Aaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 8123 posts, RR: 26 Posted (4 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 1519 times:
Wow, this is really gaining traction. It's about time - these absurd policies need to come to an end. There have been a series of articles this week on Japanese fathers who went out of their way despite busy careers to assist their wives with child-rearing, only to be totally denied visitation following divorce. Naturally it's even worse for foreigners.
Laws that allow only one parent to have custody of children in cases of divorce - nearly always the mother - set Japan apart from most other developed countries. They also leave most fathers, including foreigners, unable to see their children until they are grown.
"This matter has raised very real concerns among senior and prominent Americans in Congress, on Capitol Hill and elsewhere," U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell told reporters in Tokyo after meeting with affected American parents in Japan. He called their predicament "heartbreaking."
With bias like this, who can blame other countries for standing up to this?
Campbell urged that Japan join the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction, signed by 80 nations, which is meant to address international custody battles, adding to recent pressure from Britain, Australia, France and several other countries.
Japan is the only Group of Seven nation that hasn't signed the convention, arguing that it could endanger Japanese women and their children trying to flee abusive foreign husbands.
But Campbell said that based on U.S. examination of international custody cases, "that allegation is used very loosely and often inappropriately without any supporting criteria whatsoever."
This is certainly a State Department endeavor worth supporting. No father should be denied a relationship with their child because a Japanese court can't get its mindset out of the 1870s.
LTU932 From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 13864 posts, RR: 50
Reply 1, posted (4 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 1494 times:
Quoting Aaron747 (Thread starter): Laws that allow only one parent to have custody of children in cases of divorce - nearly always the mother - set Japan apart from most other developed countries. They also leave most fathers, including foreigners, unable to see their children until they are grown.
Germany isn't that innocent in that regard either (though it doesn't have to do with any of the parents being foreigners or not). Most of the time, it's the mother who gets custody of the children. I personally plead for more equality in child custody laws, because being a mother doesn't necessarily mean you're more apt to have sole custody of a child than the father.