Japan Airlines Sued for Complicity in Parental Kidnapping

April 15, 2011 — This is an interesting case, and was quite entertaining to research. The problem described herein in somewhat endemic. Something needs done about it. The United States is trying the Diplomatic and Political channels, to no avail. Perhaps trying to make the air lines and travel agencies think twice before deliberately turning a blind eye to the plight of American parents will help.

Los Angeles, California: The Meuser Law Group, Inc., filed suit against Japan Airlines International Company, LTD and H.I.S. International Tours (L.A.), Inc. on behalf of Mr. Scott Sawyer and his son Wayne Sawyer. At the culmination of their divorce, Mr. Sawyer’s ex-wife, a Japanese national, violated court orders and kidnapped Wayne, escaping to Japan.

In their suit against Japan Air Lines and H.I.S. International Tours, Mr. Sawyer alleges that these two defendants were part of a civil conspiracy in which they knowingly assisted his ex-wife in violating the International Parental Kidnapping Crimes Act (IPKCA) by helping her escape to Japan with Wayne.

“The issue we have with Japan Air Lines and H.I.S. International,” states their attorney, Mr. Mark P. Meuser, Esq., “is that both these companies willingly assisted Mr. Sawyer’s ex-wife, providing her and Wayne tickets to Japan, all the while deliberately turning blind eyes to the known parental kidnapping problem endemic to Japan and the warning signals surrounding this case.”

“It is my hope through this lawsuit,” Mr. Sawyer states, “to ensure that other children don’t go through what Wayne will go through in his young life. I want to make sure that airlines and travel agencies no longer engage in such hurtful, irresponsible conduct that tears innocent children away from a loving parent and damages them and their families forever.”

According to the Meuser Law Group, an inexpensive solution exists. “Airlines offering travel to Japan, and travel agencies reserving such flights,” Mr. Meuser states, “could prohibit parents from traveling alone with a minor child to Japan in the absence of an affidavit from the non-traveling parent authorizing the trip.”

Japan has not signed the Hague Convention, or any other treaty with the United States, providing for the return of children kidnapped to Japan. Children kidnapped to Japan are rarely, if ever, returned to the United States. According to the United States Department of State, it has opened 230 cases involving 321 children since 1994. Since January 2011, the Office of Children’s Issues has 100 active cases involving 140 children. Japan ranks second in the world in international kidnapping, behind Mexico and ahead of India.

“Japanese airlines and travel agencies have contributed to the international parental kidnapping problem from almost the beginning,” states Patrick Braden, a lobbyist and parent whose ex-wife abducted their child to Japan years ago. “It’s time they are held accountable for the years they have spent deliberately turning blind eyes to this problem.”

This problem has existed for a number of years, even though the State Department, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and other organizations have pressured Japan for decades to change their policies. Despite the endemic nature of the problem, neither Japan nor any Japanese airline has taken affirmative steps to stem the problem.

For more information about this case, please contact:

Meuser Law Group, Inc. Mark P. Meuser mark@meuser-law.com 415.577.2850

For more information about international parental kidnapping relating to Japan, you may visit

United States Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs:


You may also contact

Patrick Braden Global Future




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