A post last week gives Mark’s account.
Notice how difficult it is to get justice, when you a deal as a foreigner in Japan? With a foreigner on the other side, the matter quickly becomes “international”, even if the amounts are just in the five or six figures.
This is because of that gray-zone subculture that, I feel, Japan works hard to create when it comes to expats there. It’s clear from the story, that Mark focuses on what avenues were the wrong ones to go down, and particularly on things like misplaced trust. But when the circumstances are that you really have no effective backup (i.e. no legal protections) to wherever you place your trust in Tokyo, it seems more like a secondary explanation.
Taking Mark’s story as true, consider what would happen if the story were different, and the parties understood that a legal remedy would be available whenever any businessman who did what Terrie Lloyd did.
The back and forth is similar to what happens to the Left Behind Parents (Left Behind Fathers) with the pre-Hague spousal child abduction issue. Where there is no solid, enforced law that’s well understood, the person with the situational leverage starts to make things up.