Personal attack with fabrication of DV
Let’s return to the case of Sotsuda. Immediately after the Matsudo ruling, which upset the court's conventional practice, relentless and shrewd attacks by the 39 defendants against Sotsuda began. The following are a number of the acts of defamation committed by the defendants filed by Sotsuda.
-Defendants Chisato Kitanaka and Seiko Hijikata, co-representatives of the NPO, “All Japan Women's Shelter Network,” held a DV counselor's workshop hosted by a Cabinet Office. In the workshop, defendant Keiko Kondo, a director (former representative) of the NPO, lectured, and they distributed flyers to participants to imply that Sotsuda committed DV and asked the participants to sign a petition requesting the Tokyo High Court to overturn the Matsudo ruling. This incident was taken up by the House of Representatives Budget Committee and the Legal Affairs Committee. The Cabinet Office Minister for Gender Equality stated that the act by the workshop was "undesirable." Despite the fact that the act by the workshop was denounced by the Diet, defendant Kitanaka was selected as a member of the Study Group on Support for Private Shelters for DV and Other Victims hosted by the Cabinet Office.
-Defendant Keiko Kondo said in an interview with the Sankei Newspaper about the Matsudo ruling that “it is a perpetrator's logic that a DV claim is false. There are no false DV cases that I was involved in. I believe the husband (note: Sotsuda) had committed DV." "It was not that the wife whisked away her child, but in reality, it was an emergency evacuation so that she could protect herself and her child from a DV husband." As a result of this interview, an article was published nationwide giving the impression that Sotsuda was indeed committing DV. The defendant Kondo once expressed her logic in an interview with the Asahi Newspaper that “The fact that a woman escapes to a DV shelter is unassailable evidence that her husband did DV against her.”
-A total of 31 defendants, including Takayo Kamata, Noriko Kiyota, Hideki Saito, Yuichi Sakashita, and Masao Honda, who form the legal team for the wife, held a press conference at the Judicial Press Club after the Tokyo High Court ruling. At the press conference, they distributed "a paper written by the legal team" to the media. The document stated that “because of Sotsuda`s behaviors such as screaming at his wife, throwing tableware, shoving scissors at his wife, etc., his wife fled with her child.'' It was written to legitimize the child abduction of his wife. Because of this press conference, TV news broadcasted saying, "Wife claims her husband committed DV.”
Most of the defendants are called "human rights lawyers." Especially, defendant Kamata, the chief lawyer of the wife's legal team, is a famous "human rights" lawyer and heavyweight in the judicial community, who has served as a president of the Chiba branch of the JFBA and a board member of JFBA. Defendant Saito shows the true colors of the so called “human rights lawyers” in his book. He writes “a message for the child’s non-resident parent.” In the message, he says “even though you cannot see your children, you can be a “cool” father if you work much harder to send more child support to pull your children out of poverty. If you will send money, your children will rely on you when they grow up. Try to make a relationship with your children which last for a lifetime!!”
The underlying demeanor of the “human rights” sect
-Defendant Hiroki Komazaki is a member of “IKUMEN (which means “fathers who play an active role in child rearing”) Project Promotion Committee” (hosted by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare), “Child and Childcare Conference” (hosted by a Cabinet Office) and “Male Leaders Who Accelerate the Success of Shining Women” (hosted by a Cabinet Office) and Citizens' Council of JFBA as well as the representative director of an NPO. Defendant Komazaki tweeted on Twitter (which has tens of thousands of followers) on the day when the ruling of the Tokyo High Court was announced. “The judge cannot give custody of a child to the “morahara father” (a father who engages in harassment). It can easily be understood by a little investigation of the trial.” Komazaki disseminated false information which gave the impression that the husband’s alleged harassment was indeed admitted to in the trial even though it had never been admitted to at all.
-Defendant Yuki Senda, professor of Musashi University specializing in feminism, gave a lecture at the Hall of “Japanese Trade Union Confederation,” giving the impression that Sotsuda’s wife had abducted the child because of his violence. Defendants Senda and Komazaki have spread various rumors through the internet giving the impression that parents, who are victims of child abduction, have problems with their personalities. For example, by placing a photo of a man with a knife next to a statement that slanders a father, a victim of child abduction, they created an image in the readers’ minds as if the victims of the child abduction themselves were the perpetrators in the same magnitude as murderers. Their technique is extremely sophisticated.
-Defendant Souta Kimura, who was serving as a member of the panel of the Asahi Newspaper (at that time), introduced an article from a law journal written by defendant Kamata in the Asahi Newspaper as one of "Three articles of the month chosen by the members of the panel." In the introduction he stated that “the article can teach many things, such as the ideal form of visitations after divorce and the negative effects of the "Friendly Parent Rule".” In addition, defendant Chiiko Akaishi, who was a representative of an NPO and was also a panel member of the Asahi Newspaper (at that time), re-quoted defendant Kimura's article on Twitter introducing the article as “important." In other words, she spread fake news that there was violence by Sotsuda.
Regarding defendant Kamata's article, a lawyer in a neutral position wrote in his blog, "The fact that Lawyer Kamata attacks the personality of the plaintiff (Sotsuda) and not his reasoning (the benefit of the friendly parent rule) means by itself that Sotsuda’s argument was irrefutable.” He also said that “Kamata’s article only contains one-sided abusive language, nothing more.” As he stated, her article itself is nothing but a defamation against him. Nevertheless, defendants Kimura and Akaishi freely praise this article. It is natural to think that there is a strong connection among them behind scene.
An example of this connection is the fact that defendant Akaishi together with defendant Komazaki, on behalf of the National Association of Single Mother Support Organizations, submitted a "Request relating to the collection of child support" to the Minister of Justice on January 27, 2018. This request lists the statement such as the "support for the seizure of child support,” "Not linking the seizure of child support with the joint custody system after divorce" etc. This document shows no guilty conscience at all about taking money away from parents who have been deprived of their children and unable to see them. Further, the agent of defendant Akaishi belongs to the law firm of Fujiko Sakakibara, who is the author of a book titled, “How to forcibly seize child support.” The firm specializes in divorces and a former judge, who used to be the deputy chief of the Tokyo Family Court, now works for the firm.
Defendant Komazaki expresses his own view in an article titled, “Joint Custody after Divorce that Infringes the Right of Children” in a journal called The Third Civilization (note: an organ paper of Soka Gakkai), and ends his article with the phrase, “I will try my best together with the Komeito Party.” Komazaki’s article contradicts the recommendation to the Japanese government by the UN Committee on the Right of the Child issued last February, which states “to take all necessary measures to revise the legislation regulating parent-child relations after divorce in order to allow for shared custody of children when it is in the child’s best interests, including to foreign parents, and ensure that the right of the child to maintain personal relations and direct contact with his or her non-resident parent can be exercised on a regular basis.”
Also, defendant Kimura has spread false information about the introduction of the joint custody system in which both parents jointly exercise custody after divorce. For example, in his book he cited a ruling issued by the German Constitutional Court in 1982 and claimed that "the provision of the single custody system after divorce in Japan is reasonable." However, this ruling is a groundbreaking ruling that admitted that the single custody system after divorce stipulated in their civil code was unconstitutional and led to the revision to the joint custody system after divorce. The trick of introducing the ruling to the readers and making a false impression as if it were a ruling in favor of the single custody system is very similar to the trick of defamation against Sotsuda.
-The defendants include former judges Tomiko Asada and Tatsushige Wakabayashi. Defendant Wakabayashi was the judge hearing Sotsuda’s case and wrote a ruling in which he granted child custody to Sotsuda’s wife. After he retired from the bench, he was recruited by the law firm that represented Sotsuda's wife. He has basically parachuted into a law firm from a government office. (Note: Parachuting is the long -held practice of sending retired high-ranking bureaucrats into top management positions of semi-government corporations or private companies. According to many media, defendant Wakabayashi said, “What the Minister of Justice says means nothing to me.” when he was told that the Minister of Justice said, “It is an impermissible thing to grant child custody for the parent who removes the child in accordance with the "principle of continuity."