Left Menu
Development News Edition

Japan convicts Australian who sought to see his children


Japan convicts Australian who sought to see his children

Tokyo, Jan 16 (AP) An Australian journalist based in Japan says he is a victim of Japanese child custody laws that allow only one parent access to children of broken marriages, a day after he was convicted of trespassing at the apartment building of his estranged wife's parents to try to find his children. Scott McIntyre was arrested in November, a month after he entered the apartment building. He says he was attempting to make sure his two children, aged eight and 11, were safe after a typhoon hit the country. He was detained for 44 days until last week, when he was released on bail.

The Tokyo District Court on Wednesday sentenced McIntyre, a former sports journalist for Australia's SBS network, to six months in prison. The sentence was suspended for three years, meaning that he will not have to serve time if his conduct is good during that period. He told reporters on Thursday that his children had been “abducted” by his wife without any explanation. He did not discuss why his wife disappeared with the children. During the trial, prosecutors said he used violence against his daughter, which he denied.

“I don't know if my children are alive, I don't know if they're dead,” he said. In a country where women are still expected to be responsible for child rearing, custodial rights usually go to mothers. Fathers who are divorced or separated have difficulty getting access to their children.

Japan's custody laws “encourage the abduction of children,” McIntyre said. He said his wife has sought a divorce, but he is resisting because he does not want to lose access to his children. “And this is all because Japan refuses to ... implement a system of joint custody. It's a basic and fundamental human right," he said. "We're just asking for rights of children to be protected as they are in most other civilized nations." McIntyre's case is shedding light on Japan's judicial system, which has already drawn international criticism over the monthslong detention of former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn in what critics have called “hostage justice.” Ghosn, who was charged with not fully reporting his income and recently escaped from house arrest and fled to Lebanon, has bitterly criticized his treatment by Japanese prosecutors.

In recent years, a growing number of foreign fathers have sought the right to see children taken by their Japanese mothers in broken international marriages. But McIntyre said foreigners are only a small part of the custody problem in Japan, and that Japanese citizens, who are the biggest victims, ultimately have to seek changes to the current system. (AP) CPS

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Download The Devdiscourse News App for Latest News.


TRENDING

OPINION/BLOG/INTERVIEW

From home to healthcare, here are Robotic innovations transforming lives

Lovot is equipped with more than 50 sensors such as thermography, microphone array, obstacle detection, and touch sensor to generate motion and emotions in real-time....

Translating words to deeds: Achieving gender parity in access to financial resources

... ...

SDG13: How you can reduce global warming by changing your food habits

The mega narratives of various international organizations give the impression that fighting global warming is only a job of government agencies. However, the European Investment Bank EIB has designed a questionnaire which besides making th...

SDG2030: Challenges of technological applications in advancing Global Goals

Application of contemporary and future information technologies may go milestones in advancing sustainable development goals SDGs provided the challenges are overcome and implementation is ensured....

Videos

Latest News

World risks 'disaster' as reuse of natural resources declines

By Michael Taylor KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 21 Thomson Reuters Foundation - The proportion of raw materials the world is reusing has fallen, researchers said on Tuesday, warning of a global disaster as annual consumption of natural resources rose t...

Dutch court holds first hearing in secluded farm family case

A Dutch court will hold the first procedural hearing on Tuesday in the case of a man accused of keeping his family in seclusion for nine years in an isolated farmhouse in the northern Netherlands. The man, 67-year-old Gerrit-Jan van Dorsten...

Cuban tourism sector braces for further drop in U.S. visitors

In the colonial Cuban city of Trinidad, handicrafts shop owner Lourdes Milan says she has already slashed prices due to the drop in U.S. visitors following Washingtons tightening of sanctions and shes worried the situation will worsen this ...

UPDATE 5-Trump lawyers call for immediate acquittal in legal, political defense

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday rejected the Democratic-led House of Representatives impeachment charges and called for their immediate dismissal by the Republican-led Senate in a memo offering a legal and political case against his r...

Give Feedback