Every Child

Has Two Parents

 
 

Japan Lawyer Blacklist - Mikiko Otani / 大谷美紀子 (おおたに みきこ)


Disclaimer: The information contained on this web page is based on personal experiences, and is the personal opinion of the author. If you have comments or concerns about these opinions, please contact webmaster AT crnjapan.net who will forward them to the author.

Otani Law Office

In late 2001, my Japanese partner and mother of my son, (Junko) June Tateno, whom I was living with and supporting financially at the time, suddenly packed up her belongings and took our son away while I was out of the country on a business trip.  I convinced (Junko) June Tateno, to attend bilingual counseling to try to resolve our problems.  This was very difficult to do because it was against the wishes of her lawyer, Mikiko Otani.  Mikiko Otani, who wanted us to go to court instead.  But (June) Junko Tateno required me to meet with her attorney beforehand, and I had to agree in advance that Mikiko Otani could attend the counseling session as well.

At our meeting, Mikiko Otani was argumentative and belligerent.  She expressed a strong opinion that I should walk away and never see my son again.  She refused to listen to anything I had to say about two parents being best for a child. She discouraged any type of discussion between Junko Tateno and myself, and gave no constructive comments or encouragement for us to resolve our problems together outside of a court  She did not approve of counseling and showed no concern for our son having meaningful contact with both parents.  She seemed to be encouraging a court battle instead.  We walked to the counseling center nearby, and thankfully, June Tateno said that Ms. Otani did not need to go into the session.  But Mikiko Otani waited just outside the door as we talked with the counselor, and was still there when we finished.  She did not look happy.

Junko Tateno and I continued with several session of bilingual counseling, but it was not enough for us to reach a resolution.  June Tateno continued to refuse to let me even see my son for months, even during counseling.  But we did keep in touch and meet occasionally until she finally let me see my son once several months later, for a few hours, in March 2002.  That is the last time I have seen him.

Some time later, I was "invited" to attend Family Court "choutei" mediation.  The goals of attending Family Court "choutei" mediation were unclear and neither Junko Tateno nor the courts would explain them when I asked.  But an experienced psychiatrist in Tokyo characterized it as "breakup" counseling.  Knowing that the reputation of the Family Court was very biased against non-Japanese I checked with them and found out that there was no legal requirement for me to attend.  So I declined.

A couple months after that, June Tateno became unreachable, and not long after that I received a note from her lawyer, Ms. Mikiko Otani.  Mikiko Otani claimed to be "entitled to act as the attorney wholly responsible for" Junko Tateno and said "I would like you to refrain from having direct contact with her but to have all the communication with her through me regarding this case."  She repeated this request in subsequent letters.  As I take requests from lawyers seriously, I replied and asked several times for information on any laws I might be breaking or legal requirements that I direct all communication thru her.  Ms. Otani never replied.  But I did continue to get increasingly letters that were increasingly threatening to me.  The letters insisted that June Tateno would not communicate with me, saying things like, "I would like to make sure again that you will neither contact directly with Ms. Tateno, her parents and relatives nor urge them to discuss with you over the same issue."  This statement was despite the fact that I was trying to meet with Junko Tateno's parents or relatives first to help calm down the situation.

Instead, Mikiko Otani was  intent on encouraging us to go to court and go thru legal battles instead.  In apparent preparation for future legal battles, some of her letters, incorrectly described various actions on my part to contact June Tateno and her family, to make it appear I was acting in a threatening manner.  It seemed to me that she wanted to use these as "evidence" later.  The only response I can get, indirectly, from June Tateno these days, is that I need to resolve this legally in Japanese Family Court.  But an abundance of evidence on this web site shows that it would not be possible to get fair treatment and that there is no point to this.

Mikiko Otani, has worked in the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights, is on the International Human Rights Committee of Japan Federation of Bar, is member of the Japan Civil Liberties Union, and has other such affiliations.  But Mikiko Otani seems to have no real interest in human rights besides what will allow her to win a victory in court, get publicity in feminist issues, or receive legal fees.  As a lawyer experienced in women's issues in Japan, she knows full well that a court would never grant custody of a Japanese child to a non-Japanese, almost certainly regardless of all circumstances. Ms. Otani should also knew that I could at most get a few hours of visitation per month, and that her client could easily keep me in court for years evading even that.  With a (non-law) Master's degree from Columbia University in the United States, she would also know that this would not be acceptable to a US citizen.  Acting as she did, it is clear that she is not capable of understanding any position besides what is in her own financial or other vested interest.

Mikiko Otani did all she could to discourage an amicable resolution. She seemed to insist that there was no solution besides a court of law.  She discouraged relationship counseling, discouraged all possible contact with family members who could have helped, and in written communications to me, repeatedly tried to direct all lines of communication thru her.  According to first hand reports I have received,  she has used similar behaviors toward another man whose Japanese wife abducted their child back to Japan.  I also have heard that she sued the Japanese family of a Japanese woman who ran away from an allegedly abusive husband.  I wonder what the Japan Civil Liberties Union (JCLU) would think if they knew about this.

If Ms. Otani truly understood human rights and believed in the United Nations resolutions concerning children's rights and contact with their parents, she would have encouraged constructive discussion rather than pushing for a battle in a Japanese court.  According to several web sites, Ms. Otani is associated with Sokka Gakkai.  Sokka Gakkai, and Japanese society both favor collaborative resolution of problems over combatitive resolutions in court.  Ms. Otani seems to fail both on that account. Ms. Mikiko Otani, while having a seemingly pro-human rights background, in my opinion, is certainly against both children's rights and the human rights of parents.

Law Firm

Otani Law Offices

Mihama Bldg 8th Floor

1-2-1 Yotsuya, Shinjuku-ku

Tokyo 160-0004  JAPAN

Tel: 81-3-5368-6858 / 81-3-5368-8644

Fax: 81-3-5368-6878

 

231 E 53RD ST APT 2B
NEW YORK, NY 10022

大谷法律事務所

160-0004 東京都新宿区四谷 1-2-1 三浜ビル 8 階

電話番号(代表): 03-5368-6858

英語専用電話番号: 03-5368-8644

Fax:  03-5368-6878

 

231 E 53RD ST APT 2B
NEW YORK, NY 10022

Previous Address:

 

#103 Yotsuya-Bengoshi Bldg, 

13-1 Samoncho, Shinjuku-ku,

Tokyo 160-0017, Japan

旧住所:

160-0017東京都新宿区左門町13-1 四谷弁護士ビル103号

Affiliated Lawyers

  1. Kazuhiko Otani / 大谷 和彦 (おおたに かずひこ) 弁護士 大谷和彦 (same office, husband)

Organizational Affiliations

  1. JCLU (www.jclu.org)

  2. Sokka Gakkai - Mikiko Otani works with or for at least one Komeito politician

  3. Komeito - Mikiko Otani works with or for at least one Komeito politician

  4. Japan Women's Bar Association 日本弁護士協会の幹事

Related Links

Adjunct Faculty of Temple University in Japan

Foreigners' Human Rights in Japan

Macapagal stands firm on husband's appointment

Resume (English: http://www.yumepage.gr.jp/home/otanilaw/ENGLISH/Mikiko.eng/E_M's Profile.htm)

Otani Law Office: http://www.otanilawoffices.com  http://www.yumepage.gr.jp/home/otanilaw/

    (English: http://www.yumepage.gr.jp/home/otanilaw/Challenge.htm)

http://homepage2.nifty.com/no-violence/

「コロンビア大学院で考えた世界と日本」日本人留学生10人の提言

SOKA UNIVERSITY創価大学講義要項

The information on this website concerns a matter of public interest, and is provided for educational and informational purposes only in order to raise public awareness of issues concerning left-behind parents. Unless otherwise indicated, the writers and translators of this website are not lawyers nor professional translators, so be sure to confirm anything important with your own lawyer.




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