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Japan’s Child Support Deadbeats
May 20th, 2010

The Asahi Shimbun on 5/18/2010 in an article describes how disputes over child support rose in 2009, with already divorced mothers and fathers filing 18,513 new arbitration requests nationwide over child support expenses in family courts; this a 17% increase over 2008. This ostensibly due to difficulties in the economy. A total of 2,911 cases which couldn’t be resolved through arbitration went into regular court. This a new postwar high.

But here is the dirty little secret of Japan. As reported in the article and backed up by Japanese government statistics, less than 20% of divorced mothers actual receive any money from ex-husbands. You’re reading that correctly. Over 80% of divorced Japanese fathers pay zero in child support for their children. This is an abysmal record. In a country which prides itself on the family and strong financial support from fathers it comes as a major contradiction.

Hey deadbeat Japanese dads! It’s time to support your kids!

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4 Responses  
  • Suzanne Lau writes:
    July 31st, 20115:14 amat

    My son’s father Masato Joken refuses to pay child support. He lives a lavish lifestyle in Tokyo while refusing to answer even a phone call from his son. We live in the USA since our divorce and he supported his son until he remarried. now he won’t help financially or even talk to his son. He has a website business…www.internet.co.jp
    I hope people boycott his business until he pays his son what he deserves.

    Suzanne Lau
    Mother of Issey Joken

  • TcS writes:
    August 1st, 20117:10 pmat

    Suzanne,

    What a mess. Sorry to hear about your plight. I re-posted your comment to the article ‘Assistance‘ which has more people following. Hopefully you have been properly added to following the comments there. I’ve got a question which I’ll put up there now. After you answer on that thread, you’ll be sure to receive follow-up email notice of responses to your mail.

  • Kevin writes:
    August 2nd, 20114:04 pmat

    Suzanne, You did not give us enough information to make any solid conclusions. But if you moved back to America without discussing things with your ex, I would be apprehensive about paying child support too. When one parent starts making unilateral decisions it hurts the whole family. That is what happens here in Japan. One parent gets the child and refuses to let the LBP have any say in what happens in the child’s life. If your ex did all the right things until recently (when he remarried), he is probably better than most divorced Japanese fathers. I would say forget about the money (child support payments). Take the high road. Encourage your son to keep calling/emailing his dad. Your son will remember what you are saying and doing now in regards to his father. The question is what do you want him to remember about you and his father?

  • JJ writes:
    January 24th, 20121:07 pmat

    I have two kids out here in Japan… I’m American, and divorced… For two years I’ve paid 70000 yen each month and only got to see my kids when it was convenient for my ex… When I did meet , I couldn’t be alone with them and the meetings were in a food court area for an hour or so… Sometimes I never got to see the kids at all…

    I started getting angry… I refused to be an invisible wallet. If I can’t provide the man element as a part of my child’s life… I will not be known as just “money”… I offer to get the kids! I work freelance so I can pick em up from school and be there… Money isn’t an issue, I just want to be in my kids lives….

    Since I’m not being allowed to… The money has stopped…
    Now I’m being threatened with family court.


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