My daughter’s family registry (her honseki) – 平澤えみりの本籍

There is a silly excuse the Japanese government gives all the time for not allowing or enforcing child visitation rights. Under current family law it is not possible to register a child on two  family registries. While married, the two spouses are on the same family registry of course, and so are their children. After a divorce, one spouse is removed from the registry (though records remain of having been on the registry) and enters a different family registry (his or her own). The children go on one and only one of the two registries, therefore only one parent has custody. It’s an all or nothing game.

This is the family registry of my daughter Emilie. It’s actually my ex-wife Shijima Hirasawa’s (平澤しじま) registry. It’s in Japanese but it contains details of her date and place birth, the date she registered her first marriage (to an American) , the date of her divorce from her first husband, the date of her marriage to me, and the date of our daughter’s birth. This copy was made before we divorced so the date of our divorce isn’t there.

Of course, I completely agree there are administrative headaches to creating a fair custody system where both parents have rights to raising their child. But who cares? Civil servants are there to serve! Let them serve and let there be headaches. The plain fact of the matter is the paternalistic family courts simply don’t want to change and would prefer people did what they told them to do.

Japanese bureaucrats are experts and dragging their feet.

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