Forever mine

Japan is the only developed G7 country with no joint custody. This means that an estimated 150,000 Japanese children lose access to a parent every year. Since 1991 over 3,000,000 children have been ripped away from a parent within Japan. The country’s Shinken (parental rights system) means that after a divorce one parent not only loses custody but also all parental rights. The non-custodial parent has no say whatsoever in their child’s life. They cannot access their child’s medical or school records. They cannot take part in any decisions relating to the child’s school or health. They become strangers to their children. In case of a custodial parent death, it is a new partner or grandparents who take parental custody of the child. The biological parent ceases to exist to a child. 


In the project, “Forever mine”, left-behind parents share their stories of being involuntarily deprived of their children by their partners. Despite the legal fights, they have no access to their children, they do not know where they live and if they are safe or alive…