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Rare Child Abduction Victory

Rare Child Abduction Victory Does Not Signal a Change in Japan’s “Do Nothing” Approach to International Child Abduction

Jeremy D. Morley



Japan is a haven for international child abduction. Now one child who was abducted to Japan is to be returned to Wisconsin, thanks to our team’s non-stop efforts and despite the couldn’t-care-less attitude of the Japanese legal system.


Dr. Moises Garcia may be about to achieve the impossible: bringing a child abducted from the United States to Japan back home from Japan by means of the legal system.

But let no one be mistaken. It was the legal system in the U.S. – and some unusually good luck – that did the trick, not the Japanese legal system.

While Dr. Garcia tried his utmost – and at substantial expense – to secure the assistance of the Japanese legal system, the courts in Japan did nothing to help him and did everything to hinder his efforts, while paying lip service to his plight.

The Japanese courts purported to acknowledge that he had custody of the child, which he had been awarded in Wisconsin, where the child was born and lived, but then decided that the child should stay in Japan with her Japanese mother because by that time the delays had been such that she had already been in Japan for a significant period of time.

It is reported today that the child's mother has now entered a plea agreement, after having spent several months in jail in Wisconsin, pursuant to which she agrees to have the child returned to Wisconsin by Christmas.

Jeremy Morley, one of the world’s leading international family lawyers, says that, “The only reason that this case appears to have had a successful outcome is that the mother left Japan (without the child) and entered the U.S., traveling to Hawaii to renew her green card. She was then arrested in Hawaii because of the actions taken by my client's legal team in Wisconsin.
This case does not signal any change in heart on the part of the Japanese legal system. Anyone who understands what has really occurred here will conclude that the mother would have gotten away with her abduction if she had stayed in Japan.”

The Japanese courts are not ready to take any action in any such case and they have never done so. That will not change even when Japan signs the Hague Convention on international child abduction unless and until the entire family law system is overhauled and until Japanese society recognizes that kids are entitled to two parents even if parents are divorced.


About the Law Office of Jeremy D. Morley

The Law Office of Jeremy D. Morley has represented very many parents whose children have been abducted to Japan, as well as children abducted to other countries throughout the world. We also represent many parents who fear that their children may be abducted overseas and seek assistance in preventing a potential abduction. The firm concentrates on international family law in New York and, through a network of counsel, on global basis.

Information on Japanese Family Law:
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The statutory law in Japan contains no provisions  continue

Family courts and their branch offices are established at the same places where district courts and   continue

Selected excerpts from Japan's Family Registration Law  continue

This case illustrates a stark illustration of the complete failure of the Japanese legal system to protect children  continue

unofficial translation of Book IV; Relatives  continue

Kyogi Rikon (Consent Divorce)  continue

Has anything changed in the fight against international child abduction?  continue

Japan's private international law  continue

Divorce has constantly been on the mind of Imelda (not her real name), a 36-year-old Filipino woman who married a Japanese man seven years ago.  continue

An American Dad is behind bars and his Japanese ex-wife is a fugitive from justice  continue

In the debate about whether Japan should sign the Hague abduction convention, a serious consequence of Japan's failure to ratify the treaty is being overlooked. Japan's failure to sign the convention is extremely damaging to Japanese nationals living overseas, since  continue

It’s been six years, three weeks and one day since Navy Cmdr. Paul Toland last saw his only child, Erika  continue

We have represented many international clients who  continue

Japan is a haven for international child abduction. Now one child who was abducted to Japan is to be returned to Wisconsin, thanks to our team’s non-stop efforts   continue

On April 14, 2014, the Japanese Law implementing the Hague Abduction Convention  continue

A tentative translation of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Japan concerning Personal Status Litigation has been published by Japan’s Ministry of Justice  continue

This article from ABC News (2008) is based in part on an interview with Jeremy Morley.   continue

Four fathers quietly filed into a theater to watch  continue

After several years of struggling to understand the workings of the Japanese family law system on behalf of Japanese clients or non-Japanese clients with Japanese spouses, I have reluctantly concluded  continue

1996 judgment of the Supreme Court of Japan  continue

The Supreme Court of New Jersey has upheld a decision allowing a Japanese mother to relocate with her six-year old child   continue

In Japan since 2003 there have been two ways to calculate child support. The first way  continue

Japanese law enforcement and social service agencies unfortunately seem unable to enforce custody and support orders   continue

Under the Japanese Civil Code, either the husband or wife must change their family name to be married legally. Usually it is the wife who does so.  continue

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