Kenshiro Jones

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Hello My anme is Graham Jones and I have a beautiful little son Called Kenshiro. He has just turned 5 and I haven't seen him for 1 year now.

I'm going to start my story in 1999. I am married and I have moved to Japan with my pregnant wife. Our goal is to save enough money to come back to Australia to live and to buy a house and add to our family.

)n the 7th of may 1999 our son is born. We take him home and we live with the mum. Eventually the 3 of us get our own place and I get a job teaching English at a private school and working in the elementary schools.

In 2001 my wife was told she had a tumor growing in her pertuitary gland ( sorry forgot how to spell ) which is where female hormones are produced. She had an operation to have it cut out and ended up spending about 3 weeks in hospital. Let me tell you it was a very scary experience. The doctor told us she could loose her sight and she was also told that she would not be able to concieve in the future. The operation went well and she has been told that she can concieve.

After the operation things started to go down hill with me working very long hours and my wife being stuck at home by herself during the day. She couldn't speak a lot of english and she would get very frustrated. I can speak Japanese but not like a native. She eventually blamed me for giving her stress and the reason for getting her tumor. I was pretty upset when she said that as I couldn't understand why.

We decided to go back to Australia in March 2003. 2003 January comes and we pack everything up and send it all to Australia. We move out and spend the rest of our time at her mothers house. ( her mother and father are divorced ) She tells me about 1 month before we are due to go back that she doesn't want to go now and that she loves her country to much to leave it. I said " ok lets live in Japan" She said " I don't love you any more". I was pretty upset at hearing that ! I'm not a perfect person and every couple has their ups and downs but they work through it. You have to at least try for your kids sake! I eventually move out for a while and stay with friends.

I felt very lonley at that point. I eventually talked her into at least giving it a try in Australia for Kens sake. She said ok but you go first and I will follow with my sister later when you get set up in an apartment. I trusted her to come to Australia. ( this is a long story cut short )

She came for one month with her sister and then asked me for a divorce and she wanted to go back to Japan with our son. I told her that I wanted to keep my son here in Australia for a lot of reasons that I won't go into now. She basically told me that if she couldn't take Ken with her that her life wasn't worth living. I couyldn't have that over my head so I agreed to the divorce and I let her take Ken.

It has been a year since she left and in that time she has said she is sorry and she said I will let you have contact with Ken any time. She kept her promise for a while but things change. She has told me that she would come back to live in Australia 3 or 4 times since but every time the time comes she gets sick and says that her body is to weak to travel.

Now I have no contact with my son and she will not answer my e-mail or my phone calls. Her family will not talk to me either. I love my son very much and I was very close to him. Now I have nothing except the photo's and the memories. I feel depressed every day. Every time I here a child say " Daddy... " I always here my sons voice in my head. I wish I could see him to let him know that I didn't run away from him but that I love him. I send letters, money and presents but I don't know if they get to him or not. I think they want to make him 100% Japanese and try to get to forget that his Daddy is Gaijin......


Posted By:
Administrator (72 posts)
5/28/2004 1:13:41 PM
re: Kenshiro Jones   profile
Thanks for contributing Graham, and welcome!

....there seems to be a pattern with "kokusai kekkon" in that the issue of where to live comes up time and again. Promises made, but not kept - when it comes to the time of moving, the truth comes out. Been there myself...not easy for both people as someone must live fulltime in a foreign country - but I think one person owes the other the truth of their feelings and not have to find out at the 11th hour and then snap decisions are made.

Are you officially divorced yet? If not, have you thought of at least trying a mediation in Japan?Even though it's a kind of useless charade (mediation sessions in Japan), it's a means to an end. Once you go through a session, you can at least state your case and then have a basis to hire legal help. If you are officially divorced, I see absolutely nothing you can do LEGALLY, to be blunt (you'll simply have to wait for laws to change). What would your (ex)wife say if you asked to visit your son in Japan? I know it's not feasible for you to visit him regularly, but some kind of contact is a million miles better than never (even once a year).

"It has been a year since she left and in that time she has said she is sorry and she said I will let you have contact with Ken any time. She kept her promise for a while but things change. She has told me that she would come back to live in Australia 3 or 4 times since but every time the time comes she gets sick and says that her body is to weak to travel. "

I've been there too - promises made, never kept. I originally stayed in Japan after I split up with my wife because she promised visitation and actually kept her word for a while.....then she stopped keeping her word and the mediation session I attended basically told me once every two weeks.....then she didn't even keep her word there. I can do nothing about it apart from break the law (kidnap my son - as if though!). Also she THEN promised when I moved from Japan that she would at LEAST keep in touch with me regarding news and photos of my son. Promise not kept. (I've been sending her money by the way for my son's maintenance - stopped this year).

"Now I have no contact with my son and she will not answer my e-mail or my phone calls."

This makes it very difficult for you.....when this happened to me, I used a lawyer to speak to my wife and she communicated back through my lawyer. Have you tried that? I can't see much else you can do in terms of communicating with your wife (the first thing you must try to do).

japchap (48 posts)
5/30/2004 2:17:20 PM
re: Kenshiro Jones   profile
Graham, welcome to this discussion board. And thanks for sharing your story. It's important to know what you're going through, and it's important for you to get it out in the open, even if nobody can provide direct help for you right away. Many of the people who are reading your story, myself included, feel for your depression and know how hard it can be to have to endure this.

I can only echo what the adminstrator's last post said, especially in terms of legal help. If you want more contact with your son, you are going to have to hire a lawyer and have your lawyer follow up for you in Japan. It's impossible for you to make any more progress than you are making now, simply by hoping that your (ex-?) wife will answer your phone calls or e-mails one day.

Graham, I think you need to realize that your son has been kidnapped from you. You may no longer be his custodial parent, but you are still entitled to see him. No promises made by your wife that have not been written down and approved by the family court will stand. If your wife simply agreed verbally to let you see your kid, but nothing was really written down and the family court was not involved, you have little recourse to fall back on. (Of course, in Japan, even if you have a written agreement, it is difficult to enforce it and the police will be of little to no help. But it is possible to make a judicial case and still win against your ex-wife, possibly even sueing for damages or trying to gain some legal ground to leverage against her, for whatever good it may do now or in the future.)

Did you actually have ANY written agreement in family court?
How was the divorce settled and agreed upon, and what steps did you take to divorce? Are you certain, for that matter, that the divorce was legally established, and not just a contrivance by your wife to gain control of your son? For a divorce to be legal in Japan, the issue of child custody and care must be thoroughly settled and agreed upon - otherwise, the divorce cannot stand, from what I understand.

Also, have you let the Australian embassy in Japan know that your son has practically been kidnapped from you?

Hope to hear more from you - your answers may give us some better ideas on how to advise or help you out with your problem, for what it's worth and what we can do. - And remember: don't give up on your own child, and don't despair. The situation may be the pits, but you still have options. Think of how your child needs you. Then think of what you can do for you child. Don't be content just to let him be taken from you forever - it doesn't have to be that way.

- JC

Edited 30/05/2004 14:22:07
aussiekid (3 posts)
6/1/2004 8:55:03 AM
re: Kenshiro Jones   profile
Thank you for your reply's every one. I feel so much better knowing that I'm not the only person with these problems. It has helped me mentaly to read other stories in this forum and the reply's that you get are all a type of therapy. Just knowing that some one is listening and that some body does care. So I would just like to say thank you for listening and thank you for making me feel better.

When my wife left she gave me a piece of paper that was all in Japanese and I know it was fairly stupid of me to sign a legal document without realy knowing what I was signing but at the time I trusted my wife enough to know that she would never decieve me to the point of knowingly taking my son back to Japan with the notion of never letting me have contact with my son. She explained to me what the document meant and she told me that this paper was not a document to say I give my rights up to my children.

She went back to Japan with my son. I know I should never have let him go back with her but at the time I thought she had some personal issues that she needed to sort out and that she would come back to Japan. She told me that she didn't realy want to get a divorce but if she went back to Japan she could get money from the government if she was divorced from her husband. It was a divorce of convienience.

I think her friends had a big influence over her decisions sometimes as she says one thing one day but something completly different the next day. I know she is not a bad person but sometimes I have to wonder. She knows that my son is not 100% Japanese, that he has Australian blood in him and she understands the fact that some day he is going to ask her why is he so different from the other children. He will ask to see his Daddy if his mind is not poisoned by her.

Anyway I am officaly divorced from my wife. I do send money and I send him presents every month but not to the point of trying to win his love with presents and I always put " love from Daddy and Mummy".

Thank you every one and I would just like to say to the other dads out there not to give up hope, don't bottle your emotions up and to write your story as have the other Dads in this forum have. Just writing your feelings down can make that emotional roller coaster that we all ride seem just that little bit smother.

Thank you ! Graham......
Administrator (72 posts)
6/2/2004 12:37:46 AM
re: Kenshiro Jones / Uses of int...   profile
"Just writing your feelings down can make that emotional roller coaster that we all ride seem just that little bit smoother. "

Not only that, but I think the internet is truly the first opportunity for people like ourselves to have a chance to communicate our grievances. Without the internet, we'd be isolated individuals, anonymous and without a forum of any kind. Something like is amazing because most of its contributors are Japanese people being very open and honest about their problems of being non-custodial parents - something that is rare to hear out in the open in such a country (and indeed here in the UK too).

Remember how universal truths are formed in the public consciousness:-

1. At first, they are ridiculed.
2. Secondly, they are violently opposed.
3. Finally, they are universally accepted.

The story non-custodial parents tell has only just been given air-space.

I think the internet is still in its infancy compared to what it can be. Momentum is on the side of those who take advantage of it advice to people is to communicate as much as they can on this medium....even make a diary or something - I know JC does this on his own site ( ) - if you are honest with your words, it can only do good to air them.

Edited 02/06/2004 00:47:01
japchap (48 posts)
6/2/2004 1:09:32 AM
re: Kenshiro Jones   profile
Good to hear from you again, Graham.

I know that you seem to trust your wife and that "piece of paper" that she had you sign, but I am wondering: if this was a paper for the kyogi-rikon (mutual consent divorce), is kyogi-rikon really valid in Australia? I'm an American, and I was told by the Osaka Consulate that kyogi-rikon is not accepted as legal divorce in the U.S. - Americans need to go to family court and have the court make a verdict along with documentation that can be used to prove it. I think you really should check on this. Not only may you not really be divorced as you think you are in Australia - the divorce may not have even been a legal one in Japan either. This sort of thing happens often in Japan, and I would hate to see you end up the unwitting victim of the same.

There would seem no good reason to trust your wife anymore, if she is ignoring your e-mails and phone calls. Have you considered shutting off your financial support to her? That may prove a rude awakening for her, and get her to come around. Probably she will hire a lawyer if she wants your money, and this will provide a means to communicate with her. Once she starts to ask for your money, you can then negotiate visitation and contact with your son.

Just some thoughts for you to at least get the ball rolling again, Graham. Hope something here helps.

- JC

Edited 02/06/2004 04:47:22
crnjapan (26 posts)
6/5/2004 4:03:05 PM
re: Kenshiro Jones   profile

Would you be interested in posting your story on the Children's RIghts Network of Japan website? Its very complimentary to the FRIJ site. You can also add your child to the Lost Parent Pages. When he is old enough to use the internet, he *will* search on his name. And he *will* find it. (We have very good search engine rankinds.) Also, one child, lost for 13 years, was recently found fro her entry. Check them out here.

Send the webmaster of the site an email if you are interested. We must document each and every one of the cases like this so that the magnitude of this problem in Japan becomes clear.
black_and_yellow_cones (1 posts)
3/19/2005 5:46:00 PM
re: Kenshiro Jones   profile
graham! i've found you... this is your mate josh from america - we taught together in japan at mabuchi between 1999-2000, remember? i'm sorry to hear your story... please e-mail me at "" - i'd like to say hi!
Eeezhy (11 posts)
7/3/2005 2:46:37 PM
re: Kenshiro Jones   profile
Graham where about r u in Aus? im in Aus too in the gold coast and im the person on that article "dads in vigil for stolen sons" my two kids been abducted to japan on dec 30 2004 i try to fight it in court but the family court granted them to leave even when i told them that she tried to take them to japan b4 w/out me knowing it. maybe we can try and help each other. im trying to get as many help as i can. but the more i read the more i get depressed. it seem that the chances of me seeing my kids is impossible. u can email me at or sign up in its free. im in there too and using eeezhy as my nickname.
we r trying to get a media coverage along with 3 other person with similar situation

and to crnjapan would u be willing to help me post my story in crn??
u can email me and i will provide u with pic and info if u want

thx mate

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