http://japandailypress.com/japanese-mother-gains-custody-of-child-abducted-by-australian-father-during-2011-tsunami-2025510

Japanese mother gains custody of child abducted by Australian father during 2011 tsunami

posted on MARCH 20, 2013

by IDA TORRES in NATIONAL

The Family Court of Australia has granted sole custody of a little boy to his Japanese mother, after his Australian father abducted the child during the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The court said that the boy was not at an “unacceptable risk” from radiation exposure if brought back o Japan.

The father first met the Japanese woman, a farmer’s daughter, when he was still married to his first wife who was pregnant at that time. After the 2011 disasters took place, when the man and the Japanese woman were already married and had their son, he convinced her to go back to Australia to fix their “trouble marriage”. He soon left her to go back to Japan, and when it looked like he wasn’t coming back, she was forced to hand legal guardianship of the boy to her in-laws while she went back to Japan to sort things out with him. She caught him cheating with a woman who would later become his next fiancee and future third wife (we’re sensing a pattern here). When she called her now ex mother-in-law to get her son back, she was told the boy was being shipped off to New Zealand. A bitter legal battle then ensued, with the mother eventually getting the boy back.

Justice Stuart Fowler decided to award sole parental responsibility to the mother and both were allowed to return to Japan. On the side, the judge hoped that Japan would eventually sign the Hague Abduction Convention. During Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s recent trip to the United States, he promised President Barack Obama that Japan would finally sign the treaty. Japan is the only Group 8 country that is not a signatory to the convention, which aims to protect and to return abducted children to their usual place of residence in case of failed international marriage.

[ via Courier Mail ]

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/movie/feature201202012112.html 

The Japanese attorney interviewed in this report, Kensuke Onuki, handles approximately 200 international divorce cases a year (http://www.japantoday.com/category/quote-of-the-day/view/most-child-abductions-by-japanese-women-are-a-result-of-spousal-violence) and seems to have a vested interest in the legal status quo concerning child custody in Japan.  According to the following link, he has faced disciplinary problems with the Japanese Federation of Bar Associations:

http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/nb_ichii/25263536.html

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20120122p2g00m0dm109000c.html

 

Foreign minister to take charge of locating kids in international custody rows

TOKYO (Kyodo) — Japan’s foreign minister will be responsible for collecting information on children abducted to the country by one of their parents in determining their whereabouts and settling cross-border custody disputes as a result of failed international marriages, according to newly compiled guidelines made available to Kyodo News on Sunday.

The guidelines compiled by the Foreign Ministry in preparation for Tokyo’s accession to an international treaty that sets procedures for the settlement of international child custody disputes state that the foreign minister can seek the help of local governments, police, schools, childcare facilities and shelters for abused people to determine the whereabouts of children in such cases.

The government is aiming to submit a bill to parliament in March to endorse the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction and have it enacted during the 150-day regular parliamentary session to be convened Tuesday.

The bill will state that a central authority will be established at the Foreign Ministry to locate children wrongfully removed or retained by one parent and secure their voluntary return in response to requests made by the other parent, according to government officials.

The guidelines state that those requested by the foreign minister to provide information on abducted children will be required to do so “without any delay.”

The foreign minister could also inform parents abroad and their former spouses who have abducted children to Japan about the system of mediation by Japanese courts as a way to resolve their disputes, according to the guidelines.

The planned submission of the bill to endorse the Hague Convention based on the ministry’s guidelines is in line with Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s pledge to U.S. President Barack Obama during their talks in November. Around 10 countries including the United States have been pressing Japan to join the treaty.

Japan is the only member of the Group of Eight major countries yet to join the convention after Russia acceded to it in July. At present, 87 countries are parties to the treaty, which came into effect in 1983.

(Mainichi Japan) January 22, 2012