Archive for August, 2013

Bullied teenage boy jumps from school window in Yamagata

Posted on August 28, 2013. Filed under: Bullying | Tags: , , , , |

 AUG. 28, 2013 YAMAGATA —

A schoolboy who was injured after jumping out of a window at school may have been the victim of bullying, an investigation has found.

According to school authorities in Sakata, Yamagata Prefecture, the findings come from a questionnaire that was circulated to staff and selected students after a 16-year-old boy jumped from a fourth floor window of a public school on Aug 23, TBS reported Wednesday. Police say the teenager was left unconscious following the fall, but has since regained consciousness.

In a statement to media, the school principal said: “The results of the questionnaire suggest that, among other causes, bullying may have been a contributing factor.” He said the boy had been the victim of mockery and had been subjected to “play fighting involving wrestling moves,” TBS reported.

The school has announced plans to survey all students again in an attempt to ascertain the scale of the problem. It plans to make the results of the questionnaire public in mid-September.

Japan Today

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Suspicious death of 4-month-old baby

Posted on August 27, 2013. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death | Tags: , , , |

 AUG. 27, 2013 – OSAKA —

Police said Tuesday that they are investigating the death of a 4-month-old baby boy, whose body was found in an Osaka apartment, as a possible homicide.

According to police, the body of Riku Kishimoto was found in his futon by his 37-year-old mother at around 11 p.m. last Saturday. Fuji TV reported that the mother told police she had put her children—Riku and his 4-year-old sister—to bed and then went out for about 30 minutes, locking the door.

Police said an autopsy on Monday showed that the infant had suffered a fractured skull.

Japan Today

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Mother arrested for burning daughter with lighter

Posted on August 20, 2013. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death | Tags: , , , , |

 AUG. 20, 2013 – Gunma – Japan Today

Police said Monday they have arrested a 35-year-old woman for abuse after she put a cigarette lighter against her 5-year-old daughter’s body.

According to police,  Maki Fukuchi, a resident of Ota in Gunma Prefecture, repeatedly burned her daughter’s stomach and right leg with a lighter since the end of July, TBS reported. A child counseling center notified police about possible domestic violence.

Fukuchi was quoted by police as saying, “I didn’t do it. She did it to herself.”


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Healing divorced families one story at a time

Posted on August 14, 2013. Filed under: Divorce, Parental Alienation Syndrome | Tags: , , , , |

Jontie Hays and Sarah Ulmer have written 12 books (Monkey in the Middle) to help children understand the emotions and feelings that parents experience during divorce.  Jontie talks with Jill Egizii of Family Matters about her book and her work as a social worker.  Click the link below to listen to the show:


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Leading Women for Shared Parenting

Posted on August 13, 2013. Filed under: Child Custody and Visitation | Tags: , , , , |

Leading Women for Shared Parenting was founded to dispel the widespread myth that it is only – or even mainly – disgruntled fathers with limited access to their children who promote equal shared parenting as the default model for separating parents.

That is simply not the truth.

Polls in the United States, Canada and other western countries consistently demonstrate overwhelming support in the general population for equally shared parenting. Both fair-minded men and women across all social and cultural lines understand that mothers and fathers are equally important in the lives of their children.

For some years a number of prominent women in media and politics have been championing this issue in the public forum of ideas and in policy-making circles. Eventually they sought a common platform from which they could bring their support for equal shared parenting to effective attention and positive legislative action.

Thus LW4SP came into being, with more than 150 influential women lending their names in support of the equal shared parenting principle.

LW4SP is made of up Leading Woman from all walks of life including prominent authors, activists, researchers, academics, advocates, domestic violence experts, columnists, therapists, legislators, attorneys, PTA Presidents and more. Most importantly however, LW4SP has a highly engaged membership, comprised of over two-thirds Women, who are determined to change Family Law in the most crucial way; to benefit the well-being of Children. Our organization is assisted by a group of passionate volunteers whose tireless efforts make all the difference.

Click on the link below to listen to Jill Egizii (of Family Matters) talk with 4 women who are involved with Leading Women for Shared Parenting (LW4SP). These 4 women share their stories about why they got involved with LW4SP.


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Human Rights Counseling Offices in Japan

Posted on August 13, 2013. Filed under: Human Rights | Tags: , , , |

Information is in both Japanese and English

なお,人権相談一般に関するお問い合わせは,下記「お問い合わせ先」の各法務局・地方法務局までお願いいたします(受付日時 平日 午前8時30分~午後5時15分)。

局名 相談場所 受付日時 通訳言語 お問い合わせ先
東京 東京法務局内人権相談室
毎週 月
13:30 ~ 16:00
中国語 東京法務局
毎週 火・木
13:30 ~ 16:00
大阪 大阪法務局内人権相談室
毎月 第1,第3水
13:00 ~ 16:00
英語 大阪法務局
毎週 水
13:00 ~ 16:00
神戸 神戸地方法務局内人権相談室
毎月 第2水
13:00 ~ 17:00
英語 神戸地方法務局
毎月 第4水
13:00 ~ 17:00
名古屋 名古屋法務局内人権相談室
毎月 第2火
13:00 ~ 16:00
広島 広島法務局内人権相談室
8:30 ~17:15
福岡 アクロス福岡3階こくさいひろば
毎月 第2土
13:00 ~ 16:00
英語 福岡法務局
高松 アイパル香川(香川国際交流会館)
毎月 第3金
13:00 ~ 15:00
松山 愛媛県国際交流センター
毎月 第4木
13:30 ~ 15:30
英語 松山地方法務局

Human Rights Counseling Offices for Foreigners

Please contact the Offices according to your language in person or by telephone in business hours for counseling to Human Rights Counseling Offices for Foreigners.

Offices Business Hours Language
TOKYO Tokyo Legal Affairs Bureau
1-1-15 Kudanminami Chiyoda-ku
Tel 03 – 5213 – 1372
13:30 ~ 16:00
Tuesday , Thursday
13:30 ~ 16:00
OSAKA Osaka Legal Affairs Bureau
2-1-17 Tani-machi Chuo-ku Osaka-shi
Tel 06 – 6942 – 9496
1st and 3rd Wednesday
13:00 ~ 16:00
13:00 ~ 16:00
KOBE Kobe District Legal Affairs Bureau
1-1 Hatoba-cho Chuo-ku Kobe-shi
Tel 078 – 393 – 0600
2nd Wednesday
13:00 ~ 17:00
4th Wednesday
13:00 ~ 17:00
NAGOYA Nagoya Legal Affairs Bureau
2-2-1 Sannomaru Naka-ku Nagoya-shi
Tel 052 – 952 – 8111
2nd Tuesday
13:00 ~ 16:00
HIROSHIMA Hiroshima Legal Affairs Bureau
6-30 Kamihacchobori Naka-ku Hiroshima-shi
Tel 082 – 228 – 5792
From Monday to Friday
(Excluding public holidays,
the year-end and New Year holidays)
8:30 ~ 17:15
(Reserve in advance)
1-1-1 Tenjin Chuo-ku Fukuoka-shi
Tel 092 – 725 – 9200
2nd Saturday
13:00 ~ 16:00
TAKAMATSU Kagawa International Exchange Center
( I – pal Kagawa )
1-11-63 Ban-cho Takamatsu-shi
Tel 087 – 837 – 5908
3rd Friday
13:00 ~ 15:00
( Reserve in advance)
MATSUYAMA Ehime Prefectural International Center(EPIC)
1-1 Dougoichiman Matsuyama-shi
Tel 089 – 917 – 5678
4th Thursday
13:30 ~ 15:30
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Manual issued for Hague treaty child retrievals

Posted on August 13, 2013. Filed under: Hague Convention | Tags: , , |


The Supreme Court has issued a case-by-case manual for court-appointed administrators on how to retrieve children in parental cross-border abduction cases under the Hague Convention, minimizing the use of force to avoid traumatizing the kids, the court’s spokesman said.

The manual, issued June 14, outlines measures the administrators who would be assigned the task of returning children to their place of habitual residence, even by force, should take as Japan considers joining the Hague Convention by the end of next March, the spokesman said Friday.

It says the administrators “should take utmost consideration” to protect the interests of the child.

The 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction mandates procedures for a child abducted by one parent of a failed marriage to be swiftly returned to its country of habitual residence. The convention only applies to children under the age of 16.

The nation has come under fire in recent years over cases in which Japanese parents in estranged marriages overseas have brought children to Japan in defiance of divorce court custody or visitation rights rulings abroad.

Often, the estranged Japanese spouse claims to have fled from an abusive relationship. But the removal of a child from its country of habitual residence has been deemed a violation of that nation’s law, and the abducting parent a fugitive.

Under legislation that cleared the Diet in May, a court-designated officer can forcibly retrieve a child abducted or retained by a parent residing in Japan in defiance of an overseas custody ruling and who refuses to hand over the child.

The manual calls for the officer to attempt to take custody of the child at the home of the abducting parent, in an environment where privacy is thus protected and the child feels safe. Taking a child away in a public place, such as a day care center or on a street, may lead to “unpredictable situations” and traumatize the child, it said.

If the child cries or refuses to be returned to the other parent, the officer should not use force, according to the manual.

Should an officer visit a home to retrieve a child and is told it is not present, the child’s name should be called out and a check made on the presence of the child’s belongings, the manual says.

The officer is authorized to forcibly enter and search a home if there are indications the child is inside.

In the case of an infant, the manual allows the officer, with the parent’s consent, to remove it from the crib. But the officer must not try to forcibly take custody of an infant if the parent is hugging it tightly to prevent such action.

The manual, issued by the Supreme Court’s Civil Affairs Bureau, is based on meetings involving judges and other court officials nationwide in January and February. The gatherings covered past cases of failed domestic marriages where one parent fled with a child from the country of habitual residence without the consent of the other parent.

Court-designated officers have retrieved children in those cases but have not had specific manuals or regulations to follow. The latest document urges such officers in domestic cases to follow its instructions to avoid harming the child in any way.

In past divorce custody cases in Japan, officers apparently tried to retrieve children in public places, resulting in shouting matches.

Fiscal 2010 saw 120 domestic cases processed in which a parent demanded the forcible return of an offspring. The figure was 133 in fiscal 2011 and 131 in fiscal 2012.

Japan is the only Group of Eight member yet to accede to the Hague Convention. If it becomes a signatory, the cases will be handled by a family court in Tokyo or Osaka.

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Education ministry shocked by scale of corporal punishment

Posted on August 10, 2013. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death, Bullying | Tags: , , |

NATIONAL AUG. 10, 2013 – TOKYO —

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology says it is stunned by the results of its questionnaire into the use of physical discipline in the nation’s schools, which suggest that cases of corporal punishment against pupils are far more numerous than previously thought.

According to the ministry, the questionnaire was prompted by national outrage following the suicide of a high school student in Osaka, who hanged himself on Dec 23 last year after enduring repeated beatings by his basketball coach at Sakuranomiya Senior High School. The boy told his mother he had been struck 30 to 40 times the day before he died, according to the Osaka Board of Education.

In an attempt to discover the scale of the problem, the ministry questioned students from both public and private schools to ascertain how many instances of corporal punishment had taken place in fiscal 2012. According to the investigation, 6,721 cases were revealed at 4,152 schools nationwide, representing a 13-fold increase on the official figures for the previous year, TBS reported.

Around 5,415 cases of physical violence against pupils were reported at the nation’s state schools alone, the ministry said. The massive increase in the number of cases has been attributed to a growing number of students who are complaining after incidents of corporal punishment, whereas before, they did not.

In a statement commenting on the results of the study, a ministry spokesperson said, “We are still reacting to the data, which has shown us how incomplete our understanding of the issue has been until now,” TBS reported.

Japan Today

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Suspect arrested in connection with dumping of baby’s body in public toilet

Posted on August 7, 2013. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death | Tags: , , , |

CRIME AUG. 06, 2013 – SHIZUOKA —

Police said Monday that a woman has been arrested on suspicion of murdering her newborn son and leaving his body in a public toilet in Yaizu, Shizuoka Prefecture, last year.

The woman, who has been named as 23-year-old Yayoi Kajiyama from Fujieda, is accused of wrapping the dead body of her newborn baby boy in a towel and placing it in a garbage can in the toilet at Yaizu Station on Aug 8 last year, Fuji TV reported.

According to police, Kajiyama currently faces a charge of unauthorized disposal of a corpse. However, police say they also plan to launch a murder investigation due to stab wounds found on the infant’s body.


Japan Today

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Mother says death of 2 children was failed murder-suicide bid

Posted on August 1, 2013. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death | Tags: , , , |

CRIME JUL. 30, 2013 – SAITAMA —

Police in Kuki, Saitama Prefecture, said Monday that a woman arrested on suspicion of murdering her two children has confessed that it was part of a failed murder-suicide bid.

According to police, 44-year-old Harumi Ishikawa contacted emergency services at around 1 a.m. on Sunday to report that she had slashed her wrists. Fuji TV reported that police found that she had apparently stabbed her 14-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son to death with a kitchen knife prior to making the call.

During police questioning, Ishikawa was quoted as saying that she had planned to kill her children before taking her own life. Doctors have described her injuries as minor.

Japan Today

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Hafu Film: Documentary about people of mixed race

Posted on August 1, 2013. Filed under: Uplifting Stories | Tags: , , , |










予告編 編集:見田伸夫 、三宅愛架
音楽:ホワイト・ウィントン、”Don’t Look Back” by Kentö
モーション グラフィックス:細野将志
ポストハウス: Cutters Tokyo



8月14日       シンガポールのNational University of Singapore ご予約はこちら
10月5日~ 日本初!渋谷アップリンク ロードショー
10月22日  マドリッド、スペイン
10月24日  ベルリン、ドイツ
10月29日  バルセロナ、スペイン
11月         セントルイス、アメリカ

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Hafu Film: Documentary about people of mixed race

Posted on August 1, 2013. Filed under: Uplifting Stories | Tags: , , |


Save the Date: October 5th Tokyo Theatrical release

We are thrilled to announce that Hafu will be released on Saturday, October 5th at the Uplink Factory in Shibuya for an initial two week run.

We will also be selling bulk discounted tickets at 1300 yen a piece (Regular price is 1500yen per ticket) Please get in touch with us if you are willing to buy 5 or more tickets.
Contact us at

Also, if you have any other ideas of how to get the word out about our film, let us know. With just two months to go. let’s gambaru and give it our best!
At long last we have a trailer!
(Please click on the image below to play)

Thank you to all the volunteers who helped make this happen:

Trailer Editors: Nobuo Mita, Aika Miyake
Music: Winton White, “Don’t Look Back” by Kentö
Motion graphics: Massashi Hosono
Post-Production facility: Cutters Tokyo

Upcoming Screenings

We are proud to announce our first screening outside of Japan and the US! This is our first step towards our film being screened around the world.

August 14 –  Singapore, National University of Singapore RSVP and details here.
October 5 –   Tokyo Premier and Theatrical Release at Shibuya UPLINK
October 22 – Madrid, Spain
October 24 – Berlin, Germany
October 29 – Barcelona,Spain
November –  St. Louis, USA
Vancouver, Canada
Honolulu, USA
San Diego, USA

If you would like the movie to be screened in your hometown visit our website and clickhere or simply email us to
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