Hi Blog. Finally we have the turnabout that I bet will precipitate Japan signing the Hague. A Czech father has reportedly abducted his child out of Japan, and the MOFA says it is powerless since Japan is not a party to the Hague Treaty on Child Abductions. Well, sauce for the gander, isn’t it?
Two things I find interesting about this case is 1) the MOFA is reportedly working to try and get the child back (contrast with the USG, which recently wouldn’t even open the front gates of one of its consulates to three of its citizens), and 2) once again, the same reporting agency (Kyodo) omits data depending on language, see articles below. It claims in Japanese that (as usual) the NJ husband was violent towards the J wife (in other words, it takes the claim of the wife at face value; how unprofessional), and neglects to mention that in English. Heh. Gotta make us Japanese into victims again.
Anyway, if this will get Japan to sign the Hague, great. Problem is, as usual, I see it being enforced at this point to get J kids back but never return them overseas (since the J authorities aren’t going to give more rights to foreigners than they give their own citizens, who lose their kids after divorce due to the koseki system, anyway). But I guess I’m being just a little too cynical. I hope. Arudou Debito in Sapporo
Czech man takes son out of Japan in suspected child abduction
Japan Today/Kyodo Sunday 08th November, 06:05 AM JST, Courtesy of JL
A Czech man has taken his 5-year-old son apparently to a place overseas from his home in Gifu Prefecture, prompting the boy’s Japanese mother to seek help from the Foreign Ministry in searching for the boy’s whereabouts, sources close to the matter said Saturday.
The ministry, however, has few means in dealing with the case as Japan is not a party to the 1980 Hague Convention that standardizes laws that prevent international parental child abduction, they said.
Japan remaining a non-signatory has drawn international criticism recently after an American father who tried to take back his two children from his Japanese wife was arrested on suspicion of child abduction in Fukuoka Prefecture in September.
The children might have been handed over to the father’s side if Japan were the member of the convention, which stipulates that children should be returned to the original residing place when they are taken forcibly. The mother was reported by some American media to have unlawfully taken the children first from the United States.
While such cases of Japanese women taking their children to Japan after divorcing or separating from their non-Japanese husbands or partners are often reported and cause problems, cases in which children are taken out of Japan have been relatively rare.
In the latest case, Kayoko Yamada, a 40-year-old resident of the city of Yamagata, Gifu, sought help from the Foreign Ministry after her husband, a 31-year-old Czech Republic national, left home with their son on Aug 23, according to the sources.
Yamada received a phone call the following day from the husband, saying he and the son were in Frankfurt, Germany. She has received no contact since then, and assumes they are probably in the Czech Republic, the sources said.
Yamada and her husband have been living in Japan but recently were talking about divorce.
Experts say Japan could seek help from Czech authorities in search of the whereabouts of Yamada’s son if Japan were a member of the convention.
With the annual number of international marriages rising by almost six times over the last 30 years to some 37,000 in Japan last year as a government report indicates, divorce and such related problems have been on the rise as well.
The number of children taken by Japanese parents from the United States, Britain, France and Canada to Japan totaled over 160 as of this May, and some cases involve those wanted on abduction charges.
共同通信 2009/11/07, Courtesy of CJ