Google search for Chiba Family Court reveals the truth

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See the results to the following search:-

Talk about BAD publicity on the web....not that these dinosaurs have even heard of the internet.

Anyway, good that the truth goes uncensored on the internet.

A quote from the US embassy website regarding the function of family courts in Japan:-

Q. What is the main function of the Family Court?

A: Protect the welfare of minors, conciliate in marital difficulties, approve the dissolution of marriages, handle estates and inheritance.


Edited 9/2/2004 1:12:54 PM
Posted By:
japchap (48 posts)
1/30/2004 12:45:31 AM
What the Family Court really doe...   profile
Your story showed up in the No. 1 spot for "chiba family court" in Google, Andrew! Good publicity.

I really do think that the word "family court" is a gross misrepresentation of what is actually done at the katei-saibansho. Here's why.

(1) The Japan family courts have the AUTHORITY to make rulings and set them in a legally binding format, but they are NOT a "court" in any sense of the Western definition, because no ruling or agreement can be made unless it is consented to by both parties.
(2) The "judge" doesn't even show up until after the case is nearly concluded.
(3) There is no jury, and the sessions are held in a totally private room.
(4) The "defendant" and "plaintiff" don't even see each other until the so-called "ruling" is pronounced.
(5) Legal representation is not even required for family court sessions.

As I've said before, family court is for people who WANT TO NEGOTIATE, people who want to talk and reach some kind of conclusion. It is NOT for the purpose of LITIGATION - that is what the district/high/Supreme courts in Japan are for.
But if the two parties were able to effectively communicate and end their matters in a mutually agreeable settlement, then they would have no need for assistance in negotiation... and would not even be going to the family court in the first place.

...HENCE... the Japan Family Courts are primarily, by definition and function, nothing more than a place to let off steam and grind away your time, until you or the other person gets tired and cries uncle, or the case is thrown out ("torisage"), or either you or the other person just decides to quit showing up.

Don't get me wrong - some people have been able to reach a settlement in family court. But the whole process is, by its very nature, irrelevant for two people who cannot negotiate or effectively reach an agreement in the first place. And it CERTAINLY holds little to no promise for fathers who want guaranteed, enforced visitation rights.

My opinion, of course!

- Jeff

Edited 30/01/2004 01:01:29
Andrew (51 posts)
1/30/2004 12:38:07 PM
Mediators usher one parent of th...   profile
To add to your description of family court (which I agree with in whole), there is the issue of tatemae and honne and how it works in Japanese Family Courts. The tatemae shows that the mediators are fair and balanced in their view, and are keenly listening to both sides. THe honne shows up in the last session of mediation where they tell you what will be. If you are not Japanese, there's no way you will win custody in a Japanese family court, even if the Japanese parent is a proven physical abuser (let alone mental). They act as the bouncers who usher one parent out of the family.

Edited 31/01/2004 12:32:35
japchap (48 posts)
1/31/2004 2:14:16 AM
Tatemae and Honne   profile
Interesting - I hadn't thought a whole lot about the issues of tatemae (their external apperance and professed attitude) vs. honne (what they really feel inside about the issues at hand), but it's obviously a very important factor in understanding what's going on as you mentioned. The Japan family court negotiators can really only do so much, because of their position. Yet they are in a position to do grave harm as you so aptly described.

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