Long Valley father struggles to bring son home to the U.S.


August 29 , 2014

Source: dailyrecord.com

With a new school year just around the corner, Long Valley resident Paul Eksteen would like to be wishes he were looking forward to attending his 9-year-old son’s football games or greeting him when he gets off the bus in the afternoon.

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Instead, Eksteen the Long Valley resident can only look forward to a continuing battle to bring his son, Keanu Eksteen, an American a U.S. citizen, back to America. the U.S. so he can resume his education at the Cuchinella School in Washington Township and start playing sports again.

Keanu was taken to Paraguay by his mother, Rosita Berdichevsky, a citizen of that country, on Nov. 2, against the wishes of his father and in defiance of an civil court Oct. 31 order issued on Oct. 31 by Morris County state Superior Court family division Judge Maryann L. Nergaard in Morristown.

The custody battle between the two has many complicating factors, including a domestic violence complaint against the 51-year-old Berdichevsky filed after over an incident involving Eksteen, her ex-husband, at his home in 2013.

Morris County has been the locale scene of several high-profile international child custody disputes, including one involving a Mendham Township man whose wife spirited their children to Uzbekistan and another involving a Nigerian man who hid his two daughters in that African republic nation while his wife, a Dover resident, obtained court orders for return of the girls.

Before Berdichevsky left the country, the judge issued a court order that stated the mother was ordered her to appear on Nov. 13 to explain why her ex-husband should not be given full custody of their son. The judge also barred her from taking Keanu out of the country.

The order stated, “Defendant is ordered to surrender passport of the parties’ child Keanu Eksteen (born Jan. 23, 2005) to her attorney, John Brady, Esq. at 689 Washington St., third floor, Hackettstown, NJ, no later than 9 a.m. on Nov. 1, 2013.”

In addition, the order stated, “Defendant is restrained from removing Keanu Eksteen from the United States until further order of the court.”

Eksteen delivered the order to the Hackettstown office of Berdichevsky’s lawyer, John Brady office, and Brady who said he relayed the information to Berdichevsky on Nov. 1 and scheduled a meeting with her for the following week. Brady said he ad

vised her that she was not to leave the country under any circumstances and that a warrant would be issued for her arrest if she traveled outside the state and did not appear for her court hearing which was scheduled for the following week.

Berdichevsky did not make that meeting; she had left the country with Keanu. and did not make the meeting that had been scheduled with Brady.

In addition, because she missed a court appearance in connection with the domestic violence charges, Washington Township police issued a warrant for her Berdichevsky’s arrest was issued by Washington Township police.

Berdichevsky, is a citizen of Paraguay who had been living in Long Valley on a visa for the last three years, She said in a telephone interview from Paraguay that she will not return with the threat of arrest hanging over her head.

Eksteen was born in South Africa and became a U.S. citizen earlier this year. He and Berdichevsky were married in Paraguay in 2002 and moved to the United States, where their son was born. In 2008, the couple divorced in Paraguay. At that time, no formal custody arrangements were assigned, according to Eksteen.

Eksteen said the boy remained with his mother, who lived in Paraguay and Florida and denied Eksteen access to his son at various times before she returned to New Jersey to live in Long Valley, where she remained was for the last three years, according to Eksteen.

He said his ex-wife’s visa was close to expiring and he had a feeling that she would try to return to Paraguay with their son. so He filed a motion in Morris County Family Court to prevent her from doing so.

Hoping to watch his son play football the morning of Nov. 2, Eksteen said he experienced had a sinking feeling on the morning of Nov. 2 when his son did not show up for a football game.

“I had a feeling that something was very wrong, even the night before when I spoke with my son over the phone. He said he had hurt his leg and might not be playing football the next day — but his voice didn’t sound right,” Eksteen said.

After returning to his home to look for his son that morning, Eksteen contacted the Washington Township Police Department and reported that his son had been kidnapped. The local police then contacted the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office.

According to the a Washington Township police report dated Nov. 3, Sgt. Brian Szymanski contacted Brady’s law firm and was advised that the firm said it had been in contact with Berdichevsky on Nov. 1 but she refused on Nov. 1 to surrender her son’s passport.

Szymanski also stated in the report that Cpl. David Marut was sent went to Berdichevsky’s residence home at 35 Squire Hill Road in Long Valley and determined that the contents of the apartment had been packed up and she was not there, according to the report.

Szymanski said he was then advised by an assistant prosecutor to report the child as a missing person which he did.

He said An all-points bulletin was issued with for Berdichevsky, ‘s personal and vehicle information and New Jersey registration. In addition and the Port Authority Police Department was contacted and given details about the case and possible destinations.

Abducted_Children_Mexico

Szymanski said in the report that he received a return phone call from Port Authority police informed m Szymanski that Berdichevsky and her son had boarded TAM AIR Flight number 8083, to Brazil, which was scheduled to arrive in Sao Paulo, Brazil, at 7:20 p.m. ET on Nov. 2, Port Authority police told Szymanski.

According to Eksteen said he has done everything he has been asked to do, including retaining an attorney and supplying the U.S. State Department with every piece of all the information it has requested.

“All I want is to hold my son again. He is my life,” Eksteen said.

Eksteen said he has been able to talk to Keanu his son via videoconference on his phone, but he is worried that worries his son is not getting adequate care and is living in a dangerous environment.

His ex-wife said the boy eats well and is attending a private school. According to Eksteen, A relative of Rosita’s Berdichevsky’s is paying the tuition, Eksteen said.

Eksteen contacted the U.S. State Department of State In early November, the State Department advised Eksteen and was informed that he could apply to seek a remedy under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, which he did.

The U.S. and Paraguay in 2008 entered into a partnership under the treaty, which provides an avenue of recourse when a child has been wrongfully taken to Paraguay. – which establishes a legal framework that is an avenue of recourse when a child has been wrongfully retained in Paraguay.

In a communication dated Nov. 5, 2013, from Jeff Dawkins, Office of Children’s Issues, U.S. State Department, A foreign court reviewing a Hague application is likely to look at the custodial rights as they existed at the time of removal, a State Department official told Eksteen.

Eksteen said that during the three years before Berdichevsky’s departure, when living in Long Valley for the last three years, his son spent half his time with his mother and half of the time with him.

Berdichevsky said that while living in Long Valley, Berdichevsky said she worked as a housekeeper and cook.

Eksteen owns Long Valley Auto Works, a repair shop.

“His mother put him on the bus in the morning, and every day after school we spent time together and during football season – at his games. He also spent every weekend with me,” Eksteen said.

In an e-mail dated Aug. 11, Elizabeth Finan, a spokesperson for the Bureau of Consular Affairs Press Office, stated that it is the bureau’s policy not to said the bureau doesn’t discuss the specifics of individual cases with members of the media but they are it is aware of the case and providing all possible assistance.

In general, Finan said that international parental child abduction is a crime under the laws of the United States and many foreign countries. In some cases, an abducting parent may be charged with a federal crime under the International Parental Kidnapping Crime Act, she said.

In an email to Eksteen, Michael A. Goldschmidt, country officer for with the Office of Children’s Issues for the State Department, said that Keanu’s case file is at the office of the judge presiding over the matter in is awaiting action from a judge in Paraguay and awaiting his judgment on what should happen next.

Parsippany-based family law expert Bari Weinberger, who is not connected to the Eksteen case but has experience in international child custody disputes, said Paraguay could honor a New Jersey court order requiring the boy be returned to the United States but it also could determine that the boy now is domiciled in that country and that it they have has jurisdiction over the matter.

“If Paraguay is honorable to the Hague pact, the reality is they need to give full faith and credit to (the New Jersey) court order and surrender that child,” Weinberger said.

In the Morris County case involving the Mendham Township man whose wife took their children to Uzbekistan, a judge made multiple rulings ruled repeatedly that New Jersey had jurisdiction and ordered the wife to return the children. But the court orders were ignored until the ex-couple made private arrangements for the children to visit with their father in America.

In the Nigerian case, the husband, Longy Anyanwu, ignored a judicial order to produce his daughters and was kept in the Morris County Jail for nearly five years on a contempt of court charge.

A judge ultimately appointed a special master of Nigerian ethnicity, who promptly traveled overseas and found one daughter living with her uncle in Lagos. The second daughter had died of an intestinal disorder in the country. The Morris County judge had a teleconference with the daughter, who clarified said that she wished to remain living in Nigeria with her father’s relatives.

Eksteen said that during the last 10 months his case has been passed along, and his frustration is mounting.

“I would do anything for my son,” Eksteen he said. “I just miss him so much. I look at all of his toys, and they just sit there idle. I wish I could make breakfast for him and spend time with him. This is just killing me.”

 

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Real-life Rambo, mercenary Joseph Manuel Hunter, arrested over assassination plot, drug smuggling


September 29, 2013

Source: ABC News

A former soldier nicknamed Rambo has been arrested after leading a team of highly trained mercenaries across exotic locations in a plot to kill a US drug enforcement agent.

Real Rambo

A legal document lodged by the US attorney’s office in New York alleges Joseph Manuel Hunter, also known as Frank Robinson, Jim Riker and Rambo, plotted to carry out the contract killing for $US850,000, and also attempted to import cocaine into the US.

His fellow accused are nicknamed Tay, Nico, Paul and Gerald, the Grand Jury indictment reads.

Two of the team were arrested on Wednesday entering Liberia to allegedly carry out the contract hit, which was given to them by undercover sources for the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

Simultaneously, Hunter was also taken into custody at the Phuket Country Club by heavily armed Thai police and is expected to arrive in the United States tonight (AEST).

The US attorney’s office alleges he planned the hit and led the team of mercenaries.

Hunter made requests to the undercover sources for silenced weapons, a scoped rifle and the team was also provided with highly specialised latex masks to hide their identities.

Hunter – the central figure of the conspiracy – is a 21-year veteran of the US military who led air assault and airborne infantry squads, as well as trained snipers.

Since leaving the military in 2004 he has arranged for the “murders of multiple people”, the US attorney’s office alleges.

Nico and Paul had served in the armed forces of Germany, while Gerald was a member of Poland’s elite counter-terrorism unit. All three were snipers. Tay, whose real name is Timothy Vamvakias, is a former US Army sergeant and a military police officer who served with Hunter.

The indictment explains that this conspiracy began late last year when Hunter began recruiting members of his team. In January this year Hunter met two people in Thailand who portrayed themselves as Colombian drug dealers to whom Hunter gave his team’s resumes.

They were in fact sources for the US Drug Enforcement Agency and all their conversations on that day and at future meetings were secretly recorded.

Undercover agents offer Hunter ‘bonus jobs’

In March, Hunter met the fake drug dealers again. He was told that apart from being security for a drug running-organisation he could expect “bonus jobs”, or contract kills.

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Hunter told the DEA sources he had undertaken that sort of work before.

Authorities recorded Hunter’s conversation with his team later on the same day. He told the team what their new employers were expecting of them and that they would see “tons of cocaine and millions of dollars”.

He also said they would be doing “assassinations” and that most of the bonus work would be up-close killings because in the cities you do not get long-range shots. Hunter also divulged that he had arranged for two female real estate agents to be killed.

In April, the conspiracy moved to Mauritius where the team provided security for a real eastern European drug-trafficking organisation that had shipped over 200 kilograms of cocaine.

They also provided counter-surveillance on a weapons deal for the fake Colombian drug dealers.

In June they went to the Bahamas to provide surveillance of a massive cocaine haul being loaded onto a plane bound for the US. It was after this job they were offered a contract to kill a DEA agent and a boat captain in Liberia. He replied in an email: “They (the mercenary team) will handle both jobs they just need good tools”.

Items needed: Submachine guns, silenced pistols, latex masks

In July he sent a list of items he would need – two submachine guns with silencers, pistols with silencers, a .308 rifle with a scope and two concealment vests.

Later they would be provided with highly specialised latex masks, which can make the wearer appear from another race.

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Finally, in August, Hunter and teammate Vamvakias met up with the fake Colombian dealers to discuss the details of the assassinations, which were again recorded.

Vamvakias told them the team would “have to get up close” and that if his primary weapon malfunctioned he would need the pistols to “hit it hard, hit it fast, make sure it gets done and get the f*** out of there”.

They also asked about how to get into the country without having their passports stamped and they were told they would be flown out in a private plane.

Hunter said the extraction would be “the biggest headache” rather than the “job”.

In all it would take two weeks: one week for surveillance and one week to “make it happen”, he allegedly said.

By this stage two of the team – Paul and Gerald – had backed out of the job.

Hunter said he would arrange for Vamvakias and Nico to do the job together.

Nico is recorded as saying about the “bonus jobs” that “actually for me that’s fun, I love this work”.

On Wednesday this week they arrived in Liberia to allegedly commit the planned murders for hire and were arrested and sent to the US, where they have now been charged.

Paul and Gerald, who had pulled out of the mission, were arrested in Estonia.

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Parental Move Away/Abduction: Entrepreneur Wins Custody Of Missing Child


Source: Fathersrights.com

Big Jake won contracts for his trucking company by the force of his many contacts flowing from his Southern California roots. But his self marketing talents were eclipsed by his self maintenance skills aided by his baseball glove sized hands that, creased by wrench grip scars from the multitude of in flight maintenance diesel repairs this gentle giant of German English ancestry managed through his 50 year company history — hauling newsprint for his California based publishing company clientele — equipped his Kenworth fleeted tractors well for dependable, on-time reliability. And given his wide set baby blue eyes and shock of blond brown beach boy surfer hair, our six foot four two hundred thirty pound client not surprisingly fathered the most delightfully pert seven year old Goldilocks like girl in the county.

How she adored her daddy

!home content img1 150x150 Parental Move Away/Abduction: Entrepreneur Wins Custody Of Missing Child

So much so that jealously framed mother’s agenda to rip into the heart of our latter day Paul Bunyan by stealing away in the night with little Rebecca in tow of her Berkeley- Doctored new mate to the Greek Islands for his post doctoral research project enveloping the demise at the hands of Scipio Africans, his hero and his target of historical focus — Hannibal of Carthage.

But we cut off our bespectacled wasp with his anxious entourage at the boarding gate with the Vista Family Court’s restraining order recorded with the US Department Of Justice tagging Rebecca’s passport!

And Mother’s Mr Peepers bolted with Rebecca and Mother into darkness somewhere east of Raleigh and north of Savannah.

That is, until or gentle giant landed an overland cross-country consignment bound for Philadelphia with restraining orders in his glove box.

Soon afterward, and southbound for Tallahassee, our law firm’s investigator spotted Rebecca’s caravan in Southern Georgia, eight months to the day of Rebecca’s disappearance from her Oceanside California home. The hunt was on.

Our Midwest connections with the Chicago Tribune’s law firm led to legal connections in Tallassee where our new co-counsel having the local banking industry in legal lockstep identified Mr. Peeper’s newly opened Tallahassee bank account and his local motel address, where sharply early the following morning over-nighted orders were served requiring court surrender that very day.

Big Jake had meantime been storming his lighted rig, freed of it’s delivered cargo’s weight, south east to Florida. Contemporaneously or firm’s on sight PI kept watch at a respectful distance as the flushed prey efforted an escape west bound towards the Panhandle across north Florida – Mississippi Bound, our glue foot racing to the rear in chase.

But our over-educated, mental Mensa-man and his maul chose both the wrong weekend and the wrong Mississippi town for cover. For it was the very Saturday in December that Florida defeated arch rival Alabama, and Mississippi State beat Oklahoma!

Meridian, Mississippi and Tallassee were all in sleepless celebration mode.
Rebecca’s Tallahassee court issued restraining order was delivered by wire to a hoop hollering Meridian judge who alerted his wide eyed police chief early Sunday morning and the itinerant band and their Mercedes and RV fleet were seized and placed in the local caboose.

Rebecca, herself, spent that Sunday at the Mayor’s plantation home in honor of his alumni status with the Florida judge issuing the over-nighted Florida arrest citation — Florida State had been their mutual Alma Mater!

Meantime Big Jake had swung his broiling hot, diesel powered behemoth West from Tallahassee towards the Deep South, escorted by two Florida State Trooper squads by-passing the required checkpoints towards his beloved Rebecca.

Come Sunday Noon, yours truly was conference calling from my La Costa kitchen phone with Peeper’s newly retained Florida counsel arranging with the stern encouragement of two reunited alums of Florida State School Of Law, the assignment of Our Mr Big Hands of Sandy Hair as special deputy to personally escort Rebecca and her felon former parens patriae back to Tallahassee for arraignment with Rebecca delightedly reunified sitting shotgun aboard Big Jakes smokin big rig enroute for a Tuesday afternoon court Hearing.

Early Wednesday morning beaming Rebecca was released into her daddy’s care for her return to Oceanside while her former travel companions remained behind pending a preliminary hearing and trial.

Following further California proceedings Rebecca was returned full time into her father’s care and 15 years later earned her psychology degree — from UC Cal, where else!

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Resolution Condemning Japan for International Child Abduction


111th CONGRESS, 2d Session, H. RES. 1326

Calling on the Government of Japan to immediately address the growing problem of abduction to and retention of United States citizen minor children in Japan, to work closely with the Government of the United States to return these children to their custodial parent or to the original jurisdiction for a custody determination in the United States, to provide left-behind parents immediate access to their children, and to adopt without delay the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

RESOLUTION

Calling on the Government of Japan to immediately address the growing problem of abduction to and retention of United States citizen minor children in Japan, to work closely with the Government of the United States to return these children to their custodial parent or to the original jurisdiction for a custody determination in the United States, to provide left-behind parents immediate access to their children, and to adopt without delay the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

Whereas Japan is an important partner with the United States and shares interests in the areas of economy, defense, the promotion of global peace and prosperity, and the mutual protection of the human rights of the two nations’ respective citizens in the increasingly integrated global society;

Whereas the Government of Japan acceded to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that states under Article 16 (1), `Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution’, and Article 16 (3), `The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State’;

Whereas the Government of Japan acceded in 1979 to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights that states `States Parties to the present Covenant shall take appropriate steps to ensure equality of rights and responsibilities of spouses as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution. In the case of dissolution, provision shall be made for the necessary protection of any children [Article 23]’;

Whereas according to Japan’s National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, 44,701 marriages between a Japanese national and a foreigner were registered in Japan in 2006, and 17,102 divorces were registered in Japan in 2006 between a Japanese national and foreigner;

Whereas since 1994 the Office of Children’s Issues (OCI) at the United States Department of State had opened 194 cases involving 269 United States citizen minor children abducted to or wrongfully retained in Japan, and as of March 25, 2010, OCI had 85 open cases involving 121 United States citizen minor children abducted to or wrongfully retained in Japan;

Whereas since the signing of the Treaty of Peace with Japan (San Francisco Treaty) between the Allied Powers and the Government of Japan in 1951, the Japanese Government has never issued and enforced a legal decision to return a single abducted child to the United States;

Whereas Japan has not acceded to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (the Hague Convention), resulting in the continued absence of an immediate civil remedy that as a matter of urgency would enable the expedited return of abducted children to their custodial parent in the United States where appropriate, or otherwise immediately allow access to their United States parent;

Whereas the Government of Japan is the only G-7 country that has not acceded to the Hague Convention;

Whereas the Hague Convention would not apply to abductions occurring before the accession of Japan to the Hague Convention, requiring, therefore, that Japan create a separate parallel process to resolve the abductions of all United States citizen minor children who currently remain wrongfully removed to or retained in Japan, including the 121 United States citizen minor children who have been reported to the United States Department of State and who are being held in Japan against the wishes of their parent in the United States and, in many cases, in direct violation of a valid United States court order;

Whereas the Hague Convention provides enumerated defenses designed to provide protection to children alleged to be subjected to physical or psychological abuse in the left-behind country;

Whereas United States laws against domestic violence extend protection and redress to Japanese spouses;

Whereas there are numerous acknowledged cases, such as the Jade and Michael Elias case, of Japanese consulates located within the United States issuing or reissuing travel documents of dual-national minor children in violation of United States court orders restricting travel and in violation of United States Federal criminal parental kidnapping statutes;

Whereas there are numerous cases in which the actions of the Government of Japan evidence a disregard of United States law and jurisdiction, other cases show indifference to the United States and customary international jurisprudence in the area of family law, which overwhelmingly reflects the worldwide preference for the resolution of parenting disputes by negotiated joint custody;

Whereas Japan’s existing family law system does not recognize joint custody nor actively enforce parental access agreements for either its own nationals or foreigners, there is little hope for minor children to have contact with the noncustodial parent in violation of internationally recognized and protected rights;

Whereas there exists no due process within the Japanese family court system for the redress of such disputes, and the existing system has no recognized process to enforce a custody or parental access order from outside of Japan or within it, without the voluntary cooperation of the abducting parent or guardian;

Whereas the Government of Japan has repeatedly claimed to foreign governments that parental child abduction is not considered a crime in Japan despite the fact that Article 3 of the Japanese Penal Code does indeed make it a crime for a Japanese citizen to abduct a child and move the child across national borders, even if the child is moved to Japan;

Whereas the Government of Japan has refused to prosecute an abducting parent or relative criminally when that parent or relative abducts the child into Japan;

Whereas according to the United States Department of State’s April 2008 Report on Compliance with the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, abducted children are at risk of serious emotional and psychological problems and have been found to experience anxiety, eating problems, nightmares, mood swings, sleep disturbances, aggressive behavior, resentment, guilt, and fearfulness, and as adults may struggle with identity issues, their own personal relationships, and parenting;

Whereas left-behind parents may encounter substantial psychological, emotional, and financial problems, and many may not have the financial resources to pursue civil or criminal remedies for the return of their children in foreign courts or political systems;

Whereas Erika Toland was abducted in 2003 from Negishi United States Navy Family housing in Yokohama to Tokyo, Japan, by her now deceased mother and is being held by her Japanese maternal grandmother, while being denied access to her father since 2004;

Whereas Melissa Braden was covertly abducted from her home in 2006 by her mother to Japan in violation of previous Los Angeles Superior Court orders giving both parents access to the child and prohibiting international travel (travel to Japan) with the child by either parent and has since been denied any contact with her father;

Whereas Kai Hachiya was abducted in 2006 to Japan by his father, who had been found by a court of competent jurisdiction to have physically and mentally abused Kai’s mother who had been awarded sole custody in the State of Hawaii, and as a result, Kai has had limited contact with his mother;

Whereas Isaac and Rebecca Savoie were abducted in 2009 to Japan by their mother in violation of a Tennessee State court order of joint custody and Tennessee statutes, and have been denied any access or communication with their father, despite their father having been awarded sole custody of them by a United States court;

Whereas Karina Garcia was abducted to Japan in 2008 by her mother, who was ordered by the United States courts to return Karina to the care of her sole custodian father in the United States, but the order to return of the child has not been granted even though the sole custody order had been recognized by the Osaka High Court;

Whereas United States citizen minor children who have been abducted to Japan are being deprived of their United States heritage;

Whereas, on October 16, 2009, the Ambassadors to Japan of Australia, Canada, France, Italy, New Zealand, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States, all parties to the Hague Convention, called upon Japan to accede to the Hague Convention and meanwhile to identify and implement measures to enable parents who are separated from their children to establish contact with them and to visit them;

Whereas, on January 30, 2010, the Ambassadors to Japan of Australia, France, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States, the Charges d’Affaires ad interim of Canada and Spain, and the Deputy Head of Mission of Italy, called on Japan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, submitted their concerns over the increase in international parental abduction cases involving Japan and affecting their nationals, and again urged Japan to sign the Hague Convention;

Whereas the Governments of the United States and the French Republic have recently established bilateral commissions with Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to share information on and seek resolution of outstanding Japanese parental child abduction cases;

Whereas the bilateral commission is limited by the fact that it does not currently include Japan’s Ministry of Justice, which has jurisdiction over family law;

Whereas Japan’s Justice Minister Keiko Chiba said upon her appointment that she is determined to show that Japan `is very proactive’ in adopting international protocols and conventions that are the `international standard’; and

Whereas it is critical for the Governments of the United States and Japan to work together to prevent future incidents of international parental child abduction to Japan, which damages children, families, and Japan’s national image with the United States: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That–

(1) the House of Representatives–

(A) condemns the abduction and retention of all minor children being held in Japan away from their United States parents in violation of their human rights and United States and international law;

(B) calls on the Government of Japan to immediately facilitate the resolution of all abduction cases, to recognize United States court orders governing persons subject to jurisdiction in a United States court, and to make immediately possible access and communication for all children with their left-behind parents;

(C) calls on the Government of Japan to include Japan’s Ministry of Justice in work with the Government of the United States to facilitate the identification and location of all United States minor citizen children alleged to have been wrongfully removed to or retained in Japan and for the immediate establishment of a protocol for the resolution of existing cases of abduction, interference with parental access to children, and violations of United States court orders;

(D) calls on the Government of Japan to establish immediately a protocol and timetable to amend its Civil Code to allow for enforceable rights of parental access and communication between minor children and their divorced or separated parents including parents who are not Japanese citizens;

(E) calls on the Government of Japan to review and amend its consular procedures to ensure that travel documents for minor children are not issued in violation of United States court orders;

(F) calls on Japan to accede to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction without delay and to promptly establish judicial and enforcement procedures to facilitate credibly the immediate return of children to their habitual residence and to establish protocols for the organization of rights of international parental access; and

(G) calls on the President of the United States and the Secretary of State to seek immediately to identify credibly all United States citizen minor children who have been wrongfully removed to and who are retained currently in Japan and to raise the issue of abduction and wrongful retention of those United States citizen minor children in Japan with Japanese officials and domestic and international press; and

(2) it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the United States should–

(A) recognize the issue of child abduction to and retention of United States citizen minor children in Japan as a central foreign policy issue of paramount importance to the United States within the context of its bilateral relationship with Japan;

(B) work with the Government of Japan to enact consular procedures and legal agreements to prevent parental abduction to and retention of United States citizen minor children in Japan;

(C) encourage the Government of Japan to adopt the policy of not issuing duplicate passports when a United States judge has restricted a child’s travel or ordered the surrender of passports and to otherwise require notarized signatures from both parents before issuing a passport to a child;
(D) review its advisory services made available to United States citizens from the Department of State, the Department of Justice, and other government agencies to ensure that effective and timely assistance is given to United States citizens in preventing the incidence of wrongful retention or removal of minor children and acting to obtain the expeditious return of their children from Japan;
(E) review its advisory services made available to members of the United States Armed Forces, particularly those stationed in Japan by the Department of Defense and the United States Armed Forces, to ensure that effective and timely assistance is given to them, including providing legal assistance in preventing the incidence of wrongful retention or removal of minor children and acting to obtain the expeditious return of their dependent children from Japan at the conclusion of their tour of duty in Japan;
(F) call upon the Secretary of Defense to include the issues of child abduction and the protection of members of the United States Armed Forces and their families stationed abroad in any current or future status of forces agreement;
(G) call upon the Secretary of State to enact immediately a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Japan to establish a bilateral protocol with procedures to address immediately any parental child abduction or access issue reported to the United States Department of State; and

(H) urge the Department of State to include international child abduction and Japan’s actions regarding abductions as a human rights violation under its Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.

Published by: ABP World Group International Child Recovery Service

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Japan: The Black Hole of International Parental Child Abduction


 

Chasing Parents from all over the United States who have their children criminally abducted and detained in Japan have joined together under the banner of ‘Bring Abducted Children Home’ (www.bachome.org/events.htm) , in an effort to raise the public’s awareness on the growing cruelty directed at defenseless, innocent U.S. children-citizens victimized by the act of international parental child abduction. The group, which consists of nearly 50 Chasing Parents and their supporters have descended on Washington, D.C. to meet with lawmakers and government officials in order to press for the return of their children, while also intending several formal protests and awareness campaigns in order to educate the scores of visitors celebrating Japan’s culture.

The timing of their rally could not be better: this week, Washington celebrates the Cherry Blossom Festival, where over a million visitors are expected to visit the nation’s Capitol. One of these visitors expected to visit is Japan’s Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.

Japan has never returned a child that has been internationally parentally kidnapped and illegally detained in their country in accordance to the laws of the child’s nation of habitual residency. According to various reports, it is estimated that there are over 1,300 children who had been criminally abducted from a foreign country and presently criminally detained in Japan. In addition, in the last decade alone there were 167 child abduction cases in Japan reported to the State Department involving 230 children. This, despite an assortment of U.S. court orders and demands for these children to be returned home.

Zero abducted children returned from Japan equates to this country becoming known as the ‘Black Hole of Abduction’, and a ‘Safe Harbor’ for parental child kidnappers.

Sadly, most American citizens and for that matter, most citizens of developed and progressive-leaning countries have no idea that Japan is a safe-harbor for child abductors, none of whom face prosecution or extradition in Japan. And why would the public not know this? Isn’t Japan one of the United States’ strongest strategic partners and allies? On the surface, the answer to this question is ‘yes’. But how can a strategic partner allow for criminally abducted children to remain in their country and under the guidance and care no less, of the abducting parent?

Culturally, Japan’s courts allow for only one parent to have access and custody of a child during divorce proceedings. Tragically for the child and the child not selected to be with their own child by the court, contact and communication is frowned upon and not approved. This approach is far different than the West, where research and common sense demonstrate that a child is best served by knowing the love of both parents.

For example, the case of Navy Commander Paul Toland and his daughter Erika’s plight provides one microcosm that there is more to Japan’s refusal to comply than what is commonly referred to as ‘cultural differences in law’. In Commander Toland’s case, his daughter Erika was abducted by the child’s US Citizen mother while he was assigned in Japan on military duty. Shortly after, the mother died, and the grandmother took possession of Erika where she remains until this day, held captive in a country that has never returned a child. The US State Department tried to intervene and asked to visit Erika to check on her welfare and well-being, but the grandmother denied their request. The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs asked to visit Erika to check on her welfare and well-being, but again, the grandmother denied their request. In the Japanese system, where no enforcement mechanisms exist and compliance is completely voluntary, all any government agency can say is “We’re sorry, we tried.” Nobody can offer any remedies or solutions, because none exist. Commander Toland, who is Erika’s sole legal custodian under Maryland State Law, remains with absolutely no access to his daughter. Erika has been gone now for nearly seven years. Her father Paul loves her with all of his heart.

Commander Toland commented, “I never dreamed that serving my country overseas in one of our allied nations would result in the loss of my only child. Japan is supposedly an ally of the United States, so why does the United States continue to tolerate this behavior from Japan? How can a nation that we call an ally be guilty of such despicable human rights violations and get away with it? Our children are all we have, and every civilized society has the responsibility to ensure that their most vulnerable citizens, their children, have the opportunity to know and love their parents..”

In another case that cuts through the chatter of cultural issues is the case of Captain William Lake. In Captain Lake’s case, his former spouse, who is not a Japanese citizen, abducted his daughter Mary Victoria to Japan despite an array of court orders. The abducting parent has no national ties to Japan; however, for nearly five years Japan has provided a safe harbor for the abducting parent despite having no connection to Japan. Mary Victoria will be 13 this Sunday. Her father William loves her greatly.

Christopher Savoie, who drew international media attention to the Japanese government’s complicity with child kidnappers when he was wrongfully detained by Japanese police last year while attempting to retrieve his two kidnapped children stated, “I am glad that the tide is turning and that this extremely shameful aspect of Japanese culture is being exposed for what it is. People are starting to realize all of the previously closely guarded dirty secrets of Japanese society such as the popularity and legality in Japan of child pornography, legal “consensual” sex with 13 year-old children, cover-ups about killer vehicles, the ruthless killing of dolphins and the most disgusting secret of all– that Japan officially and shamelessly supports and even assists in the kidnapping of innocent kids from countries that are supposedly their ‘allies’.”

Read more here: http://bignews.biz/?id=858756&pg=3&keys=Child-Japan-abduction-Parental

Published by: ABP World Group International Child Recovery Service

 

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