RSS

Tag Archives: Child abduction in Japan

Child abduction in Japan: divorced Japanese wife fined heavily by US court

Child abduction in Japan: divorced Japanese wife fined heavily by US court

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

 

Christopher Savoie and his family members in America have been going through hell because of the blatant violation of international law in Japan.  This applies to allowing Japanese parents to violate the laws of all other nations during child custody cases. 

In other words, Japan is allowing child abduction by the policy of inaction and reducing international legal orders to nothing.  Therefore, Christopher Savoie, and countless other left behind parents, continually hit both “a wall of silence” in Japan and “a wall of ignorance and deceit.”

According to legal documents Christopher Savoie had legal rights to see his children on a regular basis and because of this a court in Tennessee fined his former wife heavily.  His ex-partner was fined $6.1 million dollars and this applies to damages.

At the moment this is just “a moral victory” but until Japan takes child abduction seriously then it is “a hollow victory.”

After all, with each passing day his children face cultural alienation and parental alienation.  Also, it is possible that his children are being manipulated by his divorced wife but this is speculation; however, given the fact that he is being denied access to his children then it a possible scenario to say the least.

The monetary factor is not a concern for Christopher Savoie because it is all about his children whom he loves and cherishes dearly.

All he wants, like all responsible parents, is to see his children, care for them, watch them grow up, help to educate them, and enjoy many special moments. 

However, the legal system does not concern itself with the rights or wrongs of child abduction in Japan.  Therefore, Japanese parents know full well that Japan will protect them because international child abduction is a fact of life in Japan and little changes apart from greater international pressure.

Takeaki Matsumoto, Foreign Minister, stated that “The ruling (of the U.S. court) was made from a different legal background from Japan’s,” Matsumoto said at a press conference Tuesday. “Ultimately, I think Japan should abide by international rules on jurisdiction (over child custody disputes) when so many people cross borders, get married and then their marriages fail.”

In my article called Japan and the Hague Convention: but will foreign parents really see their kids? I state that newspapers in Japan keep on commenting that Critics have raised concerns over joining the pact, saying it could endanger Japanese parents and kids who have fled abusive relationships.”

Randy Collins, father of Keisuke Christian Collins, stated in his article called The Façade of Honor and Respect that “Another façade by the Japanese is that when confronted with these staggering numbers, the same mantra is said over and over again: ‘We are protecting our women and children from abuse of the Americans’.”

Randy Collins is spot on because in the same article I comment that “….when did Japan take child abuse seriously?  In 2008 you had 42,664 cases of child abuse and in 2009 you had 44,210 cases of child abuse.  New laws passed were meant to give welfare workers more power to apply for warrants in child abuse cases.”

“However, in 2008 only two warrants were asked for and astonishingly in 2009 only one warrant was asked for.  This fact paints a different picture to the one being painted by Akiko Oshima and her statement should have been backed up by facts.”

“Therefore, basically, out of over 86,000 reports of child abuse only three child warrants were asked for.  Given this, then clearly the rights of the child in Japan is not being taken seriously and Akiko Oshima should focus on reforming the Japanese legal system and systematic thinking; rather than making “sweeping comments” and implying that Japan is a haven for child rights who are being protected by abusive foreign fathers.”

My reference to Akiko Oshima who is a marriage counselor applies to her stating that “These women, who come back, do not do it because they want to.” 

“They feel this is the only way out. They want their child to be brought up in Japan, and not in the host country where the father is abusive and she has no control over her children’s education, and so forth. Not even, say, getting a job to support herself. This is the problem.”

If only Akiko Oshima would open her eyes to child abuse in Japan and the fact that many women also abuse children.  Also, is Akiko Oshima implying that all foreign fathers are abusive?

Given the fact that no mixed Japanese children have been sent back to the international parent then it would appear that Akiko Oshima is involved in racial stereotyping. In other words she appears to be playing the racial card alongside blatant sexism and can her statement be backed by open evidence in every case?

Every court case must be judged on merit and sometimes the father may be the best parent and sometimes the mother; but in an ideal situation both parents would continue to play a role in the upbringing of the child or children.

No parent, irrespective if Japanese or non-Japanese, or if male or female; should face parental alienation because it is against all norms of humanity.

Also, spare a thought for grandparents, other family members and friends because child abduction effects many people and while the emphasis is obviously put on the parent; it is clear that grandparents suffer greatly because time is not on their side and they have to watch their children suffer so much.

Why should parents who love their children be treated like criminals and disregarded?

Japan should be ashamed for allowing this reality to exist and doing nothing is not an excuse. 

Christopher Savoie stated that “Anything about this just reopens a lot of wounds. It’s bittersweet…….At the end of the day, I’d much rather have one afternoon in the park with my kids than one penny of this judgment.”

http://bachome.org/wordpress/  Bring abducted children home (Children abducted in Japan)

(please visit for information about the rights of children in Japan)

http://www.crcjapan.com/ Please visit Children’s Rights Council of Japan

http://moderntokyotimes.com (please visit)

 
 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

RANDY COLLINS and Child Abduction in JAPAN

Randy Collins and Child Abduction in Japan
Tokyo Correspondent Walker Introduces Special Story

 

Special Contribution         -  THE SEOUL TIMES 
By Randy Collins

 
Child abduction in Japan getting serious

I am the Tokyo Correspondent of The Seoul Times and I have been honoured in recent months by many left behind parents. All these left behind parents are victims because of the Japanese political and legal system which is allowing child abduction, parental alienation, cultural alienation, religious alienation, and linguistic alienation.

Both Walter Benda and David Brian Thomas who founded The Children’s Rights Council of Japan (http://www.crcjapan.com) state that “the best parent is both parents.” This organization is trying its best to fight against the injustices of the Japanese legal system and the political system which is allowing child abduction.

This article highlights the personal pain and sorrow of Randy Collins and it is “a real story and tragedy” that could happen to anyone because of the Japanese political and legal system.

Before reading, just close your eyes and think how you would feel if the most precious thing in your life was taken away from you. How would you cope? How would you keep on fighting?

The pain and anguish is “soul destroying” and sadly national governments are not doing enough to challenge Japan.

I firmly believe that a central organization like The Children’s Rights Council of Japan needs greater financial and political support in order to end this injustice. Also, it is vital that the mass media gets involved because this crisis will continue to grow.

This article by Randy Collins is very emotional because every day he knows that parental alienation is happening and remember the other victims in all these tragedies. After all, many grandparents may never see their grandchildren again?

Therefore, please read the article below written by Randy Collins and then close your eyes and think for one moment, “how would you cope if the most precious thing in your life was taken away from you?”

ARTICLE BEGINS

My name is Randy Collins. On June 16, 2008, my world came crashing down. Unfortunately my story is not a rare one. It has happened to thousands of children and will continue to happen until Japan decides to get with the rest of the free world in the 21st century by signing the Hague Treaty and returning the illegally abducted children it has sanctioned the abductions of.

Reiko Nakata Greenberg Collins, a Japanese citizen who had lived in the United States for 25 years at that time, and I were married on September 1, 2001. She had a daughter from a previous marriage to another American. We made sure her daughter was in one of the best private schools in the state. She was a very bright and fun girl to watch grow up. Even though she was not my biological daughter, I still considered her my daughter.

On March 3, 2003 we had a baby boy, Keisuke Christian Collins. During the entire pregnancy she slept in another room. I was naïve and thought this must be a cultural thing. Months turned in to years, and in March of 2008 my wife of 7 ½ years and I were beginning the process of a divorce. She was still sleeping in the same bed as our son till the day I moved out of our home. She slept in another bedroom and in the same bed as my son for 6 of our 7 ½ years of marriage. I later found out from her previous husband she had done the same thing with him, which led him to file for divorce from her.

I moved out of our house in late March and moved in to a house a few miles away. After telling me for a few months her parents were going to pay off the house and she was going to live in it, she said she wasn’t going to stay in the house after all. When I asked where she was moving to, she would never tell me. In the beginning of June she finally said she was moving to an apartment in a neighboring city. Had I thought it through, I would have noticed that the monthly payment on the apartment was going to be much more than the payment on our house. It also would have taken her daughter out of the school district she was attending. This was only a decoy as she had already made the plans to flee the country.

Being concerned for my son’s safety, and after I learned of numerous news stories’ related to Japan’s permissive acceptance of international child abductions, I obtained a Superior Court order on June 13, 2008 in which Reiko was to turn over my son’s passport to the Japanese Consulate and neither of us was to remove our son from Orange County, California. I immediately notified the Japanese Consulate in Los Angeles on June 13th after the court verdict. The exact words I got from them when I told them of the courts ruling were “We don’t care”. When I made mention that I had concerns for my son’s safety from being abducted, he said “They are Japanese citizen and are free to go where they want”. I told him my son was born here in the United States, not in Japan.

The last day I saw or heard Keisuke’s voice was Father’s Day on June 15, 2008. We had spent the day together. He wanted to go to my church and see Pastor John. We had lunch, and went to his favorite place, The Discovery Science Center. He loved dinosaurs and the Discovery Center had a fun interactive dinosaur’s exhibit. A couple hours after dropping Keisuke at his mother’s, Reiko called to ask me if Keisuke was feeling alright during the day. I had told her yes. She said that Keisuke was now vomiting. Since my next day of custody was the next evening for dinner, I said let’s see how he feels tomorrow. Little did I know she was finalizing her plot she had been putting in place for a very long time.

The next morning on June 16th at around 11:30, Reiko had left me a voice mail message saying Keisuke was still not feeling well and we could make up the day with Keisuke another time that week. Not thinking anything more about it, I knew my next day with Keisuke would be June 19th. When I went to pick him up on the afternoon of June 19th, there was no answer at the door. Since I knew Reiko had a doctor’s appointment that afternoon, I figured she had forgotten I was to pick Keisuke up. I left several messages on her cell phone. Minutes turned in to hours. Still there was no response from the messages I had been leaving. Shortly before 5:00 pm I called my attorney to tell her Reiko’s lack of response to my calls. My attorney called Reiko’s attorney who responded with “I can’t talk to you. I’ve been in contact with the State Bar’s ethics committee.”

My attorney advised me I needed to get in to the house to see what was happening. I am still the owner of the house and went through a door I knew was always open. When I did, I found that all of their clothes were gone. The cats and dogs were gone as well. It was learned later in the investigation that Reiko had made that call to me on June 16th from Seattle Airport. She had fled earlier that morning from the Los Angeles International Airport to Seattle and then off to Narita, Japan, to live with her parents Ken and Miyuki Nakata in Chiba, Yotsukaido. This was just 3 days after the court ruling that neither of us was to remove Keisuke from Orange County California.

This was not planned in a spur of the moment. During the divorce proceedings it was learned Reiko had transferred tens of thousands of dollars from our Home Equity Line of Credit to her mother’s account for over the past year. I was working full time and going to school. Reiko was paying the bills as my time was already stretched. Little did I know that during this time she was writing checks from our Equity Line to her parents without my knowledge or consent. She also was doing this after divorce papers had been filed.

This is in direct violation of our legal summons because on page 2 of our divorce summons it states that no real or personal property is to be sold, transferred, or deplinished during the course of the divorce proceeding. Her plan also entailed the knowledge of how the airline system and passport system worked. It is highly unlikely Reiko had such knowledge herself. However, her father, Ken Nakata is a retired pilot with Japan Airlines. It is highly coincidental that her parents came to live in our house from October 2007 up to only a few weeks prior to Reiko kidnapping Keisuke and fleeing to Japan.

I called the local police. They informed me that all they could do was to take a report. I also contacted the FBI. All they could do was take a report. I contacted the State Department. They took a report and wrote letters to the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Of course, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will do nothing to bring our illegally abducted children back to their native country. Welfare and Whereabouts visits have been requested to Reiko, but she refuses to answer the requests.

I have learned more about Japan’s behavior and lack of basic decency in regard to International Child Abductions than I ever thought I would or need to. Thousands of American children have been abducted by a Japanese parent in the past ten years. Not one child has ever been returned to the United States. Japan accounts for over 22% of all international child abductions by a Non Hague country. If a child born in Japan is abducted by a foreigner, Japan is quick to take the steps to make sure that child is returned. Yet Japan does not extend the same basic decency of reciprocity it demands from other countries.

In April of 2004 Reiko’s parents came for a visit. During this time she had asked me to sit down with her and her parents. Reiko had told me she had been seeing a marriage counselor and asked if I would go too. I said I absolutely would. In fact I had asked her a few times before that to see one but she refused. Being a person of divorce, I did not want my son to have to go through it too. When I asked her for the name and phone number of the counselor she would never give it to me. Once her parents went back to Japan, she dropped it all together. She had no intentions whatsoever to see a counselor with me. Had she done so, she would have had to account for her behavior.

I do not claim to be the perfect husband. All marriages have their ups and downs. But I never did anything to deserve my son being taken away from me. No parent does. Our marriage didn’t work. I tried but Reiko had no interest in being a wife. All she wanted from either of her husbands was a child. We were both used by her for this reason. Once she got pregnant, her husbands were insignificant to her except for their income, as she never did or would work.

Every Easter we would go to Hawaii. Twice a year she would go up to visit the couple she lived with as an exchange student. Every summer she and the kids would visit her parents in Japan for 5-8 weeks at a time. Her daughter went to one of the best private schools in the state. She also had private piano and violin lessons. If reiko ever wanted to buy something, I never stopped her. When Reiko had cancer surgery, I was there for her. I went to the hospital. I was in the waiting room for hours nervously waiting for the doctor to come out. When I had to have hernia surgery, I had to walk to the hospital because she wouldn’t wake up to drive me the half mile up the street. When I had a heart attack and had to have 3 stents put in my arteries, she didn’t even come to the hospital till I called to have her pick me up. When her daughter asked me to be a chaperone for her 8th grade field trip or she wouldn’t want to go, I took the time off work to be there for her. When my family needed me, I was always there for every one of them.

I was and am a loving parent that loves my son more than anything in the world. Even when we were not getting along, I was always respectful to her and her parents, a common decency that was not reciprocated at all. I found out later she did the exact same things to her previous husband. Reiko even went so far as to break in to her previous ex husband’s house to try to steal things. The day Reiko fled to Japan, she called her only friend to tell her she was leaving the country and told her friend she could go in to our house and take whatever she wanted. Even though it was community property, the police told me I had no recourse to get any of our items back because Reiko gave her the OK to enter. Because of this, I had to completely start all over and buy things as simple as an oven mitt. Reiko took or gave away everything I/We owned.

I did all the things I needed to do to protect the abduction of Keisuke. None of it worked. A child has the right to a mother and a father. A mother and father have the right to have their child in their lives, even if the parents can no longer be together. No parent deserves this. A child is not a piece of property like a car or a home. No parent has the right to take the child away from another. It is arrogant, selfish, and criminal.

Based on past history, the chance of me ever seeing my son again is very small. Keisuke has the right to have a father in his life. I have the right to see my son. The Japanese government has continued to make up one excuse after another for not signing the Hague Treaty. Here are some of the quotes some Japanese officials have made regarding the abduction issue in the past 13 years.

1996 – “Kunio Koide, a Japanese Foreign Ministry official, said his government does not see the need for signing the treaty because Japan’s Protection of Personal Liberties Act prevents an individual from being illegally restrained. But Koide acknowledged that it would be difficult to prosecute a parent under that act.” Lost in a Loophole: Foreigners Who Are on the Losing End of a Custody Battle in Japan Don’t Have Much Recourse; Evelyn Iritani, Los Angeles Times, Thursday, September 19, 1996, Page E-1

1999 – “Though it helped draft the convention, Japan has yet to sign. Asked why, an official from the legal affairs bureau of the foreign ministry commented that Japan already has legislation to deal with child abduction. He cited the Protection of Personal Liberty Act, enacted shortly after World War II primarily to prohibit the buying and selling of people. Pressed further, the official admitted current legislation may not always be sufficient. In certain cases of international parental abduction, he said, “I think in Japan there is no way to bring back the child. It’s true, yes.” The official added that the ministry has invited experts on international law to discuss the practicalities of joining the Hague Convention. “I cannot promise when Japan will enter this convention,” he said.” Access Denied Children Innocent Victims of Custody Battles; Tim Large, The Daily Yomiuri, Saturday, December 11, 1999, page 7.

2000 – “A Foreign Ministry official, however, said pressure from within Japan to sign the treaty has yet to materialize.” Parents Driven to Kidnap Children; Rob Giloohy, Japan Times, December 13, 2000.

2002 – “According to an official in the Treaties Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ratification is not likely soon, since that would entail overhauling many domestic laws and procedures. “It would take a major initiative between government branches and ministries,” the official said. “This kind of cooperation does not exist at this time. The only signals we are getting are from the United States. At the domestic level, the government doesn’t feel the need exists.”” Estranged Parents Snatch Their Own Kids in “Abduction Friendly” Japan; Paul Baylis, Asahi Shimbun News Service, January 27, 2002.

2003 – “A spokesman for the treaty division of Japan’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said the Hague Convention has not been ratified because “we’ve been studying it” since its ratification.” Divorced From Their Children In Japan, Foreign Fathers Have Few Custody Options; Doug Struck and Sachiko Sakamaki, Washington Post, Thursday, July 17, 2003; Page A9

2006 – “An official at the Foreign Ministry said, “We consider it an important treaty, but as we have to go over its legal aspects as well, we do not yet know when we can sign it.”

The Justice Ministry has been reviewing the convention with the help of legal experts for some years.”” Increased cross-national divorces raise concerns over parental abductions, Japan Economic Newswire, January 3, 2006, AND Japan remains haven for parental abductions, Sayo Sasaki, Kyodo News Service, January 6, 2006

2006 – “More than 25 years after the Hague Convention was completed, Japan’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs says that it is still studying the document. At a recent conference on child abduction held at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo, a spokesman said the Ministry wasn’t opposed to the convention, but that “at present there is not enough support from Japanese nationals.”” Think of the Children: Japan’s prejudiced legal system encourages desperate parents to abduct their own kids; Tokyo Metropolis Magazine, January 2006.

2006 – “The Director General gave the expected responses, none of which indicated a willingness to be forward leaning and helpful. He pointed out that the Diet would have to agree to the Convention and that from a sociological and political point of view there is no Japanese constituency for such a move. He added some “personal” thoughts suggesting that abductions affected mostly military families, a contention the Consul General refuted. Director General Komatsu also suggested that the Japanese legal system is open to non-Japanese. While this is true, we countered that the courts have no power to enforce child support, visitation, or custody rulings and agreements. Therefore, this was not a useful recourse.” Letter from Andrea R. Mihailescu, Office of Children’s Issues, US State Department referring to Assistant Secretary of State Maura Harty’s meeting with Ichiro Komatsu, Director General of the International Legal Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA); February 26, 2006.

2007 – “There is no reason to hope for change any time soon: Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs says it is still studying the document, more than 25 years after its inception.” Remember the Children,

Kevin Buckland, Tokyo Metropolis Magazine, January 19, 2007.

2008 – The Japanese government would not comment on specific cases of child abduction and in an exclusive statement to ABCNEWS.com never used the word “abduction.” “We sympathize with the plight of parents and children who are faced with issues of this kind, which are increasing in number as international exchange between people expands,” reads a statement from the Japanese Embassy in Washington, D.C. The embassy said that The Hague Convention was inconsistent with Japanese law, but that joining the convention was still under review. Spirited Away: Japan Won’t Let Abducted Kids Go, Russell Goldman, ABC News, Feb 26, 2008

2008 – “Japan is taking steps to move toward joining the Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. This will likely take a long time” Mitoji Yabunaka, Vice Foreign Minister, Japan, in a meeting with John Negroponte, Deputy Secretary of State, May 8, 2008.

2008 – “The Justice Ministry will begin work to review current laws with an eye on meeting requirements under the 1980 Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.” Japan to Sign Hague Child Abduction Convention, Asahi Shinbun, Miako Ichikawa, May 10, 2008

2008 – “The ministry is at the beginning stage of considering accession to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.” “Mofa has recently decided that the Treaty had to be reviewed and considered by MOJ. Because domestic laws must be changed, ratification will “take a long time.”” Satsuki Eda, Japan Diet Upper House President meeting with US Embassy officials, September 21, 2008.

2008 – “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice are giving favorable consideration to signing the convention.” Mainichi Daily News, November 6, 2008.

2009 – “Japan has ratified many parts of The Hague Convention treaties over the years, but in terms of repatriation of kids, they have been claiming for 20 years now to be “studying” the issue. That’s Japan-speak for “we’re not interested in making any changes.” Japan Inches Toward Signing the Hague Treaty on Child Abductions, Terrie Lloyd, Japan Inc., April 4, 2009.

2009 – “Foreign Minister Nakasone said that Japan is studying its participation in the convention.” March 31, 2009 meeting between Foreign Minister Nakasone and Secretary Clinton.

These are supposedly highly intelligent men and women. How long does it take to review or study a document that has been in place for over 29 years? When is the Japanese government going to stop lying to the world and be a world citizen? The Japanese government and these abductors should be ashamed for the devastation they have caused for the loving and caring parents, as well as the cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents of these illegally abducted children.

I did not put Reiko and Keisuke on a plane to travel to Japan and then they decided not to come home. I did not marry Reiko and have a child in Japan and then move back to the United States only to fight to have my son returned back to the United States. Reiko and I were married in the United States. She had lived in the United States for over 30 years. Keisuke was born in the United States. Reiko Nakata Greenberg Collins violated State and federal laws by abducting our son. Japan is harboring an international fugitive. If any person is going to travel to another country, that person has a responsibility to adhere to the laws of that country. If that person violates those laws and flees to another country, that country has a moral, ethical, and legal responsibility to return these criminals back to the country to face the legal system for breaking the laws they have committed If you are going to visit a country, obey the laws or stay home.

This behavior of condoning and financially rewarding these abductors has been going on for decades. It is time Japan is held accountable for its behavior. It is time Japan shows it is a true “ally” of the United States and to other countries such as Canada, France, and the United Kingdom. An “Ally” doesn’t sanction, condone, and financially reward the abduction of our children. If this situation was reversed, Reiko would do everything she could to see her son.

The Japanese government and its citizens would do everything in its power to get Keisuke back to Japan. I am not asking for anything different. The difference is I, and the United States, have a different moral and ethical compass than Reiko Nakata Greenberg Collins, Ken and Miyuki Nakata, and the Japanese government in dealing with international child abductions. The Japanese have always had the façade of Honor and respect. Those are just words. Actions speak much louder than words. Japan’s actions show the real truth.

Any person or country that is respected or has ANY honor, does not support, condone, and financially reward the abduction of children. Only cowards kidnap helpless children. Only cowards support, condone, encourage, and financially reward the abduction of children. Hopefully the newly elected government will change the real truth of the cowards of the current and past Japanese governments and the selfish parents that continue to illegally kidnap our helpless children.

Randy Collins
Father of Keisuke Christian Collins—Abducted June 16, 2008
http://www.bringkeisukehome.com

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Child Abduction in JAPAN: Shane Clarke

Child Abduction in Japan: Shane Clarke Case
 

Tokyo Correspondent Lee Jay Walker Interviews Shane Clarke

 

By Lee Jay Walker
Tokyo Correspondent  -  THE SEOUL TIMES

 
 
Child abduction in Japan and case of Shane Clarke

Shane Clarke is a British national who is being prevented from seeing his children because of the Japanese government and legal system which discriminates against all foreign nationals.

Japan is a nation which allows children of mixed blood to be kidnapped and to be alienated from the left-behind parent and other family members who care deeply.

Both Walter Benda and David Brian Thomas who founded The Children’s Rights Council of Japan (http://www.crcjapan.com) state that “the best parent is both parents.” This organization is trying its best to fight against the injustices of the Japanese legal system and the political system which is allowing child abduction.

I urge all people to read the harrowing case of Shane Clarke and consider his responses deeply because he was challenged about many important issues.

I also hope that people will read about The Children’s Rights Council of Japan ( http://www.crcjapan.com ) because collective pressure is needed in order to galvanize public attention.

This article also highlights the role of other governments, for example the British government; after all, surely Japan must be pressurized into changing the system and shamed for allowing child abduction.

Therefore, please read about Shane Clarke and other deeper issues. Why should he and tens of thousands of other nationals have to suffer?

INTERVIEW BEGINS WITH SHANE CLARKE

Question: Can you please tell me briefly about how you met and how your wife responded to life in England?

Answer: We met on the internet and exchanged messages for a while before finally deciding to meet up. She was studying in London at the time, and I was in West Bromwich, just outside Birmingham. She seemed very at home here in the UK; very cosmopolitan. She gave the impression that she would feel comfortable anywhere. It was actually one of the things that attracted me to her. She was well-travelled, and had lived in Canada and Germany, so western society was nothing new to her. In fact, it would be fair to say she was quite westernised.

Question: Did your wife have cultural problems in England and what role did your parents and other family members have in the upbringing of your children?

Answer: On the whole, she didn’t really have any cultural problems. As I said before, she was well-travelled and had spent time in other western countries. Also, we adapted our lifestyle at home to come more into line with Japanese culture, such as taking off our shoes before we entered the house. The only member of my family that really had anything to do with the upbringing of the children was my mother. My wife didn’t really like my first daughter, Chelcie, to have any contact with the children. My wife had some mental health problems which mainly manifested themselves as anger management issues. She could be very fiery regarding the children. She wouldn’t allow me to have any say in how they were raised. She also got angry if the wrong thing was said, such as when I wanted to have them Christened. However, the most outstanding incident was when Mei, the older of our two children, developed childhood eczema. My wife was furious. She said it was my fault and that she was going to divorce me, saying that because of me, our baby was going to be ugly and probably scarred for life. As usual when she got angry, there was no talking to her, there was no reasoning with her. For about three days, she refused to talk to me, and stalked around the house like a monster, waiting to attack at the slightest prompt. Then she went to visit my mom, who managed to get through to her and told her how unreasonable she was being. My mom had a calming influence on my wife, and Ryoko (my wife) genuinely seemed to love her. When my mother died in January 2007, Ryoko cut her annual trip to Japan short to come back over to say goodbye to my mother in the funeral home and to attend the funeral. She seemed genuinely upset that my mother had died, which is why this thing is so confusing, because she seemed so fond of my mother, and she knew that my mother would never want her to cut off my contact with the children, yet she does it anyway.

Question: When your wife took both children to Japan were you suspicious that something was wrong?

Answer: Absolutely not. Less than two weeks before they went, we had taken a lovely holiday in the Lake District for Ryoko’s birthday. We had a great time. I was coming to the end of an MBA at one of the top business schools in the world. As far as I knew, we had a great future ahead of us.

Question: How did you feel when you realized that your wife had ulterior motives?

Answer: I was devastated, confused, hurt, frustrated. I ran the whole gamut of emotions. I felt betrayed by the person I trusted most in the world, and I wanted to know why. I had done everything I possibly could to try to make her happy. The only thing I couldn’t do was turn my back on my daughter, but it seems this one thing was too much for her.

Question: Since your wife took your children to Japan have you had any contact with her recently, either in person, by phone, by letter or by email?

Answer: I haven’t had any contact whatsoever with my wife or children since June last year. I don’t know if my children are okay. I don’t even know what they look like anymore.

Question: When did you last see your children? Also, how are you coping under this enormous stress and pain?

Answer: I last saw my children on that night in May last year when I had to say goodbye to them. I have to admit, the massive stress and pain is sometimes overwhelming, and I do find it hard to cope sometimes. It’s also affecting my physical health in that I am susceptible to any illness that goes around, I feel constantly drained, and I have now developed Neuropathy, which is a condition that affects the nervous system. My biggest support is my faith, knowing that I have someone holding my hand through this. I also have a fantastic support system around me in the form of my doctor and my legal team, who have been a lifeline for me since the disastrous trip to the Japanese court last year.

Question: Many people focus on the left-behind parent; however, it is also a nightmare for grandparents and other family members. Therefore, how are other family members coping?

Answer: Unfortunately, both of my parents are dead. However Ryoko was very close to my mother, and I know she knows that my mother would be heartbroken by what she’s doing. Chelcie, my oldest daughter, and the babies’ older sister, tends to play her cards close to her chest and keep her emotions in check, but it’s obvious that she’s worried sick, and terrified that she might never see her sisters again. Every now and then, she cries for them, and asks when I’m going to bring them home. This is one of those situations when a child’s unconditional faith in her daddy can be a double-edged sword, because she thinks that I will definately bring them home eventually, but there is always that chance that I will fail in this fight.

Question: Please tell me about what happened during your court hearings in Japan? Were you treated fairly?

Answer: The court hearing in Japan was a disgrace. The court tricked me into attending without an interpreter, then I was mocked, humiliated and toyed with in the court room by the judge, his assistants and the other side. I called the British Embassy three times from the court room, saying that there was no interpreter (the court had assured them they would provide one). The court clerk would then tell the Embassy that there was one there, and then when the phone was put down, they would laugh and talk together in Japanese. The judge’s assistant, a middle-aged woman who apparently was supposed to be the interpreter at one point said, “Okay, I’ll interpret for you if you pay me.”
“Okay,” I said. “How much?”
Then she turned on just about the most evil smile I have ever seen, and said, “Come back in two weeks and I’ll tell you then.”
I was somehow able to persuade the judge to let me come back for another hearing the next day. Unfortunately, however, I wasn’t able to provide an interpreter, so I had an audience with the judge in his chamber.
To my utter astonishment, this man who hadn’t spoken a word of English the day before now spoke perfectly good English. We talked for a couple of hours, discussing the case and the law. Eventually, I decided to put him on the spot and said, “So, under Japanese law, are you obliged to uphold my British court order?”
“Yes,” he replied.
“So, will you?”
“No.”
“With respect,” I said. “Why not?”
Then the games started, and I had such excuses as, “I don’t have the authority to make orders”, “This is a Japanese court; if you want me to make an order you have to ask me in Japanese”. However, he finally settled on “It’s complicated”.
They also tried to get me to sign for a document written in Japanese that I didn’t understand a word of.

Question: Did the British Embassy provide you with adequate support during your ordeal in Japan?

Answer: The British Embassy hung me out to dry in Japan. It was they who assured me – in writing – that the Japanese court would provide me with an interpreter. They knew that this was my last throw of the dice at that time, that I was flat broke – I couldn’t even afford to eat in Japan; I lived off the complimentary biscuits on the coffee tray in the hotel room – and on the day of the so-called hearing, they knew that the Japanese were playing games, yet they did absolutely nothing. They refused to provide me with an interpreter, although they knew my position. The Vice-Consul faxed me at the hotel to say he would attend the hearing I arranged for the next day, then he failed to appear. The British Embassy did nothing to help me or my children on that trip.

Question: The British government raises the issue of North Korea abducting Japanese people. However, the same British government appears to remain silent towards mixed British children being abducted in Japan. How do you feel about this?

Answer: I am disgusted, especially since the British Government recently interfered in the judicial and cultural system of Syria to facilitate the return of a mixed British child. They also interfered in the judicial system of China during the Beijing Olympics to facilitate the release of a British protestor who was being held on a criminal charge. I find this particularly distasteful, since the British government’s mantra is “We cannot interefere in the judicial system of another country”. It would appear that there are advantages to being the second biggest economy in the world and a wealthy trading partner. I wonder if the government would have been so quick to interfere in Syria’s affairs if they were a wealthy trading partner, or Nissan was a Syrian company and they were dangling the carrot of a new car being built in the UK. Coincidentally, there were four main countries that attended the symposium in Japan in May to try to get them to sign the Hague Convention – The US, Canada, France and Britain. Since then, Japan has certainly greased a few wheels. They have offered venture capital and set up a joint venture to manufacture car parts in the US; Canada and France have joined Japan in a joint venture to produce uranium, and Nissan have agreed to build a new model in the UK. All of this investment shortly after pressure from these nations, and in the midst of a global recession. It is certainly food for thought.

Question: Japan refuses to sign the 1980 Hague Convention on civil aspects of child abduction; therefore, what is your opinion about the current situation in Japan?

Answer: The current situation in Japan is a joke, and a crime against the human rights of the children kidnapped by what is essentially a rogue state. Japan actually already has the laws to deal with this issue – both criminal and civil. This is a result of their ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child a number of years ago. Their Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a report last year making a song and dance of how they have altered their civil and criminal laws to come into line with the convention. The only trouble is, they refuse to enforce them for foreigners.

Question: The Children’s Rights Council of Japan (http://www.crcjapan.com) has been working around the clock to highlight the terrible and devastating consequences of child abduction in Japan. Do you believe that politicians and the media are doing enough to highlight this crisis?

Answer: Politicians are doing nothing to highlight this crisis. They treat it like a child treats the monster in the closet, and hide their heads under the blankets, hoping it will go away. But this monster is actually growing – doubling in size in the past year. I think their attitude towards it is a disgrace, and highlights the corruption prevalent in the self-serving governments of the so-called civilised world.
As for the press, they are very slowly waking up to the seriousness of the problem. However, they are still extremely hesitant because of the legal implications that go hand in hand with this issue. So, rather than risk litigation, many media sources tend to shy away from giving this problem any real exposure.

Question: Walter Benda and David Brian Thomas who founded The Children’s Rights Council of Japan state that “the best parent is both parents.” Also, cultural and parental alienation is a serious problem; what do you think about this?

Answer: I absolutely agree that the best parent is both parents, especially in mixed race children, since they have two cultures and heritages, and it’s important that they learn about both. There is also the love and support that comes from having access to two parents. The cultural and parental alienation is more than a serious problem, it is an abuse of the basic human rights of the child. Putting aside the wishes of parents, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child establishes contact with both parents as a basic human right. As a signatory to this convention, Japan has a legal obligation to ensure this contact, yet they assist the abductors in denying it to the left behind parent. This raises the question – Why are the UN not stamping their feet about Japan failing to live up to its obligations under the convention? I have been in touch with the UN about this, but they say there is nothing they can do. So, why even bother having such conventions?

Question: I worry that if your case takes a long-time, that this will go against you because the courts in Japan will claim that the children are now settled in Japan. Do you worry about this?

Answer: Yes I do. However, if you think about it, it wouldn’t matter if the children had been there for a week or a year, the Japanese government would still protect the abductors and hide behind their false smiles and assurances that they are doing what is best for the child, while all the time abusing this child’s human rights.

Question: In Japan the courts have limited enforcement powers and often the courts believe that one parent is best because this brings stability. What do you think about this?

Answer: It’s utter rubbish. Stability comes from having two parents because it prevents the child feeling isolated. Also, what if that one parent is abusive, or more interested in socialising than taking care of the children, or has to work so long that the children are passed from pillar to post, having to get up at the crack of dawn to be transported to a sister’s while mom goes out to work, not getting home until late, so that the children don’t get home until late in the evening, when they go straight to bed. It’s utter rubbish, and I think the Japanese government know it; it’s just convenient for them to say it because they think it adds strength to their defence.
As for the courts’ limited enforcement powers – they don’t seem to be so limited when they arrest and charge a man from the Netherlands with parental child abduction – supposedly not a crime in Japan. Japan’s enforcement powers really are limited only by their own will.

Question: Even if Japan signs the 1980 Hague Convention on civil aspects of child abduction, many people still believe that the courts will do little. If so, are you optimistic about your current case and seeing your children in the near future?

Answer: Unfortunately, no. I have no doubt that Japan will treat the Hague Convention with the same contempt it treats the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which already provides the laws to deal with this issue. They will simply pay it lip service, and then refuse to enforce it for foreigners.

Question: The legal system is expensive and the same applies to traveling to Japan. Therefore, does the British government or British Embassy provide you with economic support?

Answer: The British Government does nothing to help people in this situation. As I already said, they even refused to provide me with an interpreter in an emergency situation in Japan. I can get no legal aid to help me with the overseas expenses. In fact, I have even been refused additional legal aid to return to court in the UK over this case.

Question: It is estimated that you have around 20,000 children of mixed blood in Japan who have been alienated from their other parent because of the legal system in Japan. How do you feel about this?

Answer: It’s a crime against humanity. It is a crime against the human rights of these children, and it disgusts me that the world turns a blind eye to it.

Question: The Courts of England and Wales also send children to non-Hague nations, including Japan; therefore, do you think that nations like Japan should be blacklisted?

Answer: Absolutely. One of the requirements for international judicial cooperation is comity, so why should the UK send children over there when they refuse to extend us the same cooperation? I think there should be sanctions against Japan until they come into line with the civilised world and realise that they are not above the rest of the world, and it’s not one rule for them and one for the rest of us.

Question: Japan wants to be a permanent member of the United Nations; however, Japan clearly tolerates child abduction and institutional racism. Therefore, do you believe that enough is being done to pressurize Japan?

Answer: There is NOTHING being done to pressurise Japan. The law of the greased palm is in operation here, and no government is going to do anything to jeopardise the Japanese gravy train they are riding. This is simply another case of wealth bringing certain benefits and exemptions. Japan will no doubt be incorporated as a permanent member of the United Nations, and they may even sign the Hague Convention, but that doesn’t mean anything is going to change. It’s all lip service designed to appease as the old boys network continues to make its own rules on right and wrong and common decency.

Question: Turning back to your situation. Then how are you coping with all your stress and pain?

Answer: My faith is very important to me. I pray every day, for the strength to carry on, for the safety of my children. I even pray for my wife, and that she will come to her senses and realise what she’s doing to our children. I bear no malice towards my wife, and I think that lack of hatred helps a little. I also have unbelievable people around me who have actually restored my faith in humanity. My doctor, my legal team, my friends – without them, I think I would have gone under a long time ago.

Question: Do you worry about parental alienation and the cultural alienation of your children in Japan?

Answer: Yes, I do. A child has a right to know its heritage and its culture. When I sent Easter Eggs to the girls this year I also enclosed a letter telling them about home, and myself and their older sister, telling them I loved them very much, and also about why we have Easter, and the significance of the eggs in relation to our Christian faith. I have no idea whether they were even given the eggs, or if the letter was read to them. I would like to think so.

PLEASE ADD ANYTHING ELSE AND END THIS INTERVIEW BY THE INTERNET.

Japan has no qualms about denying mixed race children access to their other cultural heritage. One wonders if they would have the same qualms if it was the Japanese heritage that was being denied. Would they still say the one parent arrangement brings stability if the one parent was not Japanese?

Japan hides behind false smiles and declarations of doing what’s best for the children. So, let us ask one simple question – why have they never ordered the return of a child to a foreign country? In more than fifty years, involving more than 20,000 children, they have never found a case where the best interests of the child would be served by returning it overseas? That is a phenomenal statistic. The Japanese must all be marvellous parents. There must be no child abuse whatsoever in Japan, no juvenile crime, no youth drug addiction, no teenage pregnancies, no blossoming porn industry focusing on the exploitation of young girls. How could there be, when they ALL have such fantastic parenting skills – so much better than the rest of the world.

Then there is the standard argument of spousal abuse that the Japanese raise in almost all cases, whether the victim is male or female. Again, a phenomenal statistic. You would think the Japanese would have learned by now not to get involved with us evil foreigners, since we’re all spousal and child abusers. Bearing in mind that mixed marriages involving Japanese nationals are actually dramatically increasing, this raises another question – are the Japanese fundamentally stupid or just pathological liars?

LEE JAY WALKER

http://leejaywalker.wordpress.com

leejayteach@hotmail.com

http://www.theseoultimes.com

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.