Hi Blog. Dovetailing with the current thread on Child Abductions in Japan, here is an argument made by Patrick McPike that the US State Department is grossly underestimating the numbers of children abducted from one parent following separation and/or divorce in Japan. Read on. The most staggering statistic is, “only about 2.6% of the 245,000 children affected by divorce [in Japan] will be allowed visitation” with their second parent. That’s unhealthy for a society as a whole, to say the least. Arudou Debito
Child Abduction in Japan… The REAL Numbers – part 1.
Unfortunately, child abduction in Japan is a major epidemic. Equally unfortunate is the fact that so few people are aware if it. Part of the reason for this could be the fact that the “official numbers” reported by the US Department of State are so wrong – and they know it.
According to the US Department of State [DoS], the current number of cases are as follows:
- Since 1994, the Office of Children’s Issues has opened 230 cases involving 321 children abducted to or wrongfully retained in Japan.
- As of January 7, 2011, the Office of Children’s Issues has 100 active cases involving 140 children.
- The U.S. Embassy in Tokyo reports an additional 31 cases in which both parents and the child(ren) reside in Japan but one parent has been denied access to the child(ren).
The DoS further acknowledges on their website that, “To date, the Office of Children’s Issues does not have a record of any cases resolved through a favorable Japanese court order or through the assistance of the Japanese government.”
So question number 1 that arises: What is behind the missing 130 cases?
Wait, did you catch that? DoS has admitted to opening 230 cases. Has acknowledged that Japan has never returned any children. But somehow only has 100 active cases. We will get back to this…
Another interesting “official number” is 31. The number of cases “acknowledged” by the Department of State, where the foreign parent is being denied access to their child after separation or divorce has occurred within Japan. This number, frankly, is just completely shameful.
Based on research done by both Law Professors in Japan and by Left-Behind Parents, we know that these cases number into the thousands.
In the english translation (Translation by Matthew J. McCauley of University of Washington’s Law School) of a paper written by Professor Tanase in 2009 (who has also been used as a consultant by DoS) he states, using statistics provided by various Japanese sources, that:
“ Over 251,000 married couples separated in 2008, and if this number is divided by the 726,000 marriages in the same year, roughly one out of every 2.9 marriages will end in divorce. Out of all divorcing couples, 144,000 have children, equaling about 245,000 children in all. Seeing as roughly 1.09 million children were born this year, about one out of every 4.5 children will experience divorce before reaching adulthood. Even with the increase in visitation awards, only about 2.6% of the 245,000 children affected by divorce [in Japan] will be allowed visitation. “
To simplify it: Out of 245,000 children who’s parent’s are divorced in Japan ONLYabout 6300 children will be allowed to maintain some level of contact with their “non-custodial parent” (We’ll get back to how custody is determined). The remaining 238,700 children have one parent ceremoniously cut completely and suddenly from their life – often being punished, either emotionally or physically, by the “custodial parent” if they ask to continue to see the removed parent.
In addition, based on statistics provided by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare (and gathered by Left-Behind Parent: John Gomez):
- From 1992 to 2009, there have been 7,449 divorces between an American and a Japanese in Japan.
- Of those Americans, 6,208 were men, and 1,241 were women.
- According to the statistics, there is, on average, one child per divorce in Japan
So when you take 7,449 divorces (each with an average of 1 child based on the above statistics) and use Professor Tanase’s 2.6% estimate (which should be expected to be higher than would actually apply to foreign parents), that leaves you with approximately 7,255 children of US citizens (just counting data up to 2009) that are being denied access to their US parent.
On top of that there are at least four “X-factors”:…
Read the rest of the site at:
From: Patrick McPike
Subject: White House Petition Regarding Japan and International Child Abduction
Date: September 22, 2011
I just started a petition on the White House Petitions site, We the People.
Will you sign it? http://wh.gov/gKV And then share it?
WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO:
PUBLICLY press Japan for the return of Abducted US Children and provide transparent dialogs with Japan on this issue.
Hundreds, if not thousands (Child Abduction in Japan… The REAL Numbers – http://bit.ly/pteCAe ), of US Citizen Children have been abducted to, or retained in, the country of Japan.
Japan has never returned a single child, has no legal concept of “joint-custody”, no enforcement of visitation, no requirement for rules of evidence on claims of DV.
The US Congress, in HR1326, has publicly condemned Japan and demanded the immediate return of this children.
However, the Executive Branch has only held back-room discussions. Additionally, there are persuasive claims the DoS is significantly downplaying the number of actual cases.
There needs to be complete transparency into this process, and public condemnation of Japan. These are our country’s children. We the people deserve to know if they are being traded for bases or other government goals.
Go to: http://wh.gov/gKV
7 comments on “Patrick McPike on USG’s underestimated numbers re Japan’s abducted children (only about 2.6% of J kids see both parents after divorce), plus online petition to Obama Admin”
Related: A Japanese father hangs himself and his son after receiving a court order that he must return his son to his estranged wife, apparently out of fear that he would not see his son again:
One does not really know that the example of Mr. Ito is truly related to injustice in Japanese family law.
Mr. Ito did kill his 3-year old son, in addition to himself, thereby suggesting that Mr. Ito was both mentally ill and homicidal.
A reasonable judge, who knew that Mr. Ito might kill his son, would be likely to return custody to the estranged wife and deprive Mr. Ito of all future contact.
The article notes:
“He placed a rope around his sons neck and hung his son just prior to hanging himself after court order to return son to mother.”
I do not believe that these facts provide support for the fact that the court acted incorrectly by depriving Mr. Ito of custody.
It’s obvious the US State Department is standing right in the middle of a divorced American parent and a child. Obama and the US Congress really need to start working on the issue seriously. The State Department’s attitude is already harming the rights of American citizens.
A sobering post… especially the news story regarding the hanging. It is an issue that truly needs to be addressed – and what an abhorrent thought that these children are being traded for government favors.
Sounds nice but don`t trust your politicians. Negative thinking I know but facts are facts. They have done nothing in decades. Funny thing is both countries are still trading and only working on finacial issues and once in a while they make a bleep about the abduction problem. So sad.
A quick comment about this:
He didn’t hang himself and his son over the fear he would not see his son again. He hung himself and his son because he was mentally ill. He made sure that if he couldn’t have his son noone else could. He made sure of that permanently. The divorce and court order might have been the trigger that pushed his mental illness over the edge but make no mistake about it, a normal rational person does not kill someone else because they might not see them again (I always wonder at that thought process, ‘hmm, I might not see you again, so let me kill you and myself to make sure I’ll never see you again’), a sick controlling monster does.
Custody battles, court orders, unfair laws, etc. They are all just pieces of paper. You don’t give up on your children no matter what happens. They will grow older and someday they will come searching for you. You need to be there for them, alive and well (mentally and physically) when that happens.
I wish I could have reached out to this man before he took such drastic measures….