Some children can never get away from their abusive parents.

even after their divorce.  

What would happen if the law locked you in such a situation?  

Kids Voice Japan aims to protect the human rights of children after their parents have separated or divorced. The potential new legal framework being discussed as of 2022 is so dangerous that we felt the need to start this group, to shed light on this fundamentally critical issue. We hope you take this opportunity to read through our material, and join us in raising the voice of kids in Japan.


A request for the press

After reviewing newspapers, magazines, and online news outlets spanning from November 2011 to May 2021, we found that, of the 30 cases of child abduction or false DV reports, there were only three cases where both sides of the story were presented.
We would like to request that you cover both parents’ perspectives equally, not just the one who is unable to meet their child. We also ask that you ensure to study thoroughly the individual judgments by courts related to the respective cases of divorces, etc., involving the parties seeking visitation or joint parental authority.

In March of 2021, the first meeting of the Family Law Subcommittee of the Legislative Council was held to "review provisions and other matters concerning divorce and related systems to secure the interests of the children involved, in consideration of the serious impact divorce has on the growth of children and the diversification of child rearing".
They are discussing the following three points.

1) To review and "regulate" the legal relationships between parents and children.

2) To review the discussion on the relationship between parents who have parental authority and parents without parental authority.

3) To develop "regulations" regarding post-divorce parental authority.

"Regulations"refers to "obligations". Parents who don’t have parental authority means a parent who does not live with their child post-divorce.  

What would happen if children were obliged by law to retain their parent-child relationships with parents after being separated, no matter how much they refuse  it for legitimate reasons?

Our Purpose

Visitation and shared parenting after divorce or separation can increase post-separation conflict for families with preexisting issues, and continued abuse and domestic violence could follow often.

US Divorce Child Murder Data

Ref) Center for Judicial Excellence
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Child Murder Cases

Surveys and statistical studies conducted in the US, UK, and other countries have shown that the safety, security, and stability of children after divorce are threatened due to joint arrangements and their implementation.  Despite this, many now have the vague idea that“shared parenting”and similar systems as good things, and the arguments promoting them are made without much consideration for the details of said systems or the actual circumstances in which parents and children are placed.

The frequency and content of the information reported by the mass media and other media coverage on these issues are insufficient.
In such a situation, the second round of discussions at the LegislativeCouncil has ended and an interim draft is about to be presented. There is a growing fear that the state will introduce some form of coercion or "regulation"on families.

We therefore call for the creation of a movement of parents, support counselors, lawyers, researchers, and others concerned with the dangers of this issue, so that we can communicate and work to promote the best interests of children.

We oppose the introduction of regulations on families.

Kids Voice Japan opposes the introduction of mandatory rules into the lives of families.
We believe that mandatory rules are unnecessary in creating environments where children can live happily.

Do not introduce a system that splits the right to make decisions regarding children between parents' post-divorce

The selective shared parenting system currently under consideration does not allow for the joint care of children. It merely gives parents that do not live with their children the right to make and veto decisions regarding their child's education, medical care, place of residence, and more.

Do not force visitation on children

Children who have good relationships with their parents after their parents’ divorce are already interacting with their other parent freely, without the need for a regulation. Many parents and children who do not practice visitation are due to diverse types of conflicts.If the government was to force visitation between them, it could do more harm than good.

Create systems and mechanisms to support children in expressing their opinions as quickly as possible.

It is rare to have probation officer or arbitrators that are familiar with child psychology in arbitration related to visitation. Many children end up hurt because they are unable to properly get their feelings across. It is essential to create a system that ensures that children can have the opportunity to express their opinions, in accordance with the Basic Act on the Rights of Children that was enacted by the Diet in 2022.

Our Purpose

Kids Voice Japan advocates and build awareness of the issues involved to avoid the introduction of regulations that undermines the best interest of children. 
Making visitations mandatory to everybody through the introduction of regulations such as co-parenting and joint parental custody ignores the diversity of the circumstances of each family and leads to increased level of conflicts post-separation and damaged safety and wellbeing of the parents with parental authority and their children.

Our request letter to the Legislative Council (July 2022)



Tomiyuki Ogawa

Japanese civil law academic. Professor at Faculty of Law, OsakaUniversity of Economics and Law/Assistant to the University President.Researches family law, with a focus on children, welfare, medical care, and other related legal matters. Acted as the second chairman of the The Law Association for Asia and the Pacific (LAWASIA) Family Law & Family Rights Committee until 2007. Formed the Asian FamilyLaw Research Association, and works as the head editor for the Asian Family LawSeries. He is one of the founding members of the World Congress on Family Law& Children's Rights, has worked for the Program Committee and international advisor, and worked on the AFCC (Association of Family and Conciliation Courts)executive director and editing committee.

Naomi Hirose

Naomi inherited his parents' design firm, which she now runs, specializing in renovations. 18 years ago, she established a non-profit organization to support women and children suffering from domestic violence and abuse. She provides direct support as she researches domestic violence, abuse, and gender equality. She studied in the DV perpetrator program for two years and acquired their techniques through practical application. She has given numerous lectures and training sessions for government, schools, and the general public, and provides consultation and intervention for schools and companies. She was also involved in the 24-hour hotline counseling service, and received numerous consultations on interpersonal workplace issues and psychological problems. She runs a program called "Nao's Consultation Room for Women" on FM WATCH78.5MHz, where she shares information on family problems, communication, anger management, and more.

Yuri Morita

Yuri is the president of the Empowerment Center, which provides training for professionals involved in human rights issues, including child abuse and domestic violence. Former visiting professor at Ritsumeikan University and former senior research fellow at the University of California. She has been involved in diversity and human rights awareness and training for the child and women abuse prevention specialists in the US and Japan for about 40 years. Winner of the 57th Health Culture Award, Sankei Children's Culture Award, Asahi Journal NonfictionGrand Prize, Sankei Children's Culture Award, and the Asahi Roku Nonfiction Grand Prize. Her publications touch on recovery from sexual abuse trauma, and include"Child Sexual Abuse" (Iwanami Shinsho), "Breaking Silence"(Tsukiji Shokan), and "Living with Trauma" (Tsukiji Shokan). She has also published "Domestic Violance" (Shogakukan), "Abuse - Care for Parents" (Tsukiji Shokan), and more.