Fathers seek advice about visas for divorced dads and scholarships for dual-national kids

The Japan Times

 

How-tos | LIFELINES

Fathers seek advice about visas for divorced dads and scholarships for dual-national kids

by Louise George Kittaka

  • May 1, 2016

 

This week’s column deals with two inquiries from American fathers of bicultural children.

CJ is currently based in the United States, having returned to his home country to take care of an ailing parent after getting divorced from his Japanese wife. His two young children reside in Japan with their mother.

In recent years there has been a lot in the English-language media about international tug-of-love cases concerning bicultural children. However, CJ’s divorce was an amicable one, and his ex-wife supports his desire to come back to live in Japan and stay involved in their children’s lives.

While in theory this would seem beneficial for all involved, it reality it isn’t so easy for a foreign national to remain in Japan once they lose their spouse visa. CJ writes:

I know about the visa called the “family-related visa” and its stipulations. It specifically states that a foreign national who has been divorced and has minor children will be able to obtain an unrestricted visa, allowing the divorced parent to partake in any field of work he or she desires.

I applied for a work visa and was denied, so I am going to file again, only this time for a family-related visa. I simply want to help my ex-wife financially and show my kids that I really care. I want to know why this type of visa appears to be hush-hush. It would save the government money in the long run.

There are four categories of family-related visa:

1) Spouse or child of Japanese national: self-explanatory.

2) Permanent resident: If you are married to a Japanese national, you can apply for permanent residency after three years of marriage. (Single people usually have to have lived in Japan for 10 years to apply.) The obvious advantage of being a permanent resident is that you can stay in Japan even if you get divorced or your partner dies. However, there are certain requirements for eligibility, and being granted permanent residence right away is not a given.

3) Spouse or child of a permanent resident: again, self-explanatory.

4) Long-term resident: Includes refugees, descendants of Japanese nationals, those divorced from Japanese nationals and those caring for their Japanese children. It is this final category that relates to CJ.

Lifelines talked to staff in the visa sections at the Immigration Bureau and the Foreign Ministry. As CJ notes, the long-term resident option seems to be difficult to define. While both the people I spoke to admitted that a divorced foreign father like CJ could apply, neither one could provide specific parameters for the application. It very much seems to be “case by case” and is “a difficult procedure.”

Their advice to CJ was to find another reason to come to Japan first, such as getting a job and obtaining a working visa, and then apply for a long-term resident visa.

“The more documents he has to prove he can support himself in Japan and that the children need his support, the better his chances,” advised one person. “Documents would include proof of funds, proof he is the father of the children and proof that his former wife needs financial support.”

I asked until what age children would be considered dependents. “In principle up to 18, but it depends on the case” was the answer.

In a follow-up email, CJ shared the news that his application for long-term residency had unfortunately been turned down, but he hoped the information might be of use to someone in a similar situation.

Our next query comes from HM, the father of a teenage girl. Last year his daughter applied for a study-abroad scholarship aimed at Japanese high school graduates. The Japan-based organization behind the scholarship, the Grew-Bancroft Foundation, offers young Japanese the chance to study at liberal arts colleges in the United States. HM writes:

My daughter, who has Japanese nationality and a foreign family name, applied for this scholarship last autumn. However, only two business days after her application was received, a rejection letter was mailed out, and the ¥20,000 application fee was kept. Perhaps I’m just a protective parent, but are dual-national Japanese students eligible for the Grew-Bancroft scholarship? If so, has a dual national ever been awarded one?

“Protective parent” or not, those raising bicultural children in Japan will probably understand where HM is coming from. In some municipalities, having a non-Japanese parent disqualifies students from participating in English speech contests, irrespective of the fact that many such children have been wholly educated in the Japanese system and have never lived abroad. And the decision last year to crown Ariana Miyamoto, a biracial woman from Nagasaki, as Miss Universe Japan caused a backlash on social media, where some people questioned if a so-called hāfu could really be said to represent Japan.

In the case of the Grew-Bancroft Foundation’s scholarships, however, this concerned father can rest assured that having dual nationality and/or a foreign name has no bearing on the selection process.

“With regards to this issue, the only requirement for eligibility is Japanese nationality, as stipulated on the website,” says the foundation’s director. “We have had dual nationals among the previous winners.”

The director noted that the scholarships have been growing in popularity recently, with both numbers of applicants and scholarships awarded on the rise.

“Last year we saw a record 76 applications. Although we would very much like to award every applicant a scholarship, we must have some kind of screening criteria. Around one-third of the initial applications were selected to go on to the next stage, and from those we chose the final recipients.”

To date, around 130 Japanese students have benefited from the scholarships. In a joint Japan-U.S. statement released at the time of U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Japan in April 2014, the Grew-Bancroft Foundation was recognized as “one of the nongovernmental programs indispensable for promoting people-to-people connections between the two countries.”

For more information on the scholarships and how to apply, visit the foundation’s home page (in English and Japanese) at www.grew-bancroft.or.jp/english/index.html#mission.

Kiwi Louise George Kittaka has been based in Japan since she was 20. In the ensuing years she has survived PTA duty for three kids in the Japanese education system and singing live on national TV for NHK’s “Nodo Jiman” show, among other things. Send your comments and questions to lifelines@japantimes.co.jp

Source:  Fathers seek advice about visas for divorced dads and scholarships for dual-national kids”, The Japan Times, 1 May 2016

 

(Final) logo for 2020 Tokyo Olympics

The Japan Times

Baseball legend Sadaharu Oh (left) and Logo Selection Committee Chairman Ryohei Miyata announce the official emblems for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games during a ceremony in Tokyo on Monday. | YOSHIAKI MIURA

Checkered pattern by artist Tokolo chosen as logo for 2020 Tokyo Olympics

by

Staff Writer

Apr 25, 2016

Tokyo 2020 Olympics organizers on Monday chose logo A — a stark indigo-and-white checkered circle — as the games’ replacement emblem after the original design was scrapped last year amid claims of plagiarism.

The Tokyo 2020 Logo Selection Committee chose the logo from a shortlist of four following a competition open to any resident of Japan aged over 18. Almost 15,000 entries were submitted.

The winning logo was designed by Asao Tokolo, a 46-year-old artist whose works have featured in several exhibitions and who graduated in architecture from Tokyo Zokei University.

“I was thinking of something like a coloring picture that everyone can add their own color to,” Tokolo said. “White against indigo blue — it’s a very clean-cut expression. The games will also be held during summertime and I wanted to add some coolness into my design.”

The design comprises 45 interconnecting pieces forming a checkered pattern known as ichimatsu moyou. Use of the color indigo is intended “to express a refined elegance and sophistication that exemplifies Japan.”

“The committee found this checkered pattern to be very simple and we can feel the refined sophistication of the Japanese tradition,” said Logo Selection Committee Chairman Ryohei Miyata.

“On the other hand, there were people who said it was understated or it made their eyes flash,” he said. “I very much hope that the emblems will prove popular with people everywhere, and we look forward to your continued support toward the Tokyo 2020 Games.”

The Logo Selection Committee, featuring members drawn from the worlds of sports, design and business, held a vote Monday morning before presenting its recommendation to the Tokyo 2020 executive board for final approval.

Tokolo’s design received 13 votes, while logo B had one, logo C two and logo D five. The winning logo was unanimously approved by the executive board.

“Since Sept. 11, 2001, I started a particular concept,” Tokolo said. “There was a big disconnect in the world because of terrorism so I wanted to connect things. This design is based on a similar philosophy.

“I can’t be an athlete, but this was something I could get involved in. I always dreamed of that as a child.”

Tokolo will be awarded ¥1 million and a ticket to the opening ceremonies of both the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.

The logo competition was launched last October after the original logo by designer Kenjiro Sano was scrapped. The designer of a Belgian theater logo claimed Sano had plagiarized his work.

“During this process we have tried to convey as much information as possible in order to be as transparent as possible,” said Miyata.

He bristled at suggestions that the selection committee had already made up its mind before the 10-day public consultation process began.

“We didn’t start with Plan A in mind,” he said. “That was not the process and we were irritated by this report. We worked with the best sincerity so as not to be subjected to these kind of comments. Everybody spoke their minds and then we went to the voting process.”

The Logo Selection Committee chose a shortlist of four designs and four backups in January before subjecting them to rigorous copyright checks. One of the designs on the original shortlist failed to clear the copyright checks and was subsequently dropped.

The committee also invited members of the public to voice their opinion on the shortlist following its April 8 unveiling.

“This time the big theme was participation,” said Tokyo 2020 Chief Executive Officer Toshiro Muto.

“This logo selection process was the first of its kind. For us it was a challenging project, but I think it could serve as a model for future selection.”

The committee received opinions from 39,712 members of the public online and an additional 1,804 comments written on postcards.

Source:  “Checkered pattern by artist Tokolo chosen as logo for 2020 Tokyo Olympics”, The Japan Times, 25 April 2016

Queen Elizabeth II at 90

Hello Hugo

Our Monarch celebrates her 90th birthday today.  I have ordered for you the commemorative Royal Mint coin immediately below to mark the occasion.  You can pass it and the Mint collection I sent you before to your children/grandchildren one day.  It has yet to be delivered but I will send it to you for Children’s Day in Japan at the beginning of May along with some other items I have got for you.

Below is an article from 2 days’ ago featuring a photograph from every year of the Queen’s life.  It is a reminder of her long years of public service; one day I hope that I will be able to see photographs of the years of your life that I have missed out on as you must look very different now to the little boy who left London almost 5 years ago now.

Hope you’re having a good day.

 

BBC

In pictures: Queen Elizabeth II at 90 in 90 images

On 21 April the Queen celebrates her 90th birthday and to mark the event we present an image from the archives of the Press Association from every year of her life.

1926

The Queen Mother (then the Duchess of York) with her husband, King George VI (then the Duke of York), and their daughter Princess Elizabeth at her christeningImage copyright PA
Image caption Elizabeth was born on 21 April 1926 in London, the first child of Albert, Duke of York, and his wife, formerly Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon.

1927

Duke and Duchess of York with King George V and Queen Mary and Princess Elizabeth on the balcony of Buckingham PalaceImage copyright PA
Image caption The future Queen was soon introduced to her subjects, who came to see her on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. She is seen here with her parents alongside King George V and Queen Mary.

1928

Princess Elizabeth waving from a carriage as she drives in LondonImage copyright PA
Image caption The well-known royal wave was also in evidence early on.

1929

Princess Elizabeth being pushed in a pram in a parkImage copyright PA
Image caption Princess Elizabeth is seen here being taken out in a park. Her parents kept with the tradition of not taking their children on royal tours.

1930

Princess Elizabeth arriving at Olympia for the Royal TournamentImage copyright PA
Image caption The young princess was pictured here arriving at Olympia for the Royal Tournament.

1931

Princess Elizabeth arriving at the 16th Century Church at Balcombe, Sussex, for the wedding of Lady May Cambridge and Captain Henry Abel SmithImage copyright PA
Image caption In 1931 she attended the wedding of Lady May Cambridge and Capt Henry Abel Smith at Balcombe in Sussex.

1932

Princess Elizabeth walking through the rain on her arrival homeImage copyright PA
Image caption A confident princess strides home in the rain.

1933

Two year old Princess Margaret (seated) with her sister Princess ElizabethImage copyright PA
Image caption Both Elizabeth and her sister, Margaret Rose, who was born in 1930, were educated at home.

1934

The Duchess of York (right) with Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret arriving at Olympia for the International Horse showImage copyright PA
Image caption Elizabeth is back at Olympia for the International Horse Show with her sister and the Duchess of York.

1935

Princess Elizabeth in 1935Image copyright PA
Image caption The young Princess Elizabeth was called Lilibet by her family. Her cousin Margaret Rhodes said she was “a jolly little girl, but fundamentally sensible and well-behaved”.

1936

Princess Elizabeth and Margaret with the Duke and Duchess of York at the Royal Tournament at OlympiaImage copyright PA
Image caption She is pictured here shaking hands on arrival at the Royal Tournament with her family.

1937

Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother) with her eldest daughter Princess Elizabeth on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, after the coronation of King George VIImage copyright PA
Image caption The future Queen is seen with her mother, then Queen Elizabeth, on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, after the Coronation of her father as King George VI.

1938

King George VI, his wife Queen Elizabeth and their two daughters, Princess Elizabeth (right) and Princess MargaretImage copyright PA
Image caption A year before World War Two engulfed Europe, the Royal Family posed for a picture.

1939

Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret launching a model seaplane at the Bekonscot model village in Beaconsfield, BuckinghamshireImage copyright PA
Image caption The royal sisters launch a model seaplane at the Bekonscot model village in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire.

1940

Princess Elizabeth after she broadcast on BBC Radio's Children's Hour from Buckingham PalaceImage copyright PA
Image caption In 1940, Princess Elizabeth, 14, featured in a radio programme called Children’s Hour. She sent her best wishes to the children who had been evacuated from Britain to America, Canada and elsewhere as Britain was suffering the worst of the Blitz during World War Two. This is the earliest recording of the future Queen in the BBC archives.

1941

Princess Elizabeth in the garden of her wartime country residence at WindsorImage copyright PA
Image caption It was suggested that the Royal Family should seek safety abroad, specifically in Canada, but the King and Queen would have none of it. The children were moved to Windsor Castle. “We went for a weekend and stayed five years,” they said.

1942

Princess Elizabeth in her Girl Guide uniformImage copyright PA
Image caption Elizabeth is seen here in her Girl Guide uniform. She became a Guide in 1937, her sister, Princess Margaret enrolled as a Brownie and their mother became the Patron of the Girl Guides. During World War Two, Princess Elizabeth did her part to boost public morale.

1943

Princess Elizabeth is seen behind King George VIImage copyright PA
Image caption Princess Elizabeth visited the military camp at Bulford in Wiltshire with King George VI, who is pictured with Brig Hugh Kindersley.

1944

Princess Elizabeth visiting the National Sea Scouts Exhibition at the London Scottish Headquarters in Buckingham GateImage copyright PA
Image caption Princess Elizabeth visited the National Sea Scouts Exhibition at the London Scottish Headquarters in Buckingham Gate.

1945

Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II) at the wheel of an Army vehicleImage copyright PA
Image caption In the final year of the war, Elizabeth donned a uniform herself, joining the Auxiliary Territorial Service – the ATS. She spent three weeks with a carefully chosen group of other recruits, learning basic motor mechanics and how to drive a lorry.

1946

Princess Elizabeth laying a wreath at the Cenotaph on Remembrance SundayImage copyright PA
Image caption Elizabeth lays a wreath at the Cenotaph in London on Remembrance Sunday.

1947

Princess Elizabeth and Lt Philip Mountbatten at Buckingham Palace after their wedding ceremonyImage copyright PA
Image caption On 20 November 1947 she married her third cousin, Prince Philip of Greece, at Westminster Abbey.

1948

Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II) holding her son Prince Charles after his Christening ceremony in Buckingham PalaceImage copyright PA
Image caption Their first child, Charles, was born in 1948.

1949

Princess Elizabeth opening a holiday centre for young people at Avon Tyrell, HampshireImage copyright PA
Image caption The young couple enjoyed a relatively normal life for a number of years. Here Princess Elizabeth opens a holiday centre for young people at Avon Tyrell, Hampshire.

1950

Princess Elizabeth with her baby daughter, Princess Anne, after the christening at Buckingham PalaceImage copyright PA
Image caption In 1950 Charles’s sister Anne was born.

1951

Princess Anne in the arms of Princess Elizabeth with the Duke of Edinburgh, holding Prince Charles, in the grounds of Clarence House, their London residenceImage copyright PA
Image caption Elizabeth and Philip lived with their children in Clarence House, London, but her father was terminally ill with lung cancer.

1952

Queen Elizabeth II, in a black mourning outfit, waving as she returns to Clarence House in London the day after she became QueenImage copyright PA
Image caption In February 1952, while staying at a game lodge in Kenya, Elizabeth heard of the death of the King. She immediately returned to London as the new Queen.

1953

Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen Mother, and the Duke of Gloucester on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to view the fly past of the Royal Air Force after the CoronationImage copyright PA
Image caption Her Coronation in June 1953 was televised and millions gathered around TV sets, many of them for the first time, to watch as Queen Elizabeth II made her oath.

1954

Prince Charles and Princess Anne with their parents, Queen Elizabeth II and Duke of Edinburgh, on the balcony of Buckingham PalaceImage copyright PA
Image caption Following her Coronation, the new Queen set off on a tour of the Commonwealth and is seen here on her return, once more on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

1955

Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill bowing to Queen Elizabeth II as he welcomes her and the Duke of Edinburgh to 10 Downing Street for dinnerImage copyright PA
Image caption Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill welcomes the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh to 10 Downing Street for dinner.

1956

Queen Elizabeth II walking through Windsor Great Park with Prince Charles to watch the Duke of Edinburgh play poloImage copyright PA
Image caption Elizabeth with her corgi by her side strolls through Windsor Great Park with Prince Charles to watch the Duke of Edinburgh play polo.

1957

Queen Elizabeth II in the Long Library at Sandringham after making the first televised Christmas Day broadcast to the nationImage copyright PA
Image caption She is seen here in the Long Library at Sandringham after making the first televised Christmas Day broadcast to the nation. Elizabeth is holding the copy of Pilgrim’s Progress from which she read a few lines during her message.

1958

During her visit to Rothes Colliery, FifeshireImage copyright PA
Image caption The Queen is seen here during a visit to Rothes Colliery, Fife. It was her first visit to a coal mine and she spent about half an hour underground at the coalface.

1959

Queen Elizabeth II and Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor joined by Sugar, one of the Royal corgisImage copyright PA
Image caption The royal couple are joined by Sugar, one of their corgis, at Windsor.

1960

Queen Elizabeth II holding Prince Andrew during an outing in the grounds at Balmoral, ScotlandImage copyright PA
Image caption Prince Andrew was the first child to be born to a reigning monarch for 103 years.

1961

The Queen and Prince of WalesImage copyright PA
Image caption With the Prince of Wales out riding at Windsor Castle.

1962

Queen Elizabeth II (left) wearing a leopard-skin coat at a Sandown Park race meeting.Image copyright PA
Image caption The leopard-skin coat worn at a Sandown Park race meeting has since been consigned to the wardrobe after conservationists urged her not to wear it – but she has been spotted in other fur coats and hats over the years.

1963

Riding side-saddle, the Queen returns to Buckingham PalaceImage copyright PA
Image caption Riding side-saddle, the Queen returns to Buckingham Palace after attending the Trooping the Colour ceremony on Horse Guards Parade. She has appeared at her annual birthday parade every year of her reign, except for 1955 when a national rail strike cancelled the event. She began riding in a carriage in 1987.

1964

Queen Elizabeth II leaving after the State Opening of ParliamentImage copyright PA
Image caption At home and abroad, the Queen had to maintain political neutrality, but she was making her own mark on the role of monarch.

1965

Queen Elizabeth II, baby Prince Edward, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Charles and the Duke of Edinburgh, in the gardens of Frogmore House, Windsor, BerkshireImage copyright PA
Image caption The Royal Family gather for a picture in the gardens of Frogmore House, Windsor, as they celebrate the Queen’s 39th birthday. Prince Edward was born the previous year and the same pram that carries him here was used to ferry the Queen’s great-granddaughter Princess Charlotte to her christening in July 2015.

1966

England captain Bobby Moore holds the Jules Rimet Trophy, collected from the Queen Elizabeth IIImage copyright PA
Image caption England captain Bobby Moore holds the Jules Rimet Trophy, collected from Queen Elizabeth II, after leading his team to a 4-2 victory over West Germany in the World Cup Final at Wembley.

1967

Queen Elizabeth II at the garden party in the grounds of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, LondonImage copyright PA
Image caption The Queen at the garden party in the grounds of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, to mark the 50th anniversary of women in active service.

1968

The Royal Family in the grounds of Frogmore House, Windsor, Berkshire. Left to right: Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Anne, Prince Edward, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles (behind the Queen) and Prince AndrewImage copyright PA
Image caption Another royal portrait at Frogmore House in Windsor.

1969

Queen Elizabeth II formally invests her son Prince Charles with the Coronet of the Prince of Wales during a ceremony at Caernarfon Castle in CardiffImage copyright PA
Image caption Queen Elizabeth II formally invests her son Prince Charles with the Coronet of the Prince of Wales during a ceremony at Caernarfon Castle. He actually took on the title when he was nine, but the Queen insisted the ceremony should wait until he fully understood its significance.

1970

Queen Elizabeth II with Prime Minister Edward Heath (second right) and American President Richard Nixon and his wife Pat Nixon at Chequers, BuckinghamshireImage copyright PA
Image caption Queen Elizabeth II with Prime Minister Edward Heath (second right) and American President Richard Nixon and his wife Pat Nixon at Chequers, Buckinghamshire. Since the Queen came to the throne, there have been 12 US presidents and she has met every one except Lyndon B Johnson.

1971

Queen Elizabeth II leaving the King Edward VII Hospital for Officers after visiting Princess AnneImage copyright PA
Image caption Elizabeth leaves the King Edward VII Hospital for Officers after visiting Princess Anne, who had undergone an emergency operation.

1972

Queen in her study at Balmoral on the year of her silver wedding anniversary.Image copyright PA
Image caption The Queen in her study at Balmoral in the year of her silver wedding anniversary. Even when she is away from London, in residence at Balmoral or Sandringham, the Queen receives official papers nearly every day and her working day begins at her desk.

1973

With her corgisImage copyright PA
Image caption Sitting with her corgis at Virginia Water to watch competitors, including Prince Philip, in the Marathon of the European Driving Championship, part of the Royal Windsor Horse Show. The Queen has owned more than 30 corgis, with many of them direct descendants from her first one, Susan. Now she has only two – Holly and Willow – but does not plan to get any more.

1974

Queen Elizabeth II smiling as she celebrated her 48th birthday at Windsor CastleImage copyright PA
Image caption Elizabeth celebrates her 48th birthday at Windsor Castle.

1975

The Queen is seen beside an oak sapling which she planted in the garden of the government guesthouse in TokyoImage copyright PA
Image caption The Queen is seen beside an oak sapling which she planted in the garden of the government guesthouse in Tokyo, after it had been brought to Japan from Windsor Castle. Tree planting is a staple part of royal duties and the monarch has planted hundreds all over the world during her reign.

1976

Queen Elizabeth II on her 50th birthday with Prince Philip and their youngest son Prince Edward, 12, in the grounds of Windsor CastleImage copyright PA
Image caption On her 50th birthday, she was photographed with her husband and their youngest son Prince Edward, 12, in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

1977

Queen Elizabeth II on a walkabout in Portsmouth during her Silver Jubilee tour of Great BritainImage copyright PA
Image caption The Queen marked 25 years on the throne with a busy UK tour – visiting 36 counties over 10 weeks, as well as travelling 56,000 miles around the world in celebration.

1978

Queen Elizabeth II with a Jersey cow presented to her with at the Country Show at Le Petit Catelet, Saint John, Jersey.Image copyright PA
Image caption Queen Elizabeth II with a Jersey cow presented to her at the Country Show at Le Petit Catelet, Saint John, Jersey. An exotic range of live animals has been given to the Queen as gifts over the years, including a canary from Germany, jaguars and sloths from Brazil, two black beavers from Canada, two young giant turtles from the Seychelles and an elephant called Jumbo from Cameroon. They were placed in the care of London Zoo.

1979

Queen Elizabeth II during a walkabout in Muscat while visiting OmanImage copyright PA
Image caption In 1979 she visited Oman, and is seen here during a walkabout in Muscat.

1980

Queen Elizabeth II with some of her corgisImage copyright PA
Image caption The Queen and some of her corgis walk the cross country course during the second day of the Windsor Horse Trials.

1981

Queen Elizabeth II walking through the crowds at the Royal Ascot race meeting.Image copyright PA
Image caption The monarch usually attends the Royal Ascot race meeting each year and has owned 22 winners.

1982

Taking photographs with her gold Rollei cameraImage copyright PA
Image caption The Queen often gets behind the lens herself to take photos of the Duke of Edinburgh carriage driving and while on tour. Here she is taking photographs with her gold Rollei camera during her visit to the South Sea islands of Tuvalu.

1983

Queen Elizabeth II inspecting the Guard of Honour at Jomo Kenyatta International AirportImage copyright PA
Image caption Elizabeth inspecting the Guard of Honour at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Kenya. The Queen has visited all 53 Commonwealth nations except two recent joiners, Cameroon and Rwanda.

1984

Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince William, Prince Harry and the Prince and Princess of Wales after the christening ceremony of Prince Harry. The Queen has eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.Image copyright PA
Image caption A formal picture of the Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince William, Prince Harry and the Prince and Princess of Wales after the christening ceremony of Prince Harry. The Queen has eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

1985

Queen Elizabeth II taking the salute of the Household Guards regiments during the Trooping of the Colour ceremony in LondonImage copyright PA
Image caption Queen Elizabeth II taking the salute of the Household Guards regiments during the Trooping the Colour ceremony in London.

1986

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh at the Bedaling Pass, on the Great Wall of China, on the third day of their state visit to ChinaImage copyright PA
Image caption Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh at the Bedaling Pass, on the Great Wall of China, on the third day of their state visit to the country. No British monarch had ever travelled to mainland China, let alone walked the Great Wall so the Queen’s trip in October 1986 made history.

1987

The Queen making her traditional Christmas Day address to the nation and the CommonwealthImage copyright PA
Image caption During her Christmas broadcast that year she remembered those affected by the IRA bombing of a Remembrance Day service in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh.

1988

The Duke of Edinburgh helping Queen Elizabeth II to alight from the new £120,000 Australia State Coach, Australia's bicentennial gift, at the Houses of Parliament as they arrive for the State OpeningImage copyright PA
Image caption The Duke of Edinburgh helping Queen Elizabeth II to alight from the new £120,000 Australia State Coach, Australia’s bicentennial gift.

1989

Queen Elizabeth II (centre) with US President Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy at Buckingham Palace in London. The Queen and the former film star shared a love of horses and were once pictured riding together at Windsor.Image copyright PA
Image caption The Queen with US President Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy at Buckingham Palace in London. The Queen and the former film star shared a love of horses and were once pictured riding together at Windsor.

1990

Queen Elizabeth II at Ascot for the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond StakesImage copyright PA
Image caption Queen Elizabeth II at Ascot for the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes.

1991

Queen Elizabeth II gesturing to Ruud Lubbers, Prime Minister of the Netherlands and President of the EC Council of Ministers, to sit on an empty chair after the Duke of Edinburgh was absent, as the leaders of the G7 Summit countries gathered for a pre-dinner photocall in the Music Room at Buckingham Palace, LondonImage copyright PA
Image caption Queen Elizabeth II gesturing to Ruud Lubbers, Prime Minister of the Netherlands and President of the EC Council of Ministers, to sit on an empty chair as the leaders of the G7 Summit countries gathered for a pre-dinner photocall in the Music Room at Buckingham Palace.

1992

Queen Elizabeth II surveying the scene following the fire at Windsor CastleImage copyright PA
Image caption Queen Elizabeth II surveying the scene at Windsor Castle following a fire. She dubbed the year her “annus horribilis” as it also saw the Princess Royal divorce and both the Duke and Duchess of York and the Prince and Princess of Wales separate.

1993

Queen Elizabeth II, with Chief Instructor, firing a standard SA 80 rifleImage copyright PA
Image caption The Queen, with Chief Instructor Lt Col George Harvey, firing a standard SA 80 rifle when she attended the centenary of the Army Rifle Association at Bisley.

1994

Queen walking through the gravestones at Bayeux Cemetery after a D-Day Commemoration serviceImage copyright PA
Image caption The Queen took part in events to mark the 50th anniversary of D-Day. She is seen here at Bayeux Cemetery after a commemoration service.

1995

South Africa's President Nelson Mandela greets Queen Elizabeth IIImage copyright PA
Image caption South Africa’s President Nelson Mandela greets Queen Elizabeth II as she steps from the royal yacht Britannia in Cape Town at the official start of her first visit to the country since 1947.

1996

Queen Elizabeth II laying a wreath at the gates of Dunblane Primary School after one of the deadliest firearms incidents in UK history.Image copyright PA
Image caption Queen Elizabeth II lays a wreath at the gates of Dunblane Primary School after one of the deadliest firearms incidents in UK history. Gunman Thomas Hamilton killed 16 children and one teacher at the school near Stirling on 13 March.

1997

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh viewing the floral tributes to Diana, Princess of Wales, at Buckingham PalaceImage copyright PA
Image caption Following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, in a car accident, the Royal Family grieved in private. However, the public reaction to Diana’s death led to accusations the Queen was unresponsive and out of touch with the public mood. The swell of anger had shocked the Queen and she admitted there were “lessons to be drawn from her life and the extraordinary public reaction to her death”.

1998

Queen Elizabeth II looking though a theodoliteImage copyright PA
Image caption Queen Elizabeth II, Colonel-in-Chief of the Corps of the Royal Engineers, looking through a theodolite during her visit to the 42 Engineer Regiment at Denison Barracks in Hermitage, Berkshire.

1999

The Queen joining Mrs Susan McCarron (front left ) her ten-year-old son, James and Housing Manager Liz McGinniss for tea in their home in the Castlemilk area of GlasgowImage copyright PA
Image caption The Queen joining Mrs Susan McCarron (far left) for tea in her home in the Castlemilk area of Glasgow, as the Royal Family experimented with a more intimate, informal approach to meeting the public. The monarch is a fan of Earl Grey tea with milk, but no sugar.

2000

Queen Elizabeth II (left) and the Queen Mother leaving church by horse-drawn carriage on the Sandringham Estate, NorfolkImage copyright PA
Image caption Queen Elizabeth II and the Queen Mother leaving church by horse-drawn carriage on the Sandringham Estate, Norfolk. The Queen was close to her mother and they shared a passion for everything equestrian and enjoyed talking about the turf.

2001

Queen Elizabeth II in the Queen Vic pub during a visit to Elstree Studios where EastEnders is filmedImage copyright PA
Image caption Queen Elizabeth II in the Queen Vic pub during a visit to Elstree Studios where EastEnders is filmed. She was accompanied by long-standing cast member Barbara Windsor (Peggy Mitchell) and Steve McFadden, who played her character’s son, Phil.

2002

David Beckham and Kirsty Howard hand the Queens Jubilee Baton to Queen Elizabeth II after it's final leg around the city of Manchester stadium, at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games.Image copyright PA
Image caption David Beckham and Kirsty Howard hand the Queen’s Jubilee Baton to Queen Elizabeth II after its final leg around the city of Manchester stadium, at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games. Kirsty was born with a with a back-to-front heart and given just weeks to live at the age of four. She defied the odds and lived until 2015, having raised millions of pounds for Francis House children’s hospice in Manchester.

2003

Queen Elizabeth II, and Berry the corgi, with the England rugby squad, at a reception at Buckingham Palace in London to celebrate winning the Rugby World Cup.Image copyright PA
Image caption Queen Elizabeth II and Berry the corgi with the England rugby squad, at a reception at Buckingham Palace to celebrate winning the Rugby World Cup.

2004

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II peers round a corner during a visit to the Royal Albert Hall in London, marking the end of an eight year restoration programImage copyright PA
Image caption Elizabeth was caught by the camera as she glanced around a corner during a visit to the Royal Albert Hall, which had just undergone an eight-year restoration programme.

2005

The Prince of Wales leaving St George's Chapel in Windsor after marrying Camilla Parker-BowlesImage copyright PA
Image caption The Prince of Wales leaving St George’s Chapel in Windsor after marrying Camilla Parker-Bowles. Queen Elizabeth II attended their religious blessing but was not present at their civil ceremony. The monarch told guests in a speech at the wedding reception that her son was “home and dry with the woman he loves”.

2006

Queen Elizabeth II sitting in the Regency Room at Buckingham Palace in London looking at some of the cards which were sent to her for her 80th birthdayImage copyright PA
Image caption In the Regency Room at Buckingham Palace in London looking at some of the cards sent to her for her 80th birthday.

2007

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh revisiting Broadlands in Hampshire, where they spent their wedding night in November 1947, to mark their diamond wedding anniversaryImage copyright PA
Image caption Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh revisiting Broadlands in Hampshire, where they spent their wedding night in November 1947, to mark their diamond wedding anniversary.

2008

Queen Elizabeth II speaking at a state banquet at Windsor Castle at the start of a two-day state visit by President SarkozyImage copyright PA
Image caption Queen Elizabeth II addresses a banquet at Windsor Castle at the start of a two-day state visit by President Sarkozy of France.

2009

Queen Elizabeth II planting a tree at Newmarket Animal Health Trust during a royal visit which marked her 50th year as the charity's patronImage copyright PA
Image caption Planting a tree at Newmarket Animal Health Trust during a royal visit that marked her 50th year as the charity’s patron.

2010

Queen Elizabeth II talking with Pope Benedict XVI n the Morning Drawing Room at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh during a four-day visit by the Pope to the UK.Image copyright PA
Image caption Queen Elizabeth II talking with Pope Benedict XVI in the Morning Drawing Room at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh during a four-day visit by the Pope to the UK.

2011

The Queen lays a wreath next to the wall of the Armed Forces Memorial where the of more than 15,000 servicemen and women killed on duty since the end of World War Two are inscribedImage copyright PA
Image caption During a visit to the National Memorial Arboretum, Staffordshire, the Queen laid a wreath next to a section of the Armed Forces Memorial where the names of those killed in 2010 are inscribed. The memorial bears the names of more than 15,000 servicemen and women killed on duty since the end of World War Two.

2012

Queen Elizabeth II on stage outside Buckingham Palace in London with Charles, Camilla and a host of pop stars at the Diamond Jubilee concert during celebrations to mark her 60 years as sovereign.Image copyright PA
Image caption On stage outside Buckingham Palace with Charles, Camilla and a host of pop stars at the Diamond Jubilee concert during celebrations to mark her 60 years as sovereign.

2013

Queen Elizabeth II joining The Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, 5th Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland (5 SCOTS) for a group photograph during her visit to Howe Barracks in Canterbury, KentImage copyright PA
Image caption Queen Elizabeth II joining The Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, 5th Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland (5 SCOTS) for a group photograph during her visit to Howe Barracks in Canterbury, Kent.

2014

Actress Angelina Jolie being presented with the Insignia of an Honorary Dame Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George by Queen Elizabeth IIImage copyright PA
Image caption Actress Angelina Jolie being presented with the Insignia of an Honorary Dame Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George by Queen Elizabeth II in the 1844 Room at Buckingham Palace.

2015

Elizabeth aboard a steam train in ScotlandImage copyright PA
Image caption At 17:30 on 9 September 2015, Elizabeth had reigned for 23,226 days, 16 hours and approximately 30 minutes – surpassing the reign of her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria. She spent the day in Scotland, thanking well-wishers at home and overseas for their “touching messages of kindness”. With Prince Philip she travelled by steam train from Edinburgh to Tweedbank, where she formally opened the new £294m Scottish Borders Railway.

2016

Queen Elizabeth II during a visit to the Prince's Trust Centre in Kennington, LondonImage copyright PA
Image caption Ninety years in 90 pictures. Happy birthday, Your Majesty.

All photographs © Press Association

Some of these images appeared before in a picture gallery when the Queen became the longest-reigning monarch in British history.

 

Two years after Japan signed Hague, children have been returned but old issues remain

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Two years after Japan signed Hague, children have been returned but old issues remain

The Japan Times

by

Apr 17, 2016

‘What brand of Champagne did you drink?”

The lawyer delivered the question with a dramatic flourish, and I suppose it was a reasonable question to ask, even if rhetorically. I was being cross-examined as an expert witness in a child custody-related trial in a Western courtroom. One parent wanted to relocate to Japan with the child, the other was objecting.

This was 2015. In a 2008 Japan Times column written about a rumor that Japan was preparing to sign the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, I had declared: “I do not plan to crack open any Champagne until an abducted child is actually returned home.” The rumor proved wildly premature, but Japan ultimately ratified the convention, which, together with a package of baroque implementing laws and regulations, came into effect from April 2014.

The question about my Champagne preferences (Veuve Clicquot, by the way, if anyone is buying) was reasonable as a challenge to my reliability as an expert, yet was arguably irrelevant to the issue at bar: What could the court expect in terms of preserving the relationship between the child and the left-behind parent after the other parent and their child relocated to Japan? Unfortunately, “Not very much” may still be the answer.

But first, credit where it is due: In the two years since Japan signed the convention, more children abducted to or unlawfully retained in Japan have been returned to their home countries than at any time in the past. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan’s “central authority” for convention purposes, has handled almost 200 applications for assistance, and returns have been achieved in both directions (see table).

The Foreign Ministry has put significant effort into implementing the treaty and performing its central authority role. (A ministry representative also kindly responded to my inquiries in connection with this column.) It has sought to deter abductions through awareness programs, as well as foster amicable resolutions to abduction and visitation disputes by supporting mediation programs specifically designed for convention cases. (I am a mediator for one of them.) It also provides financial assistance for the translation of court documents and has set up a special online system (named Mimamori) for supervised cross-border “virtual visitation.”

Amicable resolutions are great, but there is not always much amity left between parents when one of them unilaterally spirits the children away to another country. Sometimes fear of abuse is a factor, but not always. Sometimes it is not; sometimes the taking parent is just trying to erase the other parent from his or her life, which necessitates erasure from the children’s lives as well. Having spent over a decade watching countless cases like these transpire, I believe that intentionally denying a parent — a former spouse, or life partner at that — a loving relationship with his or her child may be the worst thing one human being can do to another, short of physical violence. It is rarely good for the child, either.

The Hague Convention makes this harder by requiring that children taken or retained across borders in violation of custody rights be returned to their home country (where the other parent is typically also resident). Returns are the rule, but there are exceptions. One of these is if the child is living in Japan with the consent of the other parent. Disputes over relocation during or after divorce also being common, a child may also end up living in Japan with one parent through the permission of a foreign court.

When Japan was not a convention signatory, it was a red flag to foreign judges whenever a parent sought leave to take the children to Japan, whether to visit or live. “Just taking the kids back for the summer to see Grandma” and then staying is a pretty common abduction scenario everywhere (with Grandma sometimes playing a role in persuading the parent to stay). In Japan it was almost always a successful strategy — one that would frustrate whatever a judge in the country of origin might have decided about the child custody arrangements. Now, this type of “abduction by retention” should result in a Japanese court issuing a return order.

With Japan having joined the treaty, parents and foreign judges alike may now feel more secure about the idea of a child being brought here to live. Yet if that happens with the consent of the other parent or permission of a foreign court, a return order will then be difficult — if not impossible — to obtain. While judges in American states may be accustomed to retaining jurisdiction over children taken to another state and being able to enforce their rulings on custody, this probably won’t work with a child taken to Japan; if the scenario does not constitute an “abduction,” parents will likely be left to seek relief in Japanese family courts outside the convention framework, and they should lower their expectations accordingly.

Judges still finding their way

First, conversations with lawyers indicate that even in abduction cases that clearly fall under the convention, the Osaka and Tokyo family courts charged with resolving them are still figuring things out. Family court judges are likely accustomed to resolving domestic cases without being constrained by the rules of evidence and procedure that should apply in Hague cases.

At the same time, however, such cases are supposed to be resolved more expeditiously, despite involving complex issues such as the interpretation of foreign law: What do “rights of custody” mean in Country X, for example? (There is an international network of “Hague judges” in which Japanese judges participate, but apparently not to the extent of using it as an informal source of information on foreign law and practice in specific cases.) Similarly, which party has the burden of proving what — a parent’s consent, for example? And what if a parent or foreign court’s permission to relocate to Japan with a child is based on the relocating parent’s promise of cooperation with visitation — a promise that is immediately broken after getting off the plane?

Some of my lawyer interlocutors complain about a lack of procedural clarity. Perhaps this is a matter of time and more cases will resolve these issues.

Mixed messages on visitation

Second, visitation in Japan remains patchy and difficult to enforce. The convention provides for facilitation of cross-border access (aka visitation) but with limited substance. While the Foreign Ministry offers support, it is just that — support, such as contacting the other parent and offering online visitation and mediation. Such support has reportedly resulted in visitation in some cases, and even led to a few instances of children being returned.

If cooperation is not forthcoming, however, the parent seeking visitation is left seeking recourse in family courts, pretty much like everyone else. Here the stories I hear seem have not changed dramatically: parents going for months without seeing their children, mediation sessions where nothing seems to happen, judges who seem unduly solicitous of parents engaging in alienating behavior, and courts making decisions based on expediency rather than the best interests of children.

There are some signs of changes: Courts seem to be awarding visitation more, and I hear more about overnight stays, though recent judicial statistics show them occurring in less than 10 percent of cases. Also, in a December 2014 decision, the Fukuoka Family Court transferred legal custody of a child from mother to father due to the former’s obstruction of visitation. Only last month, the Matsudo branch of the Chiba Family Court ordered a mother to hand over her daughter to the father after years of blocking contact between the two. Japanese family court professionals have long written about the “good parent rule” — giving custody to whichever is more understanding of visitation with the other — as a remedy for such intransigence, but these are the first instances I have seen of it actually being applied.

Yet such developments should be treated with caution. Seemingly revolutionary decisions have to survive appeals and be enforced to be truly meaningful. In the Fukuoka case, only legal custody was transferred, something that can be accomplished simply by filing the judgment with the family registry; it does not automatically equate with the father getting contact, only the mother needing to seek his cooperation to take legal acts like applying for a passport on their child’s behalf.

As for the other case, branch family courts have long been the dumping ground for judges disfavored by the judicial hierarchy, meaning the Chiba case could be an anomaly as much as a harbinger of true change. Even the family courts’ increased acceptance of visitation seems to be tied to growing use of supervised visitation through NPOs staffed by (surprise!) retired family court personnel. In other countries supervised visitation is limited to cases where a parent is abusive or potentially dangerous; in Japan it seems to be becoming the easy-to-award/recommend default solution for when the custodial parent is intransigent.

Visitation thus still seems to be driven by what the custodial parent can be convinced to agree to, rather than what might be meaningful for the child. The Foreign Ministry’s Mimamori online supervised visitation system seems to be an extension of this logic: that any contact is better than none, and might lead to something more meaningful (which is sometimes the case). Understandably, some parents who have done no wrong yet are expected to accept being treated like criminals in order to interact with their own children find this abhorrent.

Lack of enforcement — and details

Third, an order from a Japanese court to return a child, whether across the street or to another country, can often still be frustrated by a parent simply refusing to comply, or getting the child to refuse. This is said to have already been an issue in convention cases, which should not surprise anyone: Before the treaty came into force, the nation’s shikkōkan — the bailiffs who enforce civil judgments — announced that it would likely be impossible to enforce return orders without the child’s cooperation. While the process of implementing the Hague Convention has brought some clarity to the theory and practice of enforcing returns, without sanctions for contempt (which Japanese judges lack in these cases) or other police-like powers to back them up, court orders can end up being meaningless pieces of paper.

Fourth, and finally, after two years and a number of cases, the workings of Japan’s Hague courts remain invisible. No judgments have been published, nor do there appear to be any statistics available on case resolutions. There is no way for outsiders to know how Japanese courts are deciding whether or not to return children.

At least I can drink some Champagne (Moet & Chandon is fine too): Japan did join the convention, and lawyers tell me it is having a real effect in deterring abductions. Yet it shouldn’t be forgotten that the convention’s potential remains limited by the constraints of the Japanese family justice system as a whole. Describing those requires more words than a single column allows, so keep watching this space.

Colin P.A. Jones is a professor at Doshisha Law School in Kyoto. The views expressed are those of the author alone. Law of the Land appears on the second Monday Community Page of the month. Your comments and story ideas: community@japantimes.co.jp

(April 1, 2014, to March 31, 2016) APPLICATIONS FOR HELP WITH RETURNS APPLICATIONS FOR HELP WITH VISITATION
APPLICATIONS TO MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS RELATING TO CHILDREN IN JAPAN (AND THE FOREIGN COUNTRY INVOLVED)
  • U.S.11
  • France4
  • Australia4
  • Germany3
  • Canada2
  • U.K.2
  • Singapore1
  • Italy1
  • Spain1
  • Russia1
  • Switzerland1
  • Belgium1
  • Sri Lanka1
  • Turkey1
  • Fiji1
  • Colombia1
  • South Korea1
  • U.S.39
  • U.K.6
  • France5
  • Australia4
  • Canada4
  • New Zealand3
  • Singapore3
  • Mexico2
  • Germany1
  • Costa Rica1
  • Subtotal37
  • Rejected*8
  • Total45
  • Subtotal68
  • Rejected*7
  • Total75
APPLICATIONS TO MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS RELATING TO CHILDREN IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES
  • Thailand6
  • Russia4
  • Brazil4
  • South Korea3
  • U.S.3
  • Germany2
  • Canada2
  • France1
  • U.K.1
  • Italy1
  • Spain1
  • Switzerland1
  • Slovakia1
  • South Africa1
  • Peru1
  • Romania1
  • Sri Lanka1
  • Belarus1
  • Sweden1
  • U.S.5
  • Russia3
  • Canada3
  • Germany2
  • Ukraine2
  • Thailand2
  • Australia1
  • South Korea1
  • Uruguay1
  • Netherlands1
  • Poland1
  • Hong Kong1
  • Subtotal36
  • Rejected applications*3
  • Total39
  • Total23
Total Applications 84 98**

STATISTICS IN TABLE COURTESY OF MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Notes

* Applications for assistance may be rejected by the Foreign Ministry because they do not satisfy requirements for assistance (e.g., the requesting parent is unable to demonstrate rights of custody or visitation). In some instances, rejections reflect the fact that the taking parent has already returned with the child voluntarily, rendering the application moot.

** The far greater number of requests for visitation assistance for children in Japan in part reflects the fact that Japan allowed applications for assistance with visitation with children in Japan even in cases pre-dating the Hague Convention’s coming into force.

Returns

• The data regarding returns reflects applications to the Foreign Ministry for assistance in achieving the return of a child either in Japan or in a foreign country, which in the first instance involves encouraging the taking parent to return voluntarily or to mediate with the other parent. Accordingly, only some of these cases are ultimately resolved through court.

• According to the ministry, 14 children were returned from Japan, through mediation or other voluntary arrangements, alternative dispute resolution or court orders, and nine children were returned to Japan.

• These figures do not include some voluntary returns in cases where the Foreign Ministry was not formally involved.

• Three returns from Japan and one to Japan reportedly resulted from the visitation assistance process rather than the return process.

 Source:  “Two years after Japan signed Hague, children have been returned but old issues remain”, The Japan Times, 17 April 2016

Oliver (2)

Hello Hugo

I hope you are keeping well in Japan.  My thoughts were even more very much with you – as they always are – over recent days given the terrible earthquakes immediately south of you in Kyushu, even though you were safely clear.

On a much more positive note, below is my sister’s official announcement, sent over the weekend just gone, of your cousin’s birth:

Thought you might like to know Baby Oliver was born 8 April (ONLY 12 DAYS LATE!!)  at weighing 7 pounds with a fine head of hair! After emergency C section it will be a while before  I can run unfortunately but we’re all well and enjoying Spring. Had to stay in hospital for 5 days unfortunately as he had a slight infection but that’s all cleared up. Princess Ann Hospital were brilliant and looked after us well (although I do really hate hospitals!)
Love from Liz, Tim and Baby Oliver x
I spoke to her partner, Tim, last week; he said that she was “out cold” at the time of my call but that otherwise baby and mother were fine.
No photos to share as yet but watch this space.