be no different.

    I have Canadian friend who was married to and Iranian immigrant when they got divorced she got main custody and he had full visitation rights but then he immigrated to the USA and on one visitation weekend he never returned,.

    The Canadian government has petitioned the USA on several occasions for the child to be returned and the USA has always had some reason to delay it has now been 3 years since she has even seen her son and now the USA is saying that because he is now well adjusted to his present environment that it would now be bad change that.

    So much for the accord and this according to my Embassy this seems to be the standard practice in Germany and France also.

  • 0

    Airion

    limboinjapan, if you had Klein2's moral fibre, you never would have been stabbed.

  • 0

    limboinjapan

    @Airion;"limboinjapan, if you had Klein2's moral fibre, you never would have been stabbed."

    I do hope that was sarcasm! The woman's own parents won't leave her alone with the children when she is in one of her dark moods fearing she might do something, but if Klein2 want her he can try his luck.

  • 0

    Klein2

    "Klein2- it would seem to me, the greater majority of people fighting for change are doing so exactly because they do not want to "give up" on their children. "

    I want to make it clear that you are addressing me first, personally.

    The GREATER MAJORITY might not want to give up their children, but 100% of them gave up on someone they promised to love until death and under ANY circumstances. And they made that promise before family, friends and God. So really, how sympathetic should I be? You say you love your children, but somebody you know really well believed that and now you are fighting them in court and putting them up as a villain in your very own movie.

    So why give up on your wife, the mother of your children? Or is that personal? Why is it ok to come on here and take the high road of "fighting for your kids" when the truth is that you gave up on your solemn vows you made when you married her? You want to avoid responsibility for your family by getting a divorce, but then you want it back on your terms, with a movie deal.

    You could have taken care of your kids better by staying married. You obviously have talents and abilities. Why leave your family and create further hardship for them? You could have kept your promises to the people you love, but you did not. It was easier to leave, obviously. Now you want the laws to be changed for everybody just so you can get what you want... No.. that should be what you had, gave up, then wanted back.

    Nice dramatic movie stuff, but if it is a nightmare, it is one that could have been avoided by your very own decisions. One thing is for sure, we aren't going to get her side of the story. But she was there with the kids every day while you were making your movie.

    This is what I don't get. People want to make their personal problems into social problems. Most of the same people who say they want limited government are out here screaming for government to keep them from screwing up their lives. Or help them screw up someone else's.

    Osakadaz: I must say that you sir, are the genius. You should write the book. Would it surprise you if I told you I have been there and done that? I did not marry her though, so you get to write the book.

  • 0

    responsibledad

    Klein2- obviously you didn't bother to actually look at the facts of my big movie "deal". The documentary was started over a year AFTER MY WIFE LEFT and cut off all contact. So no- she was not there every day with the kids while I was off making my movie. The movie only came about because I was doing what was necessary to take care of my son. That doesn't fit your narrative very well though. Mediation via the court was the only option she would even agree to. I asked the court to recommend marriage counseling- they refused. I asked them to acknowledge extreme stress that accompanies raising a disabled child- they dismissed it out of hand. I could easily have abandoned my wife and daughter to return to the State. To this day, I am still trying to convince my wife to work things out. She refuses to even visit her own son. Perhaps you should study PTSD or borderline personality disorder to comprehend that not everyone is able to act rationally. They may not even be aware of the consequences of their own actions. Unless of course you think all pyschological conditions are just to prop up a cottage industry. You do have a knack for bringing everything back to your own talking point. Tell me, how can/ should a mother explain to her daughter that it is ok to not care for her own disabled son? The fact that the father is the only one providing care for her older brother undermines your entire "father gave up on his family" argument. Then again, maybe you would tell the daughter that the father was a selfish man who really only cared about his son. The only person I care sees the movie is my daughter so she will realize how hard I fought to be with her, especially since her mother is doing everything in her power to deny my daughter her father and brother. As I say on my website- some relationships never end. Everyone would do well to keep that in mind.

  • 0

    Klein2

    "Klein2- obviously you didn't bother to actually look at the facts of my big movie "deal". The documentary was started over a year AFTER MY WIFE LEFT and cut off all contact"

    No I didn't, so you get a chance to tell your story here. Isn't that nice?

  • 0

    bontakun

    @Klein2 "You could have taken care of your kids better by staying married."

    Untrue. Although my parents are divorced, I feel like the quality of my childhood was much better than it ever could have been if they had remained married. What kind of environment do you think the children of a married couple that no longer loves each other lives in? Sometimes, although marriage should (and still is by many) be viewed as a lasting commitment, two people just cannot solve their differences for whatever reason. It's better for children to grow up with separated parents that love them than to have to fight for their parents attention because they're too busy arguing with each other.

    Also, regardless of the circumstances of Chris Savoie, his situation is not the only issue. This is about all the children. I don't necessarily think all the children that have now grown up in Japan should be forced to live in the US (or wherever) instead, but the non-abusive parents should at least be allowed to SEE their children without risking legal actions against them. Children need more than just their mother.

    And I really doubt Japan is making any truly sincere efforts since their own embassies in the US have even faked passports to let Japanese wives and their children out of the country.


    Regardless, this is just another sign that we are still too immature as human beings. One day I hope we will have a true global society, preserving the cultures of the world but working towards the betterment of all people without worrying about where we come from.


  • 0

    responsibledad

    Another point of clarification- I never said I had given up on my wife or that I am the one who initiated divorce proceedings- in fact, I am still fighting the divorce in court in multiple countries. Japan allows a parent to simply disappear with their children regardless of their marital status. Joint custody, even while married, is a meaningless concept under Japanese law. Check out the civil code that states a parent has the right to exercise authority that goes against the other parent's wishes. (sorry, don't have the exact article number handy.)

  • 0

    nigelboy

    Joint custody, even while married, is a meaningless concept under Japanese law. Check out the civil code that states a parent has the right to exercise authority that goes against the other parent's wishes. (sorry, don't have the exact article number handy.)

    Japanese society, in general, discourages divorce. Japanese courts, in general, don't want to make decisions on family matters. But when two adults can't agree on the divorce settlements (custody, visitation) the court awards one parent to force them to be an "adult" by granting them full custody. Bear in mind that in Japan, roughly 8% of the divorce are settled through mediation, less than 1% actually goes through a trial, and the remainder are settled by both parties, amicably.

    In any case, it's quite apparent that your ex(?) doesn't want to give an inch so even if a court order favors you, I can see the continuous bickerings which is not a sound environment for both your kids. My advice to you to leave your (ex?) wife and daughter in Japan and go back to the States with your son.

  • 0

    limboinjapan

    responsibledad: "Joint custody, even while married, is a meaningless concept under Japanese law. Check out the civil code that states a parent has the right to exercise authority that goes against the other parent's wishes."

    This is precisely what the ward office told me and even a judge (friend of a friend) at the height of the problem in my marriage and when everyone including my Ex's parents were worried about her mental stability and the danger she posed to the children, the across the board advice was to take the children hide and keep them away from her for at least one year then the courts would automatically award custody to me!

    This seemed completely barbaric to me I was married for more then 10 years and her mental problems only surfaced after 5 years and I tried everything and so did her family, she would not leave the house expect to go out drinking with friends, didn't cook, clean, laundry or even take care of the children and then got more and more violent, even the doctors said it was dangerous for the children.

    And even with all that I was warned that if I tried going through the courts without running and hiding first she would get the children.

    In the end she took ever last yen we had and left.

    Now because of my country being a signatory of this accord I cannot return even for a visit with the children without a signed and notarized letter from my EX giving me permission and the last time just for a week she extorted ¥100,000 from me and to give me permission to leave permanently she wants ¥10 million that I don't have.

    This accord is supposed to protect children but in my case it is making them live in much worse conditions than they would if I could go home and get proper work and have family to help, as I get older it get harder and harder to make the money needed to pay for schools and everything else the children need and add to that a chronically ill child and there is no way this accord is helping my children.

  • 0

    Klein2

    "The documentary was started over a year AFTER MY WIFE LEFT and cut off all contact. So no- she was not there every day with the kids while I was off making my movie. "

    Oh. So she left you with one of the children AND you got into contact with her again. I thought this was about moms taking kids and never being heard from again.

    "Mediation via the court was the only option she would even agree to."

    I am guessing that other options were not in her interests, so what is wrong with that? A decent lawyer in the states would not give you more.

    "I am still trying to convince my wife to work things out."

    Something makes me think that the movie and the website are not helping that along any.

    "You do have a knack for bringing everything back to your own talking point."

    You sir, have the agenda and the website and the narrative and the movie deal. And YOU addressed ME personally. So grind your axe and plug the documentary and mind your talking points and I will be an anonymous coward. So let's get back to this. You were saying you weren't acting rationally, I believe.

    Or are you saying that she is a "haywire" wife with personality disorder? There are so many of those these days. You realize that makes people want to hear her side all the more, don't you? Did you personally diagnose her with PTSD and personality disorder or are you just trying some character assassination on for size? And has somebody suggested to you that making movies about such people is probably not a good thing?

    "The only person I care sees the movie is my daughter "

    I would say that is not likely.

    "Tell me, how can/ should a mother explain to her daughter that it is ok to not care for her own disabled son?"

    She is going to do whatever she wants to do and there is nothing you can do to force her to change. That behavior is not unusual.

    "The fact that the father is the only one providing care for her older brother undermines your entire "father gave up on his family" argument. Then again, maybe you would tell the daughter that the father was a selfish man who really only cared about his son."

    No. But she might. Nothing you or I or the US Cavalry do is going to change that. If it were the US, your ex would be instructed by her lawyer to accuse you of molesting your daughter just to get a little more child support out of you. Happens every day. Is that going to help matters for you in Japan to have that system here? Because I think that is the topic.

    And by the way, you never really came out and said it. Are you divorced? If so why, and if not why not? You kind of sidestepped that, and it is an important "talking point" as you say. Because no matter what you say on your website, some relationships DO end. For instance, a contractual marriage with the guardian of your children ends when you agree to a divorce.

    Sounds to me like you don't really want to go into it, but you should, because Oprah is going to want to know why you married her in the first place and why you expect to come out of this without getting totally shafted. For what it is worth, what you could reasonably expect under the US system is no better.

    So in the end, I don't really get your point. If you are divorced, you have released her from her obligations to you, at least in the eyes of most people. If you are not divorced, then you are off topic. You just have a wife who won't do what you say and you are complaining about it, kind of like Osakadaz.

    I guess the point is, even Dr. Phil and Jerry Springer acknowledge that there are two sides to every story. You have a doozy, but if you think that divorcing her (?) and then making a movie ABOUT her WITHOUT her should make her feel all warm and fuzzy, well maybe she is not the one with the rationality problem. I have the distinct feeling that something is missing. Why is that?

    "They may not even be aware of the consequences of their own actions."

    I could not figure this out. Are you talking about her, or the guy making a movie about her?

  • 0

    Klein2

    "Although my parents are divorced, I feel like the quality of my childhood was much better than it ever could have been if they had remained married. "

    Bontakun, I know for a fact that this is true for you and a lot of people, but you and I BOTH know that this is rare. And we know it is used as an excuse, quite frankly, by people who give up too soon. Marriage is difficult, especially in younger times when people are changing rapidly, but things DO usually improve, and I would guess that more people wind up saying "I should have stuck it out" than say "I am glad I left my family x years back and moved on."

    Your argument is a good argument that is almost never used by the right people.

    Another way to look at it is to say that people who are rational enough to figure this out are usually rational enough to make things work out.

    The other thing to consider is how things like finances, moving, remarriage and other things typically destabilize families after a divorce. Sure, things can work out, but they usually don't.

  • 0

    Klein2

    "I never said I had given up on my wife or that I am the one who initiated divorce proceedings-"

    Well. Don't tease me. Tell me now. Did you or didn't you?

    Oh Nigelboy. You boiled that down quite well. I did not want to give advice because I am such a jerk, but your advice is probably about right.

    Limbo. Wow. There are way too many stories like this. I think you can appreciate that the "my ex-wife is bonkers" is a horrific scenario, but it is also the one that everyone uses to screw over their ex wives in custody battles. I must say honestly that half of the cases I know of divorce involved women that I personally would call bonkers, but the other half involved serious sober responsible women who got screwed over anyway, many times by being accused of being "haywire." I also know that psychologists and lawyers will say any old thing, so as sad as the whole thing is, awarding custody to one person to be the adult is the less than ideal default policy.

    Well, this is all too depressing. I am leaving. People need to help each other. When a mother fights a father, no good can come of it, and government does not belong within a family. An amicable divorce is rarer than a diamond and divorce should therefore be avoided by people who love their family. Finally, if you respect your vows and take them very seriously, it is hard to marry the wrong woman.

  • 0

    limboinjapan

    Klein2:"Limbo. Wow. There are way too many stories like this. I think you can appreciate that the "my ex-wife is bonkers" is a horrific scenario, but it is also the one that everyone uses to screw over their ex wives in custody battles."

    Strange that even her OWN PARENTS won't leave her alone with the children, I had no intention of leaving her, all I wanted was for her to get the medical help she needs, she is the one who left, and I never refuse her visitation ( rare thing in Japan and a privilege she rarely takes) her parents see the children when they want and as long as they want but they are more frightened then I am of leaving her alone with the children (the are both in their teens and have become experts at knowing when it is time to be careful around her) so YES I would say the consensus is she is as you put it "bonkers"!

    You are welcome to have a go at as you seem to think talking this out and reasoning will cure all but I would advise you to make sure your medical insurance in up to date and to wear protective clothing, but be warned the last time someone tried (her brother) he needed 15 stitches to his arm and had several laceration on his face and then no one heard from her for 3 months.

    Are you up for it?

    Untreated bipolarism is a terrible thing I still hope she will one day accept treatment!

  • 0

    responsibledad

    Klein2- Thank you for the interesting perspective and incite-ful comments. May you and yours never face a life-altering trauma, particularly involving a child. All the best, Craig Morrey

  • 0

    Piglet

    @Klein2

    so in your own little system, it should be OK for a dad to leave one day with the kids and abandon the wife? After all, isn't it the fault of the wife she married such a jerk?

    Sarcasm set aside, your view of human relationships is very peculiar. You seem to imply that a woman can do whatever she wants because it will always be the fault of the husband. On the contrary, whatever the husband does, he will always be wrong ("he shouldn't have married her, she had the right to leave").

    I am still wondering whether you're a troll or you sincerely believe what you write.

  • 0

    Zenny11

    Klein2.

    When my Wife abducted my son. What she did is left with him saying they are visiting a friend in another ward for the day and didn't return.

    Called the friend = not spoken to her for weeks. At that time we had financial difficulties(couldn't work due to sickness) and I was left with 5000Yen to my name & the loan for the apartment, etc.

    Called the school which informed me that my wife asked for a transfer 1 months ago but refused to tell me to which school, etc(included principal), went to ward office which refused to give info. Even though I insited that I am the father and am legally required to know where my son is.

    As was said she did it for the custody as she can get it automatically by taking care of the child as the sole parent for x-months.

    Kinda backfired though as many contracts for the aparment were in her name and she needed to get in touch again and also Son pested her to see his dad.

    At that time we finalised the divorce(she lied on the form saying I beat her, etc).

    Sure it was all my fault. Not so, I made mistakes as did she in short when things got rough communications between us broke down which let to the divorce.

  • 0

    Zenny11

    Forgot to add.

    At the time of the split my wife been suffering from breast-cancer for some time. So there was a LOT of stress & uncertainty in the Household too.

    Looking back we both made many mistakes neither gets the sole blame here.

    Things sorta worked out after the divorce as I got to see my son weekly and we met often. Was also at her death-bed when the cancer finally took her.

    Even after she took my son I fully supported her and him and was there for them when needed.

  • 0

    fishy

    Craig,

    Ever since yesterday when I saw your website and short video, I have been thinking lots about you and your children, and the mother of your children. It is extremely frustrating and I feel so powerless.. Especially because I have two children, a boy and a girl, when I saw the video and pictures, I didn't feel like it was about a total stranger, I really really wish I had more power to change the whole thing like Genie in the movie Aladdin but I'm not.. Everyone who sees your situation differently, some can relate, some can't, some just feel sorry for you and don't see your happiness, because even though your son is disabled, I am sure he can bring so much happiness in your life. My ex once worked with disabled children in the U.S and he used to tell me how much he had learned from those children and he used to wonder how those parents of severely disabled children feel happy about their kids, but after working with those children, he learned that those children can bring as much, or sometimes even more happiness into your life. Whatever some people say, YOU ARE DOING A WONDERFUL JOB TAKING CARE OF YOUR BOY, and THAT, I don't think anyone would and can deny, and it is so easy to criticize every little thing when they are not in your situation.

    I think it is important for many people to know that there are people like you, putting your child before you even in a difficult situation, and how hard it must be to be in a foreign country with not enough help, not being able to go home to see your families to show your kids. There is so much I want to say and I would love to share my stories as well but I would not want to at least on this forum because my story isn't something I would share with random people, but I would like to tell you that you are wonderful, whether everyone on this forum agrees or not, that is not important, but your boy is EXTREMELY lucky to have you, and because it is you, he was born as your son.

    Sending hugs your way and more hugs for your boy.

  • 0

    fishy

    responsibledad-

    There is a law that when the parent with child's custody fails to bring your child to see his/her other parent even though you have the visitation right, the parent is responsible for the failure and required to pay fine (usually around 50,000yen, depending on the person's income and how much you need to spend for transportation and etc to see the child)..

    面接交渉が不履行の場合における間接強制金の支払額は,債務者の拒否的な姿勢のみを重視するのではなく,債務者の現在置かれている経済的状況や1回あたりの面接交渉が不履行の場合に債権者に生じると予測される交通費等の経済的損失などを中心に算定するのが相当であり,本件における諸事情を総合考慮すれば,不履行1回につき5万円の限度で定めるのが相当である。

    This is called 間接強制 (Kansetsu Kyosei). When you ask the court to admonish her to perform the agreement (visitation), they usually send letters and make a phone call to talk to her, but it is not enforceable. While if you get this Kansetsu Kyosei (I am very sorry I do not know how to say it in English), the payment is enforceable and if she does not want to pay the fine, she has to let you see the child.

    There was a similar case in Okayama prefecture 2 years ago and the father made the ex-wife pay 50,000yen every time she refused to let him see their child even though he had the visitation right.

    I know this is not ideal to make her pay, but when there are no other legal options, I think this is something to consider..

    I am not a lawyer so obviously I don't know much but I'm just hoping you get to see your girl...

  • 0

    Klein2

    Fishy, it is really nice of you to give those supportive words to responsibledad.

    Making his wife pay 50,000 every time he can't see his daughter? When things get to that point, well, to my thinking, it is time to move on. This is the same old "hit mommy with a legal stick to make her do what I want her to do" kind of thing that embitters people. Does it occur to anybody that conflict just begets conflict and makes the whole thing worse?

    Zenny, it sounds like you have seen life from both sides. Nobody ever wins or loses in life, it all just vibrates. If you are lucky, then things pull together in hard times. If you aren't then things fly apart. I am against institutions that push people apart for that very reason. And sometimes pushing them together when they don't want to be... well that is bad too. Sounds like you found closure after a long bitter experience. If it is any consolation, most people never find that.

  • 0

    Zenny11

    Klein2.

    Thanks and I agree. Still hurts though and both me and my son are still affected and wondering "What if", etc.

    First time I met my wife after the abduction didn't know if I should hug or slug her as I was also worried about her due to the cancer, etc.

    Her 1yr death anniversary is coming up next month and still torn if I should attend or not.

  • 0

    Klein2

    Piglet. In my own little system, part of being a man with responsibilites means that if something goes wrong, it is always his "fault". Living any other way is a cavalcade of fingerpointing. Flat out denial.

    Look at this thread and you see it everywhere: she did this, she did that, she is crazy. Right. And all these guys were just minding their own business and their whole world blew up. Ask a six year old about cause and effect, and they will tell you something similar. And if they are "right", then they are still wrong because they married a kook in the first place.

    And you do misunderstand. One person has to be granted responsibility for children. One. That person should make all decisions related to the welfare of the child and accept full responsibility. After a court chooses that person, its role is done. What you see here and in the rest of the world is people getting a divorce, finding out that they lost something (surprise!), and then trying to get it back. Everyone expects to "win" and show that it was all someone else's "fault". One guy lost in the courts, lost in arbitration, and now he wants to win by making a website and a documentary showing how bad someone else is...but he wants her back. It never ends.

    But TKO has the answer. Let courts figure out who is right and wrong. They know best. Well, then you get wild accusations of drugs, child molestation, other moral weirdness and other witch hunts because the only goal is "winning" because it is someone else's "fault."

    I like Japan's system because it stops the madness and let's people get on with their lives. If you don't like it, don't get married and don't have kids. In Japan, if you get divorced, it is a failure. You break your contract. If you lose, why be surprised?

  • 0

    Piglet

    @Klein2

    Often the spouse flee before any divorce proceedings. What should we do in that case? Do you think the remaining parent should just let it go or try to get contact with his child and spouse?

    I am lucky to have a very healthy and loving relationship with my wife. We have a son and I cannot imagine any of this happening to us.

    However, I understand that life is not always that easy and since you brag about responsibility, why don't you accept that leaving the household is breaking the marriage contract (whether it is the husband or the wife)? In that case the kidnapping parent should be held responsible for his acts and either loose custody (since you believe only one parent should have custody) or be forced to accept the spouse to access the child and fight for custody.

  • 0

    Klein2

    Zenny. I just keep reading your stuff. I think you know what I am saying. She still accused you of this and that to "win" but you acknowledge that the stress and lack of communication precipitated this. That is what I am talking about by "fault." Because you also found that once the dust settled, you could negotiate things. She left as a reaction to something she saw in you and really did not like. She apparently really needed the divorce. I don't really understand that, but I tell you I would have done anything anything to avoid signing that paper.

    I have had close calls too. They were my "fault" in every case because people react according to needs, and if those needs are not being met, they are going to react. A mature person knows that changing others is sometimes impossible. All we can do is change ourselves and try to meet others' needs.

    My interpretation of your case is that you figured that out after a lot of destruction. It takes humility and patience and grit and pain. I think old guys get it. Young guys spend too much time trying to prove other things to themselves.

  • 0

    dolphingirl

    It's not about who is right or wrong. It is about giving both parents a chance to see their kids after a divorce. Why should the kids have to suffer because their parents have chosen to go their separate ways? Of course divorce is never pretty but I think in most cases people can be civil enough to do what is in the best interests of their children. But the court is their to play mediator and to hopefully come to a fair decision about custody/visitation rights. The court is there to protect children who might otherwise end up torn away from one parent.

    As far as I know, Japan isn't doing anything 'from the standpoint that the welfare of the child should be of the utmost importance'. After divorce, a child can be taken by the parent who gains sole custody (usually the mother) never to see the other parent again until adulthood. How can that possibly good for a child? And the Savoie case was what, like a year ago and nothing has changed. I suppose Japan might finally crumble under the international pressure and shame but how much longer will we have to wait?

  • 0

    Piglet

    @Klein2

    If you believe in gender equality, then husband and wife have the same rights and responsibilities.

    Also, it is a deeply ingrained notion in human culture that your parental responsibilities never end. As long as you give birth to another human being, you are responsible for this life. Of course, there can be some contractual arrangements discharging parents from parental responsibility (adoption, etc...) but a general rule is that unless you agree with it or there is a clear danger for your child (domestic violence, etc...), you should not be removed from your parental responsibilities.

  • 0

    Jkanda

    Zenny, just attend. Do thinks that you want to do for yourself and for your son. Anniversary is not everyday, right? And who cares what others think and say.

    Spoke to a 50 year old sweet divorcee Jlady. She said that Jpeople have been programmed to think like the divorce is the end. Seeing that person again is just out of the question. She said that she was trying to figure out how seperated/divorced couple meet again, some marry again!!! So I think this has to do more with a deep-rooted cultural aspect. Wish some Psycho-social experts will come forward to change things here.

    As some one else mentioned here, loosing faith in marriages.

    I think Klein is speaking from his childhood experience. Children beleive that their parents are smart enough to solve any problem between them. And Children beleive that they need both parents for their own well-being. It is a natural instinct for any child I think. So if parents destroy that, then you have already done the damage to your own children. Savoie case is the best case in point here I think.

  • 0

    snowgirl

    @klein2: As a woman, I have the opportunity to be more subjective, don't I.
    However, I choose to be OBjective, for the pure and simple reason of logic. Just because I am female, doesn't mean that I will always be biased towards one side. It's called intelligence, and the ability to weigh issues on all sides, which you seem to lack.

  • 0

    Klein2

    No limbo. I won't have a go at it. As I told Osakadaz, I have been there and done that. I am just guessing that this is kind of an adult onset thing, but her "lust for life" is probably what attracted you to her in the first place.

    Sounds like things worked out for the best despite all. You have a full on medical calamity there that you dealt with and you had support of her parents, maybe. And you got custody. So that is a J success story? Maybe? The courts awarded you that, right?

    My experience with a psycho might explain a little about why I feel the way I do. It started out great and degraded into a frequently abusive situation. I took quite a beating. As soon as I knew that marriage was certainly out of the question, I broke it off and came quite close to being killed. Like headlne killed with blood splattered on the walls. No way it is my fault, right?

    So three years later, she marries a financial exec., has six kids and life is full of rosy cheer. Obviously she needed something I did not give her. Maybe it was medication.

    She told me many years later that she was abused as a child, etc. and she was not responsible for her actions, etc.

    Somebody has to be a grownup, and that is where your story and mine come together, and that is what Piglet is missing. Zenny figured out that they were both grownups, but in a bad place. If a person's life is centered on whose fault things are, then they are being childish. The person who takes responsibility, or fault, is the grownup. Each of us, you and I, almost died for decisions that had to be made. For whatever reason, yours was put off until after marriage and childbirth, so you had more risk. I was lucky to see my train wreck early and avoid most of it.

    I think most people can avoid those train wrecks by thinking very very seriously and carefully about marriage and WORK at it. Generally, they don't. I also believe with all my heart that legal systems cannot deal with this and the train wreck just goes on and on and on. People need to make better decisions and not rely on finding "fault" with each other legally or otherwise.

  • 0

    Zenny11

    Jkanda.

    Ths, for the reply. One of the problems is that her bones are currently with her mother(who divorced when she was 8, ward tracked her down after the death) and she is very traditional. Pray 3 times/daily to them offer food and drink daily, etc which is not my culture. But guess I will have to attend anyway.

    I think I get Klein2's point of view now and he is sorta right.

    Final word. Me and my wife shared a 17yr history and that can't be erased(good and bad times) no matter what happened. So there is no real closure as the mind keeps turning things over both for me and my son.

    PLus, she also caused my son to end up in goverment care as she said he threatened to kill her with a knife when he was 8. No-one truly believed it. I got the call at 22:00 that she refused to go home because of it and even though it was a saturday I called my Komeito contact at the ward and we got things moving.

    So the scars for him and me run deep.

  • 0

    Jkanda

    My deepest respect to all here who are genuinely, and unselfishly doing their best in this matter.everyone has a very special story here and it touches my heart. I am positive that soon things will change. Putting selfish people like Savoie and the like, could demotivate the Jauthorities from making changes. Hope he will voluntarily take the back seat.

  • 0

    responsibledad

    Fishy, Thanks for the kind words. I have pretty thick skin when it comes to arrows slung from the comfort of anonymity. Apparently, presenting a plausible and blame free explanation to ultimately defend a mother's decision to abandon her own child is irresponsilbe. Most people, Klein2 and Japan's family courts excluded, would readily agree an accident resulting massive brain damage to your completely healthy child during delivery might be so overwhelmingly traumatic it causes irrational acts. I do blame the courts for not acknowledging a problem and ordering treatment. Of course, Klein2 wouldn't be the first person to suggest I am to blame for my son's disability. The judge knew when he made his ruling it was pointless as my wife has no money and I am unable to work a normal job while caring for my son. Thanks for the info, but I seriously doubt the same judge would order her to pay a fine, especially since the only condition he placed on visitation was I must live in Japan.
    Feel free to contact me via the website. I try to respond personally to all relevant messages.

    To pre-empt the uninformed attack on the my "irrational act" of making a documentary- As the title suggests, the movie is about Life As Dad and the sacrifices and love a father has for both of his children. To be a good father, I also have to be willing to help my children's mother so that both of my children can have both of their parents in their life- that is the only time my wife is mentioned in the movie

  • 0

    fishy

    very very much looking forward to seeing your movie :)

  • 0

    dracpoo2

    What kind of mentality leads to a country believeing that only within a marriage should a child have both parents???? "sigh"

  • 0

    martinli92

    japan has a record low birth rate so they need to taken children without the consent of either parents! This is their value of 'human rights'!

  • 0

    martinli92

    Why didnt the US government adopting the Chinese retailiation policy when their captain was in custody by japan, they justsimply arrested 4 japanese nationals accusing them spying! There were 121 american children being abducted, so do the maths you know how many japanese need to be under 'custody'! Then the Japanese government understood this is serious.....

  • 0

    Noliving

    Just curious about something klien2, why is it in your posts almost all the time you like the blame the father for the divorce when the vast majority of divorces are initiated by the mothers/wives? Again remember you don't need a spouses consent to get a divorce, it will take longer but it will happen.

  • 0

    Noliving

    No, I meant abuse.

    Yes and I was more specific about it, the poster you were quoting was talking about physical abuse not the mental/emotional abuse that you were talking about.

  • 0

    Piglet

    @Klein2

    Just to backup Noliving's post: it is indeed to divorce without your spouse's agreement, although it requires some additional legal procedure.

  • 0

    Yukikochan

    Both parents should have the right to see their children, in most cases at least. I personally know a few situations (and there are many more) where the court decided that both parents had visitation right and in one of the cases the father verbally abused the child which led to severe depression, self doubt and angst which even now some 15 years later she still struggles with (and when they, the mother and the child, tried to forbid the father from seeing the child, the court ruled that it would be in the child's best interest to keep seeing him). Another case was were the father sometimes showed up at the appointed time and other times didn't, and the child didn't want to see him but again the court overruled that.

    Then there's the cases with abusive mothers which there's a lot more of than you think. One of my friends grew up with a mother who would throw her down a staircase, strangle her with a telephone-cord and much much more. In this case the court decided that since the father was a reformed drunk the mother should have full custody and the father wasn't allowed to see them.

    My point is that you can't say that one thing is better than the alternative, you have to be flexible and adjust with every case, with the child as the primary concern. The child is the looser in this and it's the parents decision to get a divorce, so whatever the outcome it should only cater to the child's wishes and what's good for it/them.

  • 0

    mrskit

    all this could be avoided if people followed the advice to 'love your wife , and respect your husband'

    oh,,,and maybe get to know the person before you go bedhopping, then you might not produce a child, before you really know the person who you are sleeping with

    of course people are human,,,and things happen,,,,and then it is sad for the innocent parties (children)

  • 0

    Bucci

    Looks like someone is finally going to make a movie about this:

    hollywoodreporter dotcom/ news/ winery-prepares-2011-film-tv

    About time this issue was brought to light. If only 60 minutes would do an item on this too.

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