According to news reports, American fathers essentially lose their kids when their Japanese wives steal away with them to Japan. And it’s not a rare occurrence.
Japanese courts reportedly almost always disregard prior US custody decisions and award custody to the Japanese parent every time, favor children being raised in Japan in every case and typically deny American fathers any visitation rights at all.
Japan apparently does not treat parental abductions as criminal, no matter the circumstances.
Surprisingly, Japan is not a party to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. And so the US government and the American fathers left behind are helpless.
Ironically, the Japanese have chronicled, in a cinematic appeal for a US show of support, parental abductions of half-Japanese children by North Koreans – in which Japanese fathers suffered similar fates to the American fathers described above – to the outrage of the Japanese people.