French Embassy reports French father of abducted child in Japan commits suicide


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Hi Blog.  The latest in a series of tragedies through child abductions by Japanese because Japan’s laws and Family Court do not prevent them (more at  The tragedy is clearly not only that of children being deprived of a parent.  On November 19, a Left-Behind Parent deprived himself of his life.  As reports the French Embassy in French and Japanese on November 24.  English translation first, then official texts from the Embassy.

We’ve had government after government denouncing this practice, GOJ, as the French Embassy puts it so eruditely below.  How much longer must it go on?  Arudou Debito


35 Year – old French Father kills self after loss of children in Japan.
Ambassade de France au Japon, November 24, 2010
Translation to English, courtesy of

Our compatriot Arnaud Simon killed himself Friday, November 19. The French teacher in Tokyo, he was 35 years old and lived in Japan since 2006.

Separated from his wife since last March, he was the father of a boy of 20 months he had sought unsuccessfully to gain custody. Our community is in mourning and I present on behalf of all our condolences to his family and loved ones.

Nobody can speak with certainty about the reasons why a man so young to commit an act so terrible. Mr. Simon, however, had recently expressed to the consular section of our embassy in Tokyo of its difficulties to meet his son and it is very likely that the separation from her child was a determining factor. This reminds us all if need be suffering fathers of the 32 French and two hundred other cases identified by consular authorities as being deprived of because of their parental rights.

It is clear that our words and deeds are little face a dramatic situation, but I wanted to remind the determined action of the French authorities and the Embassy in connection with its German partners, American, Australian, Belgian, British, Canadian, Colombian, Spanish, Hungarian, Italian and New Zealand calling on Japan to ratify the Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction and expedite a review of individual records to find appropriate solutions where they are possible, depending on circumstances.

It is the interests of children, that nobody has the right to deprive one of their parents. It is also to take into account the suffering of the fathers we have today is a tragic event.


Décès de M. Arnaud Simon – Message de condoléances de l’Ambassadeur
Ambassade de France au Japon, 24 novembre 2010

Notre compatriote Arnaud Simon s’est donné la mort vendredi 19 novembre. Enseignant le Français à Tokyo, il était âgé de 35 ans et vivait au Japon depuis 2006.

Séparé de sa femme depuis mars dernier, il était père d’un petit garçon de 20 mois dont il avait cherché en vain à obtenir la garde. Notre communauté est en deuil et je présente en son nom toutes nos condoléances à sa famille et à ses proches.

Personne ne peut se prononcer avec certitude quant aux raisons qui ont poussé un homme aussi jeune à commettre un geste aussi terrible. M. Simon avait toutefois fait part récemment à la section consulaire de notre ambassade à Tokyo des difficultés qu’il éprouvait pour rencontrer son fils et il est très probable que la séparation d’avec son enfant a été un des facteurs déterminants. Ceci nous rappelle à tous s’il en était besoin la souffrance des 32 pères français et des deux cents autres cas recensés par les autorités consulaires comme étant privés de fait de leurs droits parentaux.

Il est bien évident que nos paroles et nos actes sont peu de choses face à une situation aussi dramatique, mais je tenais à rappeler l’action déterminée des autorités françaises et de cette Ambassade en lien avec ses partenaires allemands, américains, australiens, belges, britanniques, canadiens, colombiens, espagnols, hongrois, italiens et néo-zélandais pour demander au Japon de ratifier la Convention de La Haye sur les aspects civils de l’enlèvement international d’enfants et procéder rapidement à un examen individuel des dossiers afin de trouver des solutions appropriées là où elles sont possibles, en fonction des circonstances.

Il s’agit de l’intérêt des enfants, que personne n’a le droit de priver de l’un de leurs parents. Il s’agit également de prendre en compte la souffrance des pères dont nous avons aujourd’hui une tragique manifestation.

Service d’Information et de Communication (24 novembre)



アルノー・シモン氏の訃報 に対する 駐日フランス大使のお悔やみ






Service d’Information et de Communication (11月24日)

15 comments on “French Embassy reports French father of abducted child in Japan commits suicide

  • When will these so called “family law” experts wake up to themselves. The psychological havoc their inertia inflicts on this society and it’s people is a national disgrace crying out for change.

  • Although this is a tragedy, it has little to do with Hague Convention. The convention is about cross border abduction. The case is a custody dispute inside Japan. The habitual residence of the child is Japan. So, the convention would not help.

  • While Ho is correct that the Hague Convention would not really help in this situation. He fails to mention that Japan’s extremely antiquated family laws are at the root of the problem.

    A Japanese coworker of mine is going through the same situation while separated from his wife. Two weeks ago the stress of not being able to see his daughter in six months evidently made him snap. Went to his wife’s home, took his daughter and disappeared for two days until the police arrested him. He was not arrested on kidnapping, but on Assualt and Battery (傷害事件). He is one of the nicest people I have known in my nearly 20 years here. He is still being held at least for another 10 days.
    Japan really needs to address these old laws and bring them up to current international standards, and allow things like dual custody and sign the Hague treaty.

  • This is a terrible thing, and HO has been on a similar thread making insensitive comments, so no need to even reply. What I am glad about is that at least the Ftench Embassy is taking this very seriously. Were the situation reversed, you can bet that there would be a lot of demands from this end

  • As I’ve said before Japan needs to change the law so that J and NJ parents have a right to a relationship with their children. The current situation is madness for everyone, parents and children alike.

  • HO stop the BS. This man’s death is directly on the govt’s hands. If his rights to maintain contact with his child was respected by the courts and enforced under the law this tragedy might not have happened.

  • Such a shame. Does anyone know if there is any movement within the Japanese government trying to change Japan’s family laws? Furthermore is there some NPO pushing for the same?

  • Japan needs to solve the child custody issue, both for internal and international cases, as well as Japanese and Japanese/Foreigner families. Refusing to ratify the Hague Convention is only one facet of the problem.

    LVFC, if your co-worker get arrested on Assault and Battery charges, then chances are he is guilty one or both. I have trouble imagining him simply going through the front door, getting his child and walking out (how did he get in, anyway?)

  • Edward J. Cunningham says:

    First, I would like to express my deepest sympathies to the family of Armaund Simon as well as to the people of France. With that in mind, I have a question for those in this blog who can read Japanese. I could not help but notice that the English translation of the press release is VERY awkwardly written. Is the Japanese translation any better? Thank you.

  • Goodbye Arnaud from The Japan Children’s Rights Network. It is a shame the Japanese Government doesn’t address this issue of “custody dispute(s) inside Japan” properly, like all other first world Adults… This has nothing to do with The Hague, only a poor child’s second great loss. Get with the program Japan. You have now permanently deprived a child of their parent.

  • Adamc
    >dont you think that changing the family law might help?

    What I think Japan should do is to amend “Civil Execution Act” 民事執行法 to establish a civil execution process to force delivery of living human body from a present custodian to a rightful custodian. There is no such process clearly written in the book of law, because human body is believed to be immune to civil enforcement. So, the Japanese courts are unable to realize their own finalized judgments when delivery of human body is involved. By establishing such civil process, most of the custody disputes, I think, will be solved.

    Edward J. Cunningham
    Japanese version is awkward, too. The honorific level changes from one sentence to another. The kanji “同朋” should have been “同胞”. The expression “恐ろしい行為に及んだ” is not sympathetic to the victim.

  • HO, doesn’t make sense what you’re proposing. How can a non-custodial parents rights be enforced if this Civil Execution Act only enforces rights for the child’s legal custodian. You must think we’re stupid to go for that. It seems you are proposing settling the issue of international cases and not domestic cases with an amendment to the Civil Execution Act. No Way!!


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