National, Front Page

Japanese mom gets custody of her kids

Published : 29 Jan 2023 10:00 PM

A Dhaka court has passed its order in favour of Japanese woman Nakano Eriko, who has been in a legal battle with her Bangladeshi ex-husband over the guardianship of their two daughters.

The court also allowed Nakano Eriko to leave Bangladesh for her country Japan with her two daughters who have been in Bangladesh for the last two years after their father Imran Sharif brought them here in 2021.

Judge of Dhaka’s Second Additional Assistant Judge and Family Court Durdana Rahman pronounced the verdict on Sunday (January 29), saying that the Japanese mother can take the two children-- Makano Jasmine Malika, 11, and Makano Laila Lina, 10-- to Japan with her if she wants.

Advocate Muhammad Shishir Monir, lawyer of the Japanese woman, confirmed the matter. He said that the court also dismissed the case of Imran Sharif.

According to the lawyer, the court said that it reached the decision, focusing on the well-being of the two children.

Before pronouncement of the judgement, the court dismissed the case filed by Bangladesh-born US citizen Imran Sharif in February last year, seeking the custody of his daughters.

While delivering the judgement, the judge observed that the mother is the only person who looks after her children with care and children are safe under the custody of their mothers. Moreover, Nakano Eriko is a physician who practices in Japan and that is why the children will be safe in their mother’s custody, the judge said.

On the other hand, the plaintiff failed to prove that the children will be safe in his custody. So, the case filed over the custody of the children by Imran Sharif was dismissed, said the judge.

Nakano Eriko married Bangladesh-born US citizen Imran Sharif in 2008 in Japan. They became parents of three children after that. 

In 2020, Nakano Eriko filed a divorce petition with a Japanese court. Imran Sharif later took two of their daughters with him and came to Bangladesh. It was alleged that Imran Sharif picked up his two eldest daughters on their way home from school in Japan and flew with them to Bangladesh three days after Nakano Eriko filed for a divorce in January 2021.

Nakano Eriko came to Bangladesh and filed a petition with the High Court for the custody of the two children.

The High Court on August 31 in 2021 ordered Imran Sharif and the Japanese woman to live at a flat at Gulshan in Dhaka for 15 days with their two daughters. The higher court had also asked the Department of Social Services to look over the matter.

The court finally came up with its order as the estranged couple failed to reach a consensus on where and with whom their two daughters will live, in spite of repeated instructions from the court.

The Supreme Court however, on February 13 in 2022 said that until the disposal of the case by the Dhaka family court, the two children will remain in the custody of their mother, while their father can meet them in the house.

Earlier on December 24 last, Nakano Eriko was stopped at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport while leaving the country with the two daughters. 

In June 2022, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court dismissed three separate petitions including a court of contempt filed by both Japanese citizen Nakano Eriko and Bangladesh-born US citizen Imran Sharif regarding their two children.