Every Child

Has Two Parents


After renewed pressure from the international community to join the Hague Convention on international child abduction, a report from a major Japanese newspaper says that at least two years are necessary before Japan would be ready to enter into the agreement.

The Yomiuri Shimbun said in a report on the 18th that although momentum is rapidly growing within Japan to join the Hague Convention on international child abduction, the proper preliminary legal examination by the Ministry of Justice into how such a system matching the treaty’s prerequisites would work in Japan could not likely be concluded until sometime in 2011. After an examination is completed, then the agreement can move on to national legislation.

The report also says the one of the reasons why Japan has been cautious to enter the convention so far is that many of the reported cases of abduction involving Japanese citizens involves instances where a Japanese mother took her child back to Japan because she was trying to protect her child from domestic violence.

Renewed international pressure on Japan began after a recent case where an American citizen, whose Japanese ex-wife illegally took their children to Japan without his permission, was arrested in the country for possible abduction when he tried to forcibly get the children back to the States. The man, Christopher Savoie, was released from Japanese police custody on Thursday, October 15th, without being charged, but after agreeing not to take his children back to the United States “in this manner”, according to a report from CNN.

On Friday, October 16th, US Ambassador to Japan John Roos, along with ambassadors and senior diplomats from Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Italy, New Zealand, and Spain, collectively urged Japan’s Justice Minister Keiko Chiba to sign the agreement, according to a New York Times article.

It is reported that many in Japan are growing in their willingness to join the convention, including Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, but whether it will happen quickly is clearly in doubt.

Japan is the only country in the G7 that has not signed the agreement

The information on this website concerns a matter of public interest, and is provided for educational and informational purposes only in order to raise public awareness of issues concerning left-behind parents. Unless otherwise indicated, the writers and translators of this website are not lawyers nor professional translators, so be sure to confirm anything important with your own lawyer.

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