Father's arrest shows Japan's preference to mothers

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Divorced fathers in Japan typically don't get much access to their children because of widespread cultural beliefs that small children should be with their mothers.

Savoie had tried for a year to persuade a judge in Tennessee that his ex-wife, Noriko, was likely to flee the U.S. with their children, divorce records said.

The documents obtained Wednesday outline his attempts to restrict his ex-wife's ability to travel with their 8-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter, and her unhappiness with living in Franklin, Tenn., a Nashville suburb.

In a February e-mail, his ex-wife expressed her struggles in the U.S. He offered it to the court as proof she was threatening to leave:

"It's very difficult to watch kids becoming American and losing Japanese identity," she wrote. "I am at the edge of the cliff. I cannot hold it anymore if you keep bothering me."

On Aug. 13, Savoie learned that his children were gone when their school called to tell him they were absent.

Posted By:
MyHanaInNagoya (7 posts)
10/28/2009 4:46:20 AM
re: Father's arrest shows Japan'...   profile
I could totally relate with Savoie and his fear of losing his children should they be allowed to return back to Japan. He knew exactly what was going to happen, and he knew that the Japanese court system would immediately side with Noriko, given that she is the mom of the 2 kids, and that is the only basis that they would use to keep the father away from the kids.

Aside from all the other information about Mr. Savoie and how he really mishandled the situation and did some bad things in trying to reclaim his kids, I empathize with the man. I just finished going through losing my daughter to her mom, and it was very explicit and implicit by the Japanese family court and laws that the mother is the one who calls all the shots when it comes to the children and how she is given almost limitless power over whether the kids get to see their father after a divorce or not.

How unjust is that? There is just no logic in that. Japanese society just doesn't care about the children having access to both their parents after divorce. Are we fathers just viewed as money banks and sperm donors??? We have feelings and love our chidren too you know? We also impact the way our children grow up and contribute to our kids' well being. How can any society be so unjust and cruel and indifferent towards fathers after a divorce?

That is the ace in the sleeve that Japanese women know they have when they are in Japan. They know they are protected by their society and that is why they don't think twice about kidnapping our kids and separate our kids from us even though they are just doing it for their own selfishness, spite and evil.

The worst thing is that their government almost seems to promote that. Does it have to do with Japan's birthrate decreasing and them needing more kids to pay for all the retirees?? I don't know but it all stinks. For the most part, I still like Japan, but unfortunately, I wound up on the wrong side of the fence when it comes to my kids and divorce from my ex.
Administrator (72 posts)
11/2/2009 2:37:12 AM
re: Father's arrest shows Japan'...   profile
A child who loses his/her father in a divorce case is losing out in a big way. They are in a much worse situation than if they could maintain their relationship with their father. Countless studies have pointed this out. As usual, feminists and supporters of the status quo are superquick to point out extreme cases where a father is violent and abusive, and paints all fathers with this incredibly wide paintbrush - and thus from this ludicrously inaccurate and offensive stereotype, they justify why fathers and children can no longer have a meaningful relationship together after a divorce. It's Orwellian, damaging, cruel and unjust to children and fathers.

The very same strategy is used to prop up the reason why Japan doesn't sign the Hague Convention. Why not? Because it is claimed (by those who support the status quo) that signing the Hague Convention would trap women in abusive relationships. And so it goes. And as many of us know, you just need a baseless and false accusation of domestic violence, and you're assumed guilty and the legal apparatus works 100% against you (the father) and your child(ren) and for the mother. These very same biases will be present for our own sons unless things change. I wonder if mothers who've used the system in their favour, would then be happy if that very same system worked AGAINST their son in the future?

However, such a system cannot last while it damages society further and further - it is by its nature antisocial as marriage rates remain very low in Japan, as do childbearing rates. Japan has a poor future ahead of it while it refuses to change with the times. Nothing stays the same, but Japan doesn't seem to recognise this universal truth.

Edited 11/2/2009 2:38:38 AM

FRIJ recommends you also visit crn japan, who are fighting international abduction to Japan and working to assure children in Japan of meaningful contact with both parents regardless of marital status