Although this is good news, let’s see if Japan actually follows through by not only enforcing the law but punishing those Japanese Nationals that kidnap their children during custody disputes or when joint or sole custody has been awarded to the former-spouse.
Japan’s foreign minister said Friday that the new government would sign a treaty on child abductions, addressing one of the few rifts in relations with its main ally the United States.
Japan has not signed or ratified the 1980 Hague Convention, which requires the return of wrongfully held children to the countries where they usually live, but a previous left-leaning government had said it planned to do so.
“The government of Japan is intending to go through the necessary procedures for early signing of the treaty,” Kishida told a news conference with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Clinton said she hoped that Japan’s parliament would pass legislation on the Hague treaty during its upcoming session.
Japanese courts virtually never grant custody to foreign parents or to fathers, leaving few legal avenues for fathers whose former partners have fled to Japan with their children.
U.S. parents have pursued at least 120 cases in Japan to seek access to half-Japanese children, invariably to no avail. The U.S. Congress has repeatedly pressed Japan to take up the issue.
Japanese critics of the Hague convention have previously argued that the country needs to protect women from potentially abusive foreign men.
You may remember that in 2011, JAL and H.I.S. Travel Agency were sued by an American father after ex-wife left with their son. – See more at: http://www.blacktokyo.com/s=hague&x=0&y=0#sthash.0SJtJRen.C7TBzZmk.dpuf
[Via Japan Today’s repost of Japan Inc.’s Terrie Lloyd’s article]:
“Currently, Japan is known as a haven for disaffected Japanese spouses who, in getting divorced, abscond with their kids back to Japan. Once in Japan, they can dare their foreign spouses to try getting the kids back—something that despite around 13,000 international divorces a year in Japan and more overseas, has NEVER happened.
The reason for this astounding statistic, that of zero repatriations of abducted children from international marriages after the kids have been abducted to Japan, is entirely to do with the attitudes of the Japanese judiciary and their wish to maintain 19th century customs in the face of international pressure. Japan has ratified many parts of the Hague Convention treaties over the years, but in terms of repatriation of kids, they have been claiming for 20 years now to be “studying” the issue. That’s Japan-speak for “we’re not interested in making any changes.” Click here for more on this article.”
– See more at: http://www.blacktokyo.com/2011/04/jal-and-h-i-s-sued-in-parental-kidnapping-case/#sthash.RazuB2r7.dpuf\
Read more of Japan’s intent to sign the Hague Convention on Parental the story here: http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/japan-says-it-will-sign-child-abduction-treaty?utm_campaign=jt_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_source=jt_newsletter_2013-01-19_AM
For additional information on international parental kidnapping relating to Japan, you may visit United States Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs at:
http://travel.state.gov/abduction/country/country_501.html – See more at: http://www.blacktokyo.com/2011/04/jal-and-h-i-s-sued-in-parental-kidnapping-case/#sthash.RazuB2r7.dpuf
Previous BT stories on parental kidnapping and custody issues in Japan can be found here: http://www.blacktokyo.com/?s=hague&x=0&y=0#sthash.0SJtJRen.C7TBzZmk.dpbs