These statistics were provided by John Gomez of Kizuna-CPR (http://kizuna-cpr.org/meeting_summary_november_24_2012):

“4.6 million divorces 1992 – 2010, one child per divorce on average, 58% loss of access according to NHK Close Up Gendai yields an estimated 2.7 million children in Japan who have lost their relationship with their parent during this time, which is a human rights violation. It is about 150,000 children per year.”
That means every hour an additional 17 children living in Japan are being shut out of the life of one of their parents.  Considering the cumulative impact, not just in terms of the number of children involved, but also left-behind parents, family members, and others, this problem is having a devastating effect on a sizeable percentage of the Japanese population.

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T121116004864.htm

 

Many important bills being shelved, scrapped

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Many important bills were hastily passed in the House of Representatives on Thursday, including a bill allowing the government to issue deficit-covering bonds, ahead of the imminent dissolution of the lower house.

However, there are quite a few important bills that were scrapped or shelved, such as a bill for Diet approval of Japan joining the Hague Convention, which stipulates procedures among member states to resolve international child custody issues. A bill to introduce the My Number system, which would provide each person with a unique identification number, also was canned.

During a debate with main opposition Liberal Democratic Party President Shinzo Abe on Wednesday, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said he could dissolve the lower house Friday. After that, the LDP and its opposition coalition partner New Komeito softened their stances regarding Diet affairs.

At its plenary session on Thursday, the lower house passed bills such as the deficit bond bill and a revision to the National Pension Law, which will reduce pension benefits that are currently 2.5 percent higher than they should be in deflation-adjusted terms in three stages from October 2013.

These bills were enacted after being passed in the House of Councillors on Friday.

In order to resolve as many bills as possible, both houses held two plenary sessions Friday.

The issue of electoral reform of the lower house, which was the main point of concern before the dissolution of the house, became complicated, as two separate bills were passed in the lower house.

The Diet affairs committee chairmen of the DPJ, the LDP and Komeito met Thursday morning to discuss how to handle two separate bills related to electoral reform of the lower house, submitted by the DPJ and the LDP.

During the meeting, they compromised on various points. First, they agreed to drop from the DPJ-sponsored bill a plan to cut a single-seat constituency from each of five prefectures in the lower house without increasing other prefectures’ single-seat electoral districts.

However, they decided to keep in the bill another provision to reduce the number of lower house seats contested through proportional representation and then to partially introduce a new method in the proportional representation system that benefits small parties.

The three parties’ Diet affairs committee chairmen then agreed to put both the modified DPJ-sponsored bill and the LDP-sponsored bill to a vote. The LDP bill also includes trimming five single-seat constituencies in the lower house.

Following their negotiations, the lower house’s special committee on establishing political ethics and revising the Public Offices Election Law voted on both bills separately. The modified DPJ-sponsored bill was passed with the support of the DPJ and Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party), and the LDP-sponsored bill was passed with the support of the LDP, Komeito and the DPJ. Subsequently, both bills were passed in a plenary meeting in the lower house and were sent to the upper house for a vote.

In the upper house, which is dominated by opposition parties, only the LDP-sponsored bill was passed and enacted, resulting in the plan of trimming five single-seat constituencies being realized ahead of other issues.

The three parties did not narrow the two bills down to one, out of consideration for DPJ members who insist on the party-sponsored proposal to cut the number of lower house seats contested  through proportional representation.

Meanwhile, a bill to approve the nation’s participation in the Hague Convention and another one to implement its membership were scrapped.

Among the Group of Eight industrialized nations, only Japan has not ratified the treaty, because of a lack of Diet approval.

Western countries see the situation as problematic, prompting concern that scrapping the bills may invite criticism from the international community.

Regarding bills related to integrated reform of the social security and tax systems, a modified bill to introduce the My Number system, which was largely agreed upon by the three leading parties at the previous ordinary Diet session, was scrapped.

The three parties have given up on submitting a bill to promote regenerative medicine to prevent the bill  from being scrapped. The bill aims to encourage research on the topic using induced pluripotent stem and other cells and put the findings into practical use.

“I’m extremely sorry about this. We have no choice but to submit the bill to the next ordinary Diet session,” said Chikara Sakaguchi, Komeito member and former health minister who played a central role in compiling the bill.

On Thursday, the Noda Cabinet approved legislation concerning local civil service reform that will grant local government officials the right to collective labor agreements, one of the fundamental labor rights. The legislation was submitted to the lower house.

The labor right was promised in the DPJ’s policy pledges and organizations supporting the party have been calling for submission of corresponding legislation. This had prompted criticism from the LDP that the promise was merely an electoral ploy.

(Nov. 17, 2012)

During the past year the U.S. Embassy in Japan deleted a page from its website that included statistics for the U.S., Canada, France, Australia, and the United Kingdom showing the tremondous growth in the number of international child abduction cases by Japanese spouses since 2000, with the number of cases having quadrupled from 2005 to 2009.

It is not clear why this information is being suppressed, but CRC of Japan has retrieved this information and is reposting it on our blog, at the following link:

Rapid Increase in Child Abductions to Japan

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/fl20120904hn.html

 

HOTLINE TO NAGATACHO

Delay in signing Hague child abduction treaty could provoke sanctions

Dear Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda,

The government submitted legislation to the Diet in March of this year to allow for accession to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. It has been five months since then and the legislation has been sitting on a shelf collecting dust ever since.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has previously said it is “treating the issue as its top priority.” Parliamentary Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Kazuyuki Hamada also stated on April 9 that “We are determined to push it forward because the issue is hugely relevant to the values of not only our country, but also those of the international community.”

Evidence that the United States government is unconvinced of Japan’s sincerity has recently been highlighted by a new Senate resolution. Bipartisan Senate Resolution 543, dated Aug. 2, 2012, to express the sense of the Senate on international child abduction was introduced by California Sen. Barbara Boxer and 14 other senators, including 2004 Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry.

In the resolution, Japan is mentioned no less than three times: “Whereas Japan, India and Egypt are not parties to the Hague Abduction Convention and were also among the top 10 countries to which children in the United States were most frequently abducted in 2011”; “Whereas, in many countries, such as Japan and India, international parental child abduction is not considered a crime, and custody rulings made by courts in the United States are not typically recognized by courts in those countries,” and; “Whereas Japan is the only member of the Group of 7 major industrialized countries that has not ratified the Hague Abduction Convention.”

The resolution also quotes the U.S. State Department’s Report on Compliance with the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction from April 2010: “Research shows that abducted children are at risk of significant short and long-term problems, including ‘anxiety, eating problems, nightmares, mood swings, sleep disturbances (and) aggressive behavior’. ”

How much longer will foreign governments such as those of the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, Australia, France and New Zealand continue to believe Japan’s assertions that it will sign the Hague Convention? Evidence suggests that many countries’ patience is coming to an end. In the U.S. Congress, House Resolution 1940 calls for legislation that includes presidential actions up to and including economic sanctions against countries that condone child abduction, such as Japan.

How many more children will be abducted to Japan while the Japanese government breaks promises to the international community and does absolutely nothing on the issue? Perhaps it is time to hold Japan accountable in a way which they will understand: economic sanctions. Continued delay on this issue will likely ensure that this possibility becomes a reality.

BRUCE GHERBETTI

Tokyo

Bruce Gherbetti is the father of three children abducted to Japan in 2009. Since that time, Bruce has moved to Japan to maintain contact with his children. He has also helped to form two organizations to fight for children’s human rights in Japan and has lobbied Diet members including former Justice Minister Satsuki Eda. Send comments on this issue and Hotline to Nagatacho submissions of 500-700 words tocommunity@japantimes.co.jp

Thanks to Jeffery Morehouse and Randy Collins of BACHome for their hard work on this.  They have contacted all 85 Senate offices that have not yet co-sponsored Senate Resolution 543 and are continuing to follow up with them, and they need your help with this effort.  Please contact senators you are constituents of and ask them to co-sponsor and support this legislation.
The following is a link to the bachome.org site with contact information for the Senate offices, and we have also republished it below for your immediate reference.

Contact Your Senator About Intl. Child Abduction

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

In 2011 at least 1367 American children were abducted by a parent to a foreign country. Most will never have a chance to come home to their families and communities in the U.S.

You can help today by emailing your U.S. Senator(s) and urging them to co-sponsor Senate Resolution 543  http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112sres543is/pdf/BILLS-112sres543is.pdf

Here’s how:

1) Use the chart below to find your Senator(s)

2) If they haven’t already co-sponsored, click the email link to their staff member

3) Email them* (Optionally you can call)

4) Ask your friends and family to do the same by sending them this link.

With your commitment to help we can create change to protect families in the future and help bring abducted children home now.

______________________________________________________________________________________

*HERE IS THE SUGGESTED EMAIL

Subject Line: S. Res 543- International Parental Child Abduction

I am a registered voter and a constituent. I would like the Senator to co-sponsor Senate Resolution 543

because American children need to be protected. In 2011 alone, at least 1367 American children were abducted by a parent to a foreign country.

Sincerely Yours,

[First & Last Name]

[City, State]

______________________________________________________________________________________

URGENT: The Deadline to Contact Your Senator(s) to Co-Sponsor S. Res 543 is in 16 days, 9 hours, 45 minutes

SENATOR INFO              STAFF MEMBER INFO
First Last Name State First Last e-mail address Phone            (202 Area Code) S. Res. 543                      Co-sponsor Status
Mark Begich AK David Ramseur david_ramseur@begich.senate.gov 224-3004
Lisa Murkowski AK Nathan Bergerbest nathan_bergerbest@murkowski.senate.gov 224-6665
Richard Shelby AL Kevin Kane kevin_kane@shelby.senate.gov 224-5744
John Boozman AR Toni-Marie Higgins toni-marie_higgins@boozman.senate.gov 224-4843
Mark Pryor AR Sarah Holland sarah_holland@pryor.senate.gov 224-2353
Jon Kyl AZ Tim Morrison tim_morrison@kyl.senate.gov 224-4521
John McCain AZ Elizabeth Lopez elizabeth_lopez@mccain.senate.gov 224-2235
Barbara Boxer CA Ariana Reks ariana_reks@boxer.senate.gov 224-3553 Sponsor
Diane Feinstein CA Richard Harper richard_harper@feinstein.senate.gov 224-3841 Co-sponsor
Michael Bennet CO Sergio Gonzales sergio_gonzales@bennet.senate.gov 224-5852
Mark Udall CO Casey Howard casey_howard@markudall.senate.gov 224-5941
Richard Blumenthal CT Ethan Saxon ethan_saxon@blumenthal.senate.gov 224-2823
Joe Lieberman CT ? ? ? 224-4041
Thomas Carper DE Olivia Hayden olivia_hayden@carper.senate.gov 224-2441
Christopher Coons DE Halie Soifer halie_soifer@coons.senate.gov 224-5042
Bill Nelson FL Marin Stein marin_stein@billnelson.senate.gov 224-5274
Marco Rubio FL Victor Cervino victor_cervino@rubio.senate.gov 224-3041 Co-sponsor
Saxby Chambliss GA Brandon Bell brandon_bell@chambliss.senate.gov 224-3521
Johnny Isakson GA Chris Sullivan chris_sullivan@isakson.senate.gov 224-3643
Daniel Akaka HI Nick Ikeda nick_ikeda@akaka.senate.gov 224-6361
Daniel Inouye HI Mary Yoshioka mary_yoshioka@inouye.senate.gov 224-3934
Chuck Grassley IA Kurt Kovarik kurt_kovarik@grassley.senate.gov 224-3744
Tom Harkin IA Rosemary Gutierrez rosemary_gutierrez@harkin.senate.gov 224-3254
Mike Crapo ID Ken Flanz ken_flanz@crapo.senate.gov 224-6142
James Risch ID Chris Socha chris_socha@risch.senate.gov 224-2752
Richard Durbin IL Ms. Erum Ibrahim erum_ibrahim@durbin.senate.gov 224-2152
Mark Kirk IL Gretchen Blum gretchen_blum@kirk.senate.gov 224-2854 Co-sponsor
Daniel Coats IN Terry Snell terry_snell@coats.senate.gov 224-5623
Richard Lugar* IN Keith Luse keith_luse@lugar.senate.gov 224-4814 Co-sponsor
Jerry Moran KS Jason Wiens jason_wiens@moran.senate.gov 224-6521
Pat Roberts KS Theda Owens theda_owens@roberts.senate.gov 224-4774
Mitch McConnell KY Reb Brownell reb_brownell@mcconnell.senate.gov 224-2541
Rand Paul KY Brandon Brooker brandon_brooker@HSGAC.senate.gov 224-4343
Mary Landrieu LA Libby Whitbeck libby_whitbeck@landrieu.senate.gov 224-5824 Co-sponsor
David Vitter LA Josh Hodges josh_hodges@vitter.senate.gov 224-4623
Scott Brown MA William Wright william_wright@scottbrown.senate.gov 224-4543
John Kerry** MA Jeremy D’Aliosio jeremy_d’aloisio@kerry.senate.gov 224-2742 Co-sponsor
Benjamin Cardin MD Katharine Beamer katharine_beamer@cardin.senate.gov 224-4524 Co-sponsor
Barbara Mikulski MD Erin Neill erin_neill@mikulski.senate.gov 224-4654 Co-sponsor
Susan Collins ME Peter Halvorsen peter_halvorsen@collins.senate.gov 224-2523
Olympia Snowe ME Don Green don_green@snowe.senate.gov 224-5344
Carl Levin MI Michael Kuiken michael_kuiken@armed-services.senate.com 224-6221
Debbie Stabenow MI Doug Messana doug_messana@stabenow.senate.gov 224-4822
Al Franken MN Jeff Lomonaco jeff_lomonaco@franken.senate.gov 224-5641
Amy Klobuchar MN Marian Grove marian_grove@klobuchar.senate.gov 224-3244
Roy Blunt MO Brian Diffell brian_diffell@blunt.senate.gov 224-5721
Claire McCaskill MO Jason Rauch jason_rauch@mccaskill.senate.gov 224-6154
Thad Cochran MS Will Todd will_todd@cochran.senate.gov 224-5054
Roger Wicker MS Sarah Drake sarah_drake@wicker.senate.gov 224-6253
Max Baucus MT Brittany Beaulieu brittany_beaulieu@baucus.senate.gov 224-2651
Jon Tester MT Tony McClain tony_mcclain@tester.senate.gov 224-2644
Richard Burr NC Cynthia Ramos cynthia_ramos@burr.senate.gov 224-3154
Kay Hagan NC Rikkia Ramsey rikkia_ramsey@hagan.senate.gov 224-6342
Kent Conrad ND Nathaniel Luvtosky nathaniel_luvtosky@conrad.senate.gov 224-2043
John Hoeven ND Josh Carter josh_carter@hoeven.senate.gov 224-2551
Mike Johanns NE Erin Jeffery erin_jeffery@johanns.senate.gov 224-4224
Ben Nelson NE Ryan Ehly ryan_ehly@bennelson.senate.gov 224-6551
Kelly Ayotte NH Brad Bowman brad_bowman@ayotte.senate.gov 224-3324
Jeanne Shaheen NH Joel Colony joel_colony@shaheen.senate.gov 224-2841
Frank Lautenberg NJ Allison Peters allinson_peters@lautenberg.senate.gov 224-3224 Co-sponsor
Robert Menendez NJ Ryan Sellinger ryan_sellinger@menendez.senate.gov 224-4744
Jeff Bingaman NM Jeffry Phan jeffry_phan@bingaman.senate.gov 224-5521
Tom Udall NM Matthew Padilla matthew_padilla@tomudall.senate.gov 224-6621
Dean Heller NV Josh Finestone josh_finestone@heller.senate.gov 224-6244
Harry Reid NV Jessica Lewis jessica_lewis@reid.senate.gov 224-3542
Kirsten Gillibrand NY Elena Broitman elena_broitman@gillibrand.senate.gov 224-4451 Co-sponsor
Chuck Schumer NY Erin Vaughn erin_vaughn@schumer.senate.gov 224-6542
Sherrod Brown OH Doug Babcock doug_babcock@brown.senate.gov 224-2315
Rob Portman OH Brent Bombach brent_bombach@portman.senate.gov 224-3353
Tom Coburn OK Jeremy Hayes jeremy_hayes@coburn.senate.gov 224-5754
James Inhofe OK Joel Starr joel_starr@inhofe.senate.gov 224-4721 Co-sponsor
Jeff Merkley OR Will White will_white@merkley.senate.gov 224-3753 Co-sponsor
Ron Wyden OR Isaiah Akin isaiah_akin@wyden.senate.gov 224-5244
Robert Casey PA Damian Murphy damian_murphy@casey.senate.gov 224-6324
Patrick Toomey PA Dan Adelstein dan_adelstein@toomey.senate.gov 224-4254
Jack Reed RI Carolyn Chuhta carolyn_chuhta@reed.senate.gov 224-4642
Sheldon Whitehouse RI Ben Weiner ben_weiner@whitehouse.senate.gov 224-2921
Jim DeMint SC Robert Moore robert_moore@demint.senate.gov 224-6121
Lindsey Graham SC Matt Rimkunas matt_rimkunas@graham.senate.gov 224-5972
Tim Johnson SD Karen Kunze karen_kunze@johnson.senate.gov 224-5842
John Thune SD Jason VanBeek jason_vanbeek@thune.senate.gov 224-2321
Lamar Alexander TN Erin Reif erin_reif@alexander.senate.gov 224-4944
Bob Corker TN Stacie Oliver stacie_oliver@corker.senate.gov 224-3344
John Cornyn TX E. Grace Smitham grace_smitham@cornyn.senate.gov 224-2934
Kay Bailey Hutchison TX Coalter Baker coalter_baker@hutchison.senate.gov 224-5922
Orrin Hatch UT William Castle william_castle@hatch.senate.gov 224-5251
Mike Lee UT Miriam Harmer miriam_harmer@lee.senate.gov 224-5444
Mark Warner VA Manica Noziglia manica_noziglia@warner.senate.gov 224-2023
Jim Webb VA Marta McLellanRoss marta_mclellanross@webb.senate.gov 224-4024
Patrick Leahy VT Tim Rieser tim_rieser@leahy.senate.gov 224-4242 Co-sponsor
Bernard Sanders VT Huck Gutman huck_gutman@sanders.senate.gov 224-5141
Maria Cantwell WA Spencer Launer spencer_launer@cantwell.senate.gov 224-3441
Patty Murray WA Lauren Renee Overman lauren_overman@murray.senate.gov 224-4607 Co-sponsor
Ron Johnson WI Alan Elias alan_elias@ronjohnson.senate.gov 224-5323
Herb Kohl WI Harry Stein harry_stein@kohl.senate.gov 224-5653
Joe Manchin WV Mr. Lee Garton lee_garton@manchin.senate.gov 224-3954
John Rockefeller WV Nate Adler nate_adler@rockefeller.senate.gov 224-6472
John Barrasso WY Amber Bland amber_bland@barrasso.senate.gov 224-6441
Michael Enzi WY Wendy Gnehm wendy_gnehm@enzi.senate.gov 224-3424

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More on Keisuke’s Law

August 23, 2012

NBC interview with Randy Collins:

http://www.nbclosangeles.com/video/#!/on-air/as-seen-on/OC-Father-Champions-Bill-to-Prevent-Parental-Abductions/167124775

Press Releases from Senator Mimi Walters:

Legislature Sends Two of Senator Walters’ Bills to Governor

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Contact: Everett Rice @ (916) 651-4033

SACRAMENTO — Today, two bills authored by Senator Mimi Walters (R-Irvine), SB 1206 and SB 1174, were approved unanimously by the Legislature and now make their way to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk.

SB 1206, also known as Keisuke’s (Case-K’s) Law, would prevent parents in a custody dispute from applying for new or replacement passports for their children without consent from the other parent.  In addition, the measure would allow the District Attorney to order a freeze on the California assets of an individual who is alleged to have abducted a child.

This bill was introduced at the request of a constituent, whose son, Keisuke, was abducted to Japan from Orange County in June 2008 and has not been returned.  Since his son’s abduction Randy Collins has committed his life to deterring future child abductions.  SB 1206 was approved by the State Senate on a 37-0 vote.

The California Senate also approved SB 1174 on a 36-0 vote.  The measure would allow 56-foot motorsports trailers to operate within California.  Currently, California is the only state that does not allow these vehicles to drive within its borders.  This prohibition has created a disincentive for racing organizations and teams to attend events held at California race tracks.  SB 1174 removes a needless barrier to transporting racing vehicles and team equipment in California.  As a result, the bill will enhance local economies by encouraging NASCAR and NHRA teams to continue bringing their cars to California and participating in local racing events.

###

Keisuke’s Law has been unanimously passed in the California legislature.  The news is started to be noted in the Japanese media.  Hopefully this legislation will become an important tool in helping prevent future child abductions to Japan:

http://www.47news.jp/news/2012/08/post_20120821140001.html#fb-root

News reports like this are extremely worrisome to U.S. left-behind parents as well as parents in other countries with abducted dual citizen children being held in Japan.  A number of these children are believed to be living in or very near the Fukushima radiation zone.  The best interests of the child need to be considered by both the Japanese and foreign governments in cases such as this where the child’s future health is at risk.  Particularly troubling is the finding that “abnormal” traits doubled among the second generation born, with radiation damage intensifying in future generations.

http://news.yahoo.com/japan-nuclear-accident-abnormalities-butterflies-traced-fukushima-plant-153553981–abc-news-topstories.html

Japan Nuclear Accident: ‘Abnormalities’ in Butterflies Traced to Fukushima Plant

By Akiko Fujita | ABC News – Mon, Aug 13, 2012

Japanese scientists say “abnormalities” detected in the country’s butterflies may be a result of radioactive fallout from the Fukushima nuclear disaster last year. In a study published in Scientific Reports, an online journal, researchers say “artificial radionuclides” from the Fukushima Daiichi power plant caused “physiological and genetic damage” to pale grass blue butterflies.

Scientists first began tracking common butterflies around the nuclear plant two months after the disaster. They collected 121 insects, and found 12 percent of them had unusually small wings. That number jumped more than 5 percent when butterflies collected from the plant site had offspring of their own.

In another group of butterflies collected six months after the disaster, scientists found 28 percent had “abnormal” traits. That number nearly doubled among the second generation born.

“At the time of the accident, the populations of this species were overwintering as larvae and were externally exposed to artificial radiation,” the researchers wrote in their study. “It is possible that they ate contaminated leaves during the spring and were thus also exposed to internal radiation.”

It has been 17 months after the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, and its effects on human health have largely been considered minimal, with no radiation-related deaths or illnesses reported so far. But traces of radioactive cesium exceeding government safety levels have been detected in seafood off the Fukushima coast, limiting the catch for fisherman there.

Tiny amounts of cesium of 137 and cesium 134 were detected in more than a dozen bluefin tuna caught near San Diego in August last year. The levels were 10 times higher than tuna found in previous years, but well below those the Japanese and US governments considered harmful to human health.

http://www.seattlepi.com/local/article/Charge-Unhappy-with-parenting-plan-Seattle-mom-3788325.php

 

Charge: Unhappy with parenting plan, Seattle mom took daughter to Japan

Mom latest of several such parents to face such charges in King County
BY LEVI PULKKINEN, SEATTLEPI.COM STAFF
Published 11:10 p.m., Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Seattle mom accused of fleeing the country with her young daughter during a custody dispute is now facing felony charges in King County.

Prosecutors there claim Ryoko Fukuda absconded with her daughter the day she was supposed to hand over the girl’s Japanese passport.

According to charging documents, the girl’s father rushed to Sea-Tac Airport in an attempt to retrieve her. But prosecutors say Fukuda and the child were already flying to Japan.

Writing the court, Senior Deputy Prosecutor David Martin noted Fukuda had been ordered not to take the girl out of the country hours before she did exactly that.

Fukuda and the girl’s father dated but had broken up by the time Fukuda gave birth to the girl, Seattle Detective Jason Stolt told the court. The girl’s father and Fukuda each took out domestic violence protection orders against the other; the man told police he didn’t learn his daughter existed until 2009.

A parenting plan was first ordered in 2010. The plan gave the girl’s father visitation rights and required that either parent let the other know if their daughter was going to travel out of Washington.

On May 16, Fukuda, 34, and the girl’s father met with a King County court commissioner to discuss Fukuda’s plan to take the child to Japan. The girl’s father objected to the move.

The commissioner ordered both parents to surrender their daughter’s passports to Fukuda’s attorney for safekeeping until a final decision could be made. Stolt noted Fukuda had the girl’s Japanese passport.

At 2 p.m. the following day, the girl’s father called 911 to report that his daughter failed to arrive at her Broadview neighborhood elementary school that morning. Nor was the girl or Fukuda at their apartment.

Meeting with police an hour later, the man said Fukuda had failed to turn over their daughter’s Japanese passport. He said he was concerned Fukuda was preparing to flee the country, and he worried he’d never see his daughter again.

Leaving the meeting with police, the man drove to Sea-Tac Airport hoping to learn whether his daughter had been flown out of the country. With the help of Port of Seattle police and State Department officials, the man determined Fukuda and his daughter left the country at 2 a.m. that morning.

The detective told the court he has since confirmed that Fukuda and the girl are in Japan.

Fukuda has now been charged with first-degree custodial interference.

If similar cases filed in recent years are any measure, prosecutors will have a difficult time getting Fukuda before a King County judge.

Similar charges filed separately against two other Japanese women alleged to have fled the Seattle area for Japan have gone nowhere so far.

In 2009, Mayumi Ogawa fled the country weeks after a Superior Court judge approved an parenting plan stating that her son would split his time between his parents. The boy’s father has since been awarded sole control of the child, Ogawa remains at large and charged with first-degree custodial interference.

Michiyo Imoto Morehouse, 44, was charged with the same crime in 2010 after fleeing the country with her son. Her ex-husband had been awarded sole custody of the child; she remains at large.

In recent years, U.S. authorities have seen an increase in the number of international custodial child abductions. Watchdogs on the issue say there are currently more than 1,000 such open cases involving U.S. parents whose children have been taken overseas.

Speaking with seattlepi.com in 2009, Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, said custodial child abduction is on the rise.

Unlike the United States and 80 other countries, the Japanese government has not ratified the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction. The 29-year-old United Nations accord requires that member countries honor custody agreements made outside their borders unless doing so threatens the child involved.

Allen said that even when the country in question has signed on to the Hague Convention, a child’s return is not assured.

“The cases where we don’t get children returned aren’t just from places like Iran,” Allen said in March 2009. “There are a host of horror stories out there.”

Another recent case has had something of a happy ending.

After months of work, the Redmond mother of a boy whose father had taken him to Morocco was able to retrieve her son and return him to Washington. Still, the boy’s father, Mouad Aimane Elbou, has not faced the charge against him.

Check the Seattle 911 crime blog for more Seattle crime news. Visit seattlepi.com‘s home page for more Seattle news.

Levi Pulkkinen can be reached at 206-448-8348 or levipulkkinen@seattlepi.com. Follow Levi on Twitter at twitter.com/levipulk.

The California State Appropriations Committee has unanimously passed SB 1206 “Keisuke’s Law” 17-0. Now it is on to the full assembly for a vote. Keisuke’s Law has unanimously passed every committee so far (Senate Judiciary 5-0; State Senate 37-0; Assembly Judiciary 9-0; State Appropriations 17-0). Once it passes the state assembly it will go to Governor Brown for signature and protect children from being illegally abducted out of the country from California. Randy Collins, whose son Keisuke the law is named after, is largely responsible for getting this legislation off the ground and through the California state legislature.
 
Link and bill text:
 
http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/sen/sb_1201-1250/sb_1206_bill_20120806_amended_asm_v95.html
 
 
BILL NUMBER: SB 1206 AMENDEDBILL TEXT

AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY AUGUST 6, 2012

AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY JULY 2, 2012

AMENDED IN SENATE MAY 1, 2012

AMENDED IN SENATE APRIL 12, 2012

INTRODUCED BY Senator Walters

FEBRUARY 22, 2012

An act to amend Sections 2040 and 3134.5 of the Family Code,

relating to child abduction prevention.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

SB 1206, as amended, Walters. Child abduction prevention.

(1) Existing law requires, upon the commencement of proceedings

for dissolution or nullity of marriage or legal separation of the

parties, that the summons contain a temporary restraining order

restraining both parties from, among other things, removing the minor

child or children of the parties, if any, from the state without the

prior written consent of the other party or an order of the court.

This bill would, additionally, provide that the temporary

restraining order restrain the parties from applying for a new or

replacement passport for the minor child or children of the parties

without the prior written consent of the other party or an order of

the court.

(2) Existing law authorizes the court, upon request of the

district attorney, to issue a protective custody warrant to secure

the recovery of an unlawfully detained or concealed child. The

protective custody warrant for the child is required to contain an

order that the arresting agency shall place the child in protective

custody, or return the child as directed by the court.

This bill would authorize the court to also include within the

protective custody warrant for the child an order to freeze the

California assets, as defined, of the party alleged to be in

possession of the child. The bill would provide that, upon noticed

motion, any order to freeze assets pursuant to these provisions may

be terminated, modified, or vacated by the court upon a finding that

the release of the assets will not jeopardize the safety or best

interest of the child. The bill would also require that if an asset

freeze order is entered pursuant to these provisions, and the court

subsequently dismisses the protective custody warrant for the child,

notice of the dismissal be immediately served on specified entities.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes.

State-mandated local program: no.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as Keisuke’s

Law.

SEC. 2. Section 2040 of the Family Code is amended to read:

2040. (a) In addition to the contents required by Section 412.20

of the Code of Civil Procedure, the summons shall contain a temporary

restraining order:

(1) Restraining both parties from removing the minor child or

children of the parties, if any, from the state, or from applying for

a new or replacement passport for the minor child or children,

without the prior written consent of the other party or an order of

the court.

(2) Restraining both parties from transferring, encumbering,

hypothecating, concealing, or in any way disposing of any property,

real or personal, whether community, quasi-community, or separate,

without the written consent of the other party or an order of the

court, except in the usual course of business or for the necessities

of life, and requiring each party to notify the other party of any

proposed extraordinary expenditures at least five business days

before incurring those expenditures and to account to the court for

all extraordinary expenditures made after service of the summons on

that party.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, nothing in the restraining order

shall preclude a party from using community property, quasi-community

property, or the party’s own separate property to pay reasonable

attorney’s fees and costs in order to retain legal counsel in the

proceeding. A party who uses community property or quasi-community

property to pay his or her attorney’s retainer for fees and costs

under this provision shall account to the community for the use of

the property. A party who uses other property that is subsequently

determined to be the separate property of the other party to pay his

or her attorney’s retainer for fees and costs under this provision

shall account to the other party for the use of the property.

(3) Restraining both parties from cashing, borrowing against,

canceling, transferring, disposing of, or changing the beneficiaries

of any insurance or other coverage, including life, health,

automobile, and disability, held for the benefit of the parties and

their child or children for whom support may be ordered.

(4) Restraining both parties from creating a nonprobate transfer

or modifying a nonprobate transfer in a manner that affects the

disposition of property subject to the transfer, without the written

consent of the other party or an order of the court.

(b) Nothing in this section restrains any of the following:

(1) Creation, modification, or revocation of a will.

(2) Revocation of a nonprobate transfer, including a revocable

trust, pursuant to the instrument, provided that notice of the change

is filed and served on the other party before the change takes

effect.

(3) Elimination of a right of survivorship to property, provided

that notice of the change is filed and served on the other party

before the change takes effect.

(4) Creation of an unfunded revocable or irrevocable trust.

(5) Execution and filing of a disclaimer pursuant to Part 8

(commencing with Section 260) of Division 2 of the Probate Code.

(c) In all actions filed on and after January 1, 1995, the summons

shall contain the following notice:

“WARNING: California law provides that, for purposes of division

of property upon dissolution of marriage or legal separation,

property acquired by the parties during marriage in joint form is

presumed to be community property. If either party to this action

should die before the jointly held community property is divided, the

language of how title is held in the deed (i.e., joint tenancy,

tenants in common, or community property) will be controlling and not

the community property presumption. You should consult your attorney

if you want the community property presumption to be written into

the recorded title to the property.”

(d) For the purposes of this section:

(1) “Nonprobate transfer” means an instrument, other than a will,

that makes a transfer of property on death, including a revocable

trust, pay on death account in a financial institution, Totten trust,

transfer on death registration of personal property, or other

instrument of a type described in Section 5000 of the Probate Code.

(2) “Nonprobate transfer” does not include a provision for the

transfer of property on death in an insurance policy or other

coverage held for the benefit of the parties and their child or

children for whom support may be ordered, to the extent that the

provision is subject to paragraph (3) of subdivision (a).

(e) The restraining order included in the summons shall include

descriptions of the notices required by paragraphs (2) and (3) of

subdivision (b).

SEC. 3. Section 3134.5 of the Family Code is amended to read:

3134.5. (a) Upon request of the district attorney, the court may

issue a protective custody warrant to secure the recovery of an

unlawfully detained or concealed child. The request by the district

attorney shall include a written declaration under penalty of perjury

that a warrant for the child is necessary in order for the district

attorney to perform the duties described in Sections 3130 and 3131.

The protective custody warrant for the child shall contain an order

that the arresting agency shall place the child in protective

custody, or return the child as directed by the court. The protective

custody warrant for the child may also contain an order to freeze

the California assets of the party alleged to be in possession of the

child. The protective custody warrant may be served in any county in

the same manner as a warrant of arrest and may be served at any time

of the day or night. For purposes of this subdivision, “assets”

means funds held in a depository institution, as defined in

subdivision (a) of Section 1420 of the Financial Code, in California

(b) Upon a declaration of the district attorney that the child has

been recovered or that the warrant is otherwise no longer required,

the court may dismiss the warrant without further court proceedings.

(c) Upon noticed motion, any order to freeze assets pursuant

to subdivision (a) may be terminated, modified, or vacated by

the court upon a finding that the release of the assets will not

jeopardize the safety or best interest of the child.

(d) If an asset freeze order is entered pursuant to subdivision

(a), and the court subsequently dismisses the warrant pursuant to

subdivision (b), notice of the dismissal shall be immediately served

on the depository institutions holding any assets pursuant to the

freeze order.