First blog post!

Hello and welcome to my blog, Paper Boundaries. For my first post I am going to introduce you to myself and to the themes that I will be blogging about. In short, when I was 23 I went to Japan looking to broaden my global perspectives and have a bit of an adventure. This certainly happened, however, maybe not in the way I planned it would happen. I was blessed with a beautiful daughter during my time in Japan. However, her mother and I had some differences.

Following our divorce, my ex-wife went back to Japan, agreeing that our daughter and I would stay in touch through video chat, letters and regular travel. My ex-wife broke this promise. Instead, I have spent almost a decade trying to nurture a meaningful relationship with our daughter. Today, we live in a heavily connected world. It surprises me how challenging communication can be when blocked by artificial social, cultural and legal boundaries.  I call these Paper Boundaries.

What is this blog?

Through this blog, I will be sharing my experiences with paper boundaries. However, I want to do this in a way that is as respectful and positive as possible. There are many blogs out there that sink into a dark world of hatred.

I don’t wish to criticise cultures that are foreign to me or people from such cultures. Rather, I wish to share stories and advice about how to keep a clear head. This can be difficult. However, some of my fondest memories with my daughter involve living in Japan and immersing myself within what is now her dominant culture. I honestly have no hope of connecting with her unless I can embrace this fact of life and make the most out of it. Love really does conquer all…

How is this blog different from others?

Many blogs discuss parental child abduction. However, I offer two unique, personal angles.

Firstly, I am keen to look at this matter through the perspective of the best interests of children in these situations. As will become rather obvious, my daughter is the one who this whole situation impacts the most as she is the subject and it is having a great impact upon her formative years. As such, this is not a place for ‘parents rights’ or ‘wo/mens rights’. Rather, one for children’s rights.

Secondly, I am legally trained. This is definitely not a legal blog and I would be fool to think that I have anything more than a basic understanding of how family law operates in either country (this is certainly not my expertise or something that it would be appropriate for me to provide advice in). However, I have a deep respect for the rule of law, and have done a little bit of scholarly reading into the subject matter.

I hope this blog provides a unique perspective because many left behind think ‘the Japanese judges are completely biased against foreigners’. I don’t agree with these perspectives, and I have great respect for the independence of Japan’s judicature. This is not to say that every decision has been to my personal liking as an applicant. But, with only limited energy that we can expend, I hope that I can help people to target their energy towards positive solutions rather than loathing/hating systems.

Why did I create this blog?

So why a blog? I enjoy documenting my experiences, in the hope that she will some day be able to read them. Initially, I thought I might do something a little more academic, as part of my law degree. However while studying, I realised it was too personal for academic pursuit. Subsequently, I thought about writing a book, but every time I sat down to write, the entire book needed updating. A blog allows me to keep up to date. Also, it allows me to produce something that is ‘real’, rather than a finely polished tome.

As time goes by, I’ll be really happy if I can hear stories and opinions from others through this blog. My experience is but one, so I hope that other who are reading can respect that while many stories share similar facts, no two are the same.