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Fathers in Japan Posted by on Jun 20, 2010 in Culture

Japan is one of the many countries that will celebrate Father’s Day on the third Sunday of June. Father’s Day is a day when children show their appreciation for their dads, but for some fathers in Japan, this won’t be possible.

This year, child custody laws in Japan grabbed the attention of the international media, when Christopher Savoie went to Japan to take his children back to the U.S. Here is the full story :

In Japan, the court usually gives custody of the children to one parent. Unless the mother dies or is grossly incompetent, negligent or abusive, the custody of the children is awarded to the mother. It’s not just the courts that favor the mother in custody cases. In general, Japanese people believe that the children are better off with the mother than the father.

Reports show that in comparison to other industrialized countries, Japanese fathers on the whole, spend less time with their children. Before you place judgment on Japanese fathers, keep in mind that Japanese fathers get little support from society. It’s harder for Japanese fathers to ask for time off of work to be with their families and social expectations place child-rearing to be the main responsibility of women.

The custody laws in Japan will probably not change any time soon. While the law is as it is, hopefully parents will keep the well-being of children in mind.

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  1. frog:

    This TV segment is sensational and overhyped. I find it especially humourous when the reporter says, “A week in a Japanese jail has clearly taken a toll on [Savoie]”—as if jails in Japan are somehow more barbarous and uncivilized than in the USA. It would be impossible for any real harm to come to Savoie, given the political ramifications of an abused American—so we hear about being “unshaven” as the most dramatic offense (oh no!).

    Unfair treatment of fathers in the eyes of the law is equally, if not more, emphasized in other countries like the USA, too. While unfair and traumatic to the fathers involved, it isn’t anything new or foreign (like the TV segment subtly suggests: “Oh, those crazy Japanese!”).

    Did Savoie really think he could waltz out of Japan with his kids, morally or legally justified? Seems a bit naïve.