NAHA, Okinawa Pref. – An Okinawa court has ruled that a divorce ruling granted to a U.S. military serviceman by a court in the Dominican Republic in June 1999 is invalid, it was learned Thursday.
The 52-year-old serviceman, stationed in Okinawa, filed the divorce lawsuit through a U.S. agent he found on the Internet. His 53-year-old wife then filed a lawsuit with the Okinawa city branch of the Naha District Court, seeking to have the divorce nullified.
Handing down his ruling, Judge Atsunori Yoshizaki said, “The ruling in the Dominican Republic does not have validity in Japan.”
Yoshizaki said the divorce ruling had been obtained without the fairness of the suit having been established. He cited a lack of evidence that court documents had been delivered to the woman — a mandatory procedure in foreign countries for divorce rulings to be validated.
According to the Okinawa ruling, the woman, from the village of Kitanakagusuku, Okinawa Prefecture, was working at Kadena Air Base, while the man was a flight sergeant in the U.S. Air Force when they married in June 1990. They started living apart in February 1999.
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