This seems to be the first case that a Japanese abductor has been detained by U.S. law enforcement.

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ2011102916089

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http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10762452

The approach described here would probably be more effective for left-behind parents instead of Japan signing the Hague Convention.

http://4rionandlaurenandjulia.wordpress.com/2011/10/29/japan-needs-to-ratify-the-optional-protocols-on-the-un-treaties-it-has-signed/?mid=516

Michael Elias is a former U.S. Marine who served in Iraq whose two children were abducted to Japan by his Japanese wife.

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2011/10/06/iraq-war-vet-says-wife-kidnapped-children-to-japan/

Akio Yokota Diary

October 6, 2011

Link to audio version, read by Masako Suzuki Akeo:

http://lbp-nerima.bitsow.com/LBPJ/Yokota/Yokota.html

Final entries in diary of Akio Yokota, a left-behind Japanese father who committed suicide on September 11, 2011, provided and translated by Masako Suzuki Akeo.

Akio Yokota Diary

今日は落ち着かない。

Restless mind Today  

 2011年08月31日15:00 死にたい。

I want to die.

土曜にしてみよかな。

I am thinking to try on this Saturday.

せっかく手に入れた薬。

Already I got the medicine.

それでも死ななければ、生きないといけない宿命なんでしょうね。

If I fail to die, I resign myself to my fate and I should live.

またや… 

Again

2011年08月31日15:05

ケガをした“2歳”女児置き去り、虐待か

Somebody left a 2 year old girl who was injured. Is she abused?

http:// news.mi xi.jp/v iew_new s.pl?id=172594 2&media _id=88

なんで虐待するの?

Why was she abused?

その神経がわからない。

I can’t understand their feelings.

子供に罪はあるのか?

Are children in fault?

親でない親は死んでくれ。

I wish such stupid parents would die.

もう自信がでない。

Lack of confidence 

2011年09月01日12:50

やっぱり私は死ぬのが似合うようです。

I think my death will be suited in this real world.

息子のことでがんばって生きてきたつもりですが、やっぱり無理なようです。

I have lived for my son but I knew it is impossible for me.

仕事もなんだか失敗するし、日常生活も安定しないし。

When I work in my work place, I make many mistakes. My life is unstable.

いろんな意味で身体に無理がきてる。

I think my health and mental problems are the reasons

同じように精神的にも。

ちゃんと死んだあとのことを書いておかないと。

I should leave my will.

真面目に限界。

I’m near the end of my life-span.

今日は昨日以上に落ち込んでる。

Today I feel worse than yesterday.

頼むから…

Please

2011年09月01日19:19

田んぼに新生児を捨てた疑い

Somebody put the new born baby in a rice farm.

http:// news.mi xi.jp/v iew_new s.pl?id=172786 0&media _id=4

もうこんな話辞めにして。

Please do not do that anymore.

子供を引き取ることができない私のような親や、子供がほしくてもできない人達が沢山いるのに、人間性を疑う。

I question someone’s character. Please think about us who cannot raise our children and.

ほんとにさぁ…裁判所も、母性優先とか監護の継続性とか辞めようよ。

Please stop giving the mother sole priority and child custody in the court.

こんなのばかり見てたら、そんなん必要ないと思うわ。

After I read this news, I thought we do not need to keep giving the mother sole priority and custody

方法

The method

2011年09月01日19:24

始業式前 中1女子が飛び降り?

Before a school opening ceremony, a girl in the second grade of junior high school jumped to her death.

http:// news.mi xi.jp/v iew_new s.pl?id=172742 3&media _id=4

死にたい人の気持ちは異常なくらいわかる。

I can understand the feeling of someone who commit suicide.

同じだから。

I am same as them.

でも方法がね。

I am thinking of the method.

飛び降りかぁ…ホントに意識失うんかなぁ。

If I jump to my death, will I be unconscious?

うちはとにかく薬と、首吊りのダブルやな。

In my case, I want to use medicine and hang myself.

とかく、早く死にたい。

I want to die as soon as possible.

来週、面会交流の日…息子を抱きしめたいな。

I have visitation on next week and I want to hug my son.

でもそれまでもつのかどうか…。

However, I am not sure if I’ll be alive until the next visitation.

今日で任期を終える… 

Leave the chair on today

2011年09月02日17:39

江田法務大臣。

Justice Minister Eda.

次だれ?

Who is the next?

またハーグの件も、国内の連れ去りも一から?

Will The Hague Convention and Domestic Child Abduction start over again?

次になる人がフェミニストじゃないこと祈るわ。

I wish the next Justice Minister will not be a Feminist.

江田法務大臣よりも、活発的に、連れ去り禁止をもっと全面に出してほしい。

Please consider Child Abduction.

一方的な子供の連れ去りは、拉致誘拐だと。

Child Abduction is Kidnapping.

あるお方からのご意見です。

Opinion from other people

2011年09月02日22:52

ポリ袋に新生児入れ田んぼに

Somebody put the new born baby in a plastic bag and put the baby in a rice field.

http:// news.mi xi.jp/v iew_new s.pl?id=172786 0&media _id=4

私もこれには賛同できるので、コピペをさせて頂きました。

I copied and paste this story on my

website.

少しでも不幸な子供が減りますように…。

I wish this situation becomes less

frequent.

もし産める状況であるならば、産んで欲しいです。

If they can deliver the baby in this world,

they could put the baby up for adoption.

育てることができないのなら、どうしても子どもを持てない夫婦に託してください。

あなたのお腹を借りて、彼らのために授かった子なのかもしれません。

以下養子縁組に関するサイトです。

あなたがこの妊娠はあきらめることにしても、あなたの決断なので尊重します。

If you give up your pregnancy, I can respect your decision.

もしまた誰かが同じような悩みを抱えていたら、どうぞ教えてあげてください。

If somebody has same problems like this, please let them know these website.

★赤ちゃんを救う会★  Save The Babies

http:// www2.od n.ne.jp /~cae26 630/wa004.html

★環の会★ Circle Meeting

http:// http://www.wa- no-kai. jp/

★小さないのちを守る会★ Save the Children

http:// http://www.chi isana.o rg/

★愛の決心★ Cords of Love

http:// http://www.jes us-fami ly.jp/a doption.html

★ベビーライフ★ The Baby Life

http:// http://www.bab ylife.o rg/inde x.html

★ISSジャパン★ ISS Japan

http:// http://www.iss j.org/

★アクロスジャパン★ Across Japan

http:// http://www.geo cities. jp/mama s5papas /

★慈恵病院紹介の24時間相談所です。★ round the clock counseling in the Jikei Hospital

http:// http://www.jik ei-hp.o r.jp/yu rikago/3-1.htm l

0120-783-449( 悩みよ 至急 )

24時間無料電 round the clock toll free line

以上、お手すきの方、拡散願います。

Please spread to everybody

自分が子供を持ってみて、初めて赤ちゃんのかわいさを理解しましたよ。

I could understand the baby is very cute since I got my son.

こんなにかわいいものが、自分の体からでてきたもんとは思えない。

How much I love my son. I cannot think that my son came from by body.

本当に授かりものだと思う。

This is a gift from god

今日息子と血がつながっていないことがわかっても、私の生活は何にも変わらない。

If I am not related to my son by blood, my life does not change.

誕生のその時から、彼をずっと見てきたから。

I have seen my son’s growth.

血のつながりなんて些細なことだよ。

I do not care about blood relationship.

先日も里子里親の残念なニュースがあったばかり。

The other day the news announced very sad story between foster child and foster parents.

私は里親制度よりも、特別養子の仕組みをもっと活用できるようにすべきと思う。

I think newAdopted Child System is better than Traditional Adoption by Mutual Consent.

I think the new Specialized Adoption System should be put into use more, rather than the traditional one.

捨てられるくらいなら、最初から養親のもとで育てられた方がいいと思う。

If somebody wants to put the child somewhere they should send them to an adopton center.

そりゃ真実を知った時、子はショックなことかもしれない。

If a child find out the truth about their past they will be shocked about that situation

でも確かな親子関係があるなら、乗り越えられると思う。

However it wouldn’t matter if they have a strong relationship with their new parents

とあるサイトで見かけたエピソードをひとつ。

I found this article on a website.

実親は未成年の女の子。母親の恋人に暴行され、誰にも相談できずに生理が止まった。

This mother was minor. She was raped by her mother’s boyfriend. She could not tell to anybody and she missed her period.

暴行の事実を早く忘れたいのに、どんどんお腹は膨らんできて。。。

She wanted to forget her situation but her tummy was getting bigger.

特別養子を扱う団体にすがる思いで連絡をした。

She contacted an organization for Adopted Children Center.

すぐに団体に身を寄せた。

She moved to this center quickly.

そして彼女は子を産んだ。中絶は不可能な週数だったから。

Then she delivered the baby. It was too late to have an abortion.

彼女は子の顔も見ることもなかった。

She has never seen her own baby.

帝王切開の傷だけは、暴行の事実を一生残した。

The Caesarean scar left a reminder of the assault.

傷を見るたびに、悲しい気持ちになった

When she saw her scar, it made her sad.

それでも、生まれてきた子は裕福な夫婦に引き取られ、日々笑顔の中で成長している。

I think this baby maybe happy in the future, a rich family may take him and he has a good life

子供は捨てるなよ。

Do not throw away children.

神様はコウノトリの交通整理しちゃくれないんだから、こっちでやるべきことをやらないとなんないんだから。

God cannot control a parent-child problem. We should do this in the real world.

もう前向きには 

No more positive

2011年09月04日21:25

ちょうど一年前、妻とは一度目の別居をし、楓と二人で生活をしていたのを思い出します。

We have been separated for one year now. I have memories of when my son and I lived together alone.

そして妻からのメールで”戻りたい”と連絡があり、元に戻った時のことを。

I recall the day when my wife asked to come back to live together with us.

そしてその2か月後連れ去りに。

I agreed but 2 months later she abducted my son.

今は全く逆。

Now the situation is opposite and she lives with my son and I am alone.

私が”戻りたい”と言っても無視。

I asked her to live together again. But she ignored.

あげくメールや電話番号を隠されている(電話番号はわかりましたが)

She refused to give me her email address and phone number , but I know her number anyway.

いろいろ考えましたが、やはり前向きにはなれないですね。

I am thinking about many things but I do not see a food outcome.

自殺の方法ばかりみています。

Now I am checking how to kill by myself,

全身麻酔薬や筋弛緩剤などは手に入ってる。

I have general anesthetic and a muscle relaxing fluid.

でも使わない・・・なぜだろう・・・前の職場に迷惑かけちゃうからかな。

But I do not use of that one.,,,,,,,, because…….. the police will investgate of my hospital where I work.

首つり・・・太い配管があるので、そこで体重をかけてみましたが、ミシミシ・・・っと音が鳴り、無理っぽい。

I tried to use a towel to hang myself from a thick pipe earlier, but all I heard was q squeaking sound.

なぜ死ねないのか。

I thought to myself why de cannot I die.

死んだら周りに迷惑とか関係ないんだけどな。

If I die, I would not be a problem for everybody anymore.

当分これで苦しまないといけないのか。

How long should I suffer from this problem

死んだとき用に、死んだら、ここには連絡を入れてほしいリストを作成しておいた。

I have prepared a list of people to contact when I die.

幸せってなんだろう?

What is happiness?

子供を自分の力で大きくし、育て、人生を大きく羽ばたかせてやることがうちの一番の幸せかな。

My happiness is raising my son.

また家族3人で暮らせることだろうか・・・。

I am wondering if I can live together with my wife and son again.

うちの妻はまだ意固地になってますしね。

My wife is still adamantly saying no.

ホント助けてほしいです。

Really please help me.

うちが一年前、妻を受け入れた時のように。

I wish she would accept me like I accepted her one year ago.

そういや、今は携帯のキャリア関係なしで電話番号だけでメール送れるんでしたっけ?

I am wondering, if I know her cellphone number can I send a message to her?

誰かSな方、メールをたくさん送って、うちの妻を虐めてみませんか?w

I wish I can find somebody to harass her by sending a lot of emails to her cell phone and make her wake up.

っていうか、本当にそろそろ目を覚ましてほしいです。

このままでは子供は幸せには絶対になれない。

In this situation my son is never going to be happy.

妻母からの電話。

I got a phone call from my mother in law.

2011年09月05日08:28

朝、仕事に出る前に、妻の母から電話が鳴った。

Before going to my work, my mother in law phoned to me this morning.

「自転車で走行中、夏美と楓が車に当たり、事故にあったと」

She said that when Natsumi and kaede were biking, they had a car accident.

急いで仕事を休みにしてもらい、実家へ向かうことに。

Then I got day off and went to mother in laws house.

病院の名前は知らされていません。

She did not say hospitals name.

とにかく実家へ向かいます。

Anyway I will go there.

どうか楓だけでも無事なように…。

I wish just kaede will be ok.

結果はまた知らせます。

I will tell he is ok or not latar.

んで結果…

so

家にいました。

They were in her house.

義理母から、大丈夫だと。

Mother in law said that they were fine.

でも玄関までで、嫁が合わせたく無いし、会いたく無いから、帰ってほしいと。

My wife said to her that she does not want to see me and go home.

今週の面会交流は通常どおりするからって。

The next visitation will be as usual.

じゃあ、なぜ電話してきたか問うと、義理母は、私もパニック起こしてつい、娘に何も言わず連絡してしまった。

Then I asked to her why you phoned to me. So she replied I panicked and contacted you without my daughter’s permission.

まさか家までくると思ってなかったと。

I didn’t expect you to come here.

楓はほぼ無傷らしいが、嫁が擦過傷とか酷いみたいよ。

Your son was fine. But your wife got bruises and scratches.

そして、お母さんに聞かれた。

Then she asked me.

どうして調停中なのに、来られたんですか?

Why did you come here when we are still in mediation?

夏美を心配事してきたのですか?

Were you concerned about your wife or were you only worried your son ?

それとも楓だからですか?って。

両方です!

I replied both!

って話したけど。

虚しく帰ることにします。

I felt helpless, when I left from their house.

怒りが治まりません。

I cannot control my emotions and I feel so angry and frustrated.

楓の無事な姿一目でも見たかったけど、あまりの酷さに愕然です。

I only wanted to see my son for a few seconds. They said no, i was shocked, I felt dazed and weak like in was about to pass out.

今日のことで…。 

Today’s matter 

2011年09月05日14:48

今日の出来事が一連のことで心折らされた。

I decided to give up by Today’s matter.

やっぱり死にたい。

I want to die.

準備として、タオルを首に巻いて意識が飛ぶかかなりの圧力をかけてやってみた。

I pressured of my neck with towel.

首の骨がミシっと音が鳴った。

I heard the sound that my neck of the bone was cracked.

しかし意識は飛ばず、顔面の怒張と舌のしびれくらいしか起こらない。

However, I could not be unconscious and only my face and my tongue were numbed by this.

うちには首吊りは向いてないのかな…。

Hanging myself is not suited about me.

なぜみんなそんな簡単に首吊りで逝ける?

Why can everybody hang themselves very easy?

なんか今日も議員が一人首吊りして死んでたね。

I heard the diet member hanged himself today.

うらやましい。

I envy him.

なんだかね…希望が湧いてこないのよね。

My life is hopeless.

ハーグのことも進みそうだけど、あんまり期待はできないし、かつ国内の連れ去りなんて尚、希望薄い。

I cannot expect anything good from the Hague Convention. Furthermore, the Domestic Children Abduction Problem is hopeless.

ほんと日本って住みづらいなぁ。

Really it is difficult to live in japan.

しかし首が痛い。

My neck is in pain.

意識飛びそうだったら、そのまま逝きたいのに。

If I became be unconscious, I hope I leave this world.

こんな自分がやになってくる。

I hate me.

誰か殺してくれないだろうか?

Please kill me.

テレビで誰かが殺されたニュースなんて沢山してるけど、代わりに死んであげたいわ。

TV news announces about many murder cases. I can die instead of them,

つうか、もう助けてというか、どないかして。

Please help me. Please…..

トラウマ 

Trauma

2011年09月07日14:01

私、やっぱり無理です。

I am not o.k.

先日の妻の事故の件と、職場を変わって、看護より事務作業が多すぎて頭をついていかせるのが精一杯でジェネレーションギャップを感じています。

I felt lots of generation gap in my work place. Everything bothered to me, car accident, new work place, more office work, etc.

そしてトラウマも蘇り、お腹も下すし、仕事もこの二日寝れてないせいもあってか、思考回路も止まっています。

Furthermore, trauma is coming again, I cannot think about anything. So I could not sleep for 2 nights and I got diarrhea.

過去の連れ去りに合った直後と同じような状況です。

This situation is same as after child abduction.

そして今日、早退しました。

I got off my work today.

また未遂に終るかもだけど、死にたいと思います。

I want to die. I think I’ll attempt suicide again.

もう全てにおいて疲れた。

I am tired of everything

さようなら

Good

bye

2011年09月11日14:31

あんまりミクシィで書いても信憑性ないのかもだけど。

I think some of people believe what I’m saying about my story on mixi.

今日、面会交流してきました。

I met my son today.

やっぱりパパ誰かわかる?って聞くと、顔をそむけたり、暴れだしたり・・。

I asked him who is dad. My son did not look at me and he was against me.

子供はなんとなくわかってるんでしょうね。

He knows this situation.

気を使っているんでしょうか。

Is he worried about me?

そして妻の顔を遠くからですが、10ヵ月ぶりにみました。

I saw my wife for the first time in 10 month.

普通にしてましたわ。

She was same as before.

逆にオシャレしてました。

However, I thought that she became to be more fashionable.

先日はドルミカムとホリゾンを混合して静脈注射して2日入院しました。

The other day I mixed Dormicum and Horizon and administered intravenous fluids. So I stayed in a hospital for 2 days.

逝けると期待してたのに。

I was thinking to die at that time.

できれば全身麻酔薬を使いたくなかった。

I was hoping to not use general anesthetic.

手に入れたことを調べられるので、職場に迷惑かかると思ったんですが、やはりこの方法しかないとおもいました。

Although the police would investigate how I got this medicines and I would bother my work place, this is my only way.

みなさん、ミクシィはこのままにしておきます。

To everybody, I would like to keep MIXI like this.

心配してくださった方、心配していなかった方、どうでもよかった方。

To everybody.

みなさん、さようなら。

Good bye

This is “from the trenches” and tells what it’s really like in Japan when you are denied access to your kids by your spouse or ex-spouse.
October 4, 2011, from The Japan Times Online:
THE ZEIT GIST

Left-behind dads take desperate measures

Richard Cory‘s battle to be reunited with his kids exposes role of bureaucracy in ‘land of the abducted son’

 

By RICHARD CORY

“In September of 2010, The Japan Times published a two-part series by a man under the pen name Richard Cory telling the extraordinary tale of his divorce and custody battles over his three children with his Japanese ex-wife . . . essentially custody by capture.” — “Divorce and the Welfare of the Child in Japan,” Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal, June 2011

My story, the Richard Cory story (Zeit Gist, Nov. 3, 2009; Sept. 21, 2010; Sept. 28,2010), demonstrates perhaps more than any other reported the role Japanese public servants often play in facilitating the removal of children from loving parents, usually fathers, who desire to parent their offspring. It’s a story that everyone, particularly foreigners who might not be aware of Japan’s sordid reputation as the “land of the abducted son,” should read and seriously contemplate before settling in this country.

Fathers are generally the victims of parental abduction, but loving mothers have been left behind too, and if you dare think that your spouse can’t simply decide five, 10 or 15 years down the road that he or she no longer wants you in your child’s life, you’d better go back and read the signs so prominently displayed at Narita airport: Yokoso Nippon! — Welcome to Japan.

Shortly after the first Cory article was printed, I finally decided to share the story with a fellow that I had become increasingly conversational with at the gym. This apparently single man in his 20s then opened up about a secret of his own: His son had been abducted a year earlier by his Japanese wife.

In his case — and I have reviewed the ruling — the family court investigators had recommended visitation of one hour a month, but the judge overseeing the case instead wrote in her decision: “Since one hour is relatively short, once a month is seen as not sufficient to build a healthy father-child relationship, so the rate of twice a month is deemed befitting. Furthermore, if the father’s Japanese language skills improve, expansion of visitation rights and definitions are naturally possible.”

Overlooking the prejudice based on Japanese ability, a judiciary filled with women who not only think but are willing to write that two hours a month is adequate for a healthy father-child relationship more than demonstrates the utter lack of respect afforded fathers in Japan. Would she, or any other judge, dare pen such an abomination about mothers? And how would Japanese react if, for example, a judge in an English-speaking country limited a Japanese parent’s contact with his or her own child based on the parent’s less-than-fluent English skills?

Moreover, for those of you who might think that one to two hours a month actually refers to “one to two hours,” let me direct your attention back to those signs at Narita airport. Real or fabricated excuses for not making the child available for visitation are common. This fellow’s wife would kindly let him make the two-hour journey to see his son, and then, immediately prior to the scheduled meeting, phone his lawyer and claim to be a bit under the weather. How much of this state-tolerated abuse would you endure before you finally threw in the towel?

Many foreigners claim that they would leave Japan for the more evolved parental protections offered elsewhere — what is commonly known as “jurisdiction shopping.” In fact, as the end of 2010 approached, I was contacted by a long-term resident of Japan considering such a maneuver. This American father claimed that his two young children were being abused by their Japanese mother, and even though he loved all that Japan offered, he also saw his marriage going down the same path as mine.

In my case, officers at the ward’s Child Guidance Center (jidōsōdanjo) made at least three offers to put my daughter in a shelter to protect her from an increasingly abusive mother in the three months leading up to her abduction — offers declined because she was scared to be alone (the center would not allow her father or her brothers to enter with her). However, after the abduction these same officers refused to make any efforts to protect my daughter or her brothers from their mother.

In mid-December, the man who had contacted me quit his job, transferred his money overseas, and then he, his wife and two children flew out of Japan on what appeared to be a typical Christmas visit with his family. The day after Christmas, he took the children to a secure location and then told his wife that he and the children would not be going back to Japan. And they didn’t. They quietly disappeared, and she returned alone shortly after the new year.

Now, it should be noted that judges outside Japan generally have no tolerance for the unilateral removal of a child from the habitual residence, i.e., where the child has lived during the previous six months. This was demonstrated ever so clearly in the Carter v. Carter case.

This dispute involved an American man and his Japanese wife. They met while he was stationed in Japan on a military assignment and were married here in 1994. A year later they moved to the States, and in 2002 while in Nebraska, where they had lived since 1999, they welcomed their son into the world. A few months later, Mr. Carter was assigned to a position at the Yokosuka Naval Base, and the family lived there for the next 2½ years. After Mr. Carter’s assignment ended, he returned to Nebraska with his son and filed for legal separation and permanent custody.

However, the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled that the state did not have jurisdiction because the boy had lived the previous six months in Japan, and furthermore awarded attorney fees of $10,000 to Ms. Carter for being “forced to leave her home in Japan to defend this lengthy and meritless jurisdiction dispute.” In the end, this naval officer most likely sank his own ship after returning to Nebraska when he advised his wife in an email that she “should be looking for an Omaha-based attorney.” Because she found one.

Those who are not Japanese might expect their embassy or department of foreign affairs to provide protections. My own court-mandated divorce mediation has continued since January 2010, and my wife has refused to allow any visitation with my sons, now 11 and 8. Over the past 18 months, the U.S. Embassy has made three requests for welfare visits with the boys, and each request has been turned down by the mother.

In fact, the most recent request was made by my congressman, who asked the U.S. State Department to confirm the safety of the boys. The State Department contacted the U.S. Embassy, which contacted the mother’s Japanese lawyer. In its response to my congressman, the State Department wrote that the mother’s lawyer stunningly claimed to be “unaware of (Mr. Cory’s) lack of contact with the children” but assured the embassy that “the courts have been monitoring the children’s wellbeing as part of the proceedings.”

At my next mediation session, I asked the family court investigator present what had been done over the past year to monitor the wellbeing of the children. I was then told that court officers were not monitoring the children, but they could ask the mother how the children are doing and possibly for a photo, even though she would be under no obligation to provide one and any information she gave would not be verified.

ASfinal option for left-behind parents to reestablishing links with their children is often the use of costly private investigators. Being a public servant — an English teacher at a junior high school in Tokyo, to be exact — my wife was able to take advantage of a very generous medical leave that allows public servants to take a year away from work at 80 percent pay for a variety of “medical” conditions, such as teacher burnout, followed by two additional years at no pay, if desired.

Although my wife was making every effort to keep herself and the two boys hidden, she was still showing up for bimonthly mediation sessions at the courthouse, during which we would never actually see each other.

So it didn’t take long for me to pony up ¥85,000 for a new team of private investigators to follow her home after one of those sessions. Although this new team came highly recommended on websites and by others in the left-behind-parent movement, my disappointment continued upon receiving the written report of the surveillance: “At 1709 hrs, the train stopped at ——— station to meet the express. (Ms. Cory) stayed in the train and seemed not to transfer to the express. At 1711 hrs, the express arrived at the station and right before the express’s door closed, (Ms. Cory) suddenly jumped out of the train and into the express. At the same time, the investigator jumped out of the train, but before the investigator could jump into the express, the doors had closed and the express had started running.

“Investigators missed (Ms. Cory) this time, but both investigators are clearly sure that (Ms. Cory) did not detect the existence of the investigators. This means that (Ms. Cory) probably assumes tailing by someone regularly, or if she detected the investigators, she has been trained and/or advised by a pro.”

Adding this ¥85,000 to the ¥261,650 that I had already spent on investigators brought my new total to ¥346,650.

After her one year of leave at 80 percent pay ran out, my wife returned to work, and I hired a third private investigator that one left-behind-parent website claims “many users rave about.” The charge was ¥50,000 up front and ¥50,000 on success. After almost two months of no success, I received the following message from the lead investigator: “Due to the pricing system, I will take care of your case in my vacant time while handling other cases at the same time. I’ll give you an update on any developments.” As an incentive, I offered an additional ¥50,000, for a new total of ¥100,000 payable on success, and out of frustration approached a previously used firm, offering it ¥120,000 payable only on success. This second team accepted the offer and found the boys on their third attempt a few days later.

Although I do not have physical custody (kangoken) of my sons, I still have full legal custody (shinken) of them, so I contacted the boys’ school to arrange a meeting with the vice principal. The vice principal contacted the mother, who of course strongly objected to any meeting between the vice principal and me. The vice principal then said that because the physical custody holder had asked the school not to disclose any information about the boys, the school would have no choice but to obey her request.

I then contacted the board of education, which concurred with the vice principal’s decision. Finally, my own lawyer piped in: “Actually, the kangoken holder can demand the school not to disclose any information about the children to the other parent even if the other parent has shinken.”

My now 14-year-old daughter has not seen her brothers since her rescue in April 2010, so I took her over to her brothers’ residence one weekday afternoon to deliver a birthday card she had made for the older boy. Even though there are no restraining orders against me, the mother was away, and I itched to see my sons, I stayed two blocks away as my daughter went to the second floor of the apartment building and rang the doorbell.

No one ever responded, but as my daughter was walking away from the building, a policeman rounded the corner like he was in a mad dash to win stage six of the Tour de France. He screeched to a halt in front of the building and raced inside. We observed from a distance, and then calmly walked away disappointed.

My daughter and I are moving on with our lives, but daily annoyances still continue. After abducting the children, my wife requested the post office to forward her mail to her parents’ home. As can be guessed, the post office occasionally makes mistakes, delivering her mail to me and apparently mine to her. Monthly credit card statements, salary summaries, financial papers and renewal notices occasionally do not arrive. During a visit to the post office to complain, I was told that the post office would “do their best” to correct the problem.

A year after my wife had left the home, the problem continued, so I visited the post office again, wondering why the mail-forwarding request did not expire after a year. I was then informed that it indeed had expired, but she had renewed it, which she can continue to do yearly in perpetuity from any known residence of mine, till death do us part.

Richard Cory is a pseudonym. Japanese translations of the three previous Cory Zeit Gist articles can be found atwww.japaneseforjustice.com. Send comments and ideas tocommunity@japantimes.co.jp