Asahi & AFP on GOJ proposals re observing Hague Child Abduction Treaty, more loopholes such as NJ DV, and even bonus racist imagery
Posted by debito on March 12th, 2012
Hi Blog. On what looks to be the end game regarding Japan signing the Hague Treaty on International Child Abductions, here’s a quickie article saying Japan’s probably gonna do it.
Japan moves closer to child custody pact
(AFP) – March 9, 2010, courtesy of this Google link, h/t to TA
TOKYO — Japan’s government on Friday approved a bill to join a pact on settling cross-border child custody rows, opening the way for its adoption after years of foreign pressure.
The cabinet approved the bill that would mean Japan signing the 1980 Hague Convention. It would extend custody rights to non-Japanese parents whose children are moved to Japan by their former spouse.
The bill is now set to be debated in parliament.
Japan is the only major industrial nation that has not signed the treaty and has been pressured in recent years by the United States and other countries to do so.
Japanese courts almost never grant custody to foreign parents, particularly fathers, when international marriages break up. ENDS
Nice how it’s pretty much background information by now that “Japanese courts almost never grant custody to foreign parents, particularly fathers“, which in fact can be grounded in statistics. Now contrast that with the invective that one sees time and again in the Japanese media and GOJ debates, where we have the appearance of victimized Japanese females being harassed by NJ males (including even the threat of domestic violence), when in fact child abduction and parental alienation happens between Japanese too, given that there is no joint custody or guaranteed visitation rights in Japan. Check out this article below from the Asahi last January. Bonus: The newspaper’s pictorially racist portrayal of the non-Distaff Side of the international couple. And that’s before you even get to the unlikely prospect of Japan actually ever enforcing the Hague (see here also), just like it never enforces the UN Convention on Racial Discrimination. The discourse will continue as such. Arudou Debito
Child-custody procedures proposed, but conditions apply
Asahi Shimbun, January 12, 2012
By TSUYOSHI TAMURA / Staff Writer
In an outline of procedures for the Hague Convention on international child-custody disputes, a government panel has proposed allowing court officials to forcibly remove a child from a Japanese parent to return him or her to the country of habitual residence.
In its draft proposal on Jan. 23, a subcommittee of the Legislative Council, an advisory panel to the justice minister, also said the child will not have to be returned if he or she may face violence from the parent back in the other country.
Japan has been under pressure to join the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, which is designed mainly to deal with cross-border “abductions” by parents following broken international marriages.
The government plans to draw up a bill for domestic procedures based on the panel’s proposal and seek Diet approval during the ordinary session that opened on Jan. 24.
The United States and European countries have been pressing Japan to join the Hague Convention. Passage of the bill will pave the way for Japan’s accession.
But it is still unclear whether the bill will pass the Diet because some lawmakers, both in the ruling and opposition parties, are opposed and the government has other priority legislation, such as the consumption tax hike.
The convention stipulates that it is not necessary to return a child if there is a significant risk that the child will suffer damage physically and/or mentally.
The subcommittee proposed that factors, such as the risk that the child will face violence back in the country of habitual residence and a situation in which it is difficult for the parents to take custody of the child, be considered.
Specific cases cited include: the parent demanding custody of the child commits acts of violence against the other parent in front of the child; the parent in a foreign country is addicted to drugs or alcohol; and the Japanese parent who returns with the child may be arrested.
A family court, in Tokyo or Osaka, will be responsible for deciding whether a child will have to be returned. Hearings will be held behind closed doors.
If a Japanese parent refuses the decision to return the child to the country of habitual residence, the court will order him or her to make a monetary payment. If the parent refuses to comply, the court will seize his or her property.
If the parent refuses to hand over the child for two weeks, court execution officers may forcibly remove the child from the parent.
The execution officers will be authorized to persuade parents to obey the court order and search for children. If they encounter resistance from parents, they can ask for support from the police.
These procedures will only cover cases that occur after Japan joins the Hague Convention and will not apply retroactively.
The Justice Ministry estimates that Japan will handle several dozen cases a year.
“I am afraid that children might be returned unconditionally unless detailed standards are established, including consideration of psychological violence,” Michiko Kanazumi, a lawyer familiar with domestic violence cases, said.
Kanazumi also said experts will have to be present when execution officers remove the child from the parent.
“When they suddenly try to remove the child, he or she will cry and resist,” she said.