Divorced Parents Lack Ways To Meet Kids in Japan

In a May 10, 2012 article in The Daily Yomiuri, it has been disclosed that The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry has asked local governments to encourage meetings between divorced parents and their children by arranging and overseeing such encounters. The article goes on to describe the difficulties that these local governments face in doing so.

These governments said, “the services cannot be provided because they have no officials with know-how about such meeting arrangements. Thus it is an urgent task to train personnel who can implement the services. Experts have said that meeting with parents after they get divorced is important for the children’s growth. But in many cases, meetings by those directly involved are difficult to hold because of emotional conflicts.”


This ridiculous presumption that “meetings by those directly involved are difficult to hold because of emotional conflicts.” is so offensive it defies description. When the dissolution of a marriage occurs it is precisely then that parents must use their intellect and put the welfare of the children first. Continued meaningful contact with both parents must be maintained throughout the separation and dissolution of the marriage for the continued welfare of the children’s emotional health and development.

For any parent to claim that their own emotional disturbance precludes them from putting the children’s needs before their own and ensuring continuing, meaningful contact with the other parent is simply selfish and indicative of narcissistic personality traits and/or borderline personality disorders.

In its most extreme form, this behavior results in parental abduction and parental alienation.

In Japan, there is no proper legal system to protect children from parental abduction and parental alienation. In it’s current form, the system actually encourages parents to do this.

Japan has a long way to go to modify its laws and protect the rights of children. As the graph illustrates, many parents have no contact with their children due to the actions of the abducting parent and have requested to see their kids…

In almost every other first world country other than Japan, denial of access to one parent by the other parent is completely unacceptable and will result in the interfering parent being held to account for such action. In many cases such behavior would result in the interfering parent being closely monitored to ensure such behavior would not occur again and possibly losing custody if it had been gained.

To be forced to endure both the abduction and alienation of your children by your former spouse and the injustice of a system which does nothing to protect your children is extremely difficult.

I hope that one day things will be different in Japan. I will continue to work towards that goal. I hope that one day my daughters understand that their dad wanted to be a father to them but was stopped from doing so by their mother and a government that sanctioned her poor choices.

Despite the overwhelming difficulty in changing things in Japan, I will not give in and I will not give up.

I love you Rion, Lauren and Julia and I will continue to fight for your right to see both your parents and get to enjoy time with both your mother’s family and your father’s family.

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