Toddler and infant abducted by father

I am a 41-year-old female from Japan, who has been forced to separate from my two kids for 8 years till now, a son with age 10 (non-contact from his age 2) and a daughter with age 8 (non-contact from her age just 3 months – deprived of her right of getting breastfeeding from me). I am missing them so much even now every single day and I have been pursuing to try to rectify such an out-of-touch situation even a little bit. Of course, I have been making approaches to the court of Japan to adjust the visitation adjustments during these periods many times, but even now, I am not allowed to contact them at all because the Japanese family court has been refusing to award any visitation to me being a non-custodial parent. The court tends to support custodial parents in Japan mostly, not a non-custodial parent. At first, his attorney (Kimura) told me that my ex would let me see my kids if I give him full custody of them. So I did it, but still, I have been cut off from all contact with my kids. His attorney just lied to me. Since then, No Contact For 8 YEARS. In Japan, the domestic court does not support giving the left-behind parent access to the child, which I never had imagined before I became the party concerned / insider. Well, the reason my former husband has refused to let me see my lovely kids is that…… he has a strong sense of being a victim for a reason, which I am going to tell you about now below.

Our married life did not run smoothly. My ex rarely came from a full day of work to childcare. He came back home only about once a week because he was busy with his job outside. I believed him at the moment and I thought he was a real eager beaver. But I’m not sure that he really couldn’t for his job now, as he confessed before he’d rented another apartment for himself in a different place in Tokyo even when my kids were little. He said that he sometimes wanted to have individual alone time and that the location was convenient for his job. He used to say that a husband should work, away from home and a wife should devote herself to housework. He didn’t try to cooperate with our children’s co-parenting at all from the start, which lead to a maddening situation gradually – twisted mental and emotional circuitry involved. I became immersed in rage, frustration, and a sense of powerlessness. Not to mention, there was an ongoing hostile emotional tone between my ex and me that continued to erupt over time and in the same patterns.

Our married life was not going well. In August 2013, my two kids were suddenly abducted, when my son was 2 and my daughter was just a three MONTH breastfeeding baby. One Saturday afternoon on August 10th, 2013, I came back home with my 2-year-old son, Towa after spending just 30 to 40 minutes just going grocery shopping to find that there were some police cars parking in front of our house and my 15-week-old (3-month-old) breastfeeding baby, Ayano went missing. It goes without saying that I lost control, then screamed and yelled in anger and frustration with the sudden disappearance of my infant daughter. I couldn’t understand what happened that time when the police told me they were called to report me being on a rampage by my ex-husband and that his brother took my baby to his house for her safety. The police tried to restrain and sedate me because I kept struggling with the officers, which was not troublesome for my ex-husband, but rather must have been convenient for him. Meanwhile, I noticed that my two-year-old son also disappeared. That drove me really mad and I kept yelling at the officers, being just confused at the circumstances.

It was a strategic abduction.

However, I couldn’t know it was planned in advance at the time and I acted in a rage or “heat of passion” provoked by his conduct.

That was my ex-husband’s scenario 1.

The police told me I should be one week alone with myself to get relaxed in the house because I was not rational. (Of course, I was not rational, since my children were unexpectedly abducted one at a time/sequentially. That was during the period of breastfeeding my daughter.) However, it was hard for me to grasp what was going on clearly at the time and I said to the officers I would follow the suggestion. Still, my breasts became overly full, firm, and swollen without my daughter and I wanted to breastfeed her straight away. Needless to say, I fell hard, tight and painful when my baby hadn’t fed for a while. I was producing enough milk on a daily basis. The loss of my baby left my breasts feeling full.

I sent many text messages to my ex-husband for the return of my baby and he brought only her back through the officers at first. However, needless to say, I wanted to get my son back, too. So, I went to his brother’s house two days later after the return of my daughter, when my ex-husband happened to leave the spot with the perfect timing.

Well, I acted according to my ex-husband’s first scenario, unfortunately. I was not rational.

He thoroughly made the image against me. His attorneys employed tactics that made each mediation maddening with a lot of lies. Collecting and creating the materials/reasons for the cut-off between a mother and 2 children, such as “arson” (Of course, NO WAY!!), “my mental illness”, and “abuse” of my son, he succeeded in tearing us apart forever.

That is, my ex-husband set me up.

One year later after the abduction, he sued for a divorce and my first attorney (his name is Tomoyuki Watabe) said he made an arrangement to talk with one of my ex-husband’s attorneys – Masami Kimura at 12:30 pm on July 7th, 2014 before our divorce mediation session held at 1:15 pm on the same date at the court of Saitama, and he (my attorney) advised me to join them secretly.

However, it was the second set-up against me.

We talked about whether there is any compromise about my children and Masami Kimura, my ex-husband’s attorney told me in front of my attorney I would be given unfettered access to my children if I agreed to divorce and let my ex-husband retain full parental rights. He also suggested to me that I could use FPIC (Family Problems Information Center) to see my children, an organization of child visitation, which I didn’t know about at that time. I willingly accepted the suggestion even though he told me I should pay for all the expenses, not my ex-husband. Because I thought I could finally see my children. However, before I knew it, it got called off in the end. He must not have thought I would agree with him because I was told I should pay the full cost of FPIC. It had been one year after the incident since I had no access to my children. I just wanted to see my sweeties. Even now…. That is why, I gave my ex-husband the custody on the same date at the divorce mediation session held at 1:15 pm, without negotiating any agreement with my ex-husband for divorce.

This is the second set-up against me and I haven’t seen my loveliest children since. It’s been 8 years in total since I have seen my son, Towa, who will turn 11 in October 2021, and my daughter, who became 8 in April 2021. No contact at all. In Japan, sadly, there are no proper contingencies in place to prevent an attorney from lying or holding them accountable for falsely misleading or stating facts. NO custody, NO child. Again, the liar’s name is Masami Kimura, whose first name, Masami means “the truth” in Kanji, a Japanese character, ironically. Now, I know my first attorney, Watabe conspired with Kimura behind my back to have me lose custody of my children. In fact, he repeated he had no recollection of talking with us at the family court on July 7th, 2014, as Kimura did, too even though I asked him (Watabe) to give testimony at the family court many times.

Everything was surely fixed. My ex-husband had planned the abduction in advance, expecting I would get steamed up/get mad and behave insanely with the disappearance of my children. Actually, it took me only about 30 – 40 minutes to get back from the grocery store. During such a short period of time, he called the police and his brother to have him (his brother) take my daughter. Why was his brother available not only on the date but also for a few days after the date? My ex-husband was hardly ever at home due to being a self-employed worker on a daily basis, which was detrimental to home life. Regarding his brother, I heard before from my ex-husband he also had been too busy to take a day off at the time. But just when the abduction was done on August 10th, 2013, they took many days off? Moreover, it was the Obon period, an annual Japanese event when people usually take a few days’ vacations. Now, you know, everything was set up. It was premeditated. My word alone was insufficient to convince the court that I am truthful and that he is lying, though.

After all, I am just a biological mother of two children, Towa and Ayano abducted in 2013. I have been concerned for them even long cut-off period has already passed with no information about my kids. I WANT TO SEE THEM.

I believe they had arranged it beforehand. They were connected.

July 11th, 2021

Emi from Japan

The following are some of the unreasonable statements I actually received from conciliation commissioners (chotei-iin) in the mediation session for my third child visitation allegation at the family court, for your reference. You can understand how terrible the Japanese family court system is! It is not working at all!  

“If you have such complaints about Japanese family law, then, you shouldn’t have made allegations for child visitation to this court”.  

My comment: Well, are there any other helpful and supportive systems for non-custodial parents to see their lovely kids? The answer is NO. Definitely, he should know that! So Rude!  

“Children grow up even without their mother! You don’t have to worry so much. I have 4 kids and each of them is different. Children won’t grow up as you expect them to. It is not necessarily the case that every child wants to meet his/her mother, even you want to. There is no need to see your children now. Stay calm”.  

Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS)? You’re just stretching the truth. Sometimes you just have to give up. To be honest, I don’t know what we should do about this kind of problem.  

You say I’m talking to you as if this is someone else’s problem. Well, it is!  

If the custody-holding parent doesn’t want you to contact your children, then it can’t be helped. That’s the way the cookie crumbles.  

You’re asking us whether we take responsibility for what we deal with. But the question itself is completely wrong. Don’t ask us to take responsibility for this kind of problem!  

It is too early for this mediation. Why don’t you withdraw this allegation?  

When I showed them some photos of my daughter (born in April 2013) crying sadly at the April birthday celebration of the kindergarten, the female conciliation commissioner (chotei-iin) said to me “Maybe she is acting in the recital (oyugi-kai) in the event at the kindergarten? “.  

My comment: You know, many parents were celebrating the birthday of their own children, picking them up high in the photos. On the other hand, about my daughter, one teacher was picking her up….. So sad… The photos were from the ones which I received monthly from my ex. As already mentioned, I have been permitted to receive only ten color photographs of my kids once a month now.

But my ex-husband refused to receive my presents for my kids and send them back to me again. Actually, this is not the first time that he didn’t accept my presents to my kids. I don’t have any information about my kids’ whereabouts for 8 years till now. I have been making many approaches to the Japanese family court even now, but it fell on deaf ears. The judge whose name is Tomoko Goda said there are no human rights for children, “Why? Because this is Japan, clearly.” I never forget what she said at the time. That is why audio recording is prohibited inside the family court.

Recently, I went to my son’s school to watch him on sports day only to be told by the police that I could not be there watching my own child from a distance.

Read the following transcript of this video at my son’s school here in English

0:00 Mom: What? Police #1: You have a ruling….

0:01 Mom: Anything wrong to watch my own child?

0:03 Police #1: You know you already have a ruling from a Japanese High Court. Mom: Wait! I am just watching… 0:07 Police #1: Yeah, I know, but…. Mom: Why you are saying it is wrong!?

0:10 Police #1: So…. you should respect the judgment. Police #2: Yeah…

0:18 Mom: It is just natural for a mother to deserve to watch her own child is moving around, isn’t it!?

0:21 Police #1: Yeah, it is natural…understandable… but… Mom: No way…

0:24 Police #1: I can personally understand but still…

0:28 Mom: I won’t approach my child…promise… just watching my child nearby…. but still not allowed!? I am just to watch, that’s it…(crying)

0:37 Police #1: We don’t know the details…but as the ruling says you not to allow to directly contact, so you are…. 0:42 Mom: I know I cannot meet with you. You know why!? It is because his father has been refusing my contact with my children…. (then what about) their own feelings…

0:47 Police #1: Hey, calm down… Mom: I am just watching… but if you doubt me, you can keep your eyes on me to investigate… PLEASE!!

0:54 Police #1: No, no… we don’t mean such… You are all right now…

0:55 Police #1: Don’t get excited… Mom: No, I didn’t… PLEASE (keep eyes on me, as long as you want)

0:56 Police #1: If you keep doing this, you would get much attention and become in the spotlight…

0:58 Mom: I just wanted to watch my own son…just want to see him on moving…. this is my only desire…

I myself was also a victim of the sole custody law when I was a child. I lived nearly 40 years without my father due to it. And when I went to city hall asking for his latest registry so I could get back in contact with my father, the staff there just could not understand why.

You can read more about Emi’s story on her blog