Osaka, Japan - According to William Lake, on August 24, 2011, 14 year-old Mary Victoria Lake, a U.S. citizen, who was kidnapped by her mother and taken to Japan in 2005, in one of the most high-profile international kidnapping cases in the United States, walked into the U.S. consulate in Osaka, Japan.
Translator’s Note: The following is a translation of an article written by Professor Takao Tanase for the December 2009 edition of Jiyū to Seigi, a Japanese legal periodical. Divorce and familial breakdown has become a major problem in modern Japanese society, yet the law does not provide any meaningful protection for the noncustodial parent. Professor Tanase analyzes this issue from a comparative and theoretical perspective, looking at the current Japanese visitation laws in place today, while contrasting those with the system in the United States. He also looks at how those laws affect actual families, and how the courts have implemented and enforced visitation agreements and orders. This article concludes that not only are the rights of the noncustodial parent insufficient to maintain a meaningful relation with their children following divorce, but that they hardly exist at all.
TOKYO — Timing their message to coincide with Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Japan, a small but vocal group of activists marched in the streets Tuesday, urging Japan to sign an international treaty on parental child abduction.
Most of the two dozen marchers were American and other foreign fathers who have been cut off from their half-Japanese children by mothers who refuse to share custody and are shielded from doing so by current Japanese law.
Bring Abducted Children Home parents and members sent Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., a letter concerning his upcoming meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan. BAC Home is urging the Vice President to publicly address the ongoing issue of children taken from the United States and abducted to Japan.