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Archive for the 'Marriage / Divorce' Category


More on Japan Divorce Law and Child Custody

Somehow after I wrote that title, I got a sudden craving for custard…

Anyhow, some of you may remember my last post about the Christopher Savioe case that was featured on CNN. Since then I’ve come across an excellent post on the always-interesting Mutant Frog about divorce law in Japan. Read the rest of this entry »


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Kidnapping Case Spotlights Japan’s Child Custody Law

If you’re a non-Japanese married to a Japanese citizen, be aware that if you were to divorce, you have no custody rights over your children. This issue has come into the spotlight with American Christopher Savoie’s case, after his ex-wife brought their children from the US to Japan without his knowledge. And now that they are in Japan, he has no rights to bring them back. Read the rest of this entry »


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Is the age of consent in Japan really 13?

Well yes, sort of….but not really.
However, that’s part of the reason for the popularity of Enjo kyosai (援助交際) aka “compensated dating” where high school-aged girls are paid by older men to “date” them (and render sexual services generally).

Here’s the way the so-called “age 13 is age of consent” works:
The age of consent in Japan is 13 years old under the Japanese national criminal law code. However, all municipalities and prefectures have their own particular laws such as Tokyo’s “Youth Protection Law” which prohibit adults from having sex with youths who are under 17 years old. Because the age of consent in Japan ranges from 13 to 18, depending on jurisdiction, many enjo kyosai clients cannot be charged with statutory rape. See the website:

Japan — Age of Consent
Although the age of sexual consent in Japan is 13 years of age, prefecture law usually overrides federal law, raising the age up to 18.

As an added note, even though the age of consent in Japan can be 13, the age of majority is 20 for voting. The age of adulthood is considered 20 and driving age is 18.

Weird? Here’s a better one. Japan’s “Prostitution Prevention Act”(1958) only prohibts actual sexual
intercourse (or sex controlled by organized crime). That law defines as That law defines as “true” sexual conduct between men and women, and not to “imitation” between same sex persons, so gay prostitution is not prohibited directly. That also makes hand jobs, water queens, or homosexual SM nuns legal.
Therefore, creatively kinky places like the “Sexual Harassment Corporation” where you pay to molest girls in school and business sets are totally legal.
Sexual Harassment Corporation


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Japanese government to make Aliens Carry IC Cards as ID

Taro's alien registration card
Yes, I have official Japanese government proof that I’m an ALIEN.
Above is a picture of my Japanese Alien Registration Card, hee, hee.
Every foreigner in Japan longer than 90 days has to go down to their ward office to get one. It’s a pain in the ass but the gaijin card has been a mostly harmless process until now.
The current alien registration card (Gaikokujin Toroku) contains the holder’s name, nationality, date of birth, place of birth, address, passport information, visa status, occupation and company or school. The new IC card will be tied into a new “intelligence center,” and will hold fingerprint data to compile database on foreigners.
Think “666, the mark of the Beast” and put on your tinfoil hat because it is unclear whether these will RF capable cards that can be read at long distence. I say tinfoil hat because if you were paranoid about broadcasting all your personal information, all you have to do is wrap this IC card in tinfoil to block any transmission of your data.

Japan Gov’t will require all foreigners to carry IC card IDs
….plan to require all foreigners staying in Japan for more than 90 days to carry identification cards equipped with integrated circuit chips, with all data to be kept at an “intelligence center,”
…the new system, intended to replace the current Certificate of Alien Registration that foreigners have to carry…
Under the plan, foreigners will have to carry with them at all times IC cards that contain information such as their name, nationality, address, birth date, passport number, visa status and place of employment or study. Holders will be required to report any change of address and obtain permission to change jobs.
…..Under the new policy, companies and schools where foreigners work or study will also be required to report to the authorities about when the foreigners move or change jobs, and will be subject to penalties for any falsified information….

More worrying to some gaijin in Japan, is that these new Alien Registration rules and IC cards will be require them to obtain permission to change jobs.
Sounds like slavery, doesn’t it?
Well it is.
Welcome to Japan Inc.
ALL Japanese have to follow a simliar rule because they have to obtain a “Permission to Leave the Company” certificate to quit a company. It sucks to have to grovel to ask for this even though your soon-to-be-ex-boss is more or less required to give it to you.
Actually, all foreigners must report to their ward office in 30 days any changes of address or job in the current Alien Registration system. The new IC card for Alien Registration system is simply codifying the present rules on a national database scale.

But wait there’s more fun.
There’s the new-n-improved ” Immigration BLACKLIST.”
In the past, the Immigration blacklist was just that a paper list on names and passport numbers of evil gaijin who had been caught at such evil deeds as failing to notifying their ward office of overstaying their visa one week or quiting and getting new job. Needless to say the paper blacklist was not effective. Now the national blacklist will have more effect. It’s actually been computerized for two years now and at every Japanese airport the authorities now know that I was arrested for running an illegal frog jumping contest in 1981.

The Yomiuri Shimbun, KRT Wire | 06/11/2005 | Japanese government plans to compile database on foreigners
TOKYO – The Justice Ministry…. can currently search online only text information, such as an individual’s name and nationality, and plans to upgrade the system to download images, such as people’s photos and fingerprints.
Records on individuals who in the past were deported after committing crimes also will be able to be accessed online under the new system, according to the sources, adding that those records are now available only by fax from the local immigration bureau that deported the individual….


The reports are the Japan is still at “working team” on the IC card for Aliens. Therefore there gonna a lot more time and a bunch more changes before this Mark-of-the-Beast-666 IC card law goes into effect.

Kyodo via Yahoo: Japan eyes tightening control of foreign residents
The Japanese government decided Tuesday to set up a working team to consider ways of tightening its control of foreign residents as an anticrime step. The team will consider such measures as requiring long-stay foreigners in Japan to carry identification cards equipped with integrated circuit chips, government officials said. Envisaged to comprise senior officials from various ministries, the team is expected to come up with specific steps in about a year and present a bill to revise the foreign resident registration law, possibly in the regular Diet session in 2007, one official said.
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party earlier proposed that the government require all foreigners staying in Japan for more than 90 days to carry ID cards with chips recording their identity data. The LDP and the government claim the new policy is aimed at keeping track of foreigners as part of its measures to prevent terrorism and crimes. The working team will also consider easing restrictions on foreign residents such as enabling them to stay longer in Japan, the officials said.

Also read’s report: Japan landing announcement: “Please take your free IC ID cards at the airport and always carry them.”


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If I divorce my Japanese spouse in Japan can I expect to get custody or access to the children?

Q. If I divorce my Japanese spouse in Japan can I expect to get custody or access to the children.

A. Regrettably Japan has a very poor record when it comes to child custody. In almost every case full custody will be awarded to the Japanese spouse.

This will happen irregardless of the capability of such a spouse to support themselves or the children. The feeling is that the child living with the Japanese spouse will then be brought up in Japan and have the wider support of the Japanese spouse’s extended family.

Depending on how well or acrimonious the divorce was the non-Japanese spouse may have almost no access to the children despite any court ordered visitation rights. Simply put it all comes down to the willingness of the Japanese spouse to allow access.

Further even should the divorce be overseas and custody granted to the non-Japanese there is a good chance the child or children could be illegally brought back to Japan by the Japanese spouse and access restricted to the non-Japanese spouse

Once the child is with the Japanese spouse and in Japan it’s very much a closed issue as far as the courts are concerned.


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Question about Divorce

Q. How do I get divorced if my wife is in Japan and I am in the United States?

A. If you got married outside Japan and then registered it in Japan you will need to have shown the Shiyakusho the original marriage certificate. In the same way if you are getting a divorce outside Japan and want to get it registered in Japan you will need to provide proof of the divorce.

Mutual consent divorce in Japan – Kyougi Rikon 協議離婚 is very easy and fast.

If your wife is agreeable to Kyougi Rikon then the absolute fastest way is to get on a plane, meet her at the Shiyakusho where her family register is kept. Show your passport; fill in two forms, pay a small fee, wait 10-15 minutes and the marriage is over.

If not, she can do it without you being there but you will have to get the forms sent to you, fill them in and get them notarized, sent back together with two valid forms of ID. Still fast and easy.

If she is not agreeable then you will have to come to Japan and start divorce proceedings here. You can’t do this from outside Japan. It can be slow, tedious and expensive. If children are involved you will not get custody.


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The ‘Spouse’ Visa

If you have married a Japanese national then you are entitled to receive ‘spouse visa to stay in Japan. Japanese immigration authorities require a copy of your spouse’s family register (Koseki touhon) with your name written in as spouse as proof of your marriage.

Such a visa gives you just about all the rights of a Japanese national except voting in elections (and that also may become possible in the future)

Generally you will first receive a one year visa which can eventually become a three year visa (you may receive a couple of one year extensions first before they will issue a three year one)

As long as you stay legitimately married to your Japanese spouse (and can provide proof that you are indeed maintaining the marriage) your stay in Japan can be infinite. The only other step after such a visa would be a ‘permanent residency’ visa which never expires even after divorce or death of your spouse.

If you do divorce from your Japanese spouse your spouse visa does not immediately become invalid. It will simply expire at the end of its term and you will have to change to another type of visa or leave the country.

(As always remember. YMMV – Your mileage may vary)


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Name that Document

Japan’s bureaucracy loves trees. So much so that they want to see as much of them as they can. For you that means when ever you have need or reason to visit those big or small grey buildings bring as much paper as possible.

In simple terms – Before applying for anything in Japan get your paperwork in order. Here a few of the most popular ones that you may need. I’ve put them in Romaji for easier reading.

Tax Certificate - Gensen choushu
Work Certificate - Zaishoku shomei
Family Register - Koseki touhon
Residence Certificate - Jyuminhyo
Letter of Guarantee - Mimotohoshousho
Gaijin register certificate – Toroku genpyo kisaijiko shomeisho

(As always remember. YMMV – Your mileage may vary)


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