Archive for March, 2013

Woman tries to kill son while husband, 3 kids sleep in same room

Posted on March 26, 2013. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death | Tags: , , |

Japan Today Mar. 25, 2013     SAITAMA —

Police said Monday they have arrested a woman after her husband allegedly caught her trying to strangle to death one of her children in the night at their home in Kumagaya, Saitama Prefecture.

According to police, 29-year-old Miho Shinohara was asleep with her husband and four children when the incident took place at around 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, Fuji TV reported. Shinohara’s husband awoke to find her strangling their eldest son, a 4-year-old boy, with an electrical cable, police said.

The couple’s son was taken to hospital where doctors say his condition is not serious. Shinohara has reportedly confessed to attempted murder, although police say her motive is still under investigation.

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Japan’s Potential Ratification of the Hague Convention: An Update

Posted on March 21, 2013. Filed under: Hague Convention | Tags: , , , |

Friday, March 15, 2013
Jeremy D. Morley
Japan has not yet ratified the Hague Abduction Convention. The Japanese Cabinet has today reportedly approved the ratification but the necessary legislation has not yet been passed by the Japanese Diet (Parliament).

The issue of Japan’s joining the Hague Convention is still controversial in Japan. Many members of the Diet are flatly opposed to the treaty on the ground that it will lead to the imposition of “Western thinking” on family relationships in Japan, i.e. that it might lead to the intervention of the courts into the private life of families, to the issuance of judicial orders concerning family matters that can be enforced by the power of the state, and to both parents having meaningful rights to their children after a divorce or separation.

Accordingly, newspaper editorials in Japan have demanded that, when Japanese wives “flee” foreign countries because of alleged domestic violence abroad, they must not be forced to return to the country where such abuse has occurred.
Such concerns have already led to inclusion of a provision in the draft legislation that is most likely to lead to an unnecessarily broad interpretation of the “grave risk” exception in Article 13(b) of the Convention.  Indeed, that is the intended result.
The result of such an exception would be to shield abductors who are able to claim domestic abuse even though:
 (a) The legal system in the (American) habitual residence would provide an abuse victim and child with very substantial protection;
(b) No change is being made in Japan to the lack of any meaningful provisions in Japanese law for the other parent to have any access to the child or any decision-making role in the life of the child, so that in reality the foreign left-behind parent would still be without any meaningful rights to the child; and
(c) There is no meaningful system within Japan to effectively determine the merits of such claims of abuse.
In addition, there is a serious concern that petitioning parents will be forced into mediation before being allowed to proceed with or complete their judicial case. There are special provisions in the draft legislation promoting mediation. If the mediation process works similarly to the current Family Court mediation process it will lead to lengthy delays and extreme unfairness to petitioning parents.
Mediation is generally an extremely unhelpful forum for foreigners in family law cases in Japan, since (i) foreign parties must appear in person regardless of their place of residency, (ii) the sessions are usually short and are repeatedly adjourned for lengthy periods of time, necessitating multiple inconvenient and expensive visits to Japan, (iii) the foreigners’ views are generally misunderstood for language and cultural reasons,  and (iv) the foreigners are pressured to accept unfair terms since there is no enforcement of court decisions in family law matters in Japan and because they are told that their refusal to accept the mediators’ recommendations will be held against them in a trial.

When most other countries have joined the Convention the United States could choose whether or not to accept the accession. If a country has not enacted satisfactory legislation designed to effectively enforce the terms of the Convention other countries need not accept the accession. Such is the case with Thailand, which acceded to the Convention in 2002 but has not yet enacted implementing legislation satisfactory to the United States or several other countries. By contrast, as an original member of the Hague Conference, Japan will not be acceding to the Convention, but will ratify it which will trigger its immediate entry into force without any place for international review.

Meanwhile, the Japanese public is being told that even if Japan signs the Convention, “The return of a child can be denied if the parent seeking it is believed to abuse the child or have difficulties raising him or her.” Daily Yomiuri, Mar. 16, 2013. If that is the gloss that Japan intends to put on the Hague Convention – even though the Convention is expressly designed to secure the expeditious return of all abducted children except in extremely unusual cases – there is little or no point in Japan’s purported ratification of the treaty.
The result of Japan’s ratification of the Convention will likely be to create the appearance of Japan’s compliance with international norms but without any of the substance.

 

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Man arrested for shaking 6-month-old daughter to death

Posted on March 9, 2013. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death | Tags: , , , , |

 MAR. 05, 2013 -FUKUI —

Police have arrested a 26-year-old man on suspicion of killing his 6-month-old daughter at their home in Sabae, Fukui Prefecture.

Fuji TV reported Monday that the man, who has been named as Yuji Yagi, was arrested Sunday on suspicion of violently shaking his baby daughter’s head at their apartment in June of last year. The girl was taken to hospital unconscious and eventually passed away in December.

The assault was uncovered when doctors could not find any obvious physical injuries and reported the child’s death as suspicious. Police questioned Yagi, who admitted to abusing his daughter, Fuji reported.

Yagi was arrested on a charge on manslaughter. Police said they are planning to investigate whether the girl was routinely being abused.

Japan Today

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NPA refers record number of child abuse victims to consultation centers in 2012

Posted on March 9, 2013. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death | Tags: , , |

 MAR. 09, 2013 TOKYO —

The National Police Agency (NPA) said this week that officers referred a record high 16,387 child abuse victims to child consultation centers nationwide in 2012 last year.

According to the NPA, the figures, which mark a 42.1% increase on the previous year, are the highest since records began in 2004, when just 962 referrals were made. The 2012 figure, a 17-fold increase on that number, has been attributed to improved public awareness over the issue and an increased focus on addressing child abuse cases at an early stage in cooperation with child consultation centers, said an agency official.

Fuji TV reported that of the total, 8,266 children under 18 years of age were referred due to having suffered psychological abuse. Around 65% of psychological abuse cases, totaling 5,431, involved one parent physically assaulting the other in the presence of the child. In addition, 5,222 referrals were on behalf of victims of physical abuse, Fuji reported.

The NPA also announced that 2,736 referrals were made on behalf of children left unfed or otherwise uncared for, while 163 were for children who had suffered sexual abuse.

The NPA said that police forces refer victims of abuse to child consultation centers, who are then tasked with taking steps to protect the children, such as taking them into protective custody and providing counseling to parents.

Japan Today

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Things Japan can learn from Moracco about the Hague Convention

Posted on March 8, 2013. Filed under: Child Abduction, Child Custody and Visitation, Divorce, Hague Convention | Tags: , , , |

Japan and Morocco are quite similar in some ways. Morroco took some steps recently to become a Hague signatory. It would be wise if Japan followed their lead. Of the 146,408 divorces in Japan in 2009, only 3.6% involved both parents taking part in child rearing. Japan’s system seems to favor sole-custody, but Morocco had a very similar system that valued one parent, usually the mother, under Shari’a law. Although Morocco allowed the father to make important decisions about the child, such as where the mother and child could live and whether the child could travel abroad, all decisions regarding daily functions and routine care were left to the mother, essentially creating a sole custody system, similar to that of Japan. Both systems included matrifocal tendencies. While Japan’s Civil Code typically breaks custody into shinken and kangoken, the Moroccan Code of Personal Status similarly divides custody into hadana and wilaya. Morocco successfully uprooted its custody system and allowed joint responsibility to be established among parents, as one parent was given hadana and the other wilaya. In Japan, the same ideology should be adopted. Instead of granting one parent parental rights and physical custody, efforts should be made to grant shinken to one parent and kangoken to the other to allow for increased responsibility for both parents and bring about an understanding of joint custody.
Second, Japanese courts, or the Japanese Diet, need to establish visita- tion as a fundamental right. One of the key reforms Morocco made to join the Hague Convention was to establish visitation rights. However, these rights were already inherent within the Moroccan system as such meas- ures were implied when Moroccan mothers were prohibited from moving away from the father so that the father could have access to the child. Similarly, in Japan, an understanding of the psychological benefits of visitation on the child is already taking root. Courts have even granted visitation rights in some cases, but have made the rights extremely limited. It is time for Japan to push this notion and make visitation rights funda- mental within the constitutional system.
Third, Japan needs to dissolve its current registration system, or at the very least, modify the system. Allowing a child to be taken off a father’s register when a mother changes her name after divorce, resulting in the loss of parental rights for the father, is abhorrent. The registration system should be discarded completely or altered so that the child’s name will remain under both parents’ registers, regardless of the marital status of the parents. Such changes will bring Japan one step closer psychologically to joint parental responsibility.
Fourth, in order to comply with the Hague Convention, services must be available to ensure the return of children to their habitual place of residence. Like Morocco, Japan should implement law enforcement mechanisms to find abducted children and return the children safely. Fortunately Article 226 of the Japanese Penal Code is already in effect to return abducted children. The Japanese government needs to force Japanese law enforcement officers to comply with Article 226 to ensure abducted children are returned home.
Lastly, before signing the Hague Convention, Morocco entered into specific bilateral agreements to resolve familial disputes with neighboring countries to promote collaboration and global cooperation. In an effort to ease global tension, Japan would be strongly urged to do the same with the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Canada, as these four countries have repeatedly called on Japan to increase efforts to prevent parental abduction.

To read the full article click: Hague Moracco vs. Japan

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OFWs sa Japan nanawagan sa Pinoy embahador: Kumilos agad sa Pinoy na biktima ng lindol

Posted on March 5, 2013. Filed under: Filipino | Tags: , , , |

Larawan ng mga miyembro ng Migrante Japan. (Kontribusyon)

Nababahala ang Migrante Japan at Task Force Respect sa mga migranteng Pilipino na nakatira sa mga lugar sa Japan na apektado ng 8.9 magnitude na lindol, alas-dos ng hapon ngayong Marso 11.

We are particularly curious about the plans of the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo to help affected Filipinos in the Norther Part of the country, especially Sendai which is directly affected by the 30-meter tsunami that hit the northern coastline hours after the earthquake,” pahayag ng Migrante Japan.

Nanawagan ang grupo kay Manuel Lopez, embahador ng Pilipinas sa Japan, na agarang kumilos para idetermina ang epekto sa mga kababayang Pilipino sa mga lugar na apektado, at agarang mag-alok ng suporta at tulong sa kanila.

Sa tantiya ng Migrante Japan, aabot sa 10,000 hanggang 20,000 Pilipino ang naninirahan sa Timog na bahagi ng Japan. Kabilang dito ang mga manggagawang Pilipino, entertainers, trainees at mga migranteng nakapag-asawa ng Hapon.

“Many of them, especially those living along the Sendai coastline may have already lost their homes and possibly their jobs as well, and therefore, need immediate support in terms of rescue and evacuation,” sabi pa nila.

Sinabi rin ng grupo na sana’y huwag umano tularan ng embahada ng Pilipinas ang ginawa ng Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) sa pampulitikang krisis sa Egypt at Libya.

In crisis situations like this, Filipinos are known for their “bayanihan” spirit.  However, we dare our government officials to take the cudgel for our distressed compatriots instead of just prodding Filipino communities in Japan for much needed help,” sabi pa ng Migrante Japan.

Samantala, nag-alok ang Migrante Japan ng ayuda sa pamamagitan ng kanilang mga hotline:Please check the website below for names and numbers:

http://pinoyweekly

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