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A continued look at parental child abductions to Japan

A few months ago we took a look at parental child abductions where Japanese mothers abducted their American children in violation of U.S. child custody orders back to their home country. In this post we will take a look at how those abductions occurred and how one American father has dealt with his loss.

According to an investigation conducted by ABC News, Japanese consulates in the United States may play an unofficial role in parental child abductions conducted by Japanese mothers. In an interview in Japan with a Japanese mother who absconded with her American child, the mother explained how she told the Japanese consulate in San Francisco that she had lost her passport. Actually, the mother had surrendered her Japans passport according to a U.S. court order. The mother used a fake name to acquire her son's passport from the consulate.

When approached about the issue the Japanese consulate in San Francisco said the consulate does not issue passports to minors unless the consent of both parents has been provided. The official policy of the consulate obviously does not explain the Japanese mother's story and many other stories of parental child abduction. The fathers of the American children who have be whisked away to Japan have more important questions like whether they will ever be able to see their child again.

The answer is unknown. No American child that has been spirited away to Japan has ever been brought back to the United States by diplomatic means. Frustrated with the diplomatic course, one father traveled to Japan in an attempt to reclaim his two children. The attempt failed when the father tried to take his 10-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter to an American consulate. Japanese police arrested him on suspicion of kidnapping and the father was held for two weeks. He was not formally charged and said the attempt "was the only rational thing he could do."

Source: Abcnews.go.com, "Abducted to Japan: Hundreds of American children taken," Sarah Netter and Abbie Boudreau, 2/16/11

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