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Japan to take stance against parents who abduct their children from abroad

05th February 2013

The announcement was made while Mr Kishida was on a formal visit to Washington, USA. During a news conference with US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton Mr Kishida said that the Diet (Japan’s Parliament) intends to ensure an early signing of the treaty so that “early ratification of the convention will be achieved”.

Mrs Clinton expressed hope that the ratification could be achieved when the parliament begins its next session later in January.

Formally known as the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, the agreement stands to help parents whose children have been taken to another country, usually following relationship breakdown and divorce.

In the past, family courts in Japan have been reluctant to grant custody to foreign partners of Japanese nationals, almost never granting access, and legal recourse has often been problematic for foreign parents if a child is taken to Japan when a relationship ends.

A report published recently in The Japan Times states that of 120 US parents who have filed cases in Japan against spouses who will not allow them to see children, or who have abducted them, the legal battles are “invariably to no avail”.

George Ide’s family lawyers in Chichester will follow the progression of the ratification and hopefully the country’s courts will soon offer full and thorough help in such difficult and emotionally stressful cases.

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