RSS

Tag Archives: http://www.crcjapan.com/

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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Japan and the Hague Convention: but will foreign parents really see their kids?

Japan and the Hague Convention: but will foreign parents really see their kids?

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

japan and child abduction

It appears that the Japanese government is mulling over signing the Hague Convention and giving rights to international parents.  However, it is abundantly clear that for parents who are caught up in “this ongoing nightmare” and for future foreign parents; then the signing may become “a dead letter?”

This article is not based on the Hague Convention because I believe that major barriers will still be put in place.  Also, what are the ramifications of the Hague Convention for the international parent who got married in Japan and whose children were brought up in Japan?

My focus is on the countermeasures which will be used by the Japanese legal system, marriage counselors, solicitors representing the Japanese parent, politicians who oppose the ratification, and other vested parties.

In several articles in the Japanese press, and also commented on in the BBC, it specified that Critics have raised concerns over joining the pact, saying it could endanger Japanese parents and kids who have fled abusive relationships.”

Roland Buerk who is a correspondent for the BBC highlighted the case of Alex Kahney who is a British national.  However, while the article was sympathetic towards Alex Kahney and other fathers and parents who are caught up within the failed Japanese legal system.

He failed to challenge or give credence to the statement by Akiko Oshima who is a marriage counselor.  Therefore, Roland Buerk from the BBC allowed Akiko Oshima to state “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.”

Firstly, why does Akiko Oshima imply that the father is always abusive? Are we meant to believe that every single foreign father in every case is the problem and not the Japanese spouse?

This comment is tinged with sexism and racism because each case must be judged on merit and not based on the ethnicity of the individual or the sex of the parent. 

Even more alarming; why didn’t Roland Buerk challenge this comment or at least state facts about the implication of what Akiko Oshima was stating?

It appears that Akiko Oshima by her comment is implying that Japan cares about “child abuse” but why didn’t Roland Buerk challenge her on this issue?

After all, you have very few articles which highlight this serious situation and all the positives were negated.  Therefore, let us see if Akiko Oshima is factual about Japan caring about “child abuse” because she implies that women are leaving foreign nations because They want their child to be brought up in Japan, and not in the host country where the father is abusive.”

However, 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.

In a case involving two young children who were starved to death by their “abusive mother” then let us analyze this sad and tragic case. After all, international parents need to know that countermeasures are being taken in order to deprive them from seeing their children and the sweeping comment by Akiko Oshima should set off alarm bells.

In this tragic case Japanese neighbors tried to help these two young children who were starved to death slowly by their mother.  Therefore, neighbors contacted the child welfare department in Osaka but sadly like the earlier figure states, nothing was done.

Yes, child welfare officers knocked on the door five times but at no point do they seek a warrant or to see the children.  They also did not contact the police and because of this systematic failure these two young children died slowly and in mass pain and suffering.

If people within Japan or organizations are concerned about child abuse and abusive parents then let me be frank; they have 86,000 cases in order to help the innocent child being abused in Japan between 2008 and 2009.

Also, these are only the reported cases because silence appears to rule the day or maybe people have given up because of the inept system?

The decomposed bodies of 3 year old Sakurako Hagi and her baby brother, Kaede, aged 1, were found after months of inactivity by the child welfare organizations.

The mother, Shimomura, aged 23, stated that she wanted “to flee from everything and have time to myself…I knew they wouldn’t be able to survive if not given food or water.  I abandoned them and killed them as a result.”

Shimomura killed her children but the child welfare institution was also behind the deaths of these two children because they failed to help and rescue them from the pits of hell. 

In another case in Osaka a mother killed her child because the child had thrown away her console game. 

Shizuku Tanaka, aged three, was suffocated and put in a garbage bag by her mother and boyfriend.  This child had her hands and feet taped up and died in agonizing pain because Yui Tanaka, her mother, and her boyfriend, wanted to play a game and apparently the child was noisy.

Her mother stated that “Even when we scolded her, she didn’t listen.”  Apparently Yui Tanaka had stated the previous year that “Even if this kid died, I wouldn’t cry.”

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’.”

Like Randy Collins comments, and the figure of only three warrants out of 86,000 reported child abuse cases implies in 2008 and 2009; then the concern of protecting the rights of the Japanese national from the abusive father is “a red herring.”

I have not focused on the Hague Convention because it is abundantly clear that countless obstacles will be put in the way.  Also, how about the rights of the international parent who was married in Japan and whose child or children were born in Japan?

Not only this; how about the rights of Japanese nationals who can’t see their children in Japan.  You have so many areas which the Hague Convention does not cover. 

Yes, it is clearly a huge step in the right direction but I fear that it will become “a dead letter” for many parents who are already caught up in this nightmare.

The same applies to future parents who will face the sad reality of the Japanese legal system.

I believe that it is essential for international parents and Japanese parents to focus on countermeasures and obstacles which will be put in their way.  Therefore, the facts must be given in order to debunk individuals who want to play “the Japanese female victim card.”

Every case must be judged on merit and when you have two parents who love their child or children then joint access is essential.  In some cases the best sole parent may be the Japanese mother, the Japanese father, the international mother or the international father.

In truth, each case will have special factors but let us not forget the child or children because it sometimes appears that they do not count in the legal system of Japan. 

Racism must be taken out of the legal system and the same applies to sexism and enforcement powers in Japan are needed.

International parents who have pressurized national governments and embassy staff have done well to get so far.  However, the path ahead remains difficult and countermeasures are being taken before the ratification of the Hague Convention.

Therefore, it is vital that stereotypes are debunked and this certainly applies to “the female victim card” and the issue of “abuse.”

I also must add that many females have also been victims of the Japanese legal system because enforcement powers are ineffective within the Japanese legal system.

In truth, so many areas need to be changed in order to give rights to left behind parents and left behind grandparents.

http://www.crcjapan.com/  (please visit for important information about the rights of children)

http://www.bachome.org  (please visit for important information about the rights of children)

http://moderntokyotimes.com (please visit)

 

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

Amidst the suffering of the earthquake; please remember the left-behind parents

Amidst the suffering of the earthquake; please remember the left-behind parents

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

 The hidden children of Japan

March 11 was a day which altered many coastal areas in Fukushima, Iwate, Miyagi and other coastal regions.  Tens of thousands of people have died and so many are still unaccountable but presumed dead.  The tragedy and ongoing nuclear crisis in Fukushima is also hindering the rescue and restructuring process because parts of Fukushima have come under the nuclear exclusion zone. 

You still have isolated communities whereby the true extent of what happened is still sketchy but the Japanese military, police, fire services, volunteers, and the American military are making inroads. 

Amidst all this pain and suffering you have “a hidden anguish” and this applies to left behind parents, grandparents, other family members, and friends, who have suffered from so many children being kidnapped to Japan. The problem also exists within Japan because of internal flaws within the Japanese legal system, which discriminate against foreign nationals.

Sadly, you now have so much pain, suffering, anguish, and utter disorientation in places like Ishinomaki, Otsuchi, and other places; whereby thousands of people have died in small communities because of the tsunami which swept over these areas.

Also, amidst all this pain and suffering you have news about the bravery of so many people and this certainly applies to the fire brigade in Otsuchi who sacrificed themselves in order to help the entire community.

In my article called the Fire brigade heroes of Otsuchi who died during the tsunami in Iwate I stated that “…..for the fire brigade heroes of Otsuchi they gave everything and sadly some fell while the onrushing force of the tsunami was heading straight towards them.  These brave souls, some who died during the tragedy and others who managed to survive, should be honored and remembered for their love of humanity in the face of an unrelenting force which would soon engulf Otsuchi.” 

I also stated that “…..Fujio Koshida was still sounding the warning bell while the waves were about to engulf him and sweep him away from this world.”  

This bravery and love of humanity is clear for all to see and today hundreds of thousands of people have been left homeless by the ravages of the earthquake, tsunami and for people in Fukushima because of the nuclear exclusion zone.

Obviously, another bleak reality of this crisis is that many children will be orphaned by this tragedy. 

Yet amidst all this pain and suffering people should also spare a thought for foreign parents, grandparents, other family members, and friends, who now are worrying every day about “the hidden children of Japan” who are being alienated from their roots, culture, religion, and are being completely alienated from their past.

The anguish that Japanese nationals are witnessing on television is all too real.  It is based on utter devastation, children being orphaned, whole communities being destroyed, and old people who feel very vulnerable.

This pain is also being watched by thousands of foreign parents who have lost their children and have had no contact with their children or very sporadic contact because of a legal system which discriminates against them in Japan.

Of course, many of the children who have been kidnapped to Japan or who have been taken away from the foreign spouse in Japan, will not be based in places like Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima or other places which were hit by the earthquake and tsunami.

However, for some parents, then this will not apply and their children will be in these regions or near to.  Also, because of the sporadic nature of contact or no contact over many years; then some of these children may have moved to these parts of Japan because in truth, they have simply “disappeared from the radar.”

The “disappearance from the radar” applies to the alienation of children from the left behind parent because of the Japanese parent who decides, and who is allowed, to break international law when it comes to international court cases. 

Also, the “disappearance from the radar” applies to the internal Japanese legal system which discriminates against the foreign parent during internal legal cases within Japan and even if the Japanese court decides to give certain rights to the foreign parent then the legal system does not have any enforcement powers.  Therefore, the Japanese parent can simply ignore the court order and clearly both the internal and external legal system is being used by the Japanese parent in cases involving mixed marriages because the Hague Convention is not ratified in Japan and the internal legal system does not have the power of enforcement.

The “disappearance from the radar” also applies to biased coverage of this reality and even more painful to say; too many international governments have simply done too little in order to protect their own nationals Therefore, Japan was allowed to flaunt international law because of economic and political factors; or simply because international governments have higher priorities or because they simply do not care enough to help left behind parents.

Getting back to the deadly earthquake and tsunami then it is clear that you have an abundance of love and humanity in Japan.  The brave fire brigade service in Otsuchi who sacrificed themselves will be an event which will have happened in other areas because so many Japanese people have given everything in order to help people who faced either immediate danger or who have lost everything.

At the same time millions of foreign nationals have donated to Japan and many national governments have provided both economic and other forms of support.

The world is getting smaller and mixed marriages will continue to grow and the same applies to international culture spreading far and wide.

Therefore, Japanese political leaders and lawmakers should understand that many international people think highly of Japan because this nation in the past gave so much economic aid to poorer nations and continues to help many nations today.

Given this reality, it is time for Japanese politicians and lawmakers to understand the pain and suffering which is being felt by thousands of international parents who have been left behind and who face so many barriers because of the flawed legal system in Japan.

It is essential that the political hierarchy and lawmakers in Japan should understand that you have an enormous amount of goodwill towards Japan in the international community.  However, this “legal blind spot and political blind spot” when it comes to implementing international law and creating an internal legal system based on equality and enforcement; is creating a negative impression of Japan and the humanity of Japan is being hindered by a legal system which is clearly biased and unjust.

Therefore, please remember “the hidden children of Japan” and the anguish, pain, sense of utter alienation and desperation, of their left behind parents, left behind grandparents, and all other family members and friends who feel such sorrow.

It may not seem appropriate to highlight this issue because at least 20,000 people in Japan have just been killed because of the earthquake and tsunami.  However, the only “small silver lining” during this ongoing tragedy is that nations and people have come together in order to support each other.

It is hoped, even if naively, that Japanese politicians and lawmakers will understand that human rights, dignity and equality are based on humanity.  Therefore, the humanity which is being shown by so many and the humanity of ordinary Japanese nationals during this tragedy is clear for all too see and the same applies to successive Japanese governments providing enormous economic support to poorer nations.

Therefore, it is time to stop this “legal blind spot and political blind spot” and to help “the hidden children of Japan” because recent events are a clear reminder of how families support each other in times of crisis. 

However, for left-behind parents they can do nothing apart from wait and hope and sadly some parents will collapse mentally, others may think about suicide, some grandparents and parents will die naturally, and so forth – it is a real tragedy which can only be understood by people who have suffered so much and continue to suffer every day.

This is simply not good enough and it is hindering the reputation of Japan and I, and the Modern Tokyo Times, and so many other people, desire to create an image of positivity because you have so much goodness in Japan.

The one small positive from the recent tragedy in Japan is that collectively both people and nations can work together during a time of crisis and ethnicity, religion, gender, and so forth, is not important. 

The legal system in Japan should be based on the same and ethnicity and gender should not dictate on who takes the child or children; instead both parents and family members should have rights within the legal system and cultural alienation and parental alienation should not be tolerated.

 http://www.crcjapan.com/  (Please visit to find out more about child abduction in Japan)

http://bachome.org/   (Please visit to find out more about child abduction in Japan)

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://www.moderntokyotimes.com

 

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

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.