Encouraging court ruling in Japan, unfortunately not enforceable

May 30, 2011

Judge Nobuyoshi Asami of the Itami branch of the Kobe Family Court handed down a unique ruling for Japan in a case involving a Nicaraguan father and Japanese mother.  Judge Asami’s ruling allows the father to meet the 8 year old child for about 30 days in the United States each year through August 2017 and orders the mother to have the father and child meet in Japan for about two weeks every year and stay in touch by web camera and telephone.  The case is being appealed, and unfortunately the ruling is unenforceable and the mother is refusing to comply.


Here are comments which were posted by the father regarding some facts that are not in the article link above:

“First of all, my US divorce judgment fulfills all the requirements for full recognition and enforcement according to the Japanese Civil Code. Second, I spent nearly 250,000 USD in legal fees in both countries, including also travel to Japan (8) times in total. I had full legal custody in both countries ratified up to the Tokyo Supreme Court. However, I was able to see my child only twice. In spite of this, the family court in Kobe decided to change custody to the Japanese mother for the “excuse” that the child had been living in Japan. However, this story doesn’t mention that the child was illegally abducted against US court orders, and that the Japanese mother has been found in contempt in US courts. I am fluent in three languages (English, Japanese and Spanish) so my child really doesn’t have to adjust to my language and culture as she was fully trilingual when she was abducted to Japan. The last comment is that this judgment lacks any enforcement in Japan and that the Japanese mother refused the first scheduled visitation after the judgment was released, in spite of the Japanese judge asking her to allow the visitation for the well-being of the child.”


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