LEFT-WING FORCES BEHIND JAPAN’S RAMPANT PARENTAL CHILD ABDUCTIONS
The story I am going to relate this week concerns a husband involved in an absurd divorce. His plight was revealed by non-fiction writer Yoshiko Ikeda in The Shady Business behind Parental Child Abductions (Asuka Shinsha Publishing Co., Tokyo: April 2021). The 256-page documentary vividly depicts how leftwing forces are cleverly infiltrating Japanese society, leading many of our families to destruction.
Married in 2006, Johji Sotsuda (pseudonym) was blessed with his first child, a girl, the following year. But the couple had a falling out and his wife left their home in May 2010, taking the daughter with her while he was away on business.
The incident came suddenly and Sotsuda was completely at a loss as to what was happening and why. Pleading with his wife repeatedly, he was finally given the chance to meet with his daughter two month later. His daughter desperately grasped his hand, entreating “Daddy, don’t let go,” but she was soon bundled into a waiting car. “Honey, I’ll be sure to come back for you. It will be just a little longer,” he promised his sobbing daughter.
Two months later, in late September, Sotsuda was able to meet with his daughter once more. But that was his last visit with her. The Sotsudas were divorced nearly eleven years later. The daughter would have been a junior high student by then.
In the trial over parental custody that followed, his former wife asserted that he had been abusive, claiming she had no choice but to leave home with her daughter to protect themselves. In response, Sotsuda asserted that he had never used violence at home. The decision of the Matsudo Branch of the Chiba Family Court:1) Sotsuda did not practice domestic violence; 2) the court would not allow his ex-wife to raise their daughter by herself; and 3) the court recommended that the divorced couple co-parent their daughter.
It was an epochal court decision in Japan in that it granted a couple the right to co-parent their child after a divorce. Quite unexpectedly, however, there was a major reversal when the case moved to the Tokyo High Court. Although the case involved a very ordinary divorced couple and their child, a left-wing defense team comprising 31 lawyers was formed to support the wife, which demonstrated how distraught left-wing forces were with the original court ruling of joint custody. The high court also refused to label Sotsuda as a perpetrator of domestic violence, but nonetheless gave sole custody to his ex-wife. Sotsuda has yet to meet with his daughter since the trial.
Couples fall in love, get married, and some are blessed with children. But when couples with children split up, we often hear stories about wives leaving home with their children. In such cases, it is overwhelmingly mothers who take the action, although fathers also do sometimes.
Parental child abduction across international borders is prohibited under the 1980 Hague Abduction Convention, and is a criminal act in the US and many European nations, where parents are required to cooperate to watch over and raise their children even after divorce.
“Omnipresent Feminist Counselors”
But in Japan, it is not criminal for mothers to leave home with their children. However, it is criminal for fathers to try and bring back their children, whatever the reasons may be, such as they just want to meet with them or share the task of bringing them up. Japan likely is the only country in the world where parental child abduction is not a crime. The early bird catches the worm, so to speak.
How can that be? The principal driving force behind this phenomenon is a band of left-wing lawyers maneuvering clandestinely for this cause, including those who were obviously alarmed by the Matsudo ruling and formed the large defense team for Sotsuda’s ex-wife. Popular cartoonist Toshiko Hasumi details the situation in her Parental Child Abduction (Wani Books, Tokyo: November 2020). As she explains, wives ridden with marriage-related problems turn to women’s counseling centers or independent counselors for advice. Many of these counselors, who listen attentively to them and give them kind counsel are called “feminist counselors.” These professionals, including the independent feminist counselors, and the lawyers to whom they are referred are overwhelming left-leaning. Many of them are quick to suggest to the women they counsel that they are victims of domestic violence.
“Once you fall prey to these lawyers,” warns Hasumi, “I’m 100% sure a divorce will be recommended.” Leaving home with a child is the first concrete step toward a divorce that these lawyers will typically advocate, she explains.
On my “Genron” regular weekly Internet TV news show last Friday, I tackled parental child abduction in Japan, discussing the issue with Seiron Monthly editor-in-chief Makiko Takita and Akira Ueno, the lawyer who defended Sotsuda. What we discussed has convinced me that in Japan even how our families should function is being dictated by a well-thought-out strategy from the “red forces.” In other words, left-wing ideology has penetrated deep into Japanese society without most of us being aware of it.
Ueno cited two major factors that entice Japanese leftist forces to advocate parental child abduction—a complete about-face from the global trend. Money is the first factor. A finalized divorce leads to a hefty sum of money under various names: alimony, education, or child support. Payment terms will vary from case to case, but a divorce lawyer ordinarily gets between 10% and 30% of the combined sum as his fee.
In Japan today, every third person who gets married ends up in a divorce. In Ueno’s estimate, these divorces lead to between 150,000 and 160,000 men and women getting involved in parental child abductions. They are the cherished clients who constitute valuable sources of income for left-wing lawyers.
These lawyers work vigorously under the pretext of protecting wives and children. They first take on all necessary procedures and create a situation in which the wives can do away with meeting their husbands face to face. They will properly take care of living expenses and child support. They assume the posture of thoroughly protecting the wives and children from the “abusive” husbands, eliminating any chance of the wives having to meet directly with them. What they intend to acquire in return is a percentage of the combined sum of what the husbands eventually will pay when a divorce is finalized.
Parental Child Abductions Creating “New Boom”
The main premise of this scheme is for the couple to agree to not see each other after divorce, making it mandatory for a lawyer to intervene in their communication going forward. That way a lawyer will be guaranteed a secure source of income. In a ruling such as the one rendered by the Matsudo branch calling for co-parenting and requiring no third-party intervention, a lawyer will be deprived of his income. Behind the forming of the 31-lawyer defense team for Sotsuda’s wife, I suspect, was a strong motive to never lose the source of income for not only themselves but the rest of the left-wing lawyers across the nation.
In the world of lawyers, the revenues brought in by parental child abductions are reportedly called “the second special procurement from credit and consumer finance companies.” Citizens’ requests for a refund of interest they have overpaid to credit and consumer finance companies have been widely covered in Japan in recent years. The total amount of overcharged interest reportedly reached a whopping \1.4 trillion (US$13 billion), bringing unexpected special bonuses to counselors and lawyers. Ueno observed that the steady number of incidents involving wives running away with children from their “abusive husbands “is creating a lucrative “business” for lawyers today.
The other element Ueno cited is a vigor on the part of left-wing lawyers to realize their version of family values in Japan. He explained:
“Put simply, their ideal of families is based on a denial of unity. I recognize them as a group committed to destroying traditional Japanese values about families.”
I believe Ueda spoke in such a decisive tone because he had taken on Sotsuda’s defense, single-handedly fighting the 31 left-wing lawyers for nearly five long years.
On my news show he explained roughly as follows: the mindset of the leftist lawyers who defended Sotsuda’s ex-wife boils down to a conviction that a family as the basic unit of the human community is not necessarily good for children and that they must be respected as individuals and be liberated at an early stage.
This is an insane idea that will never work—not only in Japan but elsewhere in the world. Japan is not a Marxist country, and families are the very foundation of our society. With such odious leftist thinking eroding Japanese families, a significant number of our parents are driven to the depths of despair each year by tragically being forced to part with their children. We can no longer overlook this situation.
(Translated from “Renaissance Japan” column no. 957 in the July 8, 2021 issue of The Weekly Shincho)