Hi Blog. This story is from the Japan Times – Saturday, March 15, 2008, on a topic of import to Debito.org: child custody after divorce–and Japan’s difficulty with accepting children brought back to Japan without the permission of both parents as abduction. Comment from the submitter follows article. Debito in Matsuyama
Canada, U.S. nudge Japan to join child abduction resolution framework
By TAKAHIRO FUKADA
Canadian and the U.S. government officials and a law expert Friday
urged Japan to join an international legal framework to resolve
cross-border cases of child abduction by parents and others.
As the number of international marriages rises, there will be a
corresponding rise in divorces among multinational couples. The Hague
Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction
states that children removed or retained from a signatory state by a
parent without the other’s permission must be returned promptly to the
original country of residence.
The convention can also help parents exercise visitation rights abroad.
Japan is not among the 80 signatories to the convention. When kids are
abducted to nonsignatory countries, it can take years to make any
progress, and sometimes all efforts are in vain.
Ottawa is dealing with more than 620 unresolved child-abduction and
custody-related cases, Bill Crosbie, the Canadian Foreign Affairs and
International Trade Department’s deputy minister for consular
services, said at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo. Twenty-nine of them,
the highest number in any one country, are in Japan, he said.
The U.S. currently has 40 cases of international child abduction
involving Japan, the third-largest after Mexico and India, said
Kathleen Ruckman, deputy director of the U.S. State Department’s
Children’s Issues Office.
“What the Hague Convention is about to say (is) where the decision has
to be made about the child’s future,” said William Duncan, deputy
secretary general of the Hague Conference on Private International Law.
END OF STORY.
COMMENT: Its interesting how the US government makes the intake requirements
for actual new cases to qualify as an “official” State Dept case of
child abduction to a foreign country in an effort to keep the numbers
low. But thank GOD that many people have met all of those criteria and
maintain the official cases with the Govt…same in Canada . Thanks to
the Govt of Canada for keeping the pressure on Japan!