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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

















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

  • 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.

  • 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.


    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.

  • 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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