Japanese Supreme Court Overturns Lower Court: Custody by State-Sponsored Child Abduction Will Persist

Japan allowed one.. ONE ruling in a family custody-by-abduction case based on decency and parent-child dignity… And then reversed it in the Supreme Court.

Insane, vindictive, hostile, & crude. And heart-rending cruelty.

I posted to the news site:
“One can no longer entertain the myth that the Japanese family court and family law system of “custody attained by child abduction” and “state-sponsored child abduction” is a matter of its practitioners being misguided, misinformed, or having failed to understand the character and reasoning underlying the global standard; nor can it be held that they do “not yet” possess the knowledge that comes down to us through the fields of child psychology, developmental psychology, and such ailments as narcissistic and other types of personality disorders.
It is clear that the State here favors the most vicious possible treatment of children and parents, and deems them unworthy of rights and most of all of protection of those rights.
Fundamentals shared by family systems worldwide, regardless of how flawed their execution, all point clearly to the egregious nature of this structure: children in stages of development, and under the powerful influence of relatives who are induced by law to abduct them and destroy their foundational family relationships, are deserving of protection from parental abduction, which is nothing less than predatory treatment and child abuse. The father carefully crafted his case to assure the court that his daughter would not be forced to lose one of her parental relationships. And the court found a way to thwart that child and her father, and damage her in ways that will remain with her for the rest of her life.”

One can only hope that the case is not killed off by this ruling, and that further avenues back to the Supreme Court will be found in order for children and parents’ rights to finally be protected by Japanese law. But there is a long way to go, and much more suffering ahead.

The story from the Japan Times reads:

A father whose custody for his daughter was denied by the Tokyo High Court speaks at a news conference in Tokyo Thursday.

In reversal, high court ditches ‘good parent rule’ that had granted dad custody of daughter

Jan 27, 2017
The Tokyo High Court on Thursday overturned a rare family court decision that had granted a father custody of his daughter because he was more inclined than his estranged wife to allow greater visitation, ruling the girl should keep living with her mother for the sake of continuity and because that is her wish.

The high court ruling came during an appeal trial regarding custody of the 9-year-old girl, whose parents have been living separately since the mother left and took the child with her in 2010.

“The daughter has been living with her mother, is growing up healthy and wants to continue living with her mother in the future,” presiding Judge Yoichi Kikuchi said. “Taking into account what is in the best interest of the daughter, it is reasonable that custody is awarded to the mother.”

The initial ruling handed down in March by the Chiba Family Court’s Matsudo branch attracted public attention because it applied the “good parent rule” — granting custody to the parent more inclined to allow greater visitation — and ordered the mother to hand over the girl to the father. The father had said he would allow his wife to see her daughter 100 days a year if he was given custody. The mother said she would allow him to see his daughter just once a month.

Thursday’s judgment was based on the principle of continuity, with the court stating that a child’s healthy development is not ensured just by seeing a separated parent.

“The number of days for visitation is not the only criteria to decide who has custody, and is less important compared with other conditions,” the court said.

“If the daughter, who is an elementary school student, goes back and forth between the parents’ houses for 100 days a year, it would be a physical burden and would affect her relationship with her school and her friends,” the court said, judging that visitation of once a month is appropriate.

The mother left her husband, taking her daughter with her, in May 2010 after the couple became estranged. The father has not seen the girl since September the same year.

The mother issued a statement after the ruling thanking the high court for supporting her claim.

The father said he would file an appeal. “The judgment cannot be forgiven, because it gives advantage to a parent who took away the child first,” he said.

“It is hard to believe the high court respected the child’s will,” said the father’s lawyer, Akira Ueno.

Posted in Japan Child Abduction, Japanese Child Abduction, Joint custody, Machiko Terauchi, Parental abduction, Parental Alienation, Rui Terauchi, Yasuyuki Watanabe, 寺内るい, 寺内真智子 | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

All Our Trials

December 24, 2016

santa-in-japan 1

Hush little baby don’t you cry

You know your daddy’s born to die.
All my trials Lord soon be over.

The river of Jordan is muddy and cold
Well it chills the body but not the soul.
All my trials Lord soon be over.

I’ve got a little book with pages three
And every page spells liberty.
All my trials Lord soon be over.

Too late my brothers
Too late but never mind.
All my trials Lord soon be over.

If living were a thing that money could buy
You know the rich would live and the poor would die.
All my trials Lord soon be over.

There grows a tree in paradise
and the pilgrims call it the tree of life.
All my trials Lord soon be over.

Too late my brothers
Too late but never mind.
All my trials Lord soon be over.



1 – p.s. I stole the Santa in Japan from Jake Adelstein. Thanks Jake! Sorry Jake! 🙂

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Reciprocity in the Time of Despair

I’m thinking about Donna Haraway, the biologist, feminist, radical and formulator of the descriptive value of recognizing and exploring the oddity of our interspecies reality. [1] That we live with companions virtually all the time and everywhere, and that we are not, in fact, able to think ourselves adequately as lone individuals. That we gain nothing from failing to recognize that we are composed of ourselves in social arrays  with fellow beings, with species, human and otherwise. That we are inhabited by others and others inhabit the world and make their way with us, that we would not be here if they did not. That without them, there would be no “us.” How else could a pigeon or a bacterium or a dog exist, she shows us, but for the historical position we arrived at with them, and they with us? Yet how do we treat them and their habitat, the dirt they share with us?

We live in colonies; we are colonized. We are colonial entities ourselves: collections of microbes as well as genetic particularity, and laden with behavioral practices that simply could not exist without their having been grown and developed in us through interaction with others.

History is an inextricable element with biology. Relation. “Symbiogenesis”, a word Haraway uses. “Tentacular thinking” … an expression of the homely ways that the world is filled with collaborators who supply one another with oxygen, waste, feeding grounds, places of play and reproduction, should we choose them. The genius of an octopus. The art of the orchid. The entangled, world-traveling, world-making collaborations that compose us and that we compose bring into existence phenomena and characteristics that could not otherwise exist nor be imagined without empathetic alliances. The world we view as biological is replete with examples. This is only the beginning of what she has taught me.

* * * * * * *
How would Rui and I differ today if we had had each other to grow with? In biology and anthropology [sic], we can view the developments of arts of “living on a damaged planet” today; yet they are damages that long preceded us out of necessity and strangulation points, bottlenecks which demand our attention now because, well because, as Haraway points out, we are on schedule to have increased our human number by 9 billion over a period of 150 years. Driven to salvage now, we can look at current and past lives and see how the expansion and contraction of kinship (whether or not it entered into our thinking) has alternately aided our growth, and brought us to a brink of what most see as catastrophe. How could a forest ever have existed if the ground cover had not kept the roots safe, if the roots had not bent to balance the light seeking of branches, hungry for sunlight, bending to where the temperature shows that nutrient vitality can be manufactured, up, in the air? The plants hear our approach; they adapt to our presence if they can. How many stalks out of the brain stem of our own nervous systems have grown fuller and reached farther, in order to meet a stimulus or warmth, be it from the sun, or a parent’s hand? How many calories are there in the love of a parent extended to his child’s comfort and growth? I only relate these elements because they are my story; my part to play. To have raised my child alongside the others, for that would have given us both, given us all, more life; not less. How stagnant and stale it is, apart!

* * * * * *

A month after Trump was elected, I was fortunate to hear a talk given by Jedediah Purdy, [2] thanks to the glories of the Internet. Purdy is a law professor at Duke, but more than that he is a writer of consequence. In the talk, video-recorded at Harvard, he read from Henry David Thoreau, as out-of-fashion an author as you might find. The lines were written in the 1850’s, from Thoreau’s despairing moment of recognition of the falsehoods that ran through the accommodations he had made with his country like air pockets through a Swiss cheese. His country at that moment was Massachusetts, where a fugitive slave law was upheld by the courts, thus assuring that men and women desperate for freedom and safe haven would be returned to their slave masters to resume a life that was a living death: being worked to death, and tortured by their “masters” who found their wealth and prosperity to be dependent on naked brutality. They would now see this brutality more fully and penetratingly enforced on those courageous and strong enough to attempt to save their lives. At this moment, Thoreau wrote feelings that resonate deeply with us today, in the fictive reality of Trump as future embodiment of power. Jedediah Purdy pulled the quotes:

“I have lived for the last month… with the sense of having suffered a vast and indefinite loss. I did not know at first what ailed me. At last it occurred to me that what I had lost was a country.”

Seeing the value of what he loves diminished beyond repair, Thoreau continues:

“I walk toward one of our ponds, but what signifies the beauty of nature when men are base? We walk to lakes to see our serenity reflected  in them; when we are not serene, we go not to them. Who can be serene in a country where both the rulers and the ruled are without principle?
The remembrance of my country spoils my walk. My thoughts are murder to the State…” [3]

Certainly we can empathize with the sorrows Thoreau felt he must then shoulder; to defy the rules he opposed because their open-eyed cruelty was repugnant to him. These were rules made for the benefit of profit-seeking; for the purpose of propping up a social structure founded on a principle of death dealing: expand, or die. This was the restoration to tyranny of the power to crush a challenge to its totality, its full spectrum domination of its ‘subjects’. But what is on the outer edges of this awakening from a dream, sympathetic as it is, is the non-recognition required over the period prior to this epiphany.

Who was it that lost a country that day during Thoreau’s walk? Did the fugitive slave who was to be returned, Anthony Burns, have a country to lose? This was the question raised at Jedediah Purdy’s talk. For all the angst I feel for the global impact with which the ascendance of Trump threatens the world, who was it that had this world to lose to begin with? When did its loss occur?

In the discussion, they talked about Ferguson, New York, Baltimore. I thought about Flint. About Syria. About Iraq. I thought about thousands upon thousands, expelled and forced to lie on the ground in the cold open edges of Europe today. I thought about lifeboats capsized in the Mediterranean for two summers. I thought about all those in Japan who were forced to live in the shadows of the enormous military base camps of Okinawa, their rights, their dignity and the pleasures of living denied them. I thought of all the children without the guidance and psychological care of their parents, who had no institutions to care to protect them from the cruelty and profit seeking subcultures of child abduction. I thought of how barren is life, here and there, without my own son. I thought about the institutions that stole my country, long before Trump and the new right wing crazies. Many of the culprits are the same ones. And it is they who will create the new accommodations to which we must either be resigned, or plot against.

Donna Haraway shows us in her writing that despair and hope are poor resources with which to think and create. We must be less fearful of the future at the very moment when it is most violently threatened. We have to achieve present-mindedness in order to fight back against them, seeing where we are, now.

My thoughts are murder to the State.


  1. Donna Haraway, Staying with the Trouble, Duke University Press. https://www.dukeupress.edu/staying-with-the-troubl
  2. Jedediah Purdy, “The Politics of Nature in a Time of Political Fear.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoT-8YKvCBo
  3. Henry David Thoreau, “Slavery in Massachusetts.” Collected Essays and Poems. Library of America, p.344-347
  4. Jedediah Purdy’s talk has since been edited and posted here!

 I honor my heroes and favorites, and continue to try to reach Rui this way.
I keep saying it to myself… More posts, and briefer ones! More – with brevity. No manifestos; just direct, from the day, outreach.

Posted in Brian Prager, Japan Child Abduction, Japanese Child Abduction, Machiko Terauchi, Ohnuki Kensuke Child Abductor, Parental abduction, Rui Prager, Rui Terauchi, 寺内るい, 寺内真智子 | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rui is Eleven Years Old

November 2016

Dear Rui,

I walked today – as I always do – past the park where you and I were once locked in and let out by the NYC police that night. Do you remember that? We were so deeply into lying on the canvas net at the top of the jungle gym, looking  up at the stars, that we didn’t notice that the park was closing. It was a little scary to be locked in, but I held you and we waited until they came with a torch to cut the gate chain.

From there I walked to the train, same one where I carried you; and going past, there were so many mothers and fathers and beautiful kids of New York who were like you riding with mamas and daddies to their homes. I had the same daydreams I have always had; but each time they are- I swear to you -aimed more poignantly – sharply  at my heart – than the time before.

I am aware that you are passing the milestone of now 11 years since the day I first held you; your entry into the world in 2005.  It’s so sad and absurd to tell you from this huge distance how much I long for our old -and now distant to you- love between us.  Father and son.

I hope you are happy today, Rui. I hope that you have around you people who actually love you, and that the days we have lost have been compensated somehow by real people, real people who want more of you than your pretty face, your school-day achievements, or your private, quiet collaboration with their secrets.

I am unable still to discover your hiding place, even though it may no longer be as well hidden as it was before. Write to me, and I will know.

Happy Birthday Rui-kun.

Listen to these New York City school kids. This is where you were supposed to grow up; with kids just like these.

I’ve told the truth,
I didn’t come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

I have died every day waiting for you
Darling, don’t be afraid.
I have loved you for a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more

And all along I believed I would find you
Time has brought your heart to me
I have loved you for a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more

Posted in Japan Child Abduction | 5 Comments