Every Child

Has Two Parents


Andrew tells his story of violated visitation and inaction by the Family Court, in blog style.

N.B. Andrew is also the webmaster of an affiliated site, www.frij.net, from where we update the information on this page.


It's the last photo I have of him, taken in May this year. I've heard nothing about him since then, but I hear he is still alive from friends in Japan.

I am now living in the UK, and my wife has custody of Ryan in Japan.

Having agreed upon visitation rights last year at the Chiba Family Court (I was to visit once every two weeks) - my wife strangely would not be home on the scheduled days. I complained to the Family Court about this, but they were unconcerned with me, and suggested it might be my own fault that this is happening.

I have returned to the UK, disillusioned by the lack of support from the law - but more so, how my wife seemed to switch gears completely, and cut me off from my son in such a way.

Now it's dawned on me that she felt no fear of losing her own son to me - it took me months to realise I am totally on the periphery of my family now....before I thought I would be afforded close contact with my son, but the reality has dawned on me....and caused me to make this site which I hope will be just one more dissenting voice against the family laws of Japan....dissenting, but positive that change will occur.

2003/09/14  More Info

Here's how it's been with me and the mediators of Chiba Family Court:-

After writing to them in January 2003 letting them know my intention to stay in the UK due to the lack of support in enforcing visitation, they wrote back acknowledging my decision. They also said that the "door is always open" in terms of mediation, even by letter.

I certainly wrote to them many times, but not once did I get a response from them, apart from that initial letter back in January 2003. Since then, I have written several times to them, asking them to contact my wife to advise her to give me information about him (or they could at least liase between her and myself and the mediators let me know how he is). I have had no response from them. Twice I sent recorded delivery letters - again, no reply.

Here's one of my letters I wrote to them on the 13th June 2003:-

Katsuya Funo
Chiba Family Court,
Domestic Relations Dept.,
11-27 Chuou 4-chome, Chuou-ku, Chiba, Japan

(この 手紙 は ケース 1356-02 の 著低人 の てめ に)

Dear Sir, 13th June 2003

I want to continue the discussion regarding my rights as the father of Ryan Lang.

I have not received any contact from Ryan's mother, despite the fact that I have continued to pay support for Ryan (I have paid 190,000 yen so far, with 190,000 to be sent in one month's time). I don't know anything about his state of health, what he is doing, or even if he is alive or not. What if he got injured? What if he died? I have a right to know this information. My mother received a few photos of Ryan in March, but only after she asked many many times for this. This is not nearly enough contact! As you mentioned in your letter to me, the gate is always open regarding communication between myself and my wife through Chiba Family Court's mediation. I simply want contact with my son, that is all. Why do I continue paying maintenance for my son, even without any photos, details, or contact via my wife? Because I care for him and his well-being. I worry everyday about him. I'm not asking for a huge request from you. I simply ask you to write to my wife and let her know that contact is VITAL between father and son. As you MUST know, children without a father grow up facing MANY problems. I want to show my son his father has not forgotten him at all. His father is here to help AS MUCH AS HE CAN. Many things stand in the way between my son and myself, but what can I do? I must ask you for some assistance in persuading my wife that it is so important for Ryan to know his father loves him. It has been an extremely hard 6 months for me, but I continue to work and send money for my son.

Now I ask for your help.

I appreciate very much if you can assist me, and my son.



Yup, no reply. NO reply.

The mediators sure care, don't they?

2003/09/24   E-mail from a deadbeat mum

My own father received an e-mail from my son's mother. In it, she stated that she has indeed received the maintenance payments for Ryan.My father got no news about how my son actually was.

She warned that child support is a duty, not an obligation.

I agree, but we all have duties don't we?

Doesn't a mother have a duty to ensure the father/son relationship is somehow kept intact? Am I just here to do my "duty" of being a cash-dispenser?

Alienating a father from his son is what deadbeat mums do.

Deadbeat mums think the father/child relationship involves a simple payment of money, and that's that.

So I decided.....My next payment to my son will be when I get visitation rights. This particular deadbeat mum needs to realise that duty is a two-way street.

30/10/2003 18:08:33 Australian Embassy cannot help me...

I wrote to the Australian embassy in Tokyo to ask them if they could assist me in getting contact with my son (he and I are both registered as Australian). However they replied:-

"The formal advice that I have received is that the Embassy has no legal role in this matter. In Australia, custody is a private legal matter. This situation also applies overseas. As such, the Embassy cannot provide any assistance in writing to Chiba on your behalf."


[In response to someone's offer to translate Andrew's letters into Japanese.]  Thanks for your offer to send a translated document to my mediators....the irony is....the contact I have at Chiba Family Court speaks EXCELLENT English. We've communicated in the past in English without a problem. It's just that there's a problem with his decision making (or lack of). The family courts are supposed to put the best interests of the child as the basis of their decision-making. Chiba Family Court ignore my letters I've written to them regarding the welfare of my son (his living environment :- 3 heavy smokers / confined space). Also my in-laws literally FIGHT often (my wife used to kick/bite/scratch me often, and I have permanent scars on my body - by the way, I mentioned this at the meditation which just seemed to fly over the head of the mediators as if it was a triviality).

You ask me why I am back in the UK. it's a fair question. I weighed up my situation back in December 2002. I had just been told I had access to my son once every two weeks. My wife was under no obligation to allow me such access though (and showed her true feelings regarding me seeing my son by simply not turning up with him on the last 2 occasions). At that time, I was losing a lot of money in Japan (even though I had a full-time job), and quite frankly, I was going literally crazy. I was living on my own for the previous 6 months, and had a return ticket to the UK (for christmas). I knew I could earn more money in England than Japan (in my industry) and had to get some money or I'd end up broke and thoroughly depressed in Japan. Look at it like this:- who, separated in Japan from their children, has regular meaningful access to their kids? I know nobody. However, laws can change. I'm still legally married to my wife. This is the only option we have....changes in law that will ENFORCE visitation rights.


My legal representative in Japan, whom I shall soon name and recommend, has told me my anti-divorce form has been approved by Wakaba-ku Ward. It means my wife cannot automatically divorce me within the next 6 months. If I keep submitting such a form, she can never divorce me, in theory at least.

Why am I doing this? It's nothing to do with the same feelings I had when I signed my marriage certificate, that's for sure.

No, it's to do with my son. I need to have belief that the Japanese law will recognise that it has a duty to enforce visitation rights for non-custodial parents. If I am legally divorced from my wife, I consider this one step more removed from access to my son. That is why I wish to stay legally married to my son's mother.

I will do all I can to see my son.

I plan to come to Japan later this year to spend two weeks protesting and attempting to see my son. I will spend time protesting outside Chiba Family Court, and unoffically (since the Family Court will not enforce visitation) seek a meeting between my son and I. I feel fear and am excited by the latter, because I know I will encounter antipathy from my wife and her family, and almost certain disappointment. I feel no fear by the former, other than simple embarrassment that I'm forced to do such a thing as protest. Whatever happens, there will be a one-man protest outside Chiba Family Court. I will see if Fathers 4 Justice will give me some publicity on this, even if it's outside the UK. CRCJapan? I hope so too.

I will seek other fathers in http://www.fatherswebsite.com/ to see if anyone will protest with me also.

03/06/2004 A New Thread on Child Support

Last year I paid 500,000 yen to my wife for child support (she acknowledges this too). In return, my own mother received a handful of photos of our son, on one occasion. During the year, my family have asked my wife for information and photos of my son, but my wife has not responded at all (apart from that one occasion).

So this year, I have with-held payments and approached my wife through a lawyer in order to strike a bargain with her. Initially she agreed to send news and photos of my son in return for child maintenance. Our condition was that she got the ball rolling and send news/photos first (because of the lack of trust she has engendered by NOT holding her end of the bargain up last year). On receipt of this, I would send payments. This would happen monthly. After a few months, I would send money 3 months in advance (as it's a little burdensome to send money internationally once a month). Not only would this be good financially for my son and his mother, but I would be very happy to learn of my son's life. And also:- with this element of trust being built up, it would be possible to move on from there and organize visitation schedules (long term view). Surely, all good for everybody?

Unfortunately, she still has sent nothing (it's now a month later). I can certainly afford to pay child maintenance, but I don't want to be in a situation where I have absolutely no bargaining power in terms of access or news about my son. It was evident last year when I regularly sent money while my wife didn't reciprocate with news or photos of my son. It takes me 1 week to earn the child support I send each month, but I have no problem with the level of payment. I know for a fact that my wife has a PC, an internet connection and a digital camera at her parent's house where she resides. It would take her 30 minutes at the most to send an e-mail with news and photos of my son. That's 30 minutes per month to hold up her end of the bargain. I don't know why she doesn't do this....but I do know she is often unwilling to compromise, even if the compromise will benefit her, as well as everybody else. I can't see the logic in that.

It's very sad that I have to resort to this (withholding money to try and force my wife to co-operate), but the law is not interested in my rights as a father. Yes, I've already tried legal channels. How can I send child support when I don't even know the state of my son, whether he is alive or not? Of course there is the added doubt that this money will not be spent on my son, since I have absolutely no control over the money once it is wired half way around the world. However, I will forgo these doubts if I have some information about my son, and photos. In photos, I can see his eyes, and I can see his toys, his clothes, his health. I would like to see photos of him at his nursery and in his home. I would like to read words about him, what he is doing, what he is saying, what his likes and dislikes are. All this builds up a picture of him.

Ultimately, If he has problems, what good does it do to shut out a loving father that is more than willing to help him if he can? This is the biggest injustice my son has.

What is better for a small boy? What is better for a father? What is better for a mother? Choose from the following:-

1. Son has no idea of who his father is. Father completely shut out of son's life. Mother struggles financially, and deals with problems on her own. Father grieves over complete loss of son, has no idea of son's health or situation. Son inevitably builds up resentment toward father as he grows up (only natural).

2. Father is kept up-to-date of son's life through news/photos. Father is very happy to contribute to son's life at the very least financially (with schedule to visit son regularly). Mother doesn't struggle financially to bring up son. Father and son have some kind of relationship - both father and son at least can put aside the grief that permanent disconnection brings.

3. Father contributes financially but never knows anything about son. Has no idea of where the money goes. Son never knows anything about father (possibly only negative things from mother). Son is more financially secure than option 1) (providing mother actually does spend this child support on the child), but has the emotional problems of 1). Father also has emotional problems of 1). Mother clearly benefits more than father and child.

I can't see any better choice than 2 as it benefits everybody.


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.

Copyright © 2003-2009                                                                Contact us

sponsored by abp world group child recovery and security www.abpworld.com


Please bear with us while we reconstruct CRN Japan.  You may find links that are broken and data that is not in it’s place.  Please understand we are working to fix all issues.  Thank you for your understanding.

   Search CRN Japan