Enfants au cœur de divorces mixtes conflictuels – envoi d’une lettre à la ministre de la Justice japonaise

Publication de l’Ambassade de France au Japon sur son site web.


Version en japonais 日本語

Texte :

Les ambassadeurs des États membres de l’Union européenne ont écrit une lettre à la ministre de la Justice japonaise pour exprimer leur préoccupation face à l’insuffisante mise en œuvre des décisions judiciaires en ce qui concerne la question des enfants au cœur de divorces mixtes conflictuels.

Les ambassadeurs des États membres de l’Union européenne représentés au Japon ont adressé une lettre à la ministre de la Justice japonaise, Mme Yoko Kamikawa, sur la question des enfants au cœur de divorces mixtes conflictuels.

Par cette démarche commune, les États membres ont souhaité appeler l’attention des autorités japonaises sur la situation très difficile que peuvent vivre certains de nos concitoyens européens, ayant divorcé d’un ressortissant japonais et peinant à faire respecter leurs droits de visite et d’hébergement pourtant reconnus par décision judiciaire, étant ainsi placés dans l’incapacité de préserver le lien avec leur enfant.

L’ambassade de France soutient cette démarche et, soucieuse de la souveraineté des autorités japonaises, appelle au respect des droits de ses ressortissants ayant fait le choix de s’établir et de fonder une famille au Japon.

La Cour Suprême du Japon juge illégal le non retour d’un enfant

Source : http://www.asahi.com/sp/ajw/articles/AJ201803160055.html
Copyright et tous droits : asahi.com

La Cour Suprême du Japon a rendu un arrêt jugeant illégal le refus d’une mère de faire retourner son enfant dans le pays duquel elle l’a soustrait (les États-Unis) sans autorisation du père.
Article en anglais :

Mother’s refusal to return child to U.S. ruled ‘illegal restraint’

By GEN OKAMOTO/ Staff Writer

March 16, 2018 at 16:35 JST

A Japanese mother in Japan who is refusing to return her child to the Japanese father in the United States is « illegally restraining » the child under the Hague Convention on international child abductions, the Supreme Court ruled March 15.

It is the first such ruling by a Japanese court based on the convention, which came into effect in Japan in 2014.

The decision was made in a writ of habeas corpus filed by the father of a child abducted from the United States by the child’s mother.

The mother is refusing to return the child to the United States despite an order from a Japanese family court to do so.

The Supreme Court also sent the case back to the Nagoya High Court for a retrial.

Under the convention, if a child under 16 is taken outside of a country where it lives without the other parent’s consent, in principle, it should be returned to the nation where it was a resident.

Since the treaty came into effect in Japan in 2014, there have been a series of cases in which parents in Japan have refused to return children snatched from overseas despite family court orders, according to the Foreign Ministry.

The Supreme Court decision could affect the handling of such cases.

The mother gave birth to the child in the United States in 2004 and returned to Japan with her child in 2016 without the consent of the child’s father, according to the Supreme Court.

The father demanded the return of the child, and the Japanese family court granted his appeal, but both mother and child refused to accept the decision.

In a subsequent lawsuit, the Nagoya High Court ruled that the mother keeping the child was not “illegal restraint.”

But the Supreme Court judgment pointed out first of all that, generally speaking, a child abducted from abroad has no choice but to face up to life in a different environment where another language is spoken.

Then the presiding justice suggested that careful consideration over whether the child can gain sufficient information about what the future holds, or is subjugated to unfair psychological influence from the abductor parent, are necessary to make a judgment.

And, if there was a situation in which the child was unable to make a free-will decision, then inhibiting the return of the child may be an act of illegal restraint.

The Supreme Court decided that in this case the child was “illegally restrained” by the mother as the child was unable to gain objective information as the child was only 11 at the time of arrival in Japan and was under unfair psychological influence from the mother.

The First Petty Bench concluded that the case needs to be retried at the Nagoya High Court.

SOS Exclusion Parentale, association à but non lucratif

SOS Exclusion Parentale, association à but non lucratif qui intervient dans les domaines en rapport avec ces mots-clés :
Exclusion parentale, violence psychologique, enfants, séparation, divorce, PN, NRE, EVG, aliénation parentale
Page Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/sosexclusionparentale/

Courriel : sosexclusionparentale@gmail.com

La lettre mensuelle du réseau K Net (en japonais)

K Net est un groupe d’associations japonaises militant, entre autres, pour la reconnaissance de l’autorité parentale partagée. Ce groupe publie chaque mois une lettre d’information contenant notamment une compilation d’événements récents en rapport avec cette problématique. Il organise aussi des réunions en province.
Voici la lettre No 196.

□■   kネット・メールニュース  No.196



についての情報を発信するものです。 2014年6月12日


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One-fifth of kids deprived of contact with one parent

Source : http://www.japantimes.co.jp/rss/fl20111213hn.html

Dear Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, Minister of Justice Hideo Hiraoka, Minister for Foreign Affairs Koichiro Gemba, Minister of Health, Labor, and Welfare Yoko Komiyama, and the government of Japan,

I pose the question: How many children in Japan cannot be with both of their parents on the Children’s Day national holiday?

In other words, how many children have lost a meaningful relationship with one of their parents?

Apparently, there may be 2.2 million children or more from 1992 to 2009, including 4,200 American dual-nationals. This has occurred as the result of divorce as well as child abduction, both international and domestic.

The estimate is based on statistics from the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare (MHLW) and Supreme Court of Japan. Each instance is a human rights violation, the loss of a child’s access to both parents at all times.

Many in Japan and around the world do not know this human rights problem is happening because it is masked by terminology. The issue is often described as a custody dispute in Japan — a civil matter — when in fact the world outside would refer to it as a child abduction. The scenario is institutionalized and sanctioned by every family court divorce ruling.

First, one must understand the conditions. If a parent takes a child from the other parent, this custodial interference is not illegal in Japan, so abductions are not counted. Therefore, it is difficult to know how many there have been.

We also know that after divorce only one parent retains custody, and there is no enforceable visitation. Hence, denial of access after divorce is not counted either, and can be done with impunity.

How many children in Japan are affected by this? Let’s look at MHLW divorce statistics and Supreme Court of Japan visitation rulings.

From 1992 to 2009 there were 4,358,276 divorces in Japan. There were 230,672 divorces involving one spouse who is not Japanese, and 7,449 divorces where one spouse is American. There are about 250,000 divorces per year in Japan. There is one child per divorce on average consistently throughout the time frame in question.

Half of the children of divorce in Supreme Court of Japan visitation appeal cases from 1999 to 2009 have ended up through the court process with less than 12 visits per year with their noncustodial parent. Typical visitation rulings grant children between 12 and 52 hours per year with their noncustodial parent after divorce, but in half of the cases visitation is less than the low end of that range.

These rulings show how much visitation the highest court in Japan thinks children should have. Maintaining a meaningful parent-child relationship with that much visitation is simply not feasible.

A pie chart that appeared on NHK’s « Close Up Gendai » show on Sept. 8, 2010, shows a survey in which 58 percent of respondents stated that they do not have visitation with their children after divorce in Japan. With a divorce rate at about one-third the rate of marriages and one child per marriage and divorce, multiplying the divorce rate by the percentage visitation rate indicated in the NHK survey means that about one-fifth of children in Japan do not have a relationship with both parents. The family is the fundamental unit of a society, but it is not being protected, with dire consequences.

If we multiply the number of children by 50 percent — those who have less than once a month visitation according to Supreme Court data — then we can estimate those who do not have regular visitation with their parent. From 1992 to 2009, this has affected an estimated 2.2 million children in Japan, including 115,000 children of dual nationality, and 3,825 children with one American parent.

The U.S. State Department also reports that 374 American children have been abducted from the U.S. to Japan since 1994. This makes an estimated 4,200 American children (3,825 + 374) who have lost the relationship with their American parent.

What is the meaning of Children’s Day, where families are given a holiday to celebrate their children, while the joy for many is taken away by a judicial system that has deprived 2.2 million families of a reason to rejoice?

The breeze that suspends carp streamers (koinobori) across the country on that day is a hollow promise of parenthood and the howl of a desolate childhood for those who long to be cherished by their kin.


Submissions to Hotline to Nagatacho should address issues that affect your life in Japan or be in response to government policies. Please imagine you are actually writing to a government official — be it a local school board head or the prime minister himself — to bring attention to an important matter. Send submissions of between 500 and 700 words to community@japantimes.co.jp


Divided siblings speak out for Hague Convention  

The government of Japan asked the public to comment in October on the issue of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs being designated as the central authority responsible for the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of Child Abduction.

A North American mother submitted the following statements from her two children. Below is the introduction she added when she gave permission for The Japan Times to publish her children’s submissions.

The mother: These comments were written by my two children.

My son was abducted, and my daughter was left behind with me. They were separated from each other by the abduction.

The lack of real protection for these children is exactly the thing that destroys the parent-child bond. No child in this country is really « safe, » and will never be until domestic law is revamped.

The son (now 14): Since some time ago, my father and my mother have been divorced. I lived with my older sister and my North American mother.

When I was in the 4th grade, there was a time when, all of a sudden, I lived with my father.

At that time, I was living with my mother and went to visit my father every weekend. One weekend, I went to see my father by myself, without my sister. At that time, I was told I would never see my mother or my sister again.

From that time and for one year, against my will, I lived with my father. I thought my father was terrible, I hadn’t realized he was the devil.

After a year passed, the court case was concluded and I could once again live with my mother. However, that one year was a terrible year.

In truth, it was abduction. Despite this, the court wouldn’t move. I thought they would protect me, but instead I felt even more insecure. Family Court should protect children, but they didn’t protect me.

My father often spoke ill of my mother. On my own, I could tell what was truth and what was lies. However, in the case of abduction of a newborn or a young child, they will have no choice to believe whatever is told to them. On top of that, it might come to pass that they will never see their other parent again.

Looking at this objectively, Japan should accede the Hague. And, in regards to this, laws should be changed.

There are still so many suffering children (in Japan). Please, help them.

The daughter (now 17): Four years ago, my younger brother was abducted by our Japanese father.

Although I thought the court would soon return him, it took all of a year.

I’d always thought the courts and the police were there to protect us, but I was wrong. I was insecure and felt afraid. My North American mother was crying every day.

Even now, I don’t understand why our father took my brother away, or why he wouldn’t let me see my brother. While my brother was gone I was alone and lonely.

My mother did the best she could to provide for my life; she was strong for me. What my father did to us can never be forgiven. I didn’t want to see my mother and my brother cry.

I think Japan should sign the Hague, but more than that, Japan’s Family Court system must be revised. If things remain as they are, children cannot be protected.

Table ronde du réseau Oyakonet du 13 juillet 2008: vidéos 5, 6, 7

Table ronde du réseau Oyakonet du 13 juillet 2008 (en japonais) 05 from France-Japon.net on Vimeo.

Table ronde du réseau Oyakonet du 13 juillet 2008 (en japonais) 06 from France-Japon.net on Vimeo.

Table ronde du réseau Oyakonet du 13 juillet 2008 (en japonais) 07 from France-Japon.net on Vimeo.

Table ronde du réseau Oyakonet du 13 juillet 2008: vidéos 2, 3, 4

Table ronde du réseau Oyakonet du 13 juillet 2008 (en japonais) 02 from France-Japon.net on Vimeo.

Table ronde du réseau Oyakonet du 13 juillet 2008 (en japonais) 03 from France-Japon.net on Vimeo.

Table ronde du réseau Oyakonet du 13 juillet 2008 (en japonais) 04 from France-Japon.net on Vimeo.

Custody battle in Japan highlights loophole in child abduction cases (The Guardian)

© The Guardian

Shane Clarke had no reason to be suspicious when his wife took their two children to Japan to see their ill grandmother in January.

The couple had married four years earlier after meeting online, and settled down with their daughters, aged three and one, in the west Midlands. Clarke, they agreed, would join his family in Japan in May for a holiday, and they would all return together.

Last week, however, he faced his wife and her lawyer in a Japanese courtroom, uncertain if he would ever see his children again. When his wife left the UK, Clarke now believes, she never had any intention of returning with him, or of letting her children see him.

« From the moment I met her at Narita airport I knew something was wrong, » Clarke told the Guardian before a custody hearing in Mito, north of Tokyo. « I soon realised she’d played me like a grand piano. The whole thing had been orchestrated, » he claims.

Clarke, a 38-year-old management consultant from West Bromwich, has gone to great lengths to win custody. The Crown Prosecution Service said his wife could be prosecuted in the UK under the 1984 child abduction act.

However, he can expect little sympathy from Japanese courts, which do not recognise parental child abduction as a crime and habitually rule in favour of the custodial – Japanese – parent.

Japan is the only G7 nation not to have signed the 1980 Hague convention on civil aspects of child abduction, which requires parents accused of abducting their children to return them to their country of habitual residence. He is one of an estimated 10,000 parents, divorced or separated from their Japanese spouses, who have been denied access to their children. Since the Hague treaty came into effect, not a single ruling in Japan has gone in favour of the foreign parent.

Campaigners say Japan’s refusal to join the treaty’s 80 other signatories has turned it into a haven for child abductors.

The European Union, Canada and the US have urged Japan to sign, but Takao Tanase, a law professor at Chuo University, says international pressure is unlikely to have much impact. « In Japan, if the child is secure in its new environment and doesn’t want more disruption, family courts don’t believe that it is in the child’s best interest to force it to see the non-custodial parent, » he said.

Japanese courts prefer to leave it to divorced couples to negotiate custody arrangements, Takase said. Officials say the government is looking at signing the Hague treaty, though not soon.

« We recognise that the convention is a useful tool to secure children’s rights and we are seriously considering the possibility of signing the convention, but we’ve yet to reach a conclusion, » said Yasuhisa Kawamura, a foreign ministry spokesman.

« We understand the anxieties of international parents, but there is no difference between the western approach and ours. »

Clarke’s two custody hearings this week did not go well. An interpreter arranged by the foreign office failed to materialise. The British embassy in Tokyo provided him with a list of alternative interpreters but said it could offer no more help.

The judge was forced to postpone his ruling, but Clarke is convinced he will never see his daughters again.

« We are talking about two British citizens, and no one will help me. The message our government is sending out to foreign nationals is that it’s perfectly all right for them to commit a crime on British soil, and as long as they leave the country quickly enough, they’ll get away scot-free. »

The rise in the number of parental child abductions has been fuelled by a dramatic increase in marriages between Japanese and foreign nationals. According to the health and welfare ministry, there were 44,701 such marriages in 2006, compared with 7,261 in 1980, the vast majority between Japanese and Chinese, Koreans and Filipinos. An estimated 20,000 children are born to Japanese-foreign couples every year. Though Japan does not keep an official count, there are 47 unresolved cases of US children being taken to Japan – only Mexico and India are more popular destinations – and 30 involving Canadian citizens. British officials are dealing with 10 cases, a foreign office spokeswoman told the Guardian, including that of Shane Clarke.


Ce père si important!

Un article de Dora Tauzin, paru dans le journal Asahi (édition du soir) du 21 février 2008



Dora Tauzin(ドラ・トーザン) / フランス人国際ジャーナリスト