Former table tennis star Ai Fukuhara accused of abducting son, Latest Others News - The New Paper

Former table tennis star Ai Fukuhara accused of abducting son

TOKYO – Retired two-time Olympic table tennis medallist Ai Fukuhara has been accused by her ex-husband Chiang Hung-chieh of abducting their son.

The Taiwanese, who is also a table tennis player, made the claims at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan on Thursday, alleging that a Japanese court had ruled on last Thursday that Fukuhara was required to hand over their son.

The pair filed for divorce in July 2021 after five years of marriage, with Fukuhara and Chiang allegedly agreeing to joint custody while in Taiwan. They have two children, a son and a daughter, according to the Associated Press.

Chiang’s Taiwanese lawyer, Hsu Sung-po, said at the press conference that the court had issued a temporary restraining order against Fukuhara.

The Japan Times quoted his Japanese lawyer, Aiko Ohbuchi, as saying: “Such a temporary restraining order is very rare... this is that type of (rare) case. This means Ai Fukuhara must hand over their son immediately... but she has not reached out about this matter.”

Both children had been living with Chiang, 34, until last summer. They then returned to their Japan with their mother, who is also 34.

It was claimed by Chiang’s legal representatives that there had been plans for the son to spend the summer in Japan with Fukuhara, but she has ceased contact with her former partner.

They said she brought him to Japan on Sunday and cut off contact with Chiang a week later.

Said Chiang: “My son and daughter only have one mother, so I would like to maintain relations and further consider the situation. I wish that Ms Fukuhara would please peacefully hand over my child to me.”

Ohbuchi also suggested Fukuhara may take their son overseas, claiming she took him to Singapore this year.

Alleged child abductions cases by Japanese spouses are a longstanding problem. Unlike numerous other nations, Japan does not permit dual custody for kids of divorced parents.

Only one parent can gain custody, while the other may be accorded visitation rights. Some cases have seen the parent with custody blocking contact with their former partner.

On Wednesday, Fukuhara lawyers posted a statement on social media urging her former partner to eschew from disclosing details of their disagreements, with their case in Taiwan still pending.

Fukuhara won a silver in the team event at the 2012 London Olympics, following it up in bronze at the same event at the Rio de Janeiro Games four years later.

She also won silver in the team event at the 2016 World Championships. At her prime, she was a top-10 player in the world rankings.

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