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  • 朝日社説:「国際離婚紛争—親権や面接権の議論を」

    Posted by arudou debito on October 22nd, 2009

    Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatar
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    Hi Blog.  The Asahi has this editorial from two days ago, in which it talks about the international attention being brought upon Japan for the child abductions issue.  It gives a surprisingly balanced view (official English translation here).  Although it threatens twice to devolve into issues of “differing customs and laws”, it does say that the Hague Convention should be signed, joint custody would still be an issue even if it was signed, and that abducted children should be returned.  But then it falls into parroting the claim (promoted by crank lawyers like Onuki Kensuke without any statistical evidence) that “not a small number” (sukunakunai) of Japanese wives abducting their children are victims of NJ domestic violence.  It also merely alludes to the fact that child abductions happen in Japan regardless of nationality, and that conditions under the Hague would help Japanese as well.  Again, there’s just a little too much “Japanese as victim” mentality that somehow always manages to sneak back into any domestic-press arguments.  Arudou Debito in Sapporo

    国際離婚紛争—親権や面接権の議論を

    朝日社説2009年10月20日

    http://www.asahi.com/paper/editorial20091020.html

    100人を超す子どもたちが日本へ「拉致」された、と欧米諸国から声が上がっている——。

    作り話ではない。国際結婚が破綻(はたん)した後、日本人の元配偶者が居住国から子どもを不法に連れ去ったとされるトラブルが、国際問題化している。米英加などで計百数十件に上っており、「日本は子の拉致を助長する国だ」との過激な批判すらある。

    帰国した日本人の元妻から無理やり子どもを取り返そうとして、米国人の元夫が逮捕される事件も起きた。

    背景にあるのは、国際離婚の際の子どもの扱いについて定めたルールの違いだ。81カ国が加盟する「国際的な子の奪取の民事面に関するハーグ条約」では、子が国外に連れ去られた場合、元の居住国へ戻すことを原則とし、加盟国政府は返還の協力義務を負う。

    主要8カ国で締結していないのは日本とロシアのみで、加盟国と非加盟国の間で多数のトラブルが起きている。

    16日にはルース駐日米国大使ら欧米の大使が法相に加盟を求めるなど、海外からの圧力は高まる一方だ。岡田克也外相は「前向きに検討したい。ただ、世論がどう受け止めるかということもある」と記者会見で語った。

    文化も法も異なる国の間で、離婚後の子の親権や監護権に関する紛争をどう解決するか。ハーグ条約という共通ルールに従うべきだという主張には説得力がある。現状では日本から海外へ子を連れ去られた場合も、自力救済しか手段がない。日本人による国際結婚は着実に増加しており、年間4万件を超えている。条約加盟を避け続けるのは、現実的ではないだろう。

    その一方で、解きほぐさなければならない課題も山積している。

    今、欧米各国との間でトラブルとなっているのは、元妻が日本人というケースが大半だ。元夫による家庭内暴力の被害を訴えて、逃げるように帰国する場合も少なくない。海外で窮地に陥った母とその子をどう救済するのか、という問いかけは重い。

    欧米と日本の法や慣習のギャップもある。米国などでは離婚後に親が子と面会する権利は厳格に定められているが、日本では民法に明記されていない。両親が親権を持つ「共同親権」も日本では認められず、親権決定で母親が優先される傾向がある。裁判所が子の強制的な引き渡しにかかわることも少ない。現状のまま条約に加盟すれば、木に竹を接ぐような事態になる。

    忘れてはならないのは「子の利益」を最も重視するという大原則だ。離婚後も両親とかかわりを続ける権利をどう尊重するか。国際結婚に限らず、なおざりにされてきた問題である。

    国の内外を問わず、両親の離婚に直面した子どもたちの幸せについて、真剣に議論する時が来ている。

    ENDS

    3 Responses to “朝日社説:「国際離婚紛争—親権や面接権の議論を」”

    1. Chris Says:

      Well, that editorial had a good start but then slipped into protecting its own a little too much. This is a big problem that Japan favours the mother over the father by default in cases of divorce, even if there are no negative circumstances surrounding the father like domestic violence.
      Japan needs to be a little more international and open in its view regarding matters where anything involving non japanese is concerned.

      – I wouldn’t argue that tack. Most societies probably favor the mother over the father in custody disputes. We’re talking about access afterwards.

    2. Sean Says:

      Hi Debito,

      Do you mind posting this article to civilize [people] about what an advanced society should do to take care of all around health of the children in a divorced family. These are based on scientific proven.Hope they understand what are missing in their body and mind,and then digest and practise it.

      Please you add more precise comments on it appropriately.

      http://www.parentdish.com/2009/10/01/judge-tells-mom-punish-kids-for-skipping-visits-with-dad/

      Judge Tells Mom: Punish Kids For Skipping Visits With Dad

      by Melissa Kossler Dutton (Subscribe to Melissa Kossler Dutton’s posts) Oct 1st 2009 4:08PM

      Categories: Kids 8-11, Divorce & Custody, In The News
      Print Email More

      Australian kids who want to skip visits with dad may find themselves without video games, television or other favorite pastimes.

      A judge has ordered a mother to deny her children privileges until they comply with a court order requiring them to spend time with their father.The judge said noncustodial parents need to “positively encourage” visitation and start “removing privileges if the child was defiant,” according to an article in The Australian.

      The father asked the court to intervene when his children chose to walk home to their mother’s house rather than meet him for a scheduled after-school visit. The 43-year-old dad later received a call from his ex who told him the boys, aged 11 and 12, “did not wish to go with them,” according to the article.

      The problem is “very prevalent” among American fathers as well, Mitchell K. Karpf, chair of the American Bar Association’s Family Law section, told ParentDish.

      Judges here have the power to enact similar rulings after a divorce, he said.

      “Mom does have an obligation to say you’re going to see your dad and if you don’t you’re grounded,” said Karpf, who practices in Florida.

      Judges also can take parents to task for badmouthing former spouses or preventing visitation.

      A Florida court once ordered a mother to tell her children that it was “her desire” that they see and love their father, Karpf said. Encouraging children to maintain relationships with both parents makes sense, according to the American Psychological Association. Children in joint custody arrangements have fewer behavior issues, do better in school and have higher self esteem, according to a 2002 study published in the Journal of Family Psychology.

    3. NCraig Says:

      Pardon me for pointing it out, but you seem to be misreading the part of the editorial regarding domestic violence (either that or I believe you’ve phrased your sentence on the matter somewhat poorly). While the legitimacy of bringing up the point can be debated, the editorial does only state fact in regards to the matter.

      First it says, “between Western nations and Japan, the majority of [these] disputes [over child custody] involve an ex-wife who is Japanese,” which is, in my perception, a statement of fact. Then it goes on to say in the next sentence that, “there are any number of [such] cases where [the ex-wife] flees to Japan claiming to be the victim of domestic violence at the hands of her ex-husband.” The second sentence does not make any mention as to what the exact portion of “Japanese women fleeing from DV” might be, but merely makes the statement (in a rather vague manner) that the number of such women **claiming** such do exist in noticeably significant numbers, which is, in my perception (again, since only talking about claims here), likely entirely true.

      I do personally believe, however, that the two lines, and the following sentence, are not included in a particularly commendable spirit, as the implications here abound: the hidden suggestion that foreign countries cannot properly combat DV or other such problems, the lack of recognition that the shoe is likely the other foot at times within Japan’s own borders with Japanese spouses abusing their non-Japanese partners, perhaps even a tint of racism, etc.

      – Thanks for the corrections. I made them myself shortly before your comment came in, thanks.

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