Foreign Policy Blogs

Int’l child abduction may be worse than official numbers let on

Int'l child abduction may be worse than official numbers let on

Kai and Koh, two American-born boys abducted by their Japanese mother in March.

I recently got an e-mail from one Patrick McPike, the father of two American-born sons who were abducted in Japan by their Japanese mother in March. He has since been fighting an uphill battle against Japan’s backwards and incompetent legal system in order to gain access to his sons. He chronicles his story on his blog: Letters to Kai and Koh.

In one post, “Child Abduction in Japan… The REAL Numbers — Part 1,” Patrick claims that the number of children abducted by a Japanese parent is much higher than the U.S. government’s official number of 230 cases. Patrick believes the actual number to be around 10,000. Whether the number is actually that high, he does make a good case that the number of abducted children is higher than the official figure.

Japan has recently decided to join the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, but the convention will only apply to future child abduction cases, which is cold comfort to parents like Patrick. Patrick’s blog gives an enlightening account of international child abduction from the point-of-view of the left-behind parent.



Dustin Dye

Dustin Dye is the author of the YAKUZA DYNASTY series, available through the Amazon Kindle.

He lived in Okayama, Japan, where he taught English at a junior high school through the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program for three years. He is a graduate from the University of Kansas, where he received a bachelor's degree in anthropology.

His interest in Japan began in elementary school after seeing Godzilla fight Ghidorah, the three-headed monster. But it wasn't until he discovered Akira Kurosawa's films through their spaghetti Western remakes that he truly became fascinated in the people and culture of Japan.

He lives in Kansas with his wife, daughter and guinea pig.

Visit him online at
E-mail him: [email protected]