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.