American father wins custody of child after divorce from Japanese woman

OSAKA —

A Nicaraguan-born man who lives in the U.S. state of Wisconsin has been awarded custody of his 9-year-old daughter, ending a four-year court battle with his former Japanese wife.

Moises Garcia married Emiko Inoue in 2002 and settled in Wisconsin where their daughter Karina was born the same year.

However, Emiko took the girl with her to Japan in 2008 against her husband’s wishes. Garcia fought passionately—and spent about $350,000—to get his daughter back. The liver transplant doctor learned to speak Japanese so he could communicate with a daughter whose English was slipping away.

He hired lawyers in Japan and flew across the Pacific nine times to press his case and try to see his daughter. He enlisted the help of the U.S. State Department and his native Nicaragua. He became active in an advocacy group—Global Future—run by U.S. parents whose children were taken to Japan.

Garcia won a major victory in 2009 when the Japanese courts—which did not recognize the U.S. court that granted Garcia full custody—determined he should have visitation rights. And he kept fighting when his ex-wife appealed and the case dragged on for years.

In all that time, he only saw his daughter three times. The longest visit was for just under two hours at a hotel restaurant. Another visit lasted 10 short minutes at a school open house.

The Osaka High Court, in handing down its ruling, said that Karina had become used to life in the United States with her father and that forcibly returning her to Japan now would be bad for her.

Karina is the first U.S. child abducted by a Japanese parent who was returned to the United States with the aid of the court system.

Her case remains an anomaly, however, because Karina likely never would have been returned if her mother hadn’t flown to Hawaii in April 2011 and been arrested on child abduction charges.

Inoue spent months in a Wisconsin jail until she reached a plea deal with prosecutors: her parents would send Karina home to Garcia and Inoue would be given probation instead of a lengthy prison sentence.

Until laws change in Japan—and family courts gain the power to enforce custody rights—it will be nearly impossible for other parents to be reunited with their children, Garcia said.

“When my ex-wife was arrested, we finally got the enforcement that was missing from the Japanese courts,” he said at a press conference in a Milwaukee hotel. “If my ex-wife had never been arrested, Karina’s alienation would have been completed.”

Japan Today/AFP

  • 22

    realteacher

    Nice to start off the day with some good news.

    Questions I would have for Emiko: What were you thinking? Hawaii? Did you forget it was part of the USA? Do you think law enforcement is that inept?

  • -86

    YuriOtani

    So now the daughter will be alienated from her mother and her Japanese heritage? I wonder if she is still being held in America against her will. Living in America is hard enough with loved ones. It is painfully bad when alone. She no longer has a green card so she can not work. After her time on probation am sure she will be deported to Japan. I could be wrong but understand the American system. Those that have money carry the day over those who do not.

  • 2

    konjo4u

    It sounds like her father is very wealthy. Transplant surgeons in the United States have extremely high incomes for physicians by any country's standards. I think her mother can petition for parental rights when her own criminal case is resolved.

  • -70

    YuriOtani

    konjo4u, think she never had a chance from the getgo. Now being a convicted felon, she has no chance to stay in the country as a permanent resident. Even if she still had the visa they deport aliens with criminal convictions. http://www.ice.gov/criminal-alien-program/ She is being punished by the American system on behalf of her ex husband. Shows if you have money in America that anything is possible.

  • 49

    yanee

    She deserves to be treated as a felon for the way she handled her daughters separation from her father.

  • 42

    Laguna

    Even if she still had the visa they deport aliens with criminal convictions.

    Yes, Yuri; most countries do. The mother has put herself in a very difficult position with her lawbreaking; had she simply complied with the original American ruling awarding custody to the father, she would have been able to enjoy ample visitation time (and by "ample," I mean "months"); had she shown sincerity, her husband would most likely have allowed the daughter to visit Japan frequently.

    Now, it's unlikely she'll be allowed in the US or that he will allow the daughter to visit Japan. This is entirely the mother's fault; she has absolutely no one to blame but herself.

  • 29

    REMzzz

    @Yuri, i think it would have made more sense to work out 50-50% custody arrangement from the beginning rather than abduct the child first and then face the consequences...

  • 40

    realteacher

    She is being punished by the American system on behalf of her ex husband.

    You make me want to puke. She got punished for breaking the law.

    Shows if you have money in America that anything is possible.

    Money has nothing to do with this. It's called perseverance.

  • 1

    alladin

    I am so glad to hear that this father won the case and got custody of his daughter. There are so many cases like this all over Japan where the Japanese government are always protecting these illicit mothers who don`t care about anything but only themselves. This goes to show everyone that Japanese women can never be trusted anymore. They are just like many f the men in Japan. Very deceiving with only selfish ambitions in almost everything that they do.

  • 28

    OMGhontoni

    Yuri your blinkered view of this case is astonishing! The Mother brought this entirely on herself. And what kind of person even appeals visitation rights??! She is even being given visitation rights by Mr Garcia in the US despite everything she has done which is FAR more than can be said for her. This has nothing to do with "America" and "money" and everything to do with her breaking the law. Thank God he DID have the money to fight this, otherwise thanks to the Japanese system yet ANOTHER child-parent alienation will have been complete.

    The whole announcement by the Osaka court that "she is now settled in America and bringing her back to Japan would not be in her best interests" sounds like nothing more than face-saving to me and is truly pathetic. Face-saving is not important when a childs life (not literally but lifestyle) hangs in the balance. But at least it is done now.

    When I read the headline I got excited and thought maybe another case had been given in the LBPs favour but sadly no, just this one still, and as the article says it was an anomaly because the woman was stupid enough to return to US soil. I find it interesting that she didnt want to live in the US, didnt want anything to do with the childs father - but still wanted to keep her green card?! She got greedy and that was her mistake.

  • 12

    OMGhontoni

    She doesnt deserve to see her daughter, but that would be detrimental to the daughters interests, Mr Garcia recognises this and is allowing Mother-daughter contact because HE IS putting the daughters needs first. Im sure he would love to tell her to take a hike, but that would not be in Karinas interests.

  • 10

    Crystalyle

    This Japanese woman is a monster and there are countless others using the Family Court system in Japan to get completely unfair judgements. Another case was a falsified marriage in order to force the American man INTO the system so they could run the same game.

    There are two schools of thought here. America - a culturally diversified nation, and Japan, a homogeneous society that values only it's own cultural ideas and disregards all others.

    It's the reason why some posters here are programmed to think that Japanese culture is above all else and that living in America must be an inferior experience.

    Seems like this surgeon who has the money to fight, could have flown his daughter back and forth as many times as he liked. She could have experienced both countries if HER mother and the family court system could have recognized that "Children HAVE the RIGHT to both PARENTS".

    I want to find this lawyer in wisconsin though. I've seen the worst.

  • 12

    CrazyJoe

    Regardless of what the courts rule, the victim is always the child.

  • 4

    yokatta

    Ahhhhh, that's a victory!!!!!!

  • 9

    Disillusioned

    Japan has rather draconian domestic laws (or lack of them) in regards to child custody, so it should be no surprise their international stance is also draconian. Japan has agreed to become part of the Haigue agreement, but without changes to (or implementing) domestic laws it will mean very little. I am glad this guy got his daughter back eventually, but the kid has been severely traumatized by all this and it cost him $350 thousand bucks to pull it off. Not every one can lay their hands on that sort of money. If anyone is interested in learning about the abducted kids go to CRC Japan (Children's Rights Council) and have a look at the hundreds of kids that have been abducted. But, please don't forget, there are many more kids within Japan that have been estranged from their fathers by Japanese joint custody laws (or lack of them).

    http://www.crcjapan.com/

  • 2

    supermonk7

    A warning to all mothers who would cut and run with a child in tow.

  • 7

    yildiray

    She is being punished by the American system on behalf of her ex husband

    She is being punished because she broke the law... There is no other way to spin it!

  • -8

    yumichan

    "A Nicaraguan-born man who lives in the U.S. state of Wisconsin has been awarded custody of his 9-year-old daughter, ending a four-year court battle with his former Japanese wife."
    why it says " The man who lives in the US "
    If He is an American right. ?

    And it is quite different with the states of the woman lived in the US,

    Japanese having a originality problem...? try to discriminate..others.. ?

    I want to know where this woman was born ... ... . ?

    I am Japanese . but I was born in Philippians.

  • 16

    bass4funk

    @Yuri

    You never ever get it. You can never take the a child away from its parent, (in this case it's usually the Japanese mother that takes the kid) I understand most Japanese women look at their children as their own personal possession, but just because things don't go your way and you have a personal grudge against your spouse DOES NOT give you the right to take action in your own hands! You have to follow the rule of law in particular the country where you are living. She broke the law. pure and simple.

    But as Crystalyle said Japan, a homogeneous society that values only it's own cultural ideas and disregards all others The child has the right to see both parents, as to why you fail to understand this, I have no idea. Japan cannot take it upon itself to deny one parent (usually foreign) to see their child. This is another eye opener that Japan needs to change and update it's prehistoric laws when it comes to child custody issues.

    As I have stated millions of times, the child is the one that ALWAYS suffers! I know from experience, both of my parents went through a nasty divorce, you cannot imagine what it does to them emotionally and mentally. Children have the right to be happy and enjoy both parents and usually when it comes to child custody laws in Japan, they think more about what the mother wants, so Yuri, how is this far. And please don't make the lame argument that she is losing her Japanese culture. I highly doubt her father would deny her that right, but who was the one that put the child in the position to begin with? The mother brought it on herself, which also punishes the child. So you need to shift your anger to the mom, remember, who broke the law?

  • 6

    smithinjapan

    Yuri: You really dropped the ball on this one. This selfish woman, who kidnapped the child and spirited her back to Japan, has still been offered visitation rights thanks to the kindness of her ex-husband. The girl may be denied permanent access to her mother (as she was given a total of about 3 hours with her father in more than four years!), but she brought that on herself. As for being denied her Japanese heritage, why would she be? A father who has done as much as this man has will no doubt ensure she not lose any part of her heritage from either parent.

    Anyway, good on the courts for this... but as the article has stated, you can't help but wonder if this turnout would be anything like what it was if the mother hadn't decided to take a leisure trip to the use where (thankfully) she was locked up.

  • 10

    hobart_mark

    Way to go u.s.a., wisconsin, and mr. Garcia. The Japanese legal system is inept is so many ways....

  • 3

    Christina O'Neill

    Congratulations to the father whose dedication and perserverance led him to success.also to the Japanese judicial system on its landmark decision. I hope the young one will adjust to life in the US very quicly and be happy there. I also hope the childs mother is enabled to visit her daughter on a regular basis

  • 2

    yildiray

    I want to know where this woman was born ... ... . ?

    The woman was born in Japan and did not take American citizenship because she would lose her Japanese passport (Japan does not recognise dual citizenship). Hence, she remained Japanese.

  • 11

    USNinJapan2

    YuriOtani I'm quite surprised by your insane condemnation of the resolution of this case. You may be in the US with a green card now (I gather from your other/previous posts) but unfortunately you evidently took your miopic Japanese cultural blinders with you. You should ask your American partner how he would feel if you did what this mother did...

  • 3

    Yubaru

    While I am glad that the Japanese courts realized the obvious in this case it is a shame he had to spend so much cash to see it through.

    Yuri mentions money in the states, I think she's got it wrong, I do believe it's the Japanese courts that saw how much money, time, and effort that Dad put into getting his daughter back that they realized it was HIS love that won them over.

    She was using her daughter as a pawn, which is abhorable. Dad too has said on numerous occasions that he wants Mom around so their daughter doesnt have to grow up with only one parent nearby. The states is the obvious choice in this case.

    Good Luck to them all!

  • 8

    tmarie

    So now the daughter will be alienated from her mother and her Japanese heritage?

    You had no issue when it was the daughter being alienated from her father and her American/Nicaraguan heritage, did you? Dad isn't alienating anything nor anyway and your comments on this are nothing less than shocking.

    Thank you Emiko for being selfish and stupid. It has hopefully paved the way for more parents who have had their kids kidnapped and taken to Japan against the laws of other countries.

  • 2

    bass4funk

    @Christina

    Very nice, fair and balanced comment. Rational and I think you said it best.

  • 11

    zichi

    It was an American marriage and the child is an American but with the right to choose Japanese citizenship before 20-years. The case was settled according to American law and Japanese law has nothing to do with it.

    The father is a doctor and can better provide for his daughter who will still be able to have a relationship with her mother.

    The right decision was made.

  • 6

    Yubaru

    The case was settled according to American law and Japanese law has nothing to do with it.

    I think you are missing something here, the child HAS Japanese citizenship even though she was born in the states. When her mother abducted her and brought her to Japan she got Japanese citizenship which makes her a dual-citizen.

    If you read the article this was decided in Osaka, so what it means is that now BOTH the Japanese and US courts agree that the father is the one who should have custody of the child.

    It is unfortunate that Japan does not allow joint custody of children but one can always hope that someday the country will join the 21st century, let's just hope it's not in the 22nd that they finally do,

  • 1

    timtak

    And what kind of person even appeals visitation rights??! I think that quite a lot of Japanese parents are not keen on visitation rights after separation, considering it better for the child to loose touch with one parent, rather than have contact with two who are to an extent enemies.

    Are these parents all "monsters", that make us "puke"? For example, ex Prime Minister Koizumi included?

    The pain faced by left behind parents is more than I can bear to imagine, or even watch (I have seen this http://tinyurl.com/taeraremasen before but I could not watch all for a second time) but it seems clear that many Japanese do NOT believe that "Children HAVE the RIGHT to both PARENTS."

    As usual I guess, it will be claimed that the Japanese are living in a feudalistic, or some primitive, state.

    Do children who get to have two families happier, more well balanced, more successful as adults than those who lose one of their parents? I know of the research in the US to show children of divorces have issues. I wonder whether Japanese research (on, presumably children who only have a relationship with one parent) shows more or less trauma? This is the important question for me. If the children are happier, are more well balanced, well adjusted, healthier lives with our without visitation rights. Anecdotally, of the few offspring of single parent family that I have known in Japan the negative affect seems to have been, I felt (entirely subjective) conspicuously absent, almost as if having no father makes Japanese children stronger, I have felt at times. (E.g. Hashimoto was I think brought up by a single mother). This is I repeat, anecdotal. I guess, however, even if there were research to show that Japanese children have less suicide, less xyz problem, even in the absence of one of their parents, we (Westerners) would find it unconvincing, since loosing a father, or a father loosing a child, strikes to the root of our culture. I realise of course that there is no way in hell that the Japanese system might be imported to the West.

    But, I wonder what would happen if the "RIGHT" were implemented in Japan. It seems to me, as I have said before, that many Japanese marry to have children. If they could keep their children and not remain married - had a right to the children post divorce then the "staples" ("kasugai") that hold the Japanese marriage together might break (ko ha kasugai). So I also think that there is no way that the Western system can be imported into Japan.

    This is going to continue to be a big problem.

    I repeat...the situation faced by the LPBs is more painful than I can attempt to imagine.

  • 9

    marcelito

    Yeah Yuri, right - if you have money in the states you are favored by the system you say - as opposed to Japan where the rich never walk over the poor you mean, right?.. You are hillarious.

  • 6

    zichi

    @Yubaru

    I think you are missing something here, the child HAS Japanese citizenship even though she was born in the states. When her mother abducted her and brought her to Japan she got Japanese citizenship which makes her a dual-citizen.

    That's impossible because Japanese law does not recognise dual citizenship. One or the other. The child was born in America and is American but with the right to decide to take up Japanese citizenship before 20 years and only provided the American one is given up.

  • 4

    White_Shinobi

    I wish I had $350,000 to get my kids back :(

  • 0

    tmarie

    **Are these parents all "monsters", that make us "puke"? For example, ex Prime Minister Koizumi included? **

    Koizumi is right up there for me. Unless he's met him in private, from my understanding Koizumi has had nothing to do with his youngest child ever. No support, no contact. How the public in this country could even think of voting for someone with that family life is beyond me. "Family is the most important thing" my *ss. Both parents in the Koizumi case should hang their heads in shame. Child should never be used as pawns, should never be viewed at property. However, we know this isn't true in this country.

  • 1

    timtak

    By the way, Yuri, apparently the US court has allowed the mother to remain in Japan for the next three years despite her felony conviction and to convert that felony conviction to a misdemeanour at the end of three years, at which time I believe or when she is 12, the child will be allowed to choose where she wants to live.

  • 3

    GW

    YuriO,

    Wow just wow, sadly you demonstrate what I often see in Japan, even my wife, when most Japanese get emotional rational thinking is a very quick casualty.

    As for the Osaka court doing whats right....................yes.........BUT NO! What the Osaka court did was SAVE FACE, its own face, the court ditched the J-mother simply to put ITSELF in a better light.

    If the child was in Japan during the session I mean does anyone here think the courts decision would be the same, NO WAY!

    Like so many have said above I hope Japan comes out of the stoneage & reform their primitive laws which keep parents from being part of their kids lives, current j-laws are truly draconian!

  • 1

    timtak

    Child should never be used as pawns, should never be viewed at property. However, we know this isn't true in this country.

    Why do you say that? Did you read my post? Perhaps Koizumi and the mother believe that the children would be happier in single parent families rather than being visited by parents that had split. Or is that just plain unbelievable?

  • 1

    Disillusioned

    when she is 12, the child will be allowed to choose where she wants to live.

    Actually, that is not quite correct. The child and/or parents will be forced to make a choice due to the Japanese pension system. My kids have duel citizenship, but I was told by the city hall that we have to make a choice at 12 years old. Japan will not let children keep duel citizenship. Yet another draconian law that needs to be updated.

  • 0

    timtak

    Yup...."stoneage & reform their primitive laws"

    "Different views on the nature of marriage, parenthood and the family", is just not going to roll off people's lips it seems.

  • 2

    tmarie

    Why do you say that? Did you read my post? Perhaps Koizumi and the mother believe that the children would be happier in single parent families rather than being visited by parents that had split. Or is that just plain unbelievable?

    Obviously I read your post or wouldn't have been able to quote it. Indeed, in abusive cases, no contact is better. Obviously there was no abuse in the Koizumi case as one of the parents wouldn't have gotten custody. They split the kids up. Not only did the three kids not get a chance to know their other parents, they also didn't get to know their siblings. In some cases, single parent is better, in this case? I question why on earth two wealthy parents would divide the kids up like property and ignore the existence of the kid/kids they don't "own". Sorry, but that is insane however you look at it.

  • 2

    kakifry

    Emiko was so stupid to go to Hawaii. She must have gotten so confident in the way Japan snubbed the US court decision for custody that she thought she was safe to travel there. A pity all these cases are not resolved so satisfactorily.

  • 1

    602miko

    a victory finally ( cheers)

  • 2

    FightingViking

    There is also the question of siblings being separated... I'd rather not go into details but suffice it to say that my "pseudonym" was very carefully chosen...

  • -11

    timtak

    Sorry, but that is insane however you look at it. "insane" to add to "puke" "monster" "stoneage."

    Okay so you read my post. Thank you. Then you would have read - which makes children happier single custody or dual custody.

    Since you think the Japanese system is insane, I presume you think it is utterly clear that dual custody is better for the health and happiness of the children.

    This just do not match my experience. At best (i.e. as Western) I would call it a close call but there is no way that it is clear to me that the Western system results in better outcomes for the children. To be honest (or I think I am being honest) it seems that the single parent way results in happier children from the few I have met or seen on TV, such as two of Koizumi's sons. The mother and other son are in pain apparently. http://www.flickr.com/photos/garyhymes/70640763

    But, as usual, I am not sure that this is something that is seen a 'realpolitic' issue. It sounds as if there is something a priori about the assertion "Children HAVE the RIGHT to both PARENTS." Is there something given, a priori about this right, or is it based upon appraisal of the outcomes for the child?

  • 5

    Zoran Popovic

    She was using her daughter as a pawn,to win her game against her husband.(wicked heart) In Hawaii in April 2011 and been arrested on child abduction charges. Taking a break from parenting,being a single mum is hard but easy to pass the kid to the grandparents and carry on single life miles from her daughter.While the father is hanging to see his child; Children s rights is the main issue,being a parent means equal sharing ,caring and the up most unconditional love to the child(and to partner) Love is all you need,everything else is the wrong path,wrong advice,ego driven and courts are disinformation,profiting from chaos.

  • -8

    timtak

    If Children's rights are the main issue, then isn't that right the right to grow up happy, and healthy?

    I'd like people to say that they are sure (insanely, pukingly, stoneage monsterously sure) that dual custody produces happier healthier children.

    But, thankfully, the LORD has entered the argument. Is there any connection between the importance placed upon father child relations and the fact that the LORD in question happens to be called "The Father." Can anyone grow up happy and healthy if they are deprived of a Father?

    And will this wash in Japan?

  • -10

    timtak

    I am sorry, I am ashamed of tone of my last sentence ("And will this wash...") what I mean is, that the for me unbearable tragedy of Western fathers in this situation is rooted, and I mean right to the core, in a religious, cultural, sentiment, a love, which there is no greater. But at the same time, I don't think that the Japanese have the same religion, and so there is a massive problem.

  • 3

    Yubaru

    That's impossible because Japanese law does not recognise dual citizenship. One or the other. The child was born in America and is American but with the right to decide to take up Japanese citizenship before 20 years and only provided the American one is given up.

    Really tell that to my children, two of whom are under twenty. They carry TWO passports, fully legal in Japan as well, fully recognized as dual citizens too!

    Oh and btw my eldest daughter who is now 25 was born in the US, lived there for a couple of years then came here, received Japanese citizenship and carried TWO passports as well and was recognized as a Japanese citizen too!

    Japan officially recognizes under age children as dual citizens.

  • 3

    Yubaru

    Actually, that is not quite correct. The child and/or parents will be forced to make a choice due to the Japanese pension system. My kids have duel citizenship, but I was told by the city hall that we have to make a choice at 12 years old. Japan will not let children keep duel citizenship. Yet another draconian law that needs to be updated.

    Children do not have to make a choice by 12. The law is 20 when they become of age. Then they are obliged by law to start paying into the pension system, there is no way a 12 year old could do that.

    You need to talk with your city office again.

  • 3

    SushiSake3

    Dissillusioned – “Japan will not let children keep duel citizenship. Yet another draconian law that needs to be updated.”

    Point of interest – the najority of countries do not permit dual citizenship. Only the minority.

  • 1

    zichi

    Yubaru,

    so which passport did your daughter give up when she reached 20-years?

  • 3

    zichi

  • 2

    Crystalyle

    WOAH WOAH. Slow down. Someone said that the Left Behind Parent pays no support. WRONG!!! They are paying support up the wazoo and getting NOTHING for it. Not even a tax break.

    This is exactly why the women are doing this. Not only do they get the child to themselves BUT they're getting paid as well.

    That's just wrong!!! Flat out!!! If you pay you better get something for it. Otherwise it's a penance of some sort.

  • 0

    Steve Mcgrew

    Ya gotta feel sorry for this little girl..first the mother abducts this child,moves her far away from the father and other family members..... Then the poor girl is further traumatized via being moved again, back to a land where she does not speak the language nor understand the culture and must learn to find comfort from family that are strangers to her..The Mother should never have done such a cruel thing..hopefully the daughter will adapt well but it will not be easy for her emotionally. Feeling secure andbeing understand trust is going to be an issue for her for a very long time.

  • -39

    YuriOtani

    timtak and others, if she stayed in the USA there might have been joint custody but she and the kid would be required to remain in the USA. I bet he would of gotten sole custody. Second she is not being allowed to stay in the USA, she can not leave. Once the probation is up it is deportation to Japan. Her case is a warning to Japanese mothers in Japan and America. I also think that due to this case there will be no progress for the Americans. Japan is governed by Japanese law, not American.

    I do agree she made a very bad mistake. The first was marrying him in the first place. The second was playing into his hands. The problem is the US Gov is making an example out of her. The American men who want revenge on their wifes hiding in Japan. Again this will prove counter productive as the next foreigner trying to get their kids out of Japan will do prison time.

    Oh tintak, I am a member of the Catholic Church as were my parents, etc. My ancestors were hidden Christians.

    As for my family, remember I am kind of old and we are a blended family. Also our kids are not property it is their decision and not ours. I find children being treated as property as disgusting.

  • 3

    OMGhontoni

    Japan DOES allow dual nationality of children up to the age of 22. By age 20 you need to have started thinking about what you are going to do, and by age 22 the process needs to have been finished one way or the other.

    My children all have 2 passports, and when you apply for a japanese passport for a child you have to tick a box and say where the additional passport is from. Never been an issue for us.

    Yuri - simple question: do you think it is wrong for Japanese women to deny their loving non-violent ex-husbands access to their children?

  • 5

    OMGhontoni

    I find children being treated as property as disgusting.

    Ah, I think that just answered my question. And yet time and again you support the ones behaving like this and condemn the ones who just want to be able to love and parent their kids.

  • 7

    Tamarama

    This guy just got an extremely lucky break in the end.The woman and the Japanese system clearly had no intention of seriously recognising the rights of the father, or the decision of the US courts and if it weren't for her incredible stupidity the guy would not have seen much of his daughter at all. Imagine her surprise at having the tables turned 180 degrees on her. I wonder if, just once, she might have thought of the irony.

  • -1

    NeoJamal

    Garcia won a major victory in 2009 when the Japanese courts—which did not recognize the U.S. court that granted Garcia full custody—determined he should have visitation rights

    The liver transplant **doctor ** learned to speak Japanese so he could communicate with a daughter whose English was slipping away.

    Decisive factor: in bold.

  • -35

    YuriOtani

    My kids have Japanese passports and his have American. The only path to citizenship is for my side to renounce our Japanese citizenship to become Americans.

    OMGhontoni, do you think it is right for a man to do the same to his ex wife? It is my belief she will not see her daughter this side of 18. The American courts have always been on his side. You can minus me to death but then unlike others m not a brown nose. This is pointless not one of you is seeing my point. Nothing fails quite like success, nothing fails like it.

  • 12

    SushiSake3

    Yuri - "I do agree she made a very bad mistake. The first was marrying him in the first place."

    Why? Do you think she should have known in advance that her future husband would fight tooth and nail to see their daughter after they broke up, which she probably didn’t know they would do unless she planned to abduct their child all along?

  • -34

    YuriOtani

    ONGhontoni, I think she was scared and fled to Japan without thinking. She was awarded temporary custody. My thoughts is she would of lost custody and he would of blocked her from visitation. I know people like him, they have to control things. I do not believe a word from the liars mouth. Call it my women's intuition or something. I have know men like him in my life and he is set to make her life a living hell.

  • 13

    alimel1969

    YuriOtani, I really don't understand where your thought process is. The US is not making an example out of her. American parents doing this to each other also have arrest watrents issued and are charged when captured. The child was an American citizen when she was abducted and brought to Japan. A warrent was issued in the US. The mother re-entered the US and got caught. It's not like we sent the Cia after her. She acted wrong and these are the consequences. As for her being deported....SHE, by her own choice, commited a crime. All her crimes were commited in the US, therefore, you might think that Japan is the one trying to govern American laws by shielding her in the first place.

    I also do not understant this "American men who want revenge on their wives hiding in Japan" statement of yours. I bet that those men couldn't give a rats butt about those wives who have taken their children. They just want to their kids back. Who the hell decided that fathers don't have any rights? Don't know a whole lot abut Japanese dads but my American dad has been my strongest supporter my whole life. That same American dad is also the biggest supporter to my Japanese mom. Through bad times and good, my sister and I never feared that we would lose either or that we would have to choose. That was the commitement they both made on the days of our births. That's the commitment all parents should be making to their children.

  • 9

    Laguna

    Yuri, you still don't seem to understand the legalities (and I say that as the child of parents with multiple divorces). She was originally given joint custody, with the father the primary guardian; what this means is that she had custodial rights with their length and timing put in writing and guaranteed by law - and, quite likely, the right to take her child to Japan during those periods - but that when her custodial time was up, the daughter had to be returned to the father. (Note that these are "custodial rights," not those pathetic ten-minute "visitation rights" granted in Japan.)

    She entered into this legally-binding agreement as part of her divorce. She broke the legally-binding agreement by not only keeping her child beyond her custodial period but by bringing her to to Japan and breaking of contact with her husband, which can only be termed an abduction.

    There is no relationship here between the differing customs and legals systems of Japan and America. She entered into an agreement; she broke the agreement - even the Japanese court recognizes this.

    By the way, never, ever misrepresent anything to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). They do not take kindly to this, they have a very long memory, and you will most likely never be allowed to set foot in the US ever, ever again.

  • -36

    YuriOtani

    SushiSake3, he fought tooth and nail to deprive his ex from his daughter. I do agree she made a terrible mistake bringing her kid to Japan without permission. My sympathy to her has to do with her powerless position and the ex husbands position of wealth and power. He is the hero to all foreign men wh have lost their children to frightened Japanese ex wifes.

  • 5

    wipeout

    People are writing rubbish about dual citizenship.

    A child with Japanese and foreign citizenship can retain both as an adult, as long as they do not renounce their Japanese citizenship voluntarily (there is a process for doing this, but no one can make them take that step).

    Japan does not strip people of Japanese citizenship, and has no power over any foreign citizenship you have taken. None.

    There is a complete misunderstanding of the declaration that dual nationals have to file on reachng adulthood in Japan, which is basically a non-enforcable undertaking to renounce citizenship. It's file-and-forget.

    Every parent of a dual national needs to know this. Look online for the information, it's easily found (along with a huge amount of wrong information).

    Despite some official (and quite successful) trickery to make people believe otherwise, it is perfectly legal to be an adult with Japanese and foreign citizenship.

  • 6

    Alphaape

    My sympathy to her has to do with her powerless position and the ex husbands position of wealth and power. He is the hero to all foreign men wh have lost their children to frightened Japanese ex wifes.

    @ YuriOtani: I don't think he was that powerful. Just a doctor that does liver transplants in WI. That in itself is another thing that marks the difference between Japan and the US, a doctor that does transplants.

    But I can't help wondering what the child looks like. The reason being since it seems that the Japanese courts position is that the child is "Japanese" but yet we sometimes see that Japanese of mixed heritage are often looked down upon. Since the father is from Nicaragua, I wouldn't be too wrong to assume that the child may be a bit "darker" than most of her friends. I have heard many sad tales from people who do have mixed children here in Japan on how the kids get really ridiculed and mistreated because they don't "look Japanese." So I hope that this is not the case with this child, but it just amazes me that the courts do these things when you see how slow they are in giving foreigners more rights here in Japan.

    As far as the wife, she got what she deserves. Why would a person who doesn't want to be in the US go and renew her visa? Also, there is a stipulation that if you reside outside the US for more than 3 years, you loose your status, unless you are working in some capacity for the US government or married to someone who is assigned overseas. I think that there is a lot more to this story than is being told, and that the mother was trying to play both systems.

  • -6

    Stark

    I find this entire situation to be disgusting. Neither the mother, or father has ANY right whatsoever to alienate this child from either parent. This situation must have been hard for her and could very well have scarred her. The mother had no right to deprive the father and child from each other, just as the father has no right to deprive the mother and child from each other. Both parents have displayed an extreme degree of selfishness.

  • 3

    Myandas Narankhuu

    I wonder that why this Japanese women want to divorce her American child-loved husband? Because of, 1. Her real life after marriage in America is like a hell with full of violence. 2. Or she want to earn child-alimony for live without any care for money. We don't know real reason. But seems like, this father really loves his daughter.

  • 3

    FightingViking

    @Yubaru :

    Japan officially recognizes under age children as dual citizens.

    This, I did know! But I didn't know the law had now changed! Good thing to know!

  • 1

    hudsonhawk

    Just out of curiosity, has Karina said anything about this that's been quoted in any media, Japanese or English?

  • -7

    Stark

    I honestly cannot see how any of you can take a side in this. The man certainly is no hero, and the women no victim.

  • 1

    Thomas Anderson

    Neither the mother, or father has ANY right whatsoever to alienate this child from either parent.

    Unless the parent is abusive, of course...

  • -10

    DeDeMouse

    America always right. yeah

    *sarcasm

  • 2

    Stark

    @thomas I am referring to this case in particular. There is no mention of abuse.

  • 5

    Thomas Anderson

    Well that depends. "took the girl with her to Japan in 2008 against her husband’s wishes" could be seen as abusive. She basically abducted her child to Japan.

  • 2

    darknuts

    It is nice to see that there is true justice in the world. This woman has paid the price for her crime. Best of luck to the husband and child.

    @Yuri The mother will not be deported. When her probation is up, her felony will be changed to a misdemeanor. This is an extremely light sentence for such a terrible crime. People spend decades in prison for what she did! She basically gets off scott free! It too bad you can't appreciate how lenient the court was with woman.

  • -6

    Stark

    Against her wishes and against her father's wishes are two different things; for all we know, she could have supported this move.

  • -7

    Stark

    @Darknuts A mother can no longer see her child. A daughter is separated from her mother. I can only imagine the stress and emotional damage done to her. Where is the justice for the child? Both parents are foolish and fail to consider their child in this matter. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if this guy is only trying to get attention (There have been instances of this recently) This man is no hero. This women is no victim. It is ultimately the child who suffers the most in this case.

  • 9

    yildiray

    do you think it is right for a man to do the same to his ex wife?

    He didn't do this, SHE BROKE THE LAW. Are you really that blind, or just trolling?

    It is my belief she will not see her daughter this side of 18.

    And that would be her own fault/doing if true

    The American courts have always been on his side.

    Because he didn't commit a crime. Courts tend to side with victims, which planet have you been living on?

  • -2

    Stark

    Courts also tend to favor their country men.

  • 6

    darknuts

    @stark

    Yes she can see her child. She has been granted visitation and will most like have continued contact with her child ever after her probation. The child is happy and has fully adjusted to her life in the states. I don't understand this idea that moving kids around traumatizes them. Ask any military child if they have "traumatized" by moving around a lot.

  • 6

    Yubaru

    Yubaru,

    so which passport did your daughter give up when she reached 20-years?

    My daughter continues to carry both and she is now 25. She went to the states last year, leaving with her Japanese passport. She was asked at Narita when departing if she carried another passport as well and she answered "yes". They did not ask to see which countries passport she carried either.

    Entering the states she entered on her USA passport and left on it as well and upon returning to Japan she entered the country on her Japanese passport.

  • -3

    Stark

    Didn't catch the visitation part. However, wasn't the husband granted visitation rights? What was wrong with that arrangement? Didn't really clarify why his visits were so infrequent and short, if someone could clear that up for me. Anyway, I am not referring to the moving of locations, but the changing hands of her guardian(s). (Also, moving state-to-state is much different than moving countries)

  • 5

    Yubaru

    SushiSake3, he fought tooth and nail to deprive his ex from his daughter.

    Seems to me that amongst a host of other (mis) information that Yuri has about the situation this is one that sticks out to me the most.

    He has been all along stating that she, the mother, should be able to see and be around her mother as well. It was she that abducted the child against the rulings of the court, and she who fought tooth and nail to deprive Dad visitation rights.

  • -3

    Stark

    "However, wasn't the husband granted visitation rights? What was wrong with that arrangement? Didn't really clarify why his visits were so infrequent and short, if someone could clear that up for me."

  • -27

    YuriOtani

    Alpha ape, hmm suppose it has to do with him. Unlike most of the readers non Japanese, I do not see his behavior as worthy. I do not see her behavior as worthy. Sympathy and understanding for someone does not equal agreement. I do see him having power as the hero of the fathers rights group. There is something that goes beyond rationality in my dislike of him. I do see his hand in all of the negative ratings.

    There is one thing, I hear no news about her status. I wonder if that judge has a gag order on her?

  • 10

    Thomas Anderson

    YuriOtani:

    There is something that goes beyond rationality in my dislike of him.

    Maybe it does... and maybe that is your problem...

  • 4

    darknuts

    @stark

    He was only able to see his daughter a few times over those years with one visit lasting only ten minutes. The mother was against visitation and tried to fight it in court. Ultimately she gets to decide when and how long he sees his daughter because the Japanese familiar court has no ability to enforce its rulings side from fines. Because of this, she only allowed him access a few times, probably to avoid the court fines.

  • 3

    Alphaape

    @ YuriOtani: I take it you are full Japanese. So back to my statement on how the daughter is perceived. Can you name for me any mixed raced politician that has made it big here in Japan and is a power broker? I am not talking about entertainers, but politician or business leaders? I mean some didn't even like Jehru singing Enka because of his mixed heritage.

    So my point is that if the mother knows this about her society, why bring a child into it if she looks differently. I am not saying that all mixed raced children should leave Japan, but I just find it ironic that for so long, the courts have ruled in favor of the Japanese parent (I saw one case on a documentary where it was a white woman who had been married to a Japanese male and he took the children back to Japan and she had to fight to get them back), and yet one can just sift through the pages of JT and come across stories of how Japanese treat mixed race children, or the Japanese courts view on foreigners.

    I am at least glad that this young girl has not suffered the fate of so many children in stories we see here in JT of one of the parents killing the kid because of stress. I hope that she does well, and that the father honors his pledge to keep the girl aware of her Japanese heritage and allow her to visit her relatives here.

  • -13

    IncenseAndPeppermints

    I keep reading about how she broke the law, but I suspect a lot of people are actually resolving the case in their heads in an "us vs them" sort of way and are happy to see it finally stuck to a Japanese own-child abductor. There really are not enough details here to do it too many other ways.

    I don't really give a damn about the law, and I certainly don't give a damn about any West vs Japan nationalistic sentiments. All I care about is the well-being of the child in the middle of two parents of different countries who begin with equal rights to custody of the child. It is an immensely difficult situation and very difficult to resolve, and picking some excuses out of the aether really does not solve it.

    One thing that bothers me is why is the world would she leave an apparently rich transplant surgeon so dedicated to his child? Seems to me that something must have been seriously wrong for just about any woman to leave that situation. Knowing that could really get me rooting for her side, or not, depending on what it was. So why did she leave him?

    And everyone wants the courts to decide, but the trouble with that is, as is shown in this case, that the court can drag things out for years. What to do in the inter-rim when a foreign spouse wants a divorce? Where does that leave the child? What parent wants to sit around in that precarious situation, just because some outsiders made up the law? I know I would make a hard and fast decision, and it might be take my child back to America, where I can expect family support a hell of lot faster than legal support.

    And I really don't like this "child abduction" label. Its really one sided. How does on abduct one's own child? What she did was deny the father visitation rights and his say in the child's future. That is not abduction. She is the mother for Pete's sake!

    Looks to me like pretty much everybody has potential to be completely wrong in this case. If it were up to me I would resolve these cases thusly: without any special reason, such as the child's safety, in a divorce the kids would go with the mother. All other details would be worked out later. That solves the dilemma of children in limbo.

  • -8

    IncenseAndPeppermints

    The child is happy and has fully adjusted to her life in the states.

    No Darknuts, she is miserable and cries everyday for her Japanese family and especially her mother in prison.

    See, I can make stuff up too!

  • 7

    smithinjapan

    TimTak: "Do children who get to have two families happier, more well balanced, more successful as adults than those who lose one of their parents?"

    Apologies if I misread into this, as I didn't read the preceding posts nor the person you were commenting towards.

    Anyway, there are DEFINITELY cases where a child benefits, and grows up happier and healthier, with only one parent and the other completely out of the picture, but so long as there is no threat of violence or other harm, and other conditions are met satisfactorily, one parent should not be completely denied his/her right of custody or visitations. If the child for whatever reason does not want to live with or visit one of the parents (and a lot of cruel single-parents will manipulate their child into feeling this way) then the reasons why and situation needs to be reviewed. In any case, surely there are children who benefit from joint custody and/or access to both biological parents.

    Yuri: " My thoughts is she would of lost custody and he would of blocked her from visitation. I know people like him, they have to control things. I do not believe a word from the liars mouth. "

    You're twisting the facts, and not well. First off he didn't "fight tooth and nail" to deny the child her mother, he fought the mother, who did her damnedest to ensure the father had ZERO rights, in other to have access to his daughter, whom he clearly loves. Just because you know some men who need to control things (and there are certainly women who do as well!) doesn't mean you can call this man a 'liar' and judge him based on what are clearly poorly formed thoughts about the man and the case. If the woman had not been dumb enough to go back to the US and get caught, would you deny she was controlling the situation, had all the power, and denied the girl her father? Sorry, Yuri, but your viewpoint just smacks of irrational bias.

    Zichi: I think kids are kind of defacto dual citizens until they are made to decide, upon reaching adult status, in one country or the other. Japan wouldn't 'recognize' the dual-citizenship, no, but they couldn't deny the kids two passports (provided they used only one for going in and out of Japan) until 20 (or 18 if they reside in the US).

  • 3

    darknuts

    No Darknuts, she is miserable and cries everyday for her Japanese family and especially her mother in prison.

    See, I can make stuff up too!

    I didn't make anything up. This is based on earlier news reports that she was out shopping with old friends within 24 hours of being back. Everyone was surprised at how fast she was getting back into her old life. She even remebered her old bedtime richual leaves her blanket open for her father to tuck her in at night.

    "She left the blanket open for me to close it. That was the moment I knew she was at home."

  • 9

    michanhere

    yuriotani- you talk about how bad it is that the father is now depriving the mother of her child, but the mother was trying to deprive the father of his child FIRST. and you think that was okay just because she is japanese. oh, the poor japanese woman. of course she's got to be the victim in this case right? you are so biased in your thinking that you cant even see straight. the real victim is the child. they could have tried to keep things civil for the sake of the child, but it was the mother that decided to take matters into her own hands and screw the father over FIRST. if the mother were not japanese, im sure you would be singing another tune. your comments are so one sided and delusional that it is infuriating to read. its truly best you not comment on these sorts of issues.

  • 1

    Stark

    When my father died, the first thing I did (after crying) was start doing something like watching T.V, playing a game, or anything to get my mind elsewhere. Who is to say that she isn't feeling some form of distress? Of course she isn't going to scorn her father, she still loves him, but this sort of event can do a child harm.

  • 3

    Thomas Anderson

    michanhere:

    you are so biased in your thinking that you cant even see straight. the real victim is the child. they could have tried to keep things civil for the sake of the child, but it was the mother that decided to take matters into her own hands and screw the father over FIRST. if the mother were not japanese, im sure you would be singing another tune. your comments are so one sided and delusional that it is infuriating to read. its truly best you not comment on these sorts of issues.

    Unfortunately, MOST Japanese people are like this... including the judges who are supposed to be impartial. They are So. Damned. Brainwashed. And ultimately, selfish, self-centered and egoistic...

    YuriOtani:

    There is something that goes beyond rationality in my dislike of him.

    Seriously, does anyone find this kind of disturbing? That is the very definition of "prejudice"... You are being prejudiced, YuriOtani. You always side on the "Japan" side of things and be against anything else. Maybe you should try to be more impartial. Maybe that would even be better for your health... better than having to constantly be on the defensive...

  • 8

    OMGhontoni

    OMGhontoni, do you think it is right for a man to do the same to his ex wife? It is my belief she will not see her daughter this side of 18.

    No, I dont. I condemn any parent that prevents a good loving (ie non abusive) parent from seeing their kids. Dr Garcia has already arranged visitation for his wife and will continue to do so. It may be your belief that this will not happen but it is patently not true.

    ONGhontoni, I think she was scared and fled to Japan without thinking

    You may be right in the very beginning. But what is her excuse for fighting him over even access to their daughter 4 years later?

    My thoughts is she would of lost custody and he would of blocked her from visitation.

    So pretty much what she tried to do to him then? But that seems to be ok with you.

    I know people like him, they have to control things. I do not believe a word from the liars mouth. Call it my women's intuition or something. I have know men like him in my life and he is set to make her life a living hell.

    Correct me if I am wrong but you dont know this man at all. All you know is what you have read, and the extremely skewed view of men and America that you seem to have.

    I am also curious as to why she left in the first place. But unless a parent is violent or dangerous in some way, which this guy clearly isnt, there is NO excuse for using the children as pawns to hit back at someone, no matter what they may or may not have done.

  • 8

    OMGhontoni

    I wish I had $350,000 to get my kids back :(

    It wasnt the money that got her back. It was the fact that his ex-wife got greedy and wanted to live in Japan, have sole custody of their daughter, AND still have access to her green card privileges. That is how he got his daughter back. Without her arrest and subsequent plea bargain he could have thrown a million dollars at the system and the outcome would still have been the same as it is in 99% of these cases.

  • 7

    tmarie

    **I presume you think it is utterly clear that dual custody is better for the health and happiness of the children. **

    I don't think I have said any such things at all. You seem to be confusing my comments with others who are disagreeing with you. You are also putting words in my mouth and making a lot of assumptions which is rather careless in such a discussion.

    Yuri, you go on and on about how this poor child is being taken away from her mother, japanese culture... I ask you AGAIN you had no issue when it was the daughter being alienated from her father and her American/Nicaraguan heritage, did you? You're posts and comments are exactly the issues in this country. You don't care what is fair, what it legal and what the courts decide. You want things to go YOUR way without regard to the child, the family and the ex-spouse.

    This guy's mistake was marrying her. Every snide like anti-foreigner comment you make can simply be throw back in your face and asked. Simply remove Japanese and put in American and vice versa. You're true personality comes out in these threads and if I was your spouse I would all passports under lock and key and be contacting passport/immigration control and insisting a new passport couldn't be issued. Your thinking on this is nothing less than frightening. God help you spouse and your kids if you ever decide to divorce.

  • -7

    IncenseAndPeppermints

    but the mother was trying to deprive the father of his child FIRST.

    But two wrongs don't make a right. Since I doubt the mother will choose to live in America, and she may not even be able to now, somebody is going to be deprived either way. That is the sad truth of so many international divorces and there is no easy cure.

    they could have tried to keep things civil for the sake of the child, but it was the mother that decided to take matters into her own hands and screw the father over FIRST.

    Did they talk? What was the result? We don't know either way. She might have had what many of us would consider good reasons for her action. But there is not one word about her reason written here. It could be anything from he was psychologically abuse to she is just plain nuts. We just don't know.

    Most have made their decision, but I just can't because the really important details simply are not here.

  • 2

    michanhere

    im not saying that just because the mom did it first that it makes it okay for the father to do it back. im not even arguing for either side. my argument is purely against yuriotani, because she seems to think the mother was right in doing what she did FIRST and is blaming the father for depriving the mother of her child. when in fact, the mother was the one that caused this whole thing. you are right that we don't know either way whether the mom or dad was right or good or had reasons etc. but, their case was heard in front of the judge and the judge must have listened to all the evidence and decided the ruling, but it was the mom that decided not to obey it. bottom line is yuriotani is siding with the mom purely because she is japanese and that's just wrong.

  • -5

    IncenseAndPeppermints

    I didn't make anything up.

    You said she was happy and "fully adjusted" because she was shopping with friends and remembered a bed-time ritual. To be able to say "fully adjusted" you need a hell of a lot more than that.

    Besides, none of it proves where she actually wants to be, or if she misses her family and life in Japan or if she is suffering any sort of distress. You are either exaggerating these few details or filling the gap with what you want to see. And if the father knew something disappointing, he won't tell us. He will just tell us about that bed time ritual.

  • 5

    Yubaru

    You always side on the "Japan" side of things and be against anything else.

    People let's remember that Yuri is an American citizen, who happens to have been born in Okinawa, Japan. While she may cloud the issues with her "feelings" and while I often find her logic to be, well, illogical and misinformed, she is entitled to say what she wants within reason.

    No matter how much people may disagree and get frustrated, it's just an opinion board, nothing more nothing less.

  • 9

    yasukuni

    @Yuri Otani, I'm starting to like the way you're so stubborn and make comments knowing full well everyone's going to pounce on you. You are one tough lady. If you were born in another time, I think it would have taken years for the Americans to take Okinawa!!

    But, although on some issues I respect you standing for the Japanese side, this time you fell overboard. it's obvious by your opening comment that you seem incapable of being the slightest bit objective. (And I find many Japanese are like that). As Tmarie said, you talked about japanese heritage, but what about American heritage? I wonder though, If the girl's father were Japanese, and the mother was a an American would you see things differently??

    Anyway, hopefully everyone can learn something out of this. Emiko could have done things so differently. The father has a great job, was motivated to learn Japanese for his daughter, and spend 350 grand on all this! To me, the whole case is zannen. Kids want their parents to love each other. If worst comes to worst, most kids want to still see both the mother and the father, and don't want to think that their parents hate each other. Right? With a father with that kind of money, Karina should have been in the best of situations. Imagine how 350k could have been spent? Seems like such a waste.I bet lot's of people in broken international marriages wish they were in that kind of situation. She could have spent months in different countries learning about both cultures and having great experiences with both parents and grandparents, and if people were adults who had her welfare at stake they would have refrained from dissing the other side.

    Obviously, I don't know the intimate goings on, but a guy who spends 350k, goes to Japan 9 times, and learns Japanese sounds like a pretty good ex-husband to me - someone who a normal woman would be happy for her child to spend time with.

    So, maybe they can start again and write a new story. So Karina can see both parents, both grandparents, stop dissing the other side, and the mother can just tell the daughter that she loved her so much she went temporarily insane.

    btw, In case you ever read this, good luck Karina. Hope you find happiness.

  • 8

    yasukuni

    Divorce is terrible, but how we live after divorce is a real test of character.

  • 3

    Yubaru

    Divorce is terrible, but how we live after divorce is a real test of character.

    Divorce is not always terrible, many times it's a necessity.

    How we live our lives whether divorced or otherwise should be a constant test of our character.

    The terrible part is the children having to live through it, yet it's better for parents to divorce than live in an environment with out love.

  • 5

    Frank Vaughn

    The mother made an agreement in court and SHE choose to violate it. She got what she deserved. The child not the mother is the victim and now that the courts have agreed on where she is to live, things should be much better for her.

    This case illustrates why there is some much information on both the USCIS (immigration) and the U.S. Department of State websites about this very topic. This is (not just this case, but all similar cases) probably why immigration is so difficult when an American citizen wants to bring a spouse of different citizenship to the U.S. especially if there are or can be children involved.

    I would like to reply to those who said the mistake made by the parents was to get married in the first place. What a narrow-minded comment, no one knows what fate has in store for them, that couple fell in love, married and had a child out of that love. As for what changed we can only speculate. for example, perhaps he is a workaholic and had no time for her, or perhaps their cultural differences became to large for her to handle (or him), or he loves living and working in the U.S. but she found she couldn't tolerate living there anymore. Sad thing is they didn't or couldn't work it out and the child became the victim.

  • -1

    yumichan

    Now I see... how many of you Dudes are suffering the same problem as the Doctor had, But you dudes, you will never win a case , if you live in japan.

  • 2

    smithinjapan

    IncenseAndPeppermint: "But two wrongs don't make a right."

    You're correct of course, but in this case what is the man to do? The first wrong created the second, and the man has even gone out of his way to set up visitations when he certainly didn't have to, and has pushed for the kidnapping to be dropped to a misdemeanour -- which I'm assuming means that at SOME point she'd be able to go and see her, if not right away. It seems to me the man is aware of the rights of his ex, and is even taking some serious pains (and quite frankly risks -- she can always try and kidnap the girl again if given access). I have no doubts that he would even head on down to Japan again to ensure they can meet, and that the girl be able to access part of her culture and heritage.

    You are correct as well that this is one of the biggest problems with international marriages, but I want to use that point to stress why Japan, and clearly the cases of many Japanese (ahem, Yuri!), have to update their laws to make things better for the worst of the victims -- the kids. A whole lot of this could have been avoided, but hopefully now things can at least be mended to a slight extent.

  • 5

    smithinjapan

    Yubaru: "Divorce is not always terrible, many times it's a necessity."

    100% correct! I remember before my parents got divorced they were fighting -- often violently -- and since my siblings and I were quite young at the time we lived in perpetual fear and walked on glass all the time. Worse is that one of the two would use us as weapons (not literally) against the other, and still did after the divorce, trying to get us to confess to police about abuse that never occurred, etc. Yeah, if was tough when they divorced, and the time away from my father (before I chose to go live with him in my early teens) I feel sorry to have lost (more for him than me), but while I hope and pray that people can find happiness all through marriage and child-rearing and grow old together, in some cases it's worse when they deny the facts 'for the sake of the child', or just for appearances.

    In this case it's a lot more complicated because it's international, and of course because of the distances, but I'm quite sure the girl will be alright -- and DEFINITELY surer she'll be better off now that the worst of the fighting is done. If Dad does right and mom can meet the girl once in a while (if the girl wants, of course), she'll be just fine, I think. There'll be a lot of awkwardness and anger when she hits her teens and probably dad has a new lady-friend (if it happens that way), but show me any situation like that that ISN'T awkward... or just show me where a teenage girl isn't awkward (the situation, I mean) in general. She'd probably have a lot of the same pressures and problems were she in Japan with only mom.

    Anyway, I think one thing we can ALL agree on -- even Yuri -- is that the girl's interests need to be first and foremost, and she needs to be greatly loved and cared for, and not used as the tool she has been for some time now.

  • 4

    tmarie

    People let's remember that Yuri is an American citizen, who happens to have been born in Okinawa, Japan.

    Um, did she become and American because her family is Okinawan - we all know that from her tirades against Americans bases and comments about her family's land.

    People are indeed entitled to their own opinion but that doesn't mean people have to agree with it - more so when it is clearly xenophobic.

  • 3

    Alphaape

    There was a documentary on this issue I saw recently. It highlighted the case of an American man in Osaka who had two children, one sone who is severely retarded that he has to take care of constantly and his story of how is Japanese wife left him and the son, and took the daughter away. The other was of a British chap whose wife took the kids, and will not let him speak to them, and it showed him trying to talk to the kids while they were walking home from school, but the mother had spoken so ill of him that they just ran away. The other case was that of an American woman living in Utah who had two kids here, and her husband's parents held them for ransom, making her give up all title to the home that they had here in Japan and forcing her to pay to see them. In her case, she hired an ex SAS guy who has had luck at extracting children this way and managed to scare her ex-husbands parents to letting the kids come back to the USA. Not the way that she wanted it to happen but what was she to do.

    What was really telling about this documentary was when they spoke with a member of the Diet on this issue. It was a female politician and I don't know her name. But she was in favor of the Japan way, and to her point, she herself had taken her own children away from her Japanese husband. Her thinking is much like the thinking of YuriOtani and some others her, no matter if it is a bad thing, it is the Japanese way and people need to learn to deal with it. Also, they tried to speak with a few of the Japanese spouses for the documentary, and none of them wished to comment. To me that is very telling. If they think that the ex spouse is scum, wouldn't you wnat the world to know it and to justify what you have done. But the fact that you are not willing to even talk about it, speaks volumes.

    With legislators and judges on the bench with that type of thinking, I don't see any major changes coming in the near future. I wish I remembered the name of the documentary, I found it on the web. It was pretty informative on this issue, and not just out to bash Japan but to at least try to bring both sides of the issue out.

  • 5

    Balefire

    @Yubaru, I am having trouble reconciling your statement:

    People let's remember that Yuri is an American citizen, who happens to have been born in Okinawa, Japan.

    With hers:

    My kids have Japanese passports and his have American. The only path to citizenship is for my side to renounce our Japanese citizenship to become Americans.

    In particular the "my side" and "our Japanese citizenship".

    In any case, it's a great pity that the Japanese courts are not more open to considering/enforcing the visitation rights that have been granted by foreign courts. It's interesting that in divorce cases with international couples here in Japan, they take the laws of the father's home state into account (indeed require translations of them to be submitted) for determination of property division. I don't know what the case is if the husband is Japanese and the wife the foreigner.

    This certainly seems to be very selective consideration of overseas laws.

  • 8

    yasukuni

    Basically, Japan and Japanese do what they want to do. It's very simple. Doesn't matter whether is unfair or illogical.

  • 3

    Yubaru

    Yubaru, I am having trouble reconciling your statement:

    You have to have read other posts of hers on different threads to know this as a fact from what she has posted here. From this thread alone I can see why you would have a problem with reconciling the statement I made.

    However on other threads she has made it blatantly clear what her nationality is. Hence my response here in trying to clarify to people that may not know about her background.

  • 4

    yasukuni

    "Divorce is not always terrible, many times it's a necessity."

    Sometimes things are a necessity, but are still terrible. I simply meant that divorces usually aren't pleasant - and aren't what they couple were hoping for when they walked down the aisle madly in love.

  • -1

    Yubaru

    Um, did she become and American because her family is Okinawan - we all know that from her tirades against Americans bases and comments about her family's land.

    People are indeed entitled to their own opinion but that doesn't mean people have to agree with it - more so when it is clearly xenophobic.

    I don't understand what you mean when you say that she became an American because her family is Okinawan.

    Even when Okinawa was under US rule during the RAC, Ryukyu Administration, the people of Okinawa were still considered Japanese.

    She married an American man and lives in the US and took US citizenship, according to her posts here on other threads.

    I agree that people dont need to agree with her, I only posted this to give some background into her xenophobia.

  • 4

    dracpoo2

    This is the best news I have heard all day. Its time these mindless and selfish moms got a taste of a real justice system.

  • 2

    tmarie

    Yubaru, then how on earth do her kids have Japanese passports if mom is American? Even if they were born in Japan, they wouldn't have a right to the nationality. Yuri changed after her kids were born?

    And talk about a self loathing American... Perhaps Yuri could explain why she took on the nationality of a country she seems to despise?

    I also don't know how this helps with the xenophobic comments - if anything, it makes it worse.

    And many Okinawan consider themselves to be Okinawan first, not Japanese hence my comment on being Okinawan, not Japanese.

    And in a case like Yuri's how would the Japanese government deal with her, an American parent of Japanese kids if she tried to kidnap them? There was the case of the father who was American, became Japanese whose Japanese wife snatched the kids (Savoie was it?) and they treated him like he was an American. I wonder if they'd take her back and allow her to keep the kids regardless of changing nationality.

  • 10

    Aizo Yurei

    All I can think of when i read this is how sad that woman is. Something must have seriously been wrong with her if the American courts granted the father custody.

    @YuriOtani: Wealth and power do have a lot of pull in the states but I guarantee you that the courts ALMOST ALWAYS award custody to the mother. Even if the mother is worthless. My uncle has quite a bit of money and after his nasty divorce with my aunt (who was a drug addict and alcoholic) they STILL awarded her custody.

    My wife is Japanese and I live in Osaka with her and our son. I can't tell you how much this hurts my heart for both of the parents but I tell you this. If my wife tried to keep me away from my son I would fight tooth and nail. Luckily she doesn't share the same mental disease some of you and your isolated countrymen do. She's not a nationalistic, "we Japanese," our culture is superior than everyone else's type of person. She's a beautiful human and that's why I married her and I'll be glad when your type goes extinct.....dinosaur.

  • 1

    Yubaru

    Yubaru, then how on earth do her kids have Japanese passports if mom is American? Even if they were born in Japan, they wouldn't have a right to the nationality. Yuri changed after her kids were born?

    The same as my children having both American and Japanese passports. It really isnt that hard to do, kids can carry both, and as noted by others here as well, while Japan may not officially recognize dual citizens, it is in reality possible to be both.

    If the children are born in Japan, all one has to do is register their children with the American Consulate/Embassy and get their American citizenship prior to turning 18 years of age. If born in America, all the parent has to do is register the child with the Japanese consulate or embassy.

  • -2

    Stark

    "Basically, Japan and Japanese do what they want to do. It's very simple. Doesn't matter whether is unfair or illogical" Yes Yubaru, because there is definitely No prejudice/racism towards the Japanese going on as well.

    I also don't understand the hate going on towards "IncenseAndPeppermint's" comments. He is pretty much the only one here not making assumptions and saying that both parents were wrong in this matter.

  • 1

    tmarie

    Kids can carry both if their parents are of different nationalities at the time of birth. In Yuri's case, she claims (never seen it myself but going on what you've said - and this isn't actually directed at Yuri but to people in her situation) that both her and her husband are American passport holders. If both parents are American, kids born inside Japanese have ZERO right to have a Japanese passport unless their parents naturalize. Kids born outside of Japan have even less of a claim. If Yuri is American and was so before the kids were born, legally those kids have no right to a Japanese passport and those passports were obtained under false context. From my understanding it isn't possible to have both once past the age of 20 so either Yuri is not being honest with the Japanese government or she changed once her kids got their Japanese passport. Either way, why would she want her kids to have j passports when she herself doesn't have one - or legally, shouldn't have one.

    And I again wonder, if someone in Yuri's situation kidnapped their kids, what would Japan's stance be? Allow the "foreign" parent in on a three month visa, ignore the nationality and claim they are Japanese, turn their back on them...? Like I mentioned, in the Savoie case, they called him American...

  • -21

    YuriOtani

    Ah my words sure get twisted. One am a Japanese citizen living in America. Two the father of my kids passed away and am in second marriage. Again it is up to the kids, not us. While i disagree with the current system, think it is up to Japan to come up with a new one. Am from Okinawa and not the mainland of Japan. Am Catholic and do not believe in divorce except as a last resort. Thus am not typical at all.

    Having said that the American system of charging non custodial parents with kidnapping is wrong. Some other lessor charge perhaps. There was something about how he smirked when talking about his ex wife in jail.

  • 7

    bass4funk

    Call it my women's intuition or something. I have know men like him in my life and he is set to make her life a living hell.

    So what you are trying to say is that all foreign men are dogs and not to be trusted when it comes to marrying Japanese women?

    hmm suppose it has to do with him. Unlike most of the readers non Japanese, I do not see his behavior as worthy. I do not see her behavior as worthy. Sympathy and understanding for someone does not equal agreement. I do see him having power as the hero of the fathers rights group. There is something that goes beyond rationality in my dislike of him. I do see his hand in all of the negative ratings.

    Well, I am happy that you are NOT a bias person.

    Seriously, you always amaze me Yuri, when it comes to child custody, Americans are the devil, the evil party that just loves to torture women by snatching up THEIR kids (how dare they!) and giving them back to underserving fathers, because who cares about their rights, they are just the donors, once the job is done, they have served their purpose.When have you ever and I mean every criticized any of the women that take the kids and break the law in foreign countries? Where is your outrage at that? If I go back to your older posts pertaining to the issue of child custody, you are ALWAYS on the woman's side 100% of the time, they NEVER, EVER do anything wrong, that's just impossible, right? I think it's equally bad when a man (often in Saudi Arabia) takes the child from the mother is just as bad and if these guys get caught or ever prosecuted, I have NO sympathy for them either. This is NOT a Japan vs America, which country is more powerful, it's about right and wrong and if one parent has the absolute right to take a child way from another and doing so on foreign soil with NO regard to the laws of that country, knowing that Japan will provide safe haven and you never have to worry about answering to the law of that country.

    When it comes to Japanese national security and when Japan is being bullied by China, you are as patriotic as Uncle Sam himself, you want America to throw everything at them and you think it's the US responsibility to always be of service when Japan calls on it.

    I'm not bashing you, but I just notice how you change with the wind and you DO get very opinionated towards the US when the agenda doesn't fit your personal narrative. I think you need to step back, level out and really look at these issues deeply and always leave the emotion out, once you attach personal emotion to an argument, you lose the argument. It's like saying, you hate smoking, but on the other hand, you do it when you are bored, your points are not consistent.

    Your positions need to be better thought out and you should decide which side of the fence do you prefer to be.

    Tell me where I'm wrong.

  • -23

    YuriOtani

    bass4funk, know an American "devil" very well :) Really putting words in my mouth. Every case is very different and you forget about the reverse. There are many single moms in Japan whose father of there children just leave. There are hundreds on Okinawa alone.

    There is a lot of stereotyping on this thread. People are very different and there are lots of international marriages that go well. I do not like the USA and others expecting Japan to adopt their laws. Neither system is very good and has flaws. My objection is about sovereignty.

  • 7

    wtfjapan

    all the BS aside, it come down to basically if a parent takes a child from one country to another without the other parents consent it illegal is some countries but morally wrong in all.

  • 1

    globalwatcher

    My kids have Japanese passports and his have American. The only path to citizenship is for my side to renounce our Japanese citizenship to become Americans.

    @yuri, sounds like you have kids. Since you have changed your citizenship to American, you will be tried under US court for child custody. Japan will not be involved.

  • 3

    Simon Foston

    I do agree she made a very bad mistake. The first was marrying him in the first place.

    I think she was scared and fled to Japan without thinking. She was awarded temporary custody. My thoughts is she would of lost custody and he would of blocked her from visitation. I know people like him, they have to control things. I do not believe a word from the liars mouth. Call it my women's intuition or something. I have know men like him in my life and he is set to make her life a living hell.

    I'm sorry, is there some information available about this man and his behaviour that I haven't read about, because I'm wondering what these rather dramatic claims are based on. You know people like him? Where did you read about what kind of person he is?

  • 4

    mitoguitarman

    One small step for this man, hopefully a huge boost for Mankind. Japan, Wake up to reality and try to act humanely in this issue of children's custody.

  • 4

    yasukuni

    " I do not like the USA and others expecting Japan to adopt their laws."

    As long as you don't expect other countries to adopt Japanese laws then. It seems the problem was that she broke the US laws.

  • 4

    Elvensilvan

    I do not like the USA and others expecting Japan to adopt their laws. Neither system is very good and has flaws. My objection is about sovereignty.

    If your objection is about sovereignty, there's nothing wrong with that. But when you start putting your "thoughts" and use them as basis of facts, then you are not addressing the issue.

    Let's do a compilation of your assumptions:

    I wonder if that judge has a gag order on her? I wonder if she is still being held in America against her will. After her time on probation am sure she will be deported to Japan. She is being punished by the American system on behalf of her ex husband. I bet he would of gotten sole custody. Having said that the American system of charging non custodial parents with kidnapping is wrong.

    You don't like Japan to adapt to other countries' laws? Fine, but respect the legality of the issues first. In other countries, bringing a child without the spouse's consent, to assume full control of the child's future, and effectively denying the father of any parental right is kidnapping. Now just because the mother took the child into Japan does not exempt her from the laws she broke while she was overseas.

  • -1

    wipeout

    I have no interest in the details of YuriOtani's nationality (or nationalities). But TMarie's understanding of how this works in Japan will benefit if we consider that just as a visa is not a passport, a passport is not nationality.

    Talking about questions of nationality in terms of passports confuses the issue. The passport is a travel document, nothing more.

  • 3

    bass4funk

    As long as you don't expect other countries to adopt Japanese laws then. It seems the problem was that she broke the US laws.

    @Yuri

    Bottom-line, This is a huge step in the right direction, for the US and the rest of the world it gives fathers who had little or no hope that the system would never change and for Japan that this moves will boost Japans image give other countries hope that Japan can, when viewing all the facts when it comes to child custody ruling in a logical and realistic way.

    People ARE very different, but the law is the law. She broke it, pure and simple, that's it. No one put a gun to her head and told her to do what she did, SHE chose that route, SHE had many other options, SHE could have gone to counseling or searched for other support groups to get advice, as how best to deal with the situation. But hey, why do that when you just run back to Japan (knowing full well that you will be protected, no question) I mean, there were tons of things she could have done, the US has unlimited amount of resources where troubled women can get proper advice. Kidnapping is a very bad move no matter how you slice it, if she were being tortured and physically abused, whole different ball game. You keep making excuses for these women that do these things. Again, Japan doesn't recognize joint custody! That's already a strike against you, add to that, women are the nurturers of children so men don't need to be considered in any way shape or form as to how they feel, NOT important, also add to that the father is a foreigner component and now you are just totally.... Yes, you have deadbeat dads, but don't insult all fathers by thinking that. There are a lot of fathers that would do anything for their children and would never leave them and not be a part of their lives, if they do that, that's on them. I have no sympathy for jerks like that, but the majority of men are not like that. Obviously, this man loves his child, if he is doing everything he can to see her, so does that make him a villain?? He could've just walked away, probably would've been easier, especially financially. And please elaborate to us what sovereignty means to you.

  • -1

    IncenseAndPeppermints

    This is the best news I have heard all day. Its time these mindless and selfish moms got a taste of a real justice system.

    Who are "these mindless and selfish moms"? It sounds like you approve of the outcome of this case based on what happened in other cases. That is much like collective punishment. Not nice, not clever and not fair. And why only point out the moms? Japanese dads have done the same.

  • -2

    IncenseAndPeppermints

    You're correct of course, but in this case what is the man to do?

    That is an excellent question we should all be asking. I cannot remember ever hearing any accusations from the mother, and I find that extremely strange. Are we supposed to think she up and left on a whim? Come on, there has to be something! And that is not necessary against the father either. It could in her head, but there must be something. Why aren't we reading about it?

    The first wrong created the second,

    Maybe, maybe not. We can only guess what would have happened if she had not left America with her child but instead followed the rules.

    You sing the man's praises based on what we know. But there is just too much we don't know.

    You say Japan needs to update their laws, but the only problem I see that can be solved by the law without distress to the victims concerns visitation rights. All else is going to be a mess, because laws cannot tell you which parent is good and which is bad, or which country is better for the child. People hate me for saying this, but as far as custody goes, I err on the side of the mother at the start of custody battle simply because I have met precious few men capable of handling sole custody. But I have no problem with men having sole custody once such a decision has been made, presumably because the mother can't handle sole or joint custody. Well, I see no reason why she can't in this case. Again, the real problem here is not custody, nor a woman taking her own child to live in her country, but rather its visitation.

  • -22

    YuriOtani

    bass4funk, she did a STUPID and placed herself in the Americans hand. Other women in Japan will see the same thing. So I see this as a one time event. I do not see the Japanese government caving in to pressure. So what is the victory belong this case?

  • 0

    globalwatcher

    Well, this case reminds everyone if international marriage works, it is great. If not, it is like a hell. Everyone should evaluate the other partner's moral character and value before getting married or having children. I took care of similar case like this before in the past, and it is not a clear cut as you all think. Yuri got some good points. .

  • 2

    dracpoo2

    I still cannot see why so many Japanese/Western marriages are taking place. I think the risks are too damn great. (there are some good ones but still, its too damn risky!!!) SOMETIMES LOVE JUST AINT ENOUGH. Think logically here men please? If you like these beautiful and exotic Asians, maybe find a wife from another fairer Asian country... I feel it for the American and other fathers who have been robbed of their kids by Japanese women. There are other countries being affected too. How can Japan be above the law like this?? This issue is right up there for me along with preventing fmales from going to school...Issues I want to help take out...but I am helpless :(

  • 1

    globalwatcher

    SOMETIMES LOVE JUST AINT ENOUGH

    @dracpoo2, you are damn right! You've got it.

  • 1

    Thomas Anderson

    Yubaru:

    People let's remember that Yuri is an American citizen, who happens to have been born in Okinawa, Japan. While she may cloud the issues with her "feelings" and while I often find her logic to be, well, illogical and misinformed, she is entitled to say what she wants within reason. No matter how much people may disagree and get frustrated, it's just an opinion board, nothing more nothing less.

    I don't think that what she's doing is even good for herself. What does she exactly get out of it?

  • -13

    YuriOtani

    Get out of what Thomas? What is illegal in one country is legal in another. I live in the USA now and am subject to its laws. Am not for a moment worried and to the Japanese lady here thinking of running with the kids do not. I do agree with the people saying that it is important to follow the laws where you reside. It occurred to me gentle readers were assuming I was advocating breaking the laws where you live. Again people need to obey the law where they live.

    My beef again is I see how there is one set of laws for the rich and one for the others. About the Doctor, there is something about him that creeps me out.

  • 7

    Yubaru

    My beef again is I see how there is one set of laws for the rich and one for the others. About the Doctor, there is something about him that creeps me out.

    Sorry Yuri but that is not what you have been complaining about, not even close.

    If you think that a father who loves his child so much that he is willing to go to the lengths that he did to get his child back is creepy then I think you have other issues that no one here can help you with.

  • 4

    Thomas Anderson

    Umm, what do you get out of being so stubborn, one-sided, prejudiced, nationalistic, etc? Do you maybe think that... sometimes others could be right, and you could be wrong?

  • 0

    globalwatcher

    sometimes others could be right, and you could be wrong?

    Yes, that's why many lawyers avoid this field as often times, they see both sides. Each side has a different side of story to tell.

  • 4

    madmel

    Yuri and a few others, you seem to think there always has to be a good spouse and a bad one that shouldn't see the child. That is not the NORM at all. I know of many divorces with joint custody or visitation at least...that is NORMAL not excluding one parent or the other and it works fine. The child has right to see both parents...this is supposed to be about the kids not who wins the prize.

  • 1

    tmarie

    **But TMarie's understanding of how this works in Japan will benefit if we consider that just as a visa is not a passport, a passport is not nationality.

    Talking about questions of nationality in terms of passports confuses the issue. The passport is a travel document, nothing more.**

    Not so in the case of Japan. Only Japanese nationals get Japanese passports. Japan doesn't recognize dual citizenship for adults so it isn't just about being a travel document here, it is about citizenship. Hence my concern when it was stated that Yuri was American - which she isn't. If she was, her kids have ZERO right to a Japanese passport.

  • 1

    tmarie

    Come on, there has to be something! And that is not necessary against the father either. It could in her head, but there must be something. Why aren't we reading about it?

    Why must there be "something"? Most parents in Japan see kids are property. Get divorced and one wins the rights to the kid. In this case, mom had an issue with sharing and picked up and left. Perhaps you aren't reading about it because there is nothing? I'm rather shocked she didn't try the old "he abused me" line that so many of these women use.

    My beef again is I see how there is one set of laws for the rich and one for the others. About the Doctor, there is something about him that creeps me out. Where are these different laws you keep referring to? I don't see any difference. The only difference is this man had the money to fly back and forth and fight for his kid. Many other fathers of kidnapped kids don't have that kind of money but I am sure would love to continue to come back and forth to fight for their kids. And laws? Yuri, let's lot at Japan with regards to laws for rich and poor. One word. Ozawa.

    And creepy? Fine but that doesn't give mom a right to take the kid and run. If she thought he was creepy, perhaps she shouldn't have married him and had a child with him? Your opinion on him doesn't matter. What matters is what the courts decided.

  • 4

    tmarie

    **Every case is very different and you forget about the reverse.

    There are many single moms in Japan whose father of there children just leave. There are hundreds on Okinawa alone.

    There is a lot of stereotyping on this thread.

    People are very different and there are lots of international marriages that go well.

    I do not like the USA and others expecting Japan to adopt their laws. Neither system is very good and has flaws. My objection is about sovereignty.**

    Every case is different but you ALWAYS side with the Japanese mom, even when she wasn't given custody, clearly broke the law, stole the child and fled to Japan.

    Yep, those Japanese men sure do love them and leave them, eh? I mean, surely, you can't just be talking about the GIs that leave the kids right because I am pretty sure in Okinawa there are more father full blood Japanese than half American kids that don't have a dad around.

    Yep, lots of stereotypes being thrown around. No one is talking about other cases here. We are talking about a selfish, lying, law breaking Japanese woman. WE are discuss A person. Not a country.

    Adopting laws? The custody case was settled in... the US. You expect US to adapt to the laws here but when a Japanese women goes to the US and breaks US law, you don't have an issue with it. Hmmmm....

    Indeed, both systems have issues but at least in the US both parents have access to their children. The same clearly can't be said for Japan. There are plenty of fathers out there who are much better parents than the mothers but yet, they can't see their kids. How unfair and sexist is that?

  • 1

    wipeout

    Not so in the case of Japan. Only Japanese nationals get Japanese passports. Japan doesn't recognize dual citizenship for adults so it isn't just about being a travel document here, it is about citizenship. Hence my concern when it was stated that Yuri was American - which she isn't. If she was, her kids have ZERO right to a Japanese passport.

    As I said before, Yuri's case has no interest for me.

    At the risk of stating the obvious, nationality is nationality, and a passport is a passport. You can even have dual nationality and no passports at all.

    I return to the fact that a lot of people weigh in to nationality discussions without understanding how it works. Any person born to a Japanese parent, who becomes a Japanese national as a child, will retain their Japanese nationality for life. The only thing that will change this is taking the formal (and entirely voluntary) step of renouncing their Japanese citizenship.

    Possession of dual nationality does not change that. To remain a Japanese dual national, you simply do nothing (however, you need to file that paper at age 22 that causes all the confusion). And after you do nothing, what happens? Nothing. You're still a citizen of Japan and a citizen of a foreign country. Japan may not "recognize" dual nationality, but can you explain what that term (ie recognition) means, legally speaking? It's about as effective as not recognizing rain.

    Being a dual national breaks no Japanese law, and Japanese nationals are not stripped of their Japanese nationality for holding nationality of another country (that's right, you haven't heard of a single case).

    And none of this has much to do with passports, which are travel documents.

    Anyone who disputes any of this can simply point to the Japanese law that says otherwise.

  • 0

    wipeout

    My sentence "Possession of dual nationality does not change that" should be scrubbed out, it makes no sense in that context.

  • 0

    tmarie

    Wipeout, who is able to get a Japanese passport?? Japanese citizens only. Period.

  • 4

    kwbrow2

    @YuriOtani, it is not the kids choice. Kids can't choose anything until they become 18 in the US. Until that point we (adults/parents) have to make choices for them. If your 8 year did not want to go to school would you let him. If your 12 year old wanted to drink and smoke, would you let him? I hope not. We adults/parents have to make choices for our kids and we have to watch out for their best interests. We run into problems when one parent makes unilateral decisions that are bad for the child but OK for one parent. A good parent would not prevent the other parent from seeing their child. A good parent (even if divorced) should encourage their child to see and spend time with the other parent. A bad parent would discourage the child from contacting the other parent. A bad parent would often make up stories that influence how the child behaves around the other parent. In this case Dr. Garcia is the better parent. Inoue has made choices that were bad for Karina but good for herself. Even after being let out of jail, she has continued to violate court orders. So yes bad things are probably going to happen to her now. Yuri, you don't seem to have all of the facts on this case or you are just conveniently ignoring them. It is not a matter of US law vs. Japanese law. It is a matter of treating people with respect. Do unto others as you would like done unto yourself. Let's not turn this into a cultural issue or Japan vs. America issue. It is about how everyone (all over the world) should treat children. Dr. Garcia has the right idea!!!!!!!!!

  • 0

    wipeout

    Wipeout, who is able to get a Japanese passport?? Japanese citizens only. Period.

    I'm sure there was supposed to be a point in there somewhere, but "passport" is not interchangeable with nationality or citizenship. It's not "kinda the same".

    Moving on, you appear not to know how Japanese nationality works, as in this comment:

    "From my understanding it isn't possible to have both once past the age of 20 so either Yuri is not being honest with the Japanese government or she changed once her kids got their Japanese passport. Either way, why would she want her kids to have j passports when she herself doesn't have one - or legally, shouldn't have one."

    Obviously you have been misinformed. But anything further I say about passports, nationality, or the legality of dual nationality would repeat what I've said before. It's correct already, and I can't improve on it.

  • 2

    UncleBudah

    sweet-bitter victory for Garcia kudos!!!!

  • 1

    T-Mack

    There is no victory here. Just hardship, rich or poor. It's now the father's turn to show forgiveness, and lead his daughter, and be a good father. I pray their happy, and healthy, and the mother too!

  • -1

    Stark

    "A Japanese national may also acquire a second citizenship through no action of his or her own, such as being born to a non-Japanese citizen parent and acquiring that parent's citizenship as a result of that country's laws or by being born in a jus soli country. They must choose one citizenship/nationality before the age of 22 or within two years if the second citizenship is acquired after the age of 20, or they may lose their Japanese nationality." -"The Choice Of Nationality". Japan Ministry Of Justice. Retrieved 10 June 2010.

    WE are discuss A person. Not a country.

    It's funny, because we aren't.

    I still cannot see why so many Japanese/Western marriages are taking place. I think the risks are too damn great.[...]

    Unfortunately, MOST Japanese people are like this... including the judges who are supposed to be impartial. They are So. Damned. Brainwashed. And ultimately, selfish, self-centered and egoistic...

    Basically, Japan and Japanese do what they want to do. It's very simple. Doesn't matter whether is unfair or illogical.

    This one is kind of:

    Japan, Wake up to reality and try to act humanely in this issue of children's custody.

    Next on the agendar...This entire discussion is based on opinions. YOU CANNOT ARGUE OPINIONS WITH SOMEBODY, I have tried many times.

  • -14

    YuriOtani

    So true Stark, my husband thinks I favor her for 4 reasons. One he is a rich man, second she is a Japanese women and third is because I always favor the under dog.

    I did find the following all of it interesting reading. The part pertinent to this case is the end of it. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG-111shrg62791/html/CHRG-111shrg62791.htm Foreign men are not always the victims.

    Well good luck for all of them!

  • 3

    Ben Jack

    So true Stark, my husband thinks I favor her for 4 reasons. One he is a rich man, second she is a Japanese women and third is because I always favor the under dog.

    What's the fourth?

  • 1

    tmarie

    Wipeout, can someone who is not a Japanese citizen get a Japanese passport?

    I 100% would agree with you if Japan recognized dual citizenship but it doesn't. Which means, in the eyes of the Japanese government, anyone carrying a Japanese passport is.... Japanese by nationality. In Japan's case, it is interchangeable. It isn't for many other countries. Those adults with two passports that claim they aren't Japanese, and say they are American, are not being honest with the Japanese government and are breaking rules - though not sure about laws. There is currently a little check box one must check on the new passport applications stating they have no other passports if I am not mistaken. There is an assumption being made here by the government.

    I'd love to know what I am misinformed about.

  • 3

    yasukuni

    "Foreign men are not always the victims."

    Of course. I think the basic point that people want to let Japanese know, is that it's possible to have a situation where a child can see both parents after the divorce. Maybe one parent is better than the other - well people could debate that forever and everyone thinks they are wonderful. But, why not have a change here where a child doesn't have to be cut off from their mother or father.

  • -1

    yasukuni

    "and third is because I always favor the under dog." Me too, so I'm starting to like your stubbornness more each day.

  • 8

    Matthew Simon

    How is she the underdog when she kidnapped the child? I would say the gaijin was the underdog if anything.

  • 0

    IncenseAndPeppermints

    How is she the underdog when she kidnapped the child?

    She was not favored to win in the very country where she broke the law and where she is not a citizen or native speaker of the language. Therefore, she was the underdog. But I am not inclined to think Yuri would have favored the husband here in Japanese courts no matter which fled with the child. (kidnap just isn't the right word, you can't rape the willing and you can't kidnap your own child. People trying to force an agenda down your throat will dispute that however).

  • 0

    Eddisofbextar

    better safeguards need to be in place at airports related to single parent travel w child when destination is a country that harbors and protects child abductors.

    a lot of greif could be saved with little effort.

    no excuse in this age of computing and interconnectivity.

    congrats to father, wish more rational parents can see justice served in the future.

    japan will change but must be from the will of its people. like china, its coming. nothing we can do but wait.

  • 0

    IncenseAndPeppermints

    a lot of greif could be saved with little effort.

    You don't seem to realize how much effort it would take and how much grief your idea would create. You are proposing a nightmare for all over a relative handful of unfortunate cases like this one.

  • 3

    whiskeysour

    I hope this guy really put forth the effort in taking care for this child. I hope this is not a ploy to get back at the mother. A simple revenge tactic.

    Usually when people divorce the fight over pets, siblings and property.

    I hope he is not trying to get back at the wife.

    I don't know who's crazy. I don't want to judge the wife but Japanese women LOVE Hawaii for some reason ???????????????? I guess Wisconsin wasn't what she planned to be. Probably had extreme culture shock from the country life in Wisconsin, country people and left the cheese state.

    Wisconsin is really boring.

  • 6

    Pukey2

    yuriotani:

    Ah my words sure get twisted. One am a Japanese citizen living in America.

    Correct me if I'm wrong but weren't you boasting the other day that you were entitled to vote in the upcoming American presidential elections and that foreign posters here have no say on the matter and so their opinions don't count? I'm just wondering how 'Japanese citizens' get to vote for the next US president. And are you willing to let, at least, permanent residents in Japan to have, at least, the right to vote in local elections. I call that having your cake and eating it. And that is exactly how the mother in this story got to find out what justice is about - wanting her child all to herself, fleeing bad America, and yet, still wanting a green card.

    Didn't the husband say, a few months back, that he was willing to let the ex-wife have some access to their daughter?

  • 6

    malfupete

    funny how the japanese courts never recognize the rulings made by foreign courts..

  • 6

    tokyokawasaki

    If BOTH parents acted civilized and put the child's preferences/emotions first, most of these nightmare cases would be sorted out fairly and swiftly.

    It is only when one parent decides to be selfish that problems arise...

  • 2

    bajhista65

    Most divorce in Japan ended with the mother having custody of their children. That's the law I guess Unless the mother is incompetent of rearing them and some factors like mental illness, alcoholic or drug addict Mr Garcia is lucky he was able to win the custody of her daughter. A first in Japan but still the child will have some problems caused by a broken home.

  • -5

    LH10

    this whole case is full of selfishness. poor kid having to go through all this crud (-_- #)

    i agree with you YuriOtani

  • 2

    Bored Part 2

    The mother simply ran back to Japan in selfish act to protect her best interests, clearly at time the kid was more western that Japanese. The mother thought is was totally acceptable to change they way of living overnight. Furthermore she was quite happy to raise a multi-cultural girl as a single mother in a country that is not as forgiving. Then have the gaul to try and keep her green card from a country he fleed from. Smacks of arrogance and selfishness but totally acceptable actions by the majority of Japanese readers here. This country will never change, because change means we the Japanese gov't and people were wrong for too long, Japanese mis-placed pride and their inferiority complex won't allow it.

  • 2

    2020hindsights

    YuriOtani

    Having said that the American system of charging non custodial parents with kidnapping is wrong. Some other lessor charge perhaps.

    Like shoplifting?

    I do not like the USA and others expecting Japan to adopt their laws. Neither system is very good and has flaws. My objection is about sovereignty.

    Well you can rest easy, because the US isn't doing any such thing. There is such a thing as the Hague treaty which is an international agreement for dealing with such cases across borders fairly and consistently. Member countries encourage more countries to adopt and enforce the treaty. As you can see with this case, such a treaty being adopted and enforced in Japan would have led to a better outcome.

  • 3

    bass4funk

    @Yuri

    WTH??

    You think the American Justice system is that simple. You really have no idea, true if you have money, you can seek better counseling, I'll give you that, but it doesn't guarantee success or an acquittal. There are loads of testimonies, evidence and also who broke the law, what is in the best interest of the child etc.

    Again, you reveal yourself as being bias, let's say for arguments, she was in the right, you still wouldn't have sympathy for the father! You would think, "oh, well" tell me you wouldn't?

    The problem is NOT the US in this case, nor the father, he said, he would not stop the mother from seeing his child. He could've been a jerk about it and told her to fly a kite after that mess. So obviously, he does care to a point that he will allow his child and the mother to see each other.

    Now imagine if it were the other way around....well, we can almost guess what the outcome would've been. If you want to show your frustration, you should be outraged that the mother would have put her child through that mess. And stop with the US expecting Japan to adopt our laws. The law in the US applies only if she broke ANY laws within the borders of the US and its territories and if the crime is involving the child, then it involves the Hague and interpol. 2020hindsights just mentioned it.

  • -4

    wipeout

    TMarie

    On using the word passports vs. nationality: so you don't think I'm evading, my answer to your question is no (ie., you are completely correct). I have no hesitation in acknowledging that, but the question itself is irrelevant. While I could explain that very easily, I'd have to repeat things I've already said, so I'll pass.

    I'd love to know what I am misinformed about.

    You mean in addition to the examples I've already given.

    This is a useful analysis of the topic: http://members.jcom.home.ne.jp/yosha/yr/nationality/Dual_nationality.html#legal

    By contrast, I am posting the following link (and no doubt, there are many more like it) only because it shows that misunderstanding is widespread. This extends to parents of, for want of a better word, half-Japanese children, and even to such children themselves, as you can see if you read some of the posts in the link.

    http://www.jref.com/forum/japanese-news-hot-topics-4/dual-citizenship-japan-u-s-34348/

  • 2

    Mark Bradley

    It sounds like the wife was very self centered and immature in deciding what is best for the child. You have to choose what is best for the child, not just think what you want. With the amount of money spent on legal fees, she could have flown to the US hundreds of times to visit.

  • -7

    YuriOtani

    Mark, I read that she has a public defender appointed by the court. As I wrote if you have money can get the best legal team with all of the trimmings. She has a public defender or pro bono, who has paying cases. A really good legal team can take her apart and get the court to see it from their view. Sole custody, no visitation and add a restraining order. Making her stay in America is rubbing salt into the wounds.

  • 0

    ka_chan

    One of the problems with Japanese law is it's reluctance to use modern technology as DNA. It is weird that a women who got divorced but gives birth to a child in 6 month, the child is considered fathered by the ex-husband regardless. If the divorce was because of extramarital affair(s), and the child was fathered by non-spouse, it doesn't matter. It is also strange or maybe not that in general, custody is granted to the father unless the father is non-Japanese.
    As for citizenship, Japan never signed the 1961 UN convention on stateless persons. So in Japan, you do have people who are in fact stateless. They are not Japanese and they do not have other nationality. There are long term peoples in Japan that are not Japanese citizens and can not become Japanese citizens even if they have been in Japan for generations.
    More and more counties allow multiple citizenship. You do not have to renounce a citizenship to became a citizen. For example in the Switzerland, US, Canada and Australia, you can become a citizen and not renounce you previous citizenship. Of course, it is to the advantage of the country that people are considered citizens since the laws of the country is more easily enforced on citizen than non-citizens especially expatriates.

  • -1

    ka_chan

    Forgot to mention that is only the US and Eritrea that taxes expatriates.

  • -2

    m6bob

    Even knowing that this forum is dominated by non-Japanese, especially 'enlightened' Americans, I have to say that the little girl would have been better off living and growing up in Japan. It is the mother's mistake that it didn't happen. What was she thinking or NOT thinking to fly to Hawaii?

  • 0

    yasukuni

    "but Japanese women LOVE Hawaii for some reason ????????????????"

    What's there not to like. Food, shopping, nice weather, escape from relatives, neighbors, and the PTA, and you can just speak Japanese, but try a little English here and there.

    Every Japanese woman's dream.

  • 0

    Fadamor

    The mother made her choices ON HER OWN. Nobody else made them for her. She could have gotten an equitable arrangement, but instead tried to circumvent the law. Now that the Japanese courts have agreed that what she did was not best for the child, she likely will have to wait for another 9 years before she can see her daughter again (if/when her daughter decides to visit Japan on her own). That sounds like pretty much the "sentence" she wanted to impose upon the father. #Irony

  • -1

    NetNinja

    @yasukuni

    The mistake is that Japanese people think it's a separate country. They don't even consider it the United States.

    Try it!! Just ask someone how many countries they've visited. Some of them say Hawaii and then The U.S.
    Furthermore they often give you a weird look when you tell them that Hawaii is the U.S.

    It's PRICELESS.

    I bet now she wishes she had just gone to Guam. *snickering

  • -1

    2020hindsights

    NetNinja

    The mistake is that Japanese people think it's a separate country. They don't even consider it the United States.

    Well they forget that the US were colonialists at some time in history as well.

    But in this case, she knew very well that Hawaii was part of the US because she went there with the purpose of renewing her Green Card.

  • -2

    tmarie

    While I could explain that very easily, I'd have to repeat things I've already said, so I'll pass.

    Whatever. Again, who are eligible to get Japanese passports? You keep ignoring the question because you kow the answer, as do the rest of us.

  • 2

    tmarie

    **Making her stay in America is rubbing salt into the wounds. **

    But you support making the child stay in Japan? And without any contact with the father?

  • -5

    wipeout

    Whatever. Again, who are eligible to get Japanese passports? You keep ignoring the question because you kow the answer, as do the rest of us.

    Jesus.

    You asked that question as follows:

    "Wipeout, can someone who is not a Japanese citizen get a Japanese passport?"

    and I answered very clearly:

    "So you don't think I'm evading, my answer to your question is no (ie., you are completely correct)."

    I did not ignore your question.

  • 0

    tmarie

    So if only Japanese citizens can get Japanese passports...

  • -4

    wipeout

    TMarie, the point you continue making about passports has never been clear. It's not even possible for me to work out what you think you're saying. It doesn't help that you stick to an idea that is obviously wrong "in the eyes of the Japanese government, anyone carrying a Japanese passport is.... Japanese by nationality. In Japan's case, it is interchangeable."

    That's a non sequitur. One of these things (nationality) is a prerequisite to qualify for the other (a passport). This is applicable in all countries, obviously and reasonably enough. In other words, only Japanese citizens can get Japanese passports (your entire argument apparently). Only Australian citizens can get Australian passports. Only German citizens can get German passports. etc

    But you can have the nationality of a country without having a passport. Is it possible to be clearer about why the words aren't interchangeable? Specifically, nationality does not equal passport: it has a far wider definition, and passport has a very narrow definition. It is accepted as proof of citizenship, but so what?

    If I say my daughter has Japanese nationality, you would be completely unable to know whether she has a Japanese passport. And as the child of an international marriage, there are at least three possibilities right away: that she has no passports, one passport (which might be British OR Japanese), or two passports (British AND Japanese). Or more, because I could be carrying British and Irish passports myself.

    Passports are simply the physical documents that are used when travelling across borders. Non-ownership, expiry, loss, theft, confiscation, or destruction of a passport: none of these things have any effect on your nationality.

    Clearly one of these things is not the same as the other (you know what a Venn diagram is), and the question of nationality rights cannot be argued by using the word "passport" as a substitute for "nationality".

    It's not difficult or anything.

  • -12

    YuriOtani

    tmarie but you support forcing the mother and child to stay within America. The husband had gotten custody from the filing of the divorce. Still say he would of gotten sole rights and she no visitation. He sure remarried quickly. There is more to the story than being reported. My sister in law has to keep her residence in Kansas. You understand fathers rights even though she can not get a good job there and has been offered great jobs elsewhere.

  • 1

    T-Mack

    Heavy feelings and thoughts. However I agree with tokyokawasaki. Simple and to the point. The rest is all argumentative. The child is torn, and needs compassion now. I believe he will be the best father he can be, after such a long and expensive struggle. To the father I say; gambatte kudasai...

  • 1

    nec123a

    This case is a great and wonderful victory for parents fighting the obscene family courts of Japan. So sad that this would never had occurred had the myopic and racist Japanese courts/government been left to find justice by themselves.

  • 3

    tmarie

    But you can have the nationality of a country without having a passport.

    Indeed you can but having a Japanese passport signifies Japanese nationality unlike some other countries. It is very clear via the Japanese government - which is they now ask people to check little boxes ensuring that people don't have other passports. You're arguing here for the sake of arguing. Japan doesn't hand out passports to none nationals like other countries. It is a sign of citizenship unlike a passport being "just" a travel document for others.

    Indeed, you can have nationality without having a passport but if you bothered to follow the conversation, no one was discussing people with nationality that don't have passports. The issues was raised because someone suggested Yuri was American which meant her kids couldn't have a) Japanese nationality and b) Japanese passports unless she changed her nationality after her kids were born. She had since cleared it up and this is not the case. Why you continue this line of discussion is beyond me more so when you have agreed that only Japanese get Japanese passports. We aren't discussion other countries, other nationalities. We are discussing Japan and for Japan, a J passport equals citizenship. End of discussion from where I sit.

    tmarie but you support forcing the mother and child to stay within America. And? She moved there when married, had a child there, the child is American... If mom wants to see her kid, she stays there or works out and agreement with her ex. She wasn't mature enough to do that and will now pay the price for the rest of her life.

    Yuri, do you think it is fair to the foreign parents who are forced to stay in Japan to see their kids once they are divorced? You can't have your cake and eat it to as much as you would like to.

    Does it matter when he remarries? You come from a country that has had to set up a law about women not being able to remarry a few months after a divorce. The men however, are free to do as they like. Same issue here.

    At the end of the day Yuri, your biases are showing. You think that all Japanese parents are correct and that all foreigner parents in the case of divorce are wrong. It is frightening to think that you have children from an international marriage with such line of thinking.

    You also seem to support that idea that kidnapping kids and bringing them back to Japan is okay. It isn't. Japan is the laughing stock of developed nations because of this. Get with it and realise that Japanese parents, when they do such things, are facing not being able to see their kids. This woman got exactly what she deserved. The only victim in ALL of this is the child now, not the mom and not the dad.

  • -1

    timtak

    Dear SmithinJapan

    Anyway, there are DEFINITELY cases where a child benefits, and grows up happier and healthier, with only one parent and the other completely out of the picture, but so long as there is no threat of violence or other harm, and other conditions are met satisfactorily, one parent should not be completely denied his/her right of custody or visitations. If the child for whatever reason does not want to live with or visit one of the parents (and a lot of cruel single-parents will manipulate their child into feeling this way) then the reasons why and situation needs to be reviewed. In any case, surely there are children who benefit from joint custody and/or access to both biological parents.

    That sounds fair.

    However, (1) while other posters have emphasised the right of the child. I have stressed that if it is the right of the children then the child's well being should be considered paramount. That they are not going to be harmed, is part of that formula, you write

    one parent should not be completely denied his/her right of custody or visitation making this now an issue about parents rights.

    When people see "egoism" in this case on the part of the parents (including the father) I think that they mean that the parents also seem to be thinking about their own rights, and not only the child's. Considering the desire and well-being of the parents as well as the children sounds like a good idea to me but, if it were the case that the Japanese system only valued the child's "rights" (well-being, desires, health etc) then would that be a bad thing? Bearing in mind the fact that the child if young especially is largely blameless, whereas the parents made choices, a good case could be made for ignoring parents rights and focusing only upon those of the child.

    "surely there are children who benefit from joint custody" I am sure that there are some children who benefit from joint custody.

    (2) When wondering whether a system of control (see 3) is a good idea or not, I think it is important to consider the overall impact rather than whether there are particular cases in which its introduction would be beneficial. Personally I would ask the question whether the US system (which has both single and joint) works better for the children (and possibly parents see 1 above) than the single parent, Japanese system. If joint custody were introduced in Japan it would result in, not just those "some", but presumably many parents (predominantly fathers) gaining visitation rights.

    (3) "Joint custody" means giving the parents rights that they do not wish to allow each other - otherwise there would be no need of legal intervention. There are many divorced single parents in Japan who do let their x to visit their children. Introducing "custody" means that visitation should be forcefully allowed against the wishes of co-habiting parents. Hence in addition the question of whether there is (physical) "violence or other harm," it could be argued that any system that forces parents into joint custody or visitation, always results in a degree of harm, since the child will grow up with two people who would not tolerate each other but or the fact that they are legally forced to do so. Obviously on the plus side, in those situations the child gains "access to both biological parents," to two perspectives, to two families, to two people instead of one, to two sets of experience, and all sorts of other two-ness that can be argued to be beneficial but, bearing in mind we are talking about a legal system, a forceful system, the good parts of the two-nes, that the child gets double, can be argued to be mitigated by the fact that the child will also experience a fractured environment, a conflict. That being said, perhaps a child deprived of access to both parents is essentially fractured, and experiences a conflict between their genetic make-up, or gender, and their single-parent environment. This could be argued both ways.

    In sum, I used to be such a "a priori" person, arguing I thought from pure logic before coming to Japan, saying things like "it stands to reason that....." These days I don't do that so much. I would not wish to argue a priori for either side. Yes, sexual reproduction is a fact and it does imply two biological parents. But it does not imply to me that two nurturing parents need necessarily be beneficial if they have to be forced to be together, or that the child or parents have "RIGHTS" to enforce contact on the basis of of the facts of sexual reproduction. I'd wish to reach a decision only after looking the well being of children (and possibly parents) in both systems, and then I suspect that, despite the heart rending tragedy of the LBPs, that both systems would have their merits, and that some compromise needs to reached.

    While writing this, it seemed to me that belief/disbelief in philosophical dualism, and in the possibility of synthetic a priori judgements, has something to do with the issue of joint/single custody.

  • 5

    bass4funk

    At the end of the day Yuri, your biases are showing. You think that all Japanese parents are correct and that all foreigner parents in the case of divorce are wrong. It is frightening to think that you have children from an international marriage with such line of thinking.

    Basically, that's dead on. Couldn't have said it better.

  • 4

    Frank Vaughn

    Received a phamplet from the U.S. Consulate yesterday when renewing my passport.

    "Under Federal and state laws, international parental child abduction is a crime."

    Even attempted abduction is a crime since 2003. Putting all emotion aside about who is the better paarent it come down to the simple fact the she violated U.S. law and is lucky that she is not in a federal prison for the next 10+ years.

  • -3

    wipeout

    @tmarie

    Indeed you can but having a Japanese passport signifies Japanese nationality unlike some other countries.

    For all the repetition, your point continues to make no sense. That sentence is literally incoherent.

    Japan doesn't hand out passports to none nationals like other countries.

    No country "hands them out". Possession of nationality is a prerequisite for applying for a passport. One thing precedes the other. Some countries have large scale immigration, others do not. Each country has its own way of dealing with nationality issues, and even Britain and the US, which both receive a lot of immigrants, differ very significantly in how they confer nationality.

    ...which is they now ask people to check little boxes ensuring that people don't have other passports

    [my emphasis added]

    That is not what they ask. They ask if you do have foreign nationality.

    現在外国の国籍を有していますか。

    Assuming the characters don't display, this is: genzai gaikoku no kokuseki o yuu shite imasu ka.

    Note that the Japanese are making a distinction here between passports (irrelevant to their question) and nationality (the purpose of their question).

    It's practically impossible to gauge how much you know about any of this subject, because you give no evidence of having any understanding of it all, and on top of that, insist on using the wrong terminology. So it may well be news to you that dual nationals long past the age of 22 do not have to conceal their foreign nationality from the Japanese authorities. It is well known that immigration officers at airports may sometimes ask dual nationals if they're carrying a second passport, and they may also ask to see it. You can also state on a form that you have dual nationality, if that is what the form asks.

    This is all covered in the previous link I provided.

    Now here is an example of how you can declare dual nationality to the Japanese, provide proof of it (by supplying a photocopy of a US passport), and get a Japanese passport.

    http://www.japan-guide.com/forum/quereadisplay.html?0+47882

    The issues was raised because someone suggested Yuri was American which meant her kids couldn't have a) Japanese nationality and b) Japanese passports unless she changed her nationality after her kids were born. She had since cleared it up and this is not the case.

    A lot of time was spent barking up that particular tree. A little knowledge of the Japanese laws could have saved you the bother.

  • -1

    tmarie

    **That sentence is literally incoherent. **

    If you think that, you need reading comprehension classes.

    **Possession of nationality is a prerequisite for applying for a passport **

    This is classic... Not in all countries it isn't, which is why I have stated that Japan is different. Many countries do indeed hand them out - if you have the correct family background. You don't need nationality to get passports from many countries. Japan? You NEED nationality... You already agreed with that so...

    What exactly is your point with all of this? No one cares about the issue except you. You're flogging a dead horse and shall I say, barking up this particular tree?

  • -2

    wipeout

    This is classic... Not in all countries it isn't, which is why I have stated that Japan is different. Many countries do indeed hand them out - if you have the correct family background. You don't need nationality to get passports from many countries.

    Okay then. You've obviously read widely on that subject.

  • -1

    Crystalyle

    I'm really happy to hear that the man in this story remarried. It's good for the human soul. I believe that Japanese wives who want a divorce intentionally drag it out in order to gain more money and inflict any kind of misery that they can.

    Everything in life is a trade off you know. She takes the child but she also takes the risk of other men shying away from her.

    The men however have a chance to achieve happiness even if they are being pickpocketed by the soon to be ex-wife.

    Whether it is mentioned or not by the woman there is this curiosity about what her ex is doing. She'd prefer it if he was in a cage so she knows some sense of vengence for her perceived rejection. There is however the very real possibility that he will find companionship in a more loving, peaceful relationship. This jealousy is priceless and not often admitted to openly. So we see that no matter how much money she takes or how much pain she tries to inflict, she missed the ride.

    I think YuriOtani is upset cause in this particular case it's a winner take all situation. Again, the Japanese woman has only herself to blame cause she banked on a system that is Draconian and corrupt. Playing fair and sharing the children would have been the right thing to do.

    You can't be in the same bed anymore, fine. You can't stop fighting, fine. Divorce is the solution but then you have to grow up. The reality is this - It takes 2 to Tango. Be fair with the children.

    The best judges in the world know this one simple secret. If both parties are unhappy with the result, then you've made a fair decision.

  • 2

    whiskeysour

    She returns to Japan, stay in japan for perment residency but tries to renew her green card in Hawaii ? Something tells me she didn't marry for love but the love of the Green Card.

    I check other news sources.

    What a nut !!!!!!

  • 2

    L. Taz Hicks

    Emiko was so stupid to go to Hawaii. She must have gotten so confident in the way Japan snubbed the US court decision for custody that she thought she was safe to travel there. A pity all these cases are not resolved so satisfactorily

    This statement sums it all up! She got to relaxed and her arrogance got the better of her.

  • -1

    VicMOsaka

    Perhaps one day we will hear the other side of the story. It all seems one sided at the moment. So many readers seem to delight in the demise of the Japanese mother.
    Mother's descriptions--- felon, abductor, kidnapper, criminal, selfish, stole, illicit, deceiving, stupid, greedy, monster, cruel, arrogant. People don't seem to see the distinction between the person who carried the child for 9 months in her own body and the person who impregnated her. There are plenty of men around who are glad to escape the responsibility of a child. Just look at all the children that were left behind by the USA military in Okinawa, leaving the mothers to fend for themselves.

  • 1

    FightingViking

    There are plenty of men around who are glad to escape the responsibility of a child. Just look at all the children that were left behind by the USA military in Okinawa, leaving the mothers to fend for themselves.

    Tha's EXACTLY what makes this story "different"...

  • 1

    nec123a

    @wipeout - your points are devastating to tmarie's argument.

  • 2

    Alain Bellanton

    I just feel sorry for the little girl. Parents split, mother faraway. Whether she stayed with her mom or not, one vital part of her childhood would be a long ways away.

  • -2

    VicMOsaka

    As I understand, Mr Garcia has made a new life being married again and with 2 more children. I feel sorry for the little girl who now has a new mommy and her children plus her real mommy who really won't be able to grow up with her own daughter. Mr Garcia does not seem to be satisfied with his new life with wife and 2 children, so feels the need to take the child from the Japanese mother as well. I could understand it if the mother was bad and abusive, but we have not heard that this was so. I think he is heartless. Be happy with the family you have Mr Garcia and allow the girl's mother to bring her up.

  • -2

    wipeout

    @wipeout - your points are devastating to tmarie's argument.

    What I hope is that more people come to understand the reality of dual nationality in Japan. It's tragic that so many parents of half-Japanese children believe their kids will have to give up one of their nationalities on reaching adulthood. It's even worse to see that a lot of those kids, as they grow up, believe it too, because so many people have told them so.

    These myths should be killed off once and for all:

    "The Japanese don't allow dual nationality".

    "You have to give up one of your nationalities at 22."

    "Your Japanese nationality will be taken away from you if they find out about your foreign nationality".

  • 2

    Redhots

    It sounds like the wife was very self centered and immature in deciding what is best for the child. You have to choose what is best for the child, not just think what you want. With the amount of money spent on legal fees, she could have flown to the US hundreds of times to visit.

    Unfortunately this seems to be the case on parents of either gender in a divorce. The soon to be exes spend so much time fighting and arguing that their child gets either forgotten or is used as a pawn. Hopefully this little girl will grow up well with her father and his new family, and maybe in time, she will be able to have some sort of relationship with her mother.

  • 0

    Zac Hicks

    If the courts decided that the father was the better parent there is a reason. In america well over 60% of all custody cases go to the mother. To reverse that there would have needed to be 3 significant reasons to award not just primary but full custody to the father. Usually they would need to be talking about anger issues, borderline abuse, or neglect in order for the courts to make that decision. Most likely if you are abducting a child it is because you already have one of these issues and don't feel you can win a custody case. Either way it is the ultimate representation of selfishness. It's interesting she returned to Hawaii most likely she didn't see it as a criminal but a civil matter. Sometimes it takes something like this before a person with issues can realize they have done something wrong.

  • 0

    Suiren-tan

    A sad story. It moved me that the father did so much to get his child back (my abandoned my sister and me and wasn't giving any money to help raise us, he would rather financially support his lovers-- yet this man spent 350,000 USD and hadn't given up for 4 years... I wish he was my father), but now the kid lost her mother. Maybe she liked it in Japan more than in the US, too? Either way, I don't find the story (and outcome) positive. It's positive but just for the father, I am not sure about the kid, and it's certainly bad for the mother-- just did commit a crime, but I still feel sorry for her considering her current situation.

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