Iraq War Vet Says Wife Kidnapped Children To Japan

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A young Iraq War veteran is in the fight of his life against his ex-wife to bring his children home.

Michael Elias, who is now a Bergen County sheriff, claims his wife kidnapped their two young children and took them to Japan.

America, the country he risked his life defending, is powerless to bring his children back.

At 26-years-old, Elias has already endured more pain than most people ever will.

As a young Marine, the New Jersey native was injured twice in Iraq – the first time when he’d only be in-country two weeks, CBS 2’s Don Dahler reports.

“We were hit by an improvised explosive device around three o’clock in the morning, then we were ambushed by small arms fire,” Elias told Dahler.

When he returned from Iraq three years ago, Elias was greeted by his wife, Mayumi, and his two young children, Jade and Michael, Jr. He was also met with the news that Mayumi had been having an affair while he was at war and she wanted a divorce.

A Bergen County judge granted the couple joint custody and ordered that the children’s passports be surrendered, even though Elias had no idea what Mayumi was going to do.

elias and mayumi Iraq War Vet Says Wife Kidnapped Children To Japan

(credit: Handout via CBS 2)

A few months later, Elias and his mother were expecting Mayumi to drop the kids off. But they never showed.

“My mother went over there and the apartment was completely empty, like ready to be rented. The very next day,” Elias said.

Mayumi, her alleged boyfriend and the children were on a plane to Japan.

Mayumi was able to obtain new passports for her children since she worked at the Japanese embassy processing visas and passports.

The question is, did anyone with the embassy help her?

The Japanese Consulate has yet to return any calls to CBS 2.

“I was horrified,” the children’s grandmother, Nancy Elias, said. “We just said, ‘Okay, she kidnapped them. She not only crossed state lines but she took them to another country. This is wrong, we’ll get them back.’”

elias children Iraq War Vet Says Wife Kidnapped Children To Japan

(credit: Handout via CBS 2)

In doing their research, they quickly learned a devastating fact: of the thousands of children from all over the world who’ve been abducted to Japan, not one has ever been returned home.

“It’s a haven for child abduction,” Nancy said.

The problem is Japan is not party to the Hague Convention on Parental Abduction, and despite pleas by the U.S. State Department, there are no legal means to bring the Elias children back home.

“It has destroyed me, my son, my whole family,” Nancy said. “We’re never going to be the same. Never.”

“When she took them, she took my soul with her,” she added.

This past May at a congressional hearing on abducted children in Japan, Elias described the last time he saw his children via Skype.

elias and jade Iraq War Vet Says Wife Kidnapped Children To Japan

Michael Elias and his daughter Jade (credit: Handout via CBS 2)

“My daughter Jade looked at her mother in heartache and said to her something ever so softly in Japanese. When I asked Mayumi what Jade had said, she replied, ‘She wants to be with you.’ The monitor immediately went blank. That was the last time I saw my daughter’s face.”

When Michael was in Iraq, it was clear who the enemy was, but not anymore. His most prized possession is now a photo of his daughter holding his hand the day he came home from war.

“It’s disgusting to me that this is allowed. We’re supposed to be the most powerful nation and these are our allies. These are not our enemies. I don’t understand what the problem is,” Elias said.

He vows to never give up but his only hope now, he says, is for the president himself to put direct pressure on Japan.

President Obama recently brought the issue of parental abduction up with the Japanese Prime Minister and urged him to resolve the hundreds of outstanding cases.

What do you think? Sound off below…

  • P

    JAPAN IS BROKEN – Abduction it the de-facto method of custody determination by the Japanese Courts. It does not matter if one is a Mother/Father, Japanese/Non-Japanese. The Japanese Courts need reform.

    As an example: Here is a tweet from a Japanese Mother who has been completely cut off from her children:


    — Google Translate —
    Shut away from us and you, mama now hate Sundays. Shopping, parks, going out where to enter the eye just happy parents with children everywhere. Naturally full of tears, is embarrassed to walk, so I do not like it to go out.


    Last month alone, I know of a parental suicide (after a year of being allowed to see their infant child for only 2/hr a month! – pretty standard, and unenforcable, visitation ruling in Japan) and a murder/suicide of parent and 3yo child – for fear of subjection of parent and child to the abuse imposed by abductor w/ aid of Japanese Courts.

    Those of you defending Mayumi’s actions of child abduction, are only condoning child abuse and aiding in the Japanese Courts, and profiteering attorneys, to continue to violate human rights and destroy the lives of an estimated 250,000 JAPANESE children per year.


  • Truth

    Funny how the grandparents went to Japan but I’m not hearing if the husband has tried to go to Japan. Not that it matters.

    P, you seemed very concerned in regards to the child abuction/child abuse. Do you know if the kids even recognize Michael as dad? Is it child abuse if they don’t even recognize him? We have no idea how the children respond to him.

    You need to change the culture prior to changing the laws. The Japanese government refused to apologize to the country of Korea for all the murders and rapes during the war. The Japanese army made Korean women sleep with 100 Japanese soldiers a day and they still won’t apologize.

    There are rapes going on everyday in African countries. We can’t even stop the pirates from taking cargo and hostages in the 21st century.

    What is the point of being environmental aware when China creates so much pollution? China is producing so much pollution that it’s blanking it’s surrounding neighbors with red dust.
    You talk about the Japanese culture and their sex lives, but there’re plenty of men once getting married not getting it here as well, doesn’t matter what race they are. Plenty of women who are in a relationship only for a paycheck as well. The US is far from perfect itself.

    It is wrong to kidnap children to Japan. It’s also wrong for all the financial crooks to steal investors money and keep it in Switzerland. Switzerland doesn’t help the police here to give back the money. It could be drug, terrorist, ponzi money but International pressure couldn’t change the way the Swiss does business.

    The children are the ones to greatly suffer but don’t expect Japan to change anytime soon. There’s a better chance of gas price reaching .99 cents a gallon. Blame both parents.

    • P

      Hi “Truth”,

      A few points:

      – “Do you know if the kids even recognize Michael as dad?”
      >> Per the article, which you didn’t seem to read, his daughter asked to see him during the last communication that the mother allowed.

      – “Is it child abuse if they don’t even recognize him?”
      >> YES! Children have the RIGHT to know both parents! This is clearly defined in the UN Conventions on the Rights of Children — Which Japan has signed and told that International community that it would follow; But the courts of Japan ignore and violate.

      – “You need to change the culture prior to changing the laws.”
      >> The laws exist, but are not enforced. The courts in Japan are a bureaucracy and take the easy path for themselves, rather than do what is best to the people.
      >> I am trying to change the “culture”. Really, I am trying to change the awareness – Japanese Parents, don’t generally deal with the Japanese courts. Therefore, they don’t have a reason generally to understand how it functions. I’m trying to help get them to look at, and understand, how the courts in Japan work — because with the current method of operation NO PARENT in Japan truly has enforceable parental rights in Japan. Courts protect the abducting parent – period.

      – There’s a better chance of gas price reaching .99 cents a gallon.
      >> I refuse the premise, that just because a task is difficult, that we should shrug are shoulders and leave all these children (literally over a million) in these abusive and traumatic situations.

      – Blame both parents.
      >> Only one parent is the abductor. Once the abduction occurs and communication is cut off, only one parent (the abducting parent) can be blamed. They have unilaterally decided to commit child abuse; and they have ended all methods of reaching compromise or reconciliation. There actions are *completely* selfish — hurting children, hurting family members, hurting other parents fighting to fix the system, parents suffering due to Japan’s court policies (which the abductors fight not to reform, for fear of being punished for their inhumane actions).


      Japanese People must decide if they are willing to stand up for fairness, reform, and human rights…. Or continue to judged as a country that violates human rights and condones child abuse, due to broken court systems and profiteering attorneys.

      They must also realize that they are hurting other countries as well. EVEN NON-JAPANESE parents are now abducting children to Japan; Because the abducting parent is ALWAYS protected by the courts — no matter man/woman, Japanese/Foreigner.

    • Tommy John

      As a good friend and fellow servicemember of Mike I’m asking, no telling you to SHUT THE F&%$ UP and offer your condolences to him and say a prayer that he finds his kids again. I can’t tell you how many times he has told me how much he loves his kids! So leave your political BULLSH&% out of this story and wish him the best!!!

      • Aqua

        He loves his kids so much? well, this person even didn’t live with them and didn’t support them enough. I guess they might recognize the grandmother, but they won’t recognize Elias as the father.

        • P

          Why is it that so many of you “defends” can basically only “call names”?

          Michael and Mayumi’s marriage ended – fine, it happens. That doesn’t give her the right to abuse the children and commit parental abduction.

          Is Mayumi a child? Or is she an adult? Because in the real world, their are consequences for peoples actions. Whatever you ‘believe’ happened in their marriage, that is NOT AN EXCUSE FOR CHILD ABUSE!!! Abduction is a VIOLATION of HUMAN RIGHTS!

          What part of this are you struggling to understand? Why do you think that Mayumi can justify abusing her children and violating THEIR rights as human beings?

          • P

            **Why is it that so many of you “defenders” can basically only “call names”?

            • Chursey

              As you can tell, the Japanese point of view on this subject cares very little about the welfare of the children or the value of the law. This is why the United States must continue on it’s way to impose financial penalties on Japn and hope that other countries do the same (which they will do). Also, and even more importantly American people must boycott everything Japanese till this problem is resolved. When people start losing jobs and companies start losing more money, they will have to reconsider the crimes being committed.

  • Chursey

    Mayumi not only abducted the kids and committed other crimes in the process, shwe has also alienated the children from their father. That is the most selfish thing any human being can do to another.
    Also the claims that she was suicidal and “chose to live” are frightening. Japan is not only abducting American children. Canada, France, England, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Spain, Ireland, Mexico, the list goes on and on. The countries affected by this issue need to stop buying Japanese products and services till this is sorted out.

    • P

      – A boycott against Japanese goods is in the process of getting organized.


      – the US government is working to pass laws which could place sanctions upon Japan. This will likely cause other countries to follow suit.

      – there is also the other possibilites of various legal action against Japan

      Japan has a limited window of time to do the right thing and solve this human rights issue.

      • Chursey

        I have been boycotting Japanese goods since the first report broke on ABC News last February and I have found that not only are American products much less expensive, but also of higher quality.

      • Chursey

        Why can’t the United Nations hold Japan responsible for not following the “Rights of a Child” convention Japan has signed?

  • Asami


    Thank you for sharing your personal story. Now I know where you are coming from. I am from pretty similar situation although my parents were together. I suffer from long term consequences because of my childhood trauma. My major in college is not Psychology, but my main isterest is trauma and attachment.

    I agree with your points very much. You seem to be rational on your arguement. I have a problem. My fellow Japanese web writers from a web community is rushing to condemn what I have written. I am accused of damaging Mayumi instead of helping her.

    Some people think I am buttering you up. I recognized your view and respect that. I acknowledge my weakness and am willing to investigate more on this subject. That’s all I wanted to do except mainly showing support for Mayumi.

    Last two days got me really thinking. It was nice experience. I hope Mayumi will come back & recover from her own trauma and decide what’s best for her kids. I have a faith she will come back to her authentic self.

    Mayumi san, I am cheering for you from a small town in America. Sorry if I was doing wrong here yesterday. I will stop coming back. But please remember, lots of people are feeling for you and your children. I care about you.

    • P


      That you for your sincere response.

      I do not think that you are damaging Mayumi. Her actions determine her own character.

      As far as I am concerned, you are demonstrating that you, and therefore other people, can step outside of the initial, emotional feeling of blindly supporting our friends, or fellow countrymen, and take the time to look at the picture from a larger perspective.

      I do not know Mayumi. I do not know Michael. But I do not think that the specific details of their personal relationship are the ponts at issue.

      In *any* relationship that involves children, *the children’s needs* must come first. I understand that many parents in a failed marriage build feelings of resentment – whether these issues are justified or not, is another issue. However, as adults and loving parents, we have an obligation to *not* use the children as tools to hurt the other parents…. because in doing so, it is the children who are the ones truly being hurt.

      I believe, that a parent who *truly* loves a child, will not put their child in this position. Just because two people fail to be successful in their marriage, does not entitle one of those people to unilaterally make the decision that their child must suffer by forcing that helpless child, who needs the love of both parents, to forego the relationship with the other parent.

      This is called “Parental Alienation Syndrome” and is child abuse. Any parent who loves their child is *obligated* to make the effort to help maintain a relationship between the child and the other parent.

      I hope that Japanese parents will all come to see this and help change the system in Japan so that Joint-custody is recognized. Children have rights, and as loving parents, it is our duty to help ensure those rights for our children.

      I too, hope the Mayumi will soften her heart, and hope that she will put the needs of her children in front of her negative feelings.

      Asami, I again, thank you for you sincere response and willingness to look at the bigger picture – even though it may not have been easy.

      @Mayumi, you still have a chance to put your children first. You still can let your children speak with their father and their US family. You have a chance to speak for Japan. Many people in both countries are watching your actions; and many Westerners will judge Japan based on what you choose to do.

  • m

    Michael Elias, Be honest. This was the only way she could live….

    • P

      Whatever you “believe”. You are missing the point. Child Abduction is a crime. Child Abduction is Child Abuse. One parent does not have the right to unilaterally decide to deny access of a child to another parent.

      Any parent that would do so, is not looking out for the best interest of the child, and is likely not fit to be the custodial parent.

      • ML

        P, and Asami, I understand what both of you are saying.
        But I must say, I am the person on Asami’s side. I am also Japanese, and
        deeply concerning about this conflict between Japan and all other countries.

        First of all, I understand all the children have rights to be loved by their parents.
        But if the comment written by one of Michael and Mayumi’s friends is true, did Micael showed his love to their children? He chose his girlfriend over them, and he refused to support them mentally and financially. Fatherhood is not a part time job, and it is wrong to emphasize on “father’s right” only when he feels to be a father.

        Child Abduction IS a crime. We all know that. But what about all the things he’d done to his wife and children? Having an affair is not right thing to do, hope American people know that since most American people are Christians I believe. She was mentally abused by her husband, she was alone.
        Who was taking care of their children while he was having a quality of time with his girlfriend? I assume Mayumi was. It is neglect. He wanted to fulfill his needs more than to fulfill his family’s needs. Yes, children need love from both of their parents. Were they receiving love from their father?
        He refused to support his family financially. How can she support herself and her two small children all by herself? Rent, utility expenses, food, pre-school tuition, clothes…. with no support from neither her husband nor government, it was almost impossible for her.

        So I don’t blame her leaving for her home country, where she can get enough support from her true family and friends, mentally and financially.
        She was brave. She chose to be a kidnapper to protect her children. She rather chose to be a criminal for better life.

        If you call child abduction is child abuse, what Michael was doing to them was also child abuse AND spouse abuse.
        Michael’s interest supposed to be in his children’s interest, not in himself.

        If it is OK to bring a woman from foreign country and have some kids with her, but don’t have to support them AND still be able to keep them by him because his right is protected by law…… This is nothing, but slavely.

        P, believe or not, I think father still have right to see/talk to his children.
        What Michael has to do is not trying to change the law by showing his fake tears on TV, but “change himself” and show them his TRUE love. Hope their situation will get better.

        • philipmarlowe

          Again, this is factually incorrect. Parents do not have the right to see and talk to their children under Japanese law. What Japanese law provides is protection of the kidnapper and arrest and imprisonment for parents who attempt to see and talk to their children. Because she kidnapped the children rather than work out a reasonable separation and parenting plan for the children’s sake, people are left to speculate here about what the father and mother did or did not do in their relationship with each other and with others. That she was able to do this is because she knew as all Japanese parents know that she could kidnap the children with the full support and comfort of the Japanese government.
          And finally, ML displays a deeply learned lack of normal human empathy for children and parents. On the one hand, the wrenching affective damage caused to children who are treated as if their father has died even though they know he has not; and on the other; apparently the tears of this family could only be “fake” for you.
          Perhaps ML could use some therapy to learn to overcome his/ her own blocked emotional life and inability to see the humanity of others.

        • smith

          I think that you are missing the big picture, here.

          – The Japanese Court System is BROKEN
          – Child Abduction is Child Abuse

          Abductors like are not only hurting the children, they are hurting other parents – even Japanese parents. There is a Japanese Mother, whose Japanese Husband abducted their son back to Japan while they were all living in Canada.

          Even foreigners are abducting to Japan; For example, an Australian Father who abducted his son to Japan to prevent the child’s contact with the Australian Mother.

          Now foreign courts are starting to deny Japanese parents to visit Japan with their children, because of Japan’s policies that allow for child abduction.

          So abductors, like Mayumi and supporters like you (who acknowledge that it is wrong but are still defending it), are not just hurting children… you are hurting other parents all over the world.

          The actions of abductors are *completely* selfish and hurting people all over the world, including tens of thousands of children.

          You need to understand that the Japanese Family Court system needs reform.

          I don’t know if you are a parent. But if you are, and you are still married – don’t you realize that ANY day that your spouse walks out the door with the children could be the last time that you ever see those children again? That is the reality of the Japanese Family Court system.

        • P

          In other words, what you are saying is: as long a one person can create a story to justify their actions in their own mind, they are allowed to violate the human rights of other individuals? SOMETHING is very wrong with this thinking.

        • P

          You seems to be contradicting yourself all over the place — AND still missing the bigger picture.
          Additionally, everything that you are mentioning is called “hearsay.”

          You seem to be basing your opinions based on information you have “heard” from only *one-side* of the argument. A person, who has, by your own acknowledgement, committed a crime. A person who has committed a crime has EVERY interest in continuing to deceive in an attempt to justify their criminal action.

          I have *heard*, but to not know first hand, that the US grandparents went to Japan in an attempt to visit with the abducted children, but Mayumi denied any visitation. They supposed engaged the assistance of the US embassy though, so *this can be confirmed*. Mayumi has made a UNILATERIAL DECISION to not allow those children to have a relationship with the US side of the family.
          Has it ever occurred to you that people that abduct children generally have a mental disorder? And therefore their view of the world is generally inaccurate and tainted by self-induced feelings of paranoia and persecution? Did she see a mental health professional?

          Also, I have lived in Japan, I actually know things about the culture and life there. Japan has very unique “after children” views on sexual relations between a husband and wife – which has practically made adultery the national pastime. In Japan, adultery is grounds for divorce — BUT so is a lack of sex in the marriage. I know many Japanese couples, where after children, the wife lost all interest in a physical relationship with the husband – which again, under Japanese law, is grounds for the husband to divorce the wife. However, due the the children, the husband tries to stay together. Post-children views by women in Japan seem to typically be that the husband is only for a paycheck – I would submit that this is extremely unhealthy, both for marriages and for the subsequent children that result. Might this be a possible source to the ever declining population rate in Japan?

          This is also a symptom of many forms of depression, but in Japan, due to stigma, few people will seek the help of a mental healthcare professional.
          You should also consider reading this study: ‘Sexlessness’ wrecks marriages, threatens nation’s future | The Japan Times Online

          • ML


            Then please explain to us why US masmedia does not broadcast /report
            Japanese side of story?
            Most of the Americans ARE having opinions and/or stereotypes based on
            the Michael’s story they “hearsay” on TV or papers, aren’t they?
            Then why not I cannot have my own opinion based on the information that I chose?

            And oh please P, don’t say you guys let Michael talk his sad story on TV
            before you guys “confirm” it!!!
            CNN, such a powerful TV station, did not confirm it?
            You say it can be confirmed it, then why don’t you do it????
            Same thing, if you would like to say “the comment one of their friend posted
            on internet is not true”, ask Michael to show his proof that his girlfriend was not
            in his car with him. It’s easy to ask Michael to show his official driving(accident)
            record from police / court / insurance company isn’t it?
            Hope this is not another Savoye case!!

            As I said in my last comment, I believe it is important for children to see both
            parents when they grow.
            I am not saying it is OK to refuse the visitation of father and grandparents or
            whomever have ‘right’ to see the children.
            So there is nothing more I want to say about that point.

            Yes, adultery is grounds for divorce in Japan. Those who were cheated have rights to sue their cheaters. One of my friends sued his wife and her boyfriend,
            and received about $60,000 ($1=100 yen) total plus legal fee he spent.
            It is still very shameful and unacceptable sin to have an affair in Japan. I
            believe there are still few states in US where adultery is illegal and sue your cheating partners even though the law itself does not have that strong power anymore.
            (Alienation of affection)

            And you are misunderstanding about sex part and paycheck part. If you REALLY know about Japanese culture, you would not say this. Our culture is very unique, we don’t say something good about our family and even ourselves that much even though we are really proud of them.
            So even though your Japanese friend says “I hope my husband won’t come
            back home, I just need his paycheck!!’, they are not saying that seriously.
            “I cannot even imagine to sleep with him again!!!’ means… you know what I mean. So I can say, there is nothing you have to worry about Japanese
            couple’s sexual relationship.
            Declining the number of children is very important issue we are facing in Japan though. It is caused mainly by Japan’s long running economy hardship, not because of ‘lack of sex in the marriage’. Iif your belief is true, how will you explain the “baby booms” we had in the past?


            • P


              Again, you are showing ignorance on this issue. I will take it point by point.

              1. “Then please explain to us why US masmedia does not broadcast /report
              Japanese side of story?”

              >> The US Media has repeatedly tried. ABC News has gone to Japan and tried to interview abducting parents. One Japanese Mother went on the record and merely talked about how smart she was to break the US laws and get away with it. The other Japanese parents refused to talk. Search youtube for ABC Japan Abduction.
              >> Will Mayumi go on the record with the US media? I’m sure the they would love to show her side.
              >> If Michael said anything that she can prove is untrue — Sue him in court ( look up – slander and libel ), otherwise drop the melodrama.
              >> How about the Japanese Media showing the US side? I know for a FACT that Japanese media executives have shut down objective reports on the issue that Japanese journalist have tried to publish.

              2. don’t say you guys let Michael talk his sad story on TV
              before you guys “confirm” it!!!

              >> In US Courts EVERYTHING SAID is recorded and included in the file – It is not “behind closed doors” like in Japan.
              >> And again, I’m not defending what did or did not happen between Michael and Mayumi. That is not relevant to the issue — The issue is CHILD ABUSE and the RIGHTS OF CHILDREN. You seem to keep saying that CHILD ABUSE is okay, so long as the person who is committing the CHILD ABUSE can tell a good story and convince their friends. In other words, you are saying that CHILDREN have no rights.

              3. I am not saying it is OK to refuse the visitation of father and grandparents or
              whomever have ‘right’ to see the children. So there is nothing more I want to say about that point.

              >> I like how you refuse you speak about the *KEY ISSUE*? This is the issue! Japanese Courts do not prevent this “harmful to the child” behavior from happening. This behavior is abusive and traumatic for children.
              >> By remaining silent, you are essentially condoning the behavior. I am guessing (correct me if I am wrong) that you feel that you are standing up for women’s right in Japan by defending Mayumi…. If so, I would argue that you are actually hurting the cause (which I believe in – I firmly believe in the equality of sexes; more clearly, I believe that M/F are equal but different), as you are demonstrating that you are willing to protect and defend Mayumi while ignoring the blatant child abuse she is committing. I can elaborate on this topic if you are interested…

              4. Our culture is very unique….

              >> Every culture thinks that they are “Unique.” Are you suggesting that every culture other than Japanese culture is the same (pretty racist, if you ask me)? What is it with Japanese obsession with thinking that they are “uniquely unique.” — You should read history more – “unique” doesn’t survive; those that evolve and adapt survive.
              >> Are you suggesting that in Japan’s “Uniqueness” they should not have to meet the international standard for human rights? Because that is what we are talking about here…. HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES.

              >> I do know Japan. And as you do not know my background, you are again making ignorant claims. I lived and worked in Japan for over 2 years. I had many conversations with my Japanese coworkers (both make and female) about these issues. I also have first-hand personal experience.
              >> You are being blinded by nationalism. I am trying to help ALL the children of Japan and the abducted children from Abroad. I am trying to get Japanese Parents to wake up to the fact that the Japanese Courts are effectively saying the NO PARENT has defendable, parental rights in Japan.
              >> Further, I would argue, that as n outsider, many of the formalities that exist in day-to-day interaction between Nihonjin, often did not apply to me. That the Japanese people that I interacted with tended to have more genuine conversations with me, due to this. Additionally, they often were seeking information from me in order to compare and contrast Japan to the *MANY* other countries in with I have lived and spent time.

              5. ….So I can say, there is nothing you have to worry about Japanese
              couple’s sexual relationship.

              >> You OBVIOUSLY did not read the study that I recommended. It was an independent, international study and showed that Japan had THE lowest amount sex after marriage — by far.

              6. adultery issue

              >> Again, you IGNORED what I said. I pointed out that “sexual abandonment” is grounds for divorce in Japan, and is probably the number 1 cause of adultery. I *personally* know of a case in Japan, where the wife lost interest in sex after the child was born – actually she would not even make time to watch TV or something with her husband after the child was asleep. The husband asked the wife, “what can I do.” The wife TOLD him, “So long as you support the family. I don’t care, just be discrete.” The man continued to try to change his wife’s attitude – but she refused. After two years of refusal by his wife, rather than leave the family, he tried to remain a good husband and father merely fulfilling his physical needs elsewhere. Later, his wife learned that she could use the broken Japanese system to try and get money, so she abducted the kids, filed a claim with the Japanese court of “adultery” (although she TOLD him to go elsewhere) and tried to extort money from the women that he had the brief physical relationship with. The wife further used the fact that she had abducted the children as a way to extort money from the husband — “pay me money or you cannot see the children”.

              This man’s story was often discussed by Japanese coworkers during nomunication. They all seemed to acknowledge that this happened way too much in Japan.


              YOU ALSO KEEP IGNORING THAT THE ACTIONS OF ABDUCTORS LIKE MAYUMI ARE HURTING OTHER PARENTS -If Mayumi is truly faultless, help reform the Japanese Court system, then there can be a fair trial for ALL PARENTS.

              According to Japanese Law Professor TANASE Takeo (of Todai), who also has a degree in Sociology from Harvard (and whose wife TANASE Kazuyo – is a well known psychologist) have written papers on the issue of the broken Japanese Court System.

              TANASE-Sensei states in one of his papers that due to the broken Japanese Legal System — ONLY 2.6% of the children of divorce in JAPAN get any visitation with the non-custodial parent.

              *Japanese Courts DO NOT protect the rights of Children. * AND THAT IS THE ISSUE. Why don’t spend your energy trying to help fix the system and protect the Children of Japan, rather then investing time defending someone who is obviously abusing children?

        • P

          In any case, let us take Mayumi and Michael out of it. This problem is much bigger then them.

          You acknowledge the child abduction is a crime. Yet it is common practice in Japan. You say you are Japanese, great. Step away from Japanese national pride for a moment and try looking at the situation as merely a human being.

          Let me ask you this:

          1) Do you acknowledge, that a “right” that cannot be enforced through the legal system, is not truly a right?
          2) Do you acknowledge that children have rights?
          3) Do you agree that decisions in a court should be based on *provable* evidence?
          4) You acknowledge that abduction is a crime, but suggest that it is justifiable if the children are being abused, correct? What about the FACT that the abuser is the one currently abusing the child?

          Child Abduction and Parental Alienation are both EXTREME forms of emotional child abuse. Psychologist in the west have literally studied this for decades. The studies have also showed that the abductors are are almost always mentally unstable. I would suggest the you study the issue. Children of abduction will suffer from trauma and mental issues for the rest of their lives.

          I would strongly encourage you to read this book: 離婚で壊れる子どもたち 心理臨床家からの警告 (光文社新書): 棚瀬一代: 本

          Once you answer the above questions, we can continue the dialog. Because if you don’t believe in the basic human-rights of children, there isn’t much that can be discussed.

        • P

          BTW – this is the second time that someone has claimed that Mayumi was *brought* to the US. Is that factual? Or was she already here, possibly for school, when she and michael met — which is generally how these Japanese/Western relationships start?

          You claims of “slavery” are highly dramatic, and just nonsense frankly. Your english is good, have you lived in the US? If so, you know that your slavery claim is just ridiculous and melodramatic. If you are basing this merely on claims by Mayumi, I would strongly suggest that she see a mental health-care professional immediately.

          Also, you are further stating that Michael’s right as a parent AND the children’s right to have a relationship with both parents can be unilaterally determined by the SUBJECTIVE VIEW of one parent, in this case Mayumi.

          In other words, what you are saying is: as long a one person can create a story to justify their actions in their own mind, they are allowed to violate the human rights of other individuals? SOMETHING is very wrong with this thinking.

          You are basically suggesting that we treat child like property and that they have no rights.

        • P

          Finally, DON’T YOU REALIZE – that the way that the Japanese legal system works:

          – abduction to Japan OR within Japan is the de-facto method of determining custody
          – whichever parent, Japanese or Foreigner, Mother or Father, that abducts first, WILL win custody in Japan.
          – The Japanese courts do not care about the “best interests of the children”, they care about making the life of the court easier.
          – That ANY day that one parent, mother or father, that walks out the door with the children could be the last day that the other parent sees that child.

          Until you realize this and, instead of defending actions that amount to human-right abuses against children, stand up for the reform of the Japanese Family Court System, you are acting as part of the problem and NOT acting as part of the solution – and therefore not truly interested in the rights and wellbeing of children.

  • In Jersey

    The Japanese point of view on this subject is shocking… The supposed logic of “returning home” just isn’t fair. How is it that a Japanese parent can return home with their children and deny the other parent access and that is supposed to be accepted? American parents have rights in America and so do Japanese parents. Foreign parents in Japan have absolutely nothing to protect them from an abusive Japanese parent that can, at any moment they choose with no justification whatsoever to cast the foreign parent out of the childrens’ life. Children in Japan have even less rights. They can be used to extort the other parent, and they can be alienated from their culture and family.

    • emelie smith mason

      I personaly know Mayumi very well. she is a friend of my wife for many years. I can and have posted every time i see this loser in the news. The guy for starters didn’t come home to a wife asking for divorce. He move back to his parents home with Mayumi and his kids and started cheating on her. He was in a car wreck with his girl friend before they seperated and was not the most faith man or loving husband he is trying to make himself seem. even the months after they split up he would not help support them and spent all money before she could forcing her to borrow from her parents in japan. I don’t blame her for leaving, she was alone without support in a country not her own and she tried to make a living but 10$ an hour and no help doesn’t raise two kids. Yes he’s a vet but the first few years he was back in the states he spent his time on himself not his family. Your family should come first and he only has himself to blame if you ask me because all the times i’ve heard mayumi cry when talking to my wife tells a completly different story than this man trying to make himself out to be the victim. and Shame on his mother and him when they all lived under her roof and letting her son run around on his wife.
      Bring a woman from another country to be your wife and treat her badly this is what happens. She didn’t know how to seek help and being here on a green card she had know idea how to get help like cheap housing food stamps or anything since this guy didn’t bother to help more than asking his mother

      This is the comment one of their friends wrote and I found this when I was searching for some articles writing about “child abduction by Japanese mothers”.

      Well I hope this gives you guys some ideas why this incident happened to this couple.

  • Vivi-le

    “I was horrified,” the children’s grandmother, Nancy Elias, said. “We just said, ‘Okay, she kidnapped them. She not only crossed state lines but she took them to another country. This is wrong, we’ll get them back.’”

    So… what about Mayumi’s parents? She took them another country, but that is her homeland, and her children’s homeland as well. I think this situation,having her grand children at oversea, could be happened since her son chose foreigner wife. Its 21st century, and flight takes ONLY 12 hours, not a WEEK. If this grandmother still wants to see the kids, she can fly to see them whenever she wants to. This vet’s mother says this is wrong, but I feel this opinion sounds like selfish mother-in-law’s one.

    • P

      Additionally, you are mistaken on another point. The children have citizenship with Japan (through their mother), but America is their homeland. This is where they were born, this is where they lived, this is where they grew up until abducted.

    • P

      You are woefully mistaken. Unlike the US system, Japan provides *NO* right of access. The US grandmother could fly to Japan, but will not be able to access her grandchildren. In fact, any attempt to do see could even led to her being arrested.

      If the Japanse mother won’t let the children communicate with the US family via Skype from halfway around the world, what on earth makes you think that she will allow access in person?

      I would suggest that you better educate yourself about this topic, so that you understand the reality of the situation in Japan.

  • Jose


  • Kaia's Daddy

    I’m disgusted by those of you who are trying to smear Michael Elias. You people are COMPLETELY missing the point. Almost EVERY divorce situation has its share of hearsay, allegations and “he said/she said.” But unless there is proof of physical abuse, no divorced or separated parent should EVER be denied access to his or her children. PERIOD. And yet that is exactly what the Government of Japan condones in Elias’ case and THOUSANDS of others. Yes, there are thousands of other AMERICAN PARENTS affected by this terrible injustice. (I am one of them.) It is a blatant VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS, it is state-sanctioned CHILD ABUSE (look up “parental alienation,” if you don’t know what it means), and IT MUST BE STOPPED. Congressional leaders like Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) have been pushing for Japan to change, but it’s time for our President to get tough. PLEASE stand up for the rights of American parents and their children by signing the petition at

    • Asami

      I am sorry to say this to you, but I can see strong emotions wanting to enforce American Ways to non-American cultures here — like “President to get tough”.

      I understand your point of view. It must have been tough not to be able to see your children.

      I wish if you can try to understand the view of the other side with the reflection regarding what you could have done better.

      My ex who is Iraqi veteran and came back with PTSD said I didn’t have to stay in America. I stayed at my will. I wanted to be successful here. I wanted him to be part of our daughter’s life too. If he was abusive and controling, if I couldn’t make it on my own, I would have left. In a heartbeat.

      Why would I want to live here with absolutely no blood relatives except my daughter?? My friends asked me “Why are you doing that? Are you nuts!?” Well I might be nuts…I just follow my intuition. I am doing things I believe right thing to do.

      But again, if I feel the breach in my mental health, financial difficulty or suffered from depression, suicidal thoughts, I will flee…I will run away. I would chose to live. I’m lucky. My ex has compassion in that sense. Not everyone is empathetic.

      • P

        We are not trying to enforce the “American Way”. We are trying to get JAPAN to recognize HUMAN RIGHTS.

        I think that you should spend some more time learning about your own country’s system of law.

        Torturing false confessions is common practice. Japanese law allows people to be held by police, without a charge, for 24 days. After which, they must be released, but can immediately be re-arrested. During detention, police are commonly abuse, torture, intimidate, etc, in the attempt to coerce a confession – whether guilty or not.

        Detainees are denied access to medical attention, legal representation, etc. until the police get the answer that they want.

        – Pressed by Police, Even Innocent Confess in Japan – New York Times

    • Asami

      You are completely right on IF both people are Americans.

      • P

        Asumi, so are you inferring that if I go to Japan, since I am not Japanese, I can break Japanese law with impunity? The law of Japan only applies to Japanese, and not to foreigners living or visiting there? Or it doesn’t apply so long as I manage to leave the country ahead of the authorities?

        I think you *really* should consider taking a class in basic logic – your premise is faulty.

        • Asami


          If the crime an American commited in Japan was recognized as a crime in Japanese law, the American should be prosecuted.

          That’s what I meant.

          • P

            Well, then by your own logic, Mayumi should be prosecuted.

            • Asami

              I pulled the poor example. If you could disregard my commnet.

              • P

                excuse me…. I misspelled your name. gomennasi.

                But my point still stands. Additionally, I would encourage you to read my other comments about how, taking Michael and Mayumi’s specific situation out of it, this is fundamentally about the fact that the Japanese Legal system violates human rights and the agreements that Japan has made with the international community.

                AGAIN – Child abduction is common practice within Japan, in Japanese-to-Japanese relationships, because of the extremely flawed Japanese Court System’s refusal to protect the rights of the child.

              • P

                Asumi, it is very simple….

                Either you acknowledge

                A) that Mayumi was in the US, broke US law and should be prosecuted accordingly.


                B) that a foreigner can go to Japan, break Japanese law, and should not be punished.

                Otherwise, you are just being disingenuous.

                • P

                  Also, the Government of Japan is being disingenuous…

                  They harbor child abductors, but complain about North Korean Abductions AND are currently trying to extradite several parental abductors from other countries, who fled Japan to escape the unjust Japanese Court System.

                  It is just a matter of time before the International community says to Japan, “Enough is Enough.”

                  That day is coming…. and will not be pretty.

                • P

                  So you are saying that you believe it is okay for a foreigner is allowed to break the law in Japan…. so long as they leave the country before being caught.

                  In addition, you are saying that you condone child abuse… so long as the Government of Japan allows it to occur.

                  This is the kind of thinking that is leading Japan down a very dark path….

                  I continue to feel sorry for the children of Japan, that their collective parents will not stand up for their rights as human-beings.

                • Asami

                  I acknowledge A) that Mayumi was in the US, broke US law and should have been prosecuted accordingly if she had been caught before leaving the US.

                  However she entered Japanese jurisdiction and now she is under asylum. I’d say this asylum because it seems like Japanese government has different idea from American government.

            • Asami

              haha that’s right…I am weak on logic and English.

              Let me think about this ok?

  • Asami

    I like to get to the point. No more secondary discussions.

    We don’t know who was doing more wrong and worse here — Mayumi, her ex, ex’s mother, US military, US government, Japanese consulate, Japanese government, or Japan/US relationship.

    It is like Amanda Knox case.
    We don’t know she actually did the crime or not. But she was proven by the Italian court not guilty. She is no criminal in America.
    Just like that, Mayumi is no criminal in Japan.

    American people, please step back, take a deep breath, and consider that American logics/perception doesn’t necessarily apply to every non-American country. We have our own. Every countries have their own.

    I hope there would be agreed guidelines set by both government in State level. Clear guidelines will help solve the confusion and avoid finger pointings.
    It is surely both States’ responsibily to do so.

    I hope our Japanese government is strong enough to be assertive and not surrender the US pressure.
    I also hope American governmnet is fair enough not to try to enforce American Way of Life to us with iron fist.

    • philipmarlowe

      Clear guidelines already exist and are subscribed to by the majority of the world’s governments and people, but not Japan. The determination of custody occurs in the country in which the child resided by competent courts, which in the vast majority of cases protects the rights of the child to both parents unless it can be clearly established that there is some extreme reason why one parent is dangerous or deranged or likely to destroy or kidnap or psychologically or physically abuse the child. This can’t simply be claimed in a cooked up or malicious court deposition, but must be proven beyond doubt before a child can have his parent removed, and be removed from his parent.
      The right to kidnap the child and then apply for custody in the country that is harboring the kidnapper is NOT however included in the “guidelines” of family protection, child protection, and parent’s rights protection.
      Nor is this an instance of the “American Way of Life” being forced on others; Japan has been called on to stop harboring kidnappers and to return abducted children by numerous countries. Here we can see the root strategies of the abductor’s movement re-emerging, as they always do whenever Japanese International Parental Abduction is discussed in a public forum. Asami may not have intended this or known that she did, but in the argument she has absorbed the idea that resistance to fair protection of families, children, and human rights is equal to protection of Japan’s essence somehow; that Japan is different, that deep tradition underlies what is actually just an outgrowth of Japan’s constitution as a modern state in the1870’s, and the rise of Shinto-nationalist, emperor-centered Japan. Like Nihon Kaigi, Sukuukai, and other Japanese nationalists, like Governor Ishihara, the assertion of Japaneseness takes a political issue and covers it with “culture” mystification. Meanwhile, another generation of children is made miserable, parents rage and mourn the loss of the children they love, and the reputation of Japan as the home of Nihonjinron, of resentment and barely contained pseudo-prideful nationalism, itself always a product of and exterior cover for actual shame and self-loathing, continues to grow. Restore children to their parents, deal with the reality of divorce, stop stealing children from their homes. It has nothing to do with Americanism; only with the bond between parents and children, which can only be broken by destroying an essential part of each human being involved.

      • p

        Going back to the point on Japanese tradition…. the real tradition in Japan was for FATHERS to get unilateral custody (which is equally wrong). The current system is relatively new, given the long history of Japan — but just as equally inhumane.

        When will Japan decide to put HUMAN RIGHTS before national stubbornness?

    • P

      Simply put, Japan is in violation of INTERNATIONAL LAW and It’s INTERNATIONAL treaty obligations.

      If I commit a crime in Japan… and then leave Japan to avoid a penality, does this mean that I did not commit a crime? Of course not. Your logic is faulty.

      Mayami, committed a premeditated crime in the US. She is a criminal.

      It is really as simple as that.

  • B. Dady Love

    Japan is a black hole of child abduction. Once children go in they never come out. Japan willfully violates UN treaties to which it is a signatory. Japan is preparing to create loopholes in its domestic family law which will enable them to sign the Hague Convention and not comply with it either. Please take a moment to sign this White House petition to have President Obama PUBLICLY address this terrible crime by Japan.

  • Jeffery

    My son is one of many children that have been kidnapped to Japan. Please help us raise public awareness by signing this petition (if you haven’t already). Then forward this video and petition on to your friends and encourage them to do the same. The more that people know about these abductions the better chance we will have of creating real change and bringing our children home.

    The U.S. government must publicly press Japan to return abducted U.S. children

  • Michael lastra

    This is one of my friends that ive known for 10 years I can’t believe this. He’s a good dude & I’m sure a great father but unfortunately met someone who’s clearly not a good person. I hope this gets solved out

  • philipmarlowe

    The causes of enmity in married couples can’t be reduced to gossip over who went out with who or when. It is useless to debate this couple’s private failings. There is plenty of evidence in the report and elsewhere that Michael Elias has a relationship with his children that all of them deserve to maintain. To say otherwise is to argue against the importance of the parent-child relationship, and is not justifiable.
    The issue of public concern here is that Michael Elias children were kidnapped and the kidnapper is protected by the Japanese government; and everyone who believes that the rights of children and parents can not and should not be violated and abused by one government against another should demand that the children be returned to the United States so that they can resume a normal relationship with their father, grandparents and extended family. They can debate their sins in a courtroom. But stealing children, hiding them from their parent is a criminal, police state tactic.
    Please, if you care, sign this White House petition. The U.S. government should be pushing hard to stop this practice and reunite families

    • nono

      >Michael Elias children were kidnapped and the kidnapper is protected by the Japanese government;

      Japanese government do not try to get involved with the personal trouble case like this. They are not protecting run away Mother.

      >American logics/perception doesn’t necessarily apply to every non-American country. We have our own. Every countries have their own.

      I totally agree with it but taking kids away from other parent without telling is not fair. KIds belong to both parents. However I’m sure the kids are having nice time in Japan. Japan has free & better medication for kids and much better support from Government for single Mothers. American should realize that US is hard place to live without money.

      • Asami

        Especially with no supportive family and racial discrimination, America could be hell for us.

        Taking kids away without telling is not fair. I agree. Sometimes it is the only choice Japanese women have…to stay alive and try to live good life with kids.

        Some women committ suicide along with kids. It is not murder in Japanese Law. We think death differently from Angro. I am glad Mayumi chose to live.

        • philipmarlowe

          I am impressed with how frequently child abduction is justified by its Japanese supporters with words such as these, that “with no supportive family and racial discrimination, America could be hell for us.” Asami then goes on to offer a scenario justifying the murder of the children. In both instances, it is the abductor who decides the fate of the children, based on how she feels, leaving the other parent and the child as victims with no right to have a say in their fates. . If it is not murder for a mother to kill her children prior to a suicide, then why should anyone ever be allowed to bring a child to Japan? Their murder is legal, provided the mother manages to kill herself as well? Judges here need to know about this, no? Child murder is legal. Reason, logic and humanity seem to have escaped from here.

          • Asami

            I don’t know if mother&child(ren) or father&child(ren) suicide is regarded in current Japan. I appologize.

            To defend and to justify is not my intention. It is what it is.

            I am not talking for all the Japanese nor Japanese government. I am just one bystander who cares about all the Japanese women who escaped the atorocity to the safety of the native country.

            We might have chosen to marry an American. We might have chosen to live in the US and have children with the foreigners. That doesn’t mean we cannot do what is right thing to do. I choose to listen to my heart.

            That’s all I have to say. I recognize this kind of dialog is not going to anywhere because I don’t live in your reality–of most of the Americans. I don’t know how to stand your ground. Just like you don’t know how to stand our ground.

            I don’t need to talk bad about Americans. Generalization is prevalent. Constructive discussion would be appreciated.

            • philipmarlowe

              I think you presented your ideas quite clearly and that is constructive. It is just inevitable that these ideas will get tripped up in the end by their underlying falsity. It is the right of every parent and every child to not have their relationship obstructed by kidnapping, by a national government that harbors kidnappers, by a police, judicial, and court system that disregards the profound basis of the genetic, chemical, electrical, biological, foundational, psychological, developmental, emotional connection between both fathers and mothers and their children.
              “I am just one bystander who cares about all the Japanese women who escaped the atrocity to the safety of the native country.” To marry and give birth is no atrocity. It is no “atrocity” for Daddy and children to love and remain together. The atrocity is that there are 2 1/2 million Japanese children and thousands of children born and raised outside of Japan who have been judicially abducted into Japan, traumatizing them and separating them from their parent.

              • Asami

                P: Thank you for sharing your personal history. I appreciate it very much.

                Now I have an idea where you are coming from. I understand your story part because I am from dysfunctional family. My father was distant alcoholic with high social status. My mother was fear driven powerful controller, could have narcissistic personality disorder. I also know the long term effect of my childhood trauma. I suffer from depression and PTSD although I never confirmed with an MD.

                I am not a Psychology major, but I am studying similar subject, because I wanted to find out why I am the way I am. My main study is pretty much trauma related. I have issues with trust and safety myself. I have lots of trauma response. I suspect Mayumi might have those.

                I like to give her a chance to recover. I believe she wants kids to see their father deep inside. There are situations which prevent her to do so now. I have faith she will do what’s the best for the kids. It doesn’t matter how long it takes. I hope she will find her authentic self again and act accordingly. She doesn’t have to do anything she is not ready for.

                However I decided to end this discussion. I am not trying to win the “debate” or “buttering you up”. I recognize the rationality of your comment and I respect that. I admitt the lack of my knowledge regarding “child abduction”. I am not ashamed of that. I get emotional…yes I do sometimes. My fellow Japanese web writers from a Japanese web community are rushing to condemn the conversations going on in here.

                They say I am writing to damage Mayumi instead of helping. And I am a shame for them.That is not my intention at all. I feel like being panished by Mura-hachibu. I think it is best for me not to withdraw.

                I hope the best for Mayumi. I want to say “Do whatever to come back and recover from atrocity” When she is ready, I know she will do what’s the best for the kids. Mayumi san, moshi yonde imashitara, ouen shite imasu. 


                • P


                  I think that you are very astute. And have knowingly, or unknowingly, uncovered the deep rooted issue. Control and fears of abandonment….

                  I have very much enjoyed our dialog. It is very reassuring to me that you and I are able to have to demonstrate to others that, while this issue is about extremely emotional issues, we can still communicate in a rationale fashion and discuss the issues clearly.

                  As I have said, I have no doubt that Japanese parents love their children, just as western parents love their children. Therefore it is extremely important for all of us, as loving parents, to make the effort to put aside our personal differences and focus on making sure that we do the right thing for the all of the children.

                  Thank you again, for keeping an open mind, hearing my views and honestly sharing your own. :)

            • P

              Actually Asami, your very first post was to defend. It was to justify. You have continued to defend and justify.

              How about caring for the children and their rights? THAT is the problem. People are putting their personal, selfish desires in front of the rights and needs of the children.

              The children cannot stand up for themselves. They rely on the people that they love (their parents) to ensure that their rights as children are protected. When one parent unilaterally makes the decision that they are going to cut another parent out of the life of the child, that is selfish and NOT in the best interest of the child.

              We, as parents, are supposed to be adults. We may have issues, parents may decide to end their marriages (whatever the reason), but parents have an OBLIGATION to the children, to work at getting along enough so that the children can continue a relationship with both parents.

              Merely saying, “It is what it is” is an excuse. So if someone is abusing a child or committing a crime, do you merely shrug and say, “it is what it is.”

              When the tsunami hit Japan, should the rest of the world just shrug and say, “it is what it is”?

              NO! People have an obligation to HUMANITY to step up, speak out, and do the right thing. We have responsibilities as parents and members of the human race to stand up for human rights; to stand up for the protection of children.

              If your child had been abducted and you were cut from their life, and a foreign government said that it was okay…. would you just shrug and say, “it is what it is”?

              If you TRULY believe in human rights and TRULY believe in the rights of children… you NEED to speak out for the children.

              • Asami

                P: Are you working for the US government or private citizen?

                Do you know someone whose father is an American and he/she wants to see the father? OR could it be you are the one who is half Japanese and taken to Japan?

                Yes you seems to care very much about the welfare of the kids in this particular situation. I wonder what’s the root cause of that?

                Either way, you got me thinking. and provided me of resouces that I appreciate. It takes long time to improve social issues, so we need to be patient.

                I respect my daughter’s rights to be near her father. I cannot speak for others. I am sensitive on children’s welfare and their rights. Let me look into that more.

                • P

                  I am a private citizen. As I stated, I know both Japanese Mothers, Japanese Fathers, American Fathers.

                  I myself am the child of divorce – I was not abducted, but I was put in a situation that limited in my ability to maintain a relationship with one parent. I personally know the long term effects.

                  I also originally studied psychology when I was in school, and understand that, while the abducting parent will create rationalizations and justify their actions, ultimately they are generally mentally unstable people. They are running away, because they do not have the tools to handle situations like a rational adult. People that do this, are not properly equipped to provide a long-term healthy environment for children.

                  Reasonable adults, who put their children’s needs first, will work to ensure that their children’s emotional needs take priority — like you seemly have done, although your marriage ended.

                  It is not *just* that Mayumi (or any taking parent) run off with the children – she has cut off *all* access of those children to their other parent. Why, if she is merely a responsible parent who felt it would be easier to return to her home country, will she not allow phone calls between the children and their father? For all intents and purposes, she is forcing the children to act as if their father is dead. However, the children know that their father is very much alive. This is immensely traumatizing to a child. Eventually, the children will learn to stop asking for “daddy”. They will understand that asking will make mommy angry. This will create trust issues for these children. On some level, they will understand that mommy is lying about daddy. They will understand that they have emotions that they must hide from mommy, or risk getting in trouble.

                  This will cause them to withdraw from the world, or act out in inappropriate ways.

                  Simply put, these children are being emotionally abused on a daily basis. ANY Parent that will do this to a child… very likely should not be the custodial parent.

                  Parents that commit acts of Parental Alienation are mentally dysfunctional — The Spectrum Of Parental Alienation Syndrome Part II

                  And are using the children in harmful ways as tools of their mental dysfunction.

              • Asami

                It is what it is…is my philosophy.

                Only thing I can do here is to support her. I will not touch anything to change. That is not my job.

                This got me thinking. Thank you.

                • P

                  I’m also amazed that I seem to care more about the rights of Japanese children, than most Japanese people that I have this discussion with….

                • P

                  How about instead of supporting actions, which are abusive to the children, you encourage her to allow the children their right to communicate and maintain a relationship with their father and their US family ties?

                  If not, I’m sorry to be blunt, but you are not putting the welfare of the children as your primary concern. You are merely allowing them to be treated as property of this abducting parent, and not as human-beings with rights.

                  I am glad you this has at least got you thinking. Again, my goal to to help the children of Japan, as well as the abducted US children.

                  I am constantly amazed that people will stand up in large numbers against animal abuse, but constantly turn a blind eye to child abuse in it’s many forms.

                  I hope that you will look past “being Japanese” and look from the eyes of “being a human being” and what rights a child deserves.

      • P

        “Japanese government do not try to get involved with the personal trouble case like this. They are not protecting run away Mother.”

        This is not true. Japan is protecting her, and all abducting parents. Again, I lived in Japan, I know the system.

        Lets take the international aspect out of the discussion. Let’s talk two Japanese Parents in Japan.

        CHILD ABDUCTION IS COMMON PRACTICE WITHIN JAPAN. Whichever Japanese parent abducts, will gain unilateral custody and be allowed to deny access to the other parent.

        EVEN IF STILL MARRIED and there is no custody order – if a non-abducting Japanese parent tries to visit with their child, they risk arrest by the Japanese police. Any day that one parent leaves the house with the children, could be the last day that the other parent gets to see those children.

        This is the reality of the Japanese system. This is wrong. This is dysfunctional, inhumane, in violation of international human-rights treaties which Japan has signed AND even in violation of Japanese written law….. oh yeah, I forgot – Japanese courts don’t actually care what the Japanese written law says.

  • P

    What people don’t realize is how serious this issue generally is: Estimates claim that as many as 10,000 children of US citizens have been abducted to or retained in Japan, and had all access cut off to their US parents.

    Child Abduction in Japan… The REAL Numbers – part 1. | Letters to Kai and Koh

  • Laura M DeFina

    First off those kids were never abused, get your facts straight and stop making accusations.

    • Asami

      Witnessing the abuse in a family falls under a criteria of ABUSE TO THE CHILDREN.

      • P

        FACT: Child Abduction Is Child Abuse | Fox News

        • Asami

          Only if it was abduction.

          • Josie that's right Josie

            So then why hasn’t she brought the children back to visit their father and their grandparents? Children have dual passports so why hasn’t she come back? Refer to all of the above in this story. WHY DID SHE SNEAK OUT OF THE COUNTRY AND TAKE THE KIDS WITH HER? AGAIN, WHY DO THE CHILDREN HAVE DUAL PASSPORTS UNDER FALSE PRETENSES? If its not abduction then what is it??

            • DO NOT BLOCK AGAIN CBS!

              Well, I repost this for my husband because the CBS keeps blocking his e-mail add and so mine! There always are two sides of stories. WE ARE TELLING THE TRUTH and I can TELL and SHOW you everything- La Gota Fria.

              Sam Burns-I take it your his family so you must have seen all the times he came home while May and jade stayed in jacksonville so he could cheat? You guys don’t think that hurt her the most after finding out you all knew he was cheating and said nothing to him even after they moved into your home? She should have left him after he brought a gift to there bed from his girlfriend while she was pregnat with his child? what man does that?! but she stay because she loved him! she even came back to the states after he ask for a divorce while her and the kids where visiting in japan!? He ask for a divorce and told her he only wanted to have his son back! again a crap for a husband and a father! She gave it her best shot so both children could have a life as part of his family but he did very little if anything to help them and if it wasn’t for his mother doing that for him then she wouldn’t have last that long! If he was such a loving father then he would have made sure they had no need for anything! I truly believe he burnt his chance to be a father but if he still wanted to be part of there life he’s going about it the wrong way, Again all his way or nothing. An i’m sure she hasn’t trashed his name to his children unlike he would do if roles were reversed. even though i would say the cheating loser has no rights.

              • P

                Maybe they keep blocking you …. because you are committing what is called by attorneys “Libel”

                I would suggest you look it up. You might need to know what it is, should the people that you keep writing libelous statements about decide to to sue you in court for it. :)

  • crcjapan

    We can’t judge who is at fault for the divorce, and most likely both parties share some of the blame. What we do know is that if the situation was reversed, with the family residing in Japan, and the American father abducting the children to the U.S., the U.S. law enforcement system would act swiftly and decisively to prosecute the abductor and return the children to Japan. This does not happen in Japan, and in fact child abductors are encouraged and protected by the Japanese system.

    The U.S. government needs to take this more seriously. There are literally thousands of foreign children who have been abducted to or retained in Japan, and the non-Japanese parent have absolutely zero contact with their children because Japanese civil code does not provide for access rights.

    Please make the Obama administration more responsive to this issue by signing the following White House petition:

    • P

      This is great! I just signed!

    • John

      Me too!

  • Ashley

    She chose to have children in America with an American man. Maybe he was a jerk for a husband but that doesn’t mean he should loose his children. Prime example, my husband and his ex had a cruddy relationship she took the kid and disappeared for a year and a half saying “he was mean to me he left he this he that” well she chose to have a kid with him and he is a good father who loves his children. Children should not be taken away and alienated from the parents and vice versa. She chose to have children with him now she has to raise them with him with whatever the consequences like it or love it.

    • M

      Among international couples, choosing to live in one country is not sometimes permanent. Some couples decide to live in the US for a couple of years and then decide to move to Japan or whichever country later one. So those children are usually dual citizens. They are Americans as well as Japanese. I think that is why this issue is complicated.

      I agree that taking children is a horrible thing, but now my question is , is it all right to take these children away from their mothers? Is that a solution?Yes, those left behind fathers have been suffering, so now is the time to inflict the suffering on mothers? Either way, kids are the victims. No matter what, kids need access to both parents.

      • P

        The issue is that the taking parents are denying *all* access to the children and denying the children the right to know the non-taking parent, that side of their family, and that side of their heritage. These parents are generally mentally unstable and are using children in a harmful way to extract some form retribution – justified or not.

        Essentially, the taking parent is putting their immature desires over what is in the best interest of the children. On top of that, they generally make efforts to turn the children against the non-taking parent. This is child abuse, pure and simple. As such, they are not fit to be the children’s primary custodian.

  • This is the truth. DO NOT DELETE AGAIN!

    I personaly know Mayumi very well. she is a friend of my wife for many years. I can and have posted every time i see this loser in the news. The guy for starters didn’t come home to a wife asking for divorce. He move back to his parents home with Mayumi and his kids and started cheating on her. He was in a car wreck with his girl friend before they seperated and was not the most faith man or loving husband he is trying to make himself seem. even the months after they split up he would not help support them and spent all money before she could forcing her to borrow from her parents in japan. I don’t blame her for leaving, she was alone without support in a country not her own and she tried to make a living but 10$ an hour and no help doesn’t raise two kids. Yes he’s a vet but the first few years he was back in the states he spent his time on himself not his family. Your family should come first and he only has himself to blame if you ask me because all the times i’ve heard mayumi cry when talking to my wife tells a completly different story than this man trying to make himself out to be the victim. and Shame on his mother and him when they all lived under her roof and letting her son run around on his wife.
    Bring a woman from another country to be your wife and treat her badly this is what happens. She didn’t know how to seek help and being here on a green card she had know idea how to get help like cheap housing food stamps or anything since this guy didn’t bother to help more than asking his mother.

    • KPMc

      She didn’t know how to apply for food stamps? People come here and go straight to the public assistance office without speaking a word of English but she didn’t know how to apply for food stamps or housing after living here how many years?

      • KPMc

        Even if all you ‘heard’ is true a judge still ordered her to surrender the children’s passports and she KNOWINGLY went out of her way to disobey that order by getting new passports.

        Being a bad husband doesn’t mean you surrender your parental rights. If that were true a lot of American fathers would lose their rights.

        • KPMc


          You censor the words



          circu mvent?

          Pathetic. Absolutely pathetic!

    • nancyelias

      Shame on you!!!!! I have read your comments evertime and although you believe what she has told you you are dead wrong and you need to stop! I am NOT going to go back and forth with you but I will tell you this, YOU have no IDEA how she was treated, you have no Idea of her financial situation , and her secrects,,,,I do!!! so you will never hear me or my family bashing her and the things she has done that I have seen with my own eyes!!! I would never do that to her or my grandchildren, have some respect, especially for the innocent children who have been abducted who will have to carry this burden for the rest of their lives if we dont fix this ! This is not just about us, forget us, this is about them, and the lies they will be told to keep them from asking about the family who loved them more then YOU could imagine and the love they had for us! Just stop the one sided lies.

      • La Gota Fria

        I am telling you…. She just wanted to be a happy with him and children. She was hoping that your son will change someday. You remeber when she visitied your son and you family first time here and you know what your son told her to do…oh shame on him! but anyways, she really really loved him so she made a huge desition…but they end up got married and she was so happy even though she was still anxious about his “girl friend” issue. . But she believed in him and herself…But your son…he never stopped what he was doing…!

        Well, I know May appreciates you Miss.Nancy that you cared about your grand children. But your son….I do NOT understand why he wants to his children back now. He had had enought times to spend with them before. Even the little daughter knew that her dad was gone all the times but visited them only couple times in a week..just for a few hours of less. So where was he at that time?

        Your son is the one who wanted to get divorced and cheated on her from day one of their marrige. He asked her for a divorce when she visited her family with their children in Japan. And this is terrible…He even said that ” I just want my daughter. I don’t want my son”. SHAME ON HIM !!! Being a good father is a being a good husband also. They are not two different things.

        • P

          What nationality are you LA GOTA FRIA? I would suggest that you are woefully ignorant of Japanese views on marriage. After children, it is extremely common for the husband to be ignored. post-children marriages in Japan commonly become very much like roommates with children.

          Japanese marriages are generally not very happy, this kind of life, while unhappily excepted in Japan (although this is changing as well – and divorce rates are fairly high now with a declining population), is difficult for western spouses to accept.

          ‘Sexlessness’ wrecks marriages, threatens nation’s future | The Japan Times Online
          Population decline worsening | The Japan Times Online

          In reality, it is generally preferred by the Japanese wife for the Japanese husband to not be present. If the husband is present, conflict usually ensues, as the wife’s view is that she controls the home.

          BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Japan retired divorce rate soars

          And if Mayumi appreciates Michael’s Mother so much, why is Mayumi denying the children their right to maintain a relationship with their US Grandparents?

          Child abduction is about CONTROL. The abductor is trying to control the situation, who the children are allowed to love, what the children are allowed to think, etc. This is EXTREMELY unhealthy for the children.

          So I say “SHAME ON YOU” You seem to be blindly trying to help justify the abuse of children.

    • Laura M DeFina

      To “This is the truth,”
      How come you didn’t sign your name? If you know May “so well” then how come you didn’t mention that she was in a “relationship?” Even after they seperated she was still living with her in-laws paying none of the following: rent, food, electric bills or car insurance nothing; just living free, while driving a Mercedes Benz that was given to her. At no point was she EVER mistreated or disrespected. If you want to tell “the truth” then tell it correctly. So tell me how was she “alone with no support?”

      • Sam Burns

        My wife reposted my comment after it was delete and she forgot. My first post listed my name Sam Burns.
        And living for free in your ex’s perants basement would be consider a prisoner all the while he’s out running around. His mother and her family treated her well i never said they did. BUT he did! when he came back to the states he went home almost every weekend to see his girl friend and then moved her in to his moms home so he could have his kids when he wanted to see them. he consider that support enough?! the fact is he didn’t try and let it up to his mother to help her.
        All he cared about was himself and depended on Mayumi being a slave to his mothers house becasue she couldn’t afford to live and when she did get a place she couldn’t make and left after him not helping. Your so called letting her have a car for free as a supposed gift in most places that would be a requirement he provide anyways and much much more!
        Also picking up your kids only to leave them at grandma’s while ya go out with your girl isn’t really much a a father don’t you think? I wholey believe if it wasn’t for his mother caring about the kids he wouldn’t be thinking twice about them!
        again incase ya missed it my name is posted. I’m a retired Air Force NCO and repect Micheal for his service but after that he is a total waste. I spoke to him once on the phone and he may remember me telling him he needed to step up and be a real husband. Having a wife that is from japan or any other country needs more help with everyday stuff we all do without a thought and it’s not about ourselves it’s about the family and it take work to make a marriage a happy one! But i guess it was to hard for the kid to step up and commit.

        • Josie that's right Josie

          So Sam, does this give her the right to take the children to Japan and not letting Mike see them at all? Why did she feel the need to make dual passports? Why did she get someone from the Japanese consulate to issue them? Why is she hiding the kids from him now? Why is she hiding herself? Why did she cut off the Sykpe conversation so abruptly? Tell me Sam, since you think you know that Mike was the bad guy, why hasn’t she even returned a phone call to the grandmother or grandfather of the children? Remember they were the ones who were good to May (yes that’s her nickname) and gave her room and board. Remember she had a job, she wasn’t a prisoner in the grandparents home. Why hasn’t she come back to visit? Why didn’t she have at least a conversation to anyone in Mikes family to tell anyone that she was unhappy? If she missed her home so much why couldn’t she tell someone. No she thought that she could just swipe the kids away and that Mike would forget about them. Did you actually think that he would forget about them? Good bad or indifferent, Micheal is the children’s father and he has a right to see them on a day to day basis.
          Let me ask you this…Do you actually think that she is a stay at home mom now and making lunches for her kids to take to school? No she has her parents watching them while she is going out and being a single woman.

          Before you start pointing fingers at who is the bad one, please ask yourself those questions. Oh and lets go back to when things really started…if Mike treated her so badly, why did she have a kid, oh wait, why did she have another after? If she was burned once, don’t you think that she would be smart enough to go on the pill?..ask yourself those questions before you start pointing the finger at the bad guy. One phone call from you does not give you the right to put your opinion of Michael with out not knowing what he is like on a day to day basis.

          • Sam Burns

            if she didn’t give it her best shot to make a life in the states so he could be part of his childrens lives then ask yourself why would she come back to the states when she was visiting her family in japan and he asked for a divorce? she loved the loser for some reason and hoped he would change or support them enough to make ends meet. But he was to caught up in himself at the time to even bother. She tired and she couldn’t handle it and did what she thought best. and to answer your question about why have kids to him simply she loved him and stay with him even after he gave her something he picked up from his girlfriend when she was carring his child. My wife told her to leave him then but yet she stay because she loved him. your his family so you must of wondered why he was visiting all those weekends while his wife and kids stayed in jacksonvile before he got outa the marines?

  • jimmy

    The warrior and bernadette comments must be the most ridiculous, ignorant and senseless comments I have ever seen!!!! You are both pathetic

    • Laura M DeFina

      no jimmy it is you who is pathetic

  • June

    There is nothing to do between this case and Tsunami disaster or whatever it’s been going on in Japan. Yes, we feel sorry for people who were effected by them. However we should not bring these tragedies into this news.

    We helped Japanese because we wanted to get something back from them?
    NO! We did it because it was the right thing to do.

    • P

      I believe that the point that the person was trying to make is:

      – Japan want and accepts the benefits of international relations.


      – Japan refuses to be a good international neighbor and practice effective application of human-rights, the rule of law, and to honor it’s international agreements – in the form of treaties that it has signed.

      As an example. the Japanese system is currently:

      – Saying that it will the Hague Treaty on International Child Abduction

      While simultaneously:

      – Passing domestic laws which will make it possible for them to openly violate said treaty.

      The Government of Japan is disingenuous with regards to it’s international relationships.

  • La Gota Fria

    The story about Elias is 120% lie and wrong! It is awful!! Remember, there always are two sides of story.I know this formar marine and his ex wife. I can tell you and show EVERYTHING what Elias has done to her if I have to. He had been cheating on her sice the day one. Why is he crying like a little boy? He must be kidding me! He didn’t even live with them! (He lived with his girl friend) And to his mother, you know what your son was exactly doing, especially after he returned from Iraq. Because, you were there all the times. She BELIEVED and HOPED that your son will change someday. But he is the one who chose NOT to and you KNEW it.

    • 2love

      This news story is unbelievably one-sided.
      If you know them, can you tell us more?

      According to Elias, Mayumi is the one who cheated and ran away with her lover.

      Is this true?

      • P

        Rather than focus on one single story ( and the issues between the parents), why not look at the overall issue of abduction and abuse in Japan?

        This should be a story about THE CHILDREN and the RIGHTS OF THE CHILDREN.

        – They have the right to have access to BOTH parents
        – They have the right to NOT be used as a “tool” by one parent to exact revenge against another parent.

        Any of the he said / she said is just hearsay. This case has been looked at by US congressmen, and testimony has been given before congress.

        The true issue is that children are being abused, and the Government of Japan is allowing it to happen – by refusing to update their system and enforce laws that protect the interests and rights of the children.

        • 2love

          I am not talking to you.
          I am curious and want to know the truth behind the story.

          So stay out, will ya?

          • P

            No I won’t. You are essentially soliciting libelous statements.

            We have no knowledge of who this person is, what they do or don’t know. They could claim anything – true or not.

            There is a court record. This case has been judged in court under sworn testimony. That is the record that should stand…. Not anonymous claims on the Internet that have no supporting evidence.

            • 2love

              A court record doesn’t show everything.

              If this person knows them, I am interested to hear what he or she has to say especially when the media is too one-sided.

              The media is telling the story whether true or not(in fact this is more dangerous), so can this person.

              Anyway you need to chill a bit. You don’t need to jump into ALL conversations, especially not mine please.

              • Sam

                I seem to be banned none of my comments seem to post. Yes he did cheat many times, and the story about her lover is way after he moved out of his parents to live with his girlfriend and after she couldn’t take it moved out by herself. these folks like you to believe they helped her with everything an his mother might have let her and the kids stay at her home but can any single mother out there live at the mother in-law’s home and with the ex’s family and not feel like a prisoner being watch 24/7?

                You need to look in the mirror admit your mistake and try to figure out a way to be part of your kids lives without smearing their mother in the news because My self and my wife will always make sure they know what a waste you were back then. You should start now because they are getting older and if you keep going in a way that will never work they will be adults and still don’t want anything to do with you.
                I lost any respect for your side of the story before you son was born and ya gave her a nasty surprise you pick up in another womans bed. you have alot of things to make up to her should start there.

                • Sam

                  I take it your his family so you must have seen all the times he came home while May and jade stayed in jacksonville so he could cheat? You guys don’t think that hurt her the most after finding out you all knew he was cheating and said nothing to him even after they moved into your home? She should have left him after he brought a gift to there bed from his girlfriend while she was pregnat with his child? what man does that?! but she stay because she loved him! she even came back to the states after he ask for a divorce while her and the kids where visiting in japan!? He ask for a divorce and told her he only wanted to have his son back! again a crap for a husband and a father! She gave it her best shot so both children could have a life as part of his family but he did very little if anything to help them and if it wasn’t for his mother doing that for him then she wouldn’t have last that long! If he was such a loving father then he would have made sure they had no need for anything! I truly believe he burnt his chance to be a father but if he still wanted to be part of there life he’s going about it the wrong way, Again all his way or nothing. An i’m sure she hasn’t trashed his name to his children unlike he would do if roles were reversed. even though i would say the cheating loser has no rights.

                  This was my post to Josie thats right Josie, had to change my email to post hope you can see this.

              • La Gota Fria

                Hi 2love,

                I know that the time will come….

                This story is totally wrong and we will prove it. I belive that Mayumi made the right decision no matter what. Before Elias calls her “Kidnapper”, he should realize what he had done to her and the children. I guess he’s known…but It’s just TOO LATE.

                • P

                  – You people really need to get your facts straight….

                  – THE COURTS ARE CALLING MAYUMI AN “ABDUCTOR” and they are calling her this, because she has broken the law.

                  You all keep trying to act like she hasn’t broken the law, and isn’t abusing the children.

                  She is acting like a little child, “If I can’t play me way, I will take my toys and go home.”

                  None of this is productive or healthy for the children….

    • Asami

      Please email me. I like to help her clear her name. I don’t mind going to the TV station or the Supreme court or whatever. She doesn’t need to be in underground for the rest of her life. Her children deserve better.

      I feel sad people don’t try to see the vulnerable side of human being. Sometimes there is no choice but to die or flee.

      • P

        We are seeing the human-side… You apparently are not.

        The most important people in these situation are THE CHILDREN.

        Mayumi is the one abusing the children and not acting in their best interests. The children are not property. Mayumi does not own them. The children have rights.

        They have the right to maintain a relationship with BOTH parents. They have a right maintain a relationship with their US-based family. They have a right to not be ripped away from their country of birth and denied their rights as US citizens.

        Mayumi is not the victim here, it is the children. Mayumi is the one that is acting selfishly and denying the children their rights.

        The Japanese Government is an accomplice in the act of denying *all* these children – Japanese, mixed, foreign – their human rights. It is a fundamental breakdown within the Japanese Legal system.

        Or do you not agree that children have rights?

        • Asami

          I appreciate you do not flex your American muscles in slundering our Government.

          I totally agree wtih you on the situation of the children.

          I disagree “US-based family”… they were dual contry based family. I think it is wrong for the whatever States judge to decide Mayumi has to stay in the United States.

          What about they all base in Japan. So Mayumi can let her ex to see the kids twice a week, something like that. She might want to use supervised visitation center if she was a victim of domestic violence.

          I DO believe strongly about human rights especially children’s rights because they are vulnerable.

          • P

            I’ll take this point by point.

            1. “I disagree “US-based family”” — You are mistaken. It is my understanding that the children lived, and grew up, here in the US. They may have the rights to dual citizenship, but the US was their home.

            2. “What about they all base in Japan.”
            — Unfortunately, the Japanese system does not protect the interests of the children. It does not recognize joint custody. It CANNOT enforce visitation agreements. Therefore, despite other reasons, relocation of all members to Japan is functionally the same as abduction. The inability to enforce a right, equals that lack of that right.

            — Additionally, Mayumi choose to come to Japan, marry an American and have children. You seem to be saying that because *her* choice of actions are no longer convenient, it is okay for her to run away. This seems to be another issue with the world today – people want to be treated like adults, while acting like children; by not wanting to accept responsibilities for their actions.

            ** Also, everyone seems to be forgetting that:

            A) Mayumi fled to Japan *with a lover*
            B) Mayumi violated Japanese law and illegally obtained Japanese passports through an action of fraud.
            C) Despite the apparent desire of the children to see their father, Mayumi is denying the children this, their fundamental right. Even if there was an abusive relationship between Mayumi and Michael (for which I have seen no evidence other than completely hearsay comments by anonymous Internet posters – and given that Mayumi had the clarity of mind to get hired by the Japanese consulate and manipulate the system to illegally aquire passports, I find it hard to believe that if there was truly abuse that she was unable to pick up the phone and call the police)

            Frankly, these actions do not paint the nicest picture of her possible character.

            If you TRULY believe in human rights and the rights of children, you should be spending more time working to correct the system of Japan and less time trying to justify the obviously abusive (to the children) actions of this woman. Once Japan fixes it’s system, countries like America, Canada, Australia, UK, Spain, etc, will be much more willing to allow Japanese parents to return to Japan with the children.

            Or our you suggesting that these other countries are ALL wrong and that Japan is the only country that has it right?

            • Asami

              P: I am tired of this round and round discussions and you try to win the debate over me. Some I agree with you, some I don’t. Let it be.

              It is what it is.

              I am no law maker or prosecutor. I am concerned of Mayumi and the kids. We – all of us bystanders don’t know the reality. Kids might be happy, might not be happy. We don’t know.

              There are always two sides in the case like this. We hear only one side here. I understand Americans are sympathetic. Of course. He is your country man.

              Lastly, Mayumi’s ex chose to be married to her and bring her to the foreign country. It is his responsibility to support and take care of his wife.

              Japan has some issues. So as the US. Pointing out each other’s problems is vain. Thanks for a good brain storm.

              • P

                You apparently haven’t read all my comments…

                I am less concerned about Michael’s specific case and more about ALL the children.

                “Kids might be happy, might not be happy. We don’t know.”
                — And we will never know, because they aren’t being given the choice!!!

                “Mayumi’s ex chose to be married to her and bring her to the foreign country.”
                — My understanding is that she was already in the US, and looking for an American husband. How about you… did your Ex “bring you” here to the US?

                — You seem to be missing the BIG PICTURE:
                Parents (Japanese or otherwise) truly have no parental rights in Japan. If one parent grabs the kids and leaves, the other parent will lose. It doesn’t matter if it’s the mother or the father… the one who grabs first *will win*. A right that cannot be exercised, is not truly a right — do you understand this?

                If your Ex grabbed your kid and went to Japan… you would lose out. Japan would protect him at that point. Don’t you get it? The system in Japan protects the abducting parent – whoever that is. The system defends the “status quo” as it exists once it reaches the Japanese court.

                – It does not protect the children.
                – It does not respect parent rights
                – It does not meet it’s agreement to the international community
                – It does not defend the basic standard of human rights.
                – It does not care about facts, nor evidence.

                Until it happens to a Japanese parent, they all just shrug and say, “it is what it is.”

                If that is truly your view…. Well, you are a very lost person.

                • Asami

                  Actually I have read all your comments P. And all of other’s. I checked out one father’s website. I checked US government’s site too. I watched the Australian TV news. I have read aritivles regarding laws in Japan. I have read comments of fathers who lost the children.

                  I cannot deny your points above. “Missing Big Picture” part, I need to work on. I do believe children’s rights to be with both their parents in shared time. I don’t think it is right to decide the custody case in the US. It is one sided. It should be decided in international court if such thing exist. Or simply Japan will sign Hague treaty — on its way right? I have read at the same time Japan is trying to change the law to counteract Hague treaty…

                  I have learned a lot here. From here where I go is not known except I pray the welfare of women and the children who fled. Hoping the kids to be able to see and spend time with other parent. I should mention you showed me the part I didn’t know about Japanese laws of taking parent’s win. First come, first serve. It has been a quite interesting discussion. Thank you

            • P

              Correction: – Additionally, Mayumi choose to come to the US….

              • Josie, that's right Josie

                P. very well said. Asami please stop with the dramatics! Do you actually think she was beaten? Do you actually think that she couldn’t move out and get a place of her own with the kids in the same town? Her parents could have come to visit and stayed. Let me tell you she adjusted nicely here when she was here. She knew exactly what she was doing. Who knows what lies she is telling those children. For all we know she is telling those kids that their father is non existent, that he doesn’t care, etc. which we all know is a downright lie. Why because he fight for his rights as a father to see them. Regardless of what has happened to Michael and May’s relationship, he still has every right to see those children on a daily basis. He is their Father! Those kids are being brainwashed into thinking that their father does not care for them. If all of you think that he doesn’t care for his children well here’s a news flash… your wrong. Micheal cares about those children more than anything in this world.

                • La Gota Fria

                  It is TOO LATE for him. He has a right to see his children? Come on! This guy even didn’t live with them since he returned from Iraq. He sometimes visited them just for a few hours then left. Well, actually he was gone almost every weekends when he was in service in NC(He visited his girl friend in NJ).
                  He didn’t spend enough times with his children as a parent you know that.

                  “your wrong. Micheal cares about those children more than anything in this world”. You must be kidding me, right? He cares about only HIMSELF more than anything in this world.

                • Asami

                  Josiee I disagree with everything you said. I don’t even want to point out how. But thanks for your time replying.

              • Asami

                I will come back on this later.

  • Alex

    Japan steals children because in their minds a child only needs a mother, not a father. Japanese fathers have NOTHING to do with their children. They only work and provide money. They are NEVER around. This is why Japan will always continue to steal children–they cannot understand why a father wants to see his children. This is basic understanding of Japan, and is the only way to get through to them. The message is: fathers in Japan might not want to see their children, but western fathers DO want to see, bring up, raise, teach, and protect their children. So Japan, even if you cannot understand what “father’s love” means, you just have to accept that in the West, fathers love and cherish their children, and those who have lost children to Japanese abductors want their children back. This will come to war in the end, if necessary, unless Japan realizes–western fathers are not going to allow Japan to keep stealing our children.

  • Bernadette

    It was heartbreaking to see the devistation caused by the Tsunamis…The pain and suffering, the losses of lives and homes.

    But not one parent who has kidnapped their children against US court orders, has thought to return these children back home to the Usined States. A place that would take care of them and keep them safe.

    My nephew Michael would fight a thousand wars if it meant he could have his children returned safely to him. Imagine how it must feel to have the most precious gift God could give you, ripped right out of your life in an instant.

    We countinue to support a country that clearly cleans laughs in our faces as they continue to get away with these horriffic crimes.

    When does it stop? When does the United States of America finally say ENOUGH??

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