Plan to join Hague pact on custody due in May

This is only a piece of the puzzle, but it’s a significant piece. The other pieces of greatest impact are the absence of joint custody rights and inability to enforce mutual custody arrangements even if (gasp) they’re agreed upon. But this is a significant step. Can we have our children home yet please?

The Japan Times


The government will announce in May a plan to join the Hague Convention, which deals with cross-border child custody rows, official sources said Wednesday. The Democratic Party of Japan-led government is expected to instruct the Justice and Foreign ministries to develop the necessary bills, with the aim of approving the plan to join the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction during a regular Diet session next year. Japan has been under international pressure to join the child custody pact, which is designed to help resolve cases in which foreign parents are prevented from seeing their children in Japan after their marriages with Japanese nationals fail. If Tokyo remains out of the pact, it could mar international confidence in Japan, the sources said. Prime Minister Naoto Kan is expected to relay Japan’s policy at a Group of Eight summit in late May in Deauville, France. The Hague Convention sets procedures for resolving child custody cases in failed international marriages. As Japan has yet to join, non-Japanese cannot see their children if their Japanese spouse takes them to Japan from the country where the family has been residing. There has been heated debate over whether to join the treaty, as it is customary for mothers to take sole care of children after divorces and it is not unusual for kids to stop seeing their fathers after their parents break up. Critics have raised concerns over joining the pact, saying it could endanger Japanese parents and kids who have fled abusive relationships.
The Japan Times: Thursday, April 28, 2011

4 thoughts on “Plan to join Hague pact on custody due in May

  1. It’s not unadulterated good news. The wisest response to this story seems to be “I’ll believe it when I see it.” The Government of Japan made the identical promise in 2008, long before Rui was abducted, and we see what happened. So we keep our fingers crossed.
    To have any effect retroactively is an entirely different effort. If it signs this international treaty to protect the rights of children and resolve cases of kidnapping across international borders, the Government of Japan is likely, based on its history, to then take an extremely prolonged time legislating its implementation of the treaty with an eye to gaining the rights it wants to grant to its abductors, and undermining the treaty’s fundamental application. The battle is long; one can’t expect the Japanese to adopt just and fair practices outright after 60 years and tens of thousands of abductions.


  2. It looks like the energy invested by all of you robbed parents is having an effect. any chance of retroactivity?


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