Documentary film on parental child abduction in Japan: Fundraiser Tues Dec 11 in Tokyo


Hi Blog. I have been quite closely associated with this project for more than a year now (I’m interviewed in the film–see the link to the trailer below) and have a personal stake in the subject. I encourage you to join us for the fundraiser, help out in any way you can, and even perhaps suggest venues we could appear at to get the word out. This is the Golden Age of the documentary, and this one ranks amongst the important ones. Help us get it launched. Downloadable movie poster available here. Arudou Debito in Sapporo



We first learned of this situation in January 2006 in a Metropolis article titled “Think of the children” by Kevin Buckland, and after some discussions we felt strongly that a documentary film would be an influential way to raise awareness about the issue. Both of us are married to Japanese and have started wonderful families, but hearing how easily and frequently a parent can be cut off from seeing their own kids was very disturbing. In reality, when a marriage in Japan or with a Japanese national(s) goes bad and there are kids involved, the situation easily becomes drastic and severe. Though the Japanese courts, government and police may not have intended it to be this way, Japan has become an abduction-friendly country, where the winner is the first one to grab the kids and run. We want to make this film to expose the depth of the current problem and how it affects everyone–worst of all, the children who are caught in the middle.

For the past year we have juggled our schedules to travel to several cities all over the world, talking to left-behind parents, attempting to speak with abducting parents, and conversing with experts on divorce, child psychology and law to gain and ultimately share a greater understanding of how and why this situation exists. We plan to take at least two months off from our current employment in spring 2008, and dedicate ourselves full time to edit and finalize the film. We aim for a screening at a film festival before the year is out. Our intention is to show it outside Japan first, garnering international support to create “gaiatsu” (outside pressure) that will force Japan to address and take responsibility for addressing the current situation. Matt and I want to make a film with tremendous impact in a prompt time frame, and to do that will require a much greater amount of funds than we have at this point. It is our goal to raise close to a quarter million dollars for this purpose. We ask all of you to consider making a donation within your budget toward our goal. For American tax payers we will soon have information about how you can donate tax free to our non-profit account at IDA.

We will have a Fundraiser at the Pink Cow restaurant in Shibuya on December 11th from 7:30 to 10:00pm. Tickets cost 10,000 yen include a beautiful buffet dinner two drinks (then cash bar), speakers and discussion about the current situation and a video presentation. For tickets contact:

Murray Wood, Steve Christie and Debito Arudou are among the list of attendees.

Please visit our website at:

View our trailer and find out more details about the film, links to other important websites, and donation details.

Matt’s e-mail is:
Dave’s e-mail is:

Thank you for your time and consideration.

David Hearn and Matt Antell

“Remember the Children
One year on, has anything changed in the fight against international child abduction?”
Follow-up article in Metropolis by Kevin Buckland

Children’s Rights Network Japan

1 comment on “Documentary film on parental child abduction in Japan: Fundraiser Tues Dec 11 in Tokyo

  • From: CRN Japan’s Mark Smith
    Subject: [Community] JFBA joint custody seminar in Tokyo on Nov 17
    Date: November 11, 2007 8:23:26 PM JST

    The Japan Federation of Bar Associations will be having a seminar in Tokyo
    entitled “Divorce and Children 2: Thinking of Joint Custody”. (I think the “2”
    part refers to the fact that they held one a year ago also.)

    This is not just for lawyers, so if you speak Japanese and are in Tokyo on
    November 17, from 13:00 to 17:00, you may want to attend. Their website page
    with more information about this event is here.

    Might be a good thing to have a lot of non-Japanese show up so that they saw
    that the problem is not restricted to Japanese.



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