MOFA invites public comment on Japan re the Hague Convention on Child Abductions, until Oct 31


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Hi Blog.  Glad to see the GOJ wants public comment on this (and kindly made this bilingual).  Not so hopeful given the MOFA’s treatment of public input on issues in the past.  Courtesy of many people.  Arudou Debito


Ministry of Foreign Affairs September 30, 2011
Official Japanese below

Invitation of Public Comments Regarding the Modality of the Central Authority for the Implementation of the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (The Hague Convention)

From Friday, September 30, to Monday, October 31, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will invite public comments on the modality of the Central Authority for the implementation of the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (The Hague Convention).

The details will be made available on the electronic government (e-GOV) web portal for public comments (

Based on the Cabinet Approval of Friday, May 20, to move forward with the preparations toward the conclusion of the Hague Convention, the Government of Japan has been taking necessary steps for the aforementioned preparations as well as the drafting of the necessary domestic legislation (The Ministry of Justice is responsible for compiling the whole bill and drafting the aspects related to the procedures for return of children , while the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for drafting the aspects related to the functions of the Central Authority).

The proposal put up for public comments by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs includes issues for further consideration, based on the points approved by the Meeting of Relevant Ministers regarding the Hague Convention as well as the discussions held so far at the meetings of the Round Table on the Modality of the Central Authority for the Implementation of the Hague Convention to date.

(*The foregoing is a provisional translation. The date indicated above denotes the date of issue of the original press release in Japanese.)




外務省 平成23年9月30日
  1. 9月30日(金曜日)から10月31日(月曜日)まで,外務省では,「国際的な子の奪取の民事上の側面に関する条約(仮称)」(ハーグ条約)を実施するための中央当局の在り方について,広く国民等からの意見を公募(パブリックコメントを実施)します。
  2. 内容については,電子政府(e-GOV)の総合窓口(のパブリックコメント欄に掲載されます。
  3. 5月20日(金曜日),我が国がハーグ条約の締結に向けた準備を進めることが閣議了解されたことを受け,現在政府は、右準備とともに、同条約を締結するために必要な国内法の作成を進めています(法務省は、同国内法の法案とりまとめ及び子の返還手続き部分を、外務省は中央当局の任務に関する部分を担当しています)。




5 comments on “MOFA invites public comment on Japan re the Hague Convention on Child Abductions, until Oct 31

  • Maxabillion Slartibartfast says:

    Debito, I read in the JT yesterday that now the GOJ as part of joining the Hague convention is considering:

    (1) asking the child in any custody dispute where he/she would like to live, and

    (2) rejecting any custody claim by NJ parents if the J parent would be subject to arrest (e.g., for having previously abducted the kid to Japan) in the NJ’s home country.

    Both of these provisions would reward abduction, not punish it: Steal a kid, and you can’t be forced to give up custody. Brainwash the kid into hating his NJ parent, or get him/her “used” to Japan so he doesn’t want to go back, and you can’t be forced to give up custody.

    I would very much like to see you expose and tear apart this latest round of BS from the GOJ.

    — Thanks. Send us the JT link?

  • Maxabillion Slartibartfast says:

    Interestingly, the story is not to be found on the JT website (I read it in the Oct. 2 print edition), but here is a similar one from the Mainichi:

    Bill eyes incorporating children’s views in int’l custody battles

    TOKYO (Kyodo) — The Justice Ministry proposed Friday that children’s opinions be reflected when settling cross-border child custody disputes.

    The idea was contained in the ministry’s draft interim proposals for domestic legislation that it is preparing for submission to a regular Diet session next year, before Japan joins an international pact related to the matter known as the Hague Convention.

    Under the ministry’s draft legislation, the handing over of children to a spouse could be refused if there is a possibility that they could be subjected to violence.

    If a year has passed since children were taken away and they have already adapted to their new environment or if children refuse, their hand over to a spouse could be rejected.

    The cases would be examined by family courts behind-closed-doors. Under the proposal, court decisions could be appealed twice in the same way most civil cases are handled.

    The ministry will solicit public comments on the interim draft via the Internet until Oct. 31.

    Opinions are also being solicited regarding the Foreign Ministry’s proposal to set up a government organization to search for children in Japan entangled in cross-border custody disputes.

    Japan decided in May to sign the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. It is the only one of the Group of Eight advanced countries yet to join the convention after Russia acceded to it in July.

    (Mainichi Japan) October 1, 2011

  • Maxabillion Slartibartfast says:

    Note that the Mainichi article says that any kid who was abducted over a year ago will not be returned. So all the J parent has to do is drag things out past the 1-year mark (not hard, methinks), and she’s home free. Disgusting.

  • i knew that these dirty assholes at the GOJ were going to close all the loopholes first before they joined the hague, so now they wont have to bloody enforce the hague over here just like all the other conventions that they never enforce at all.

  • The US Embassy Tokyo chimes in on Japan’s future plans to join the Hague, courtesy TJ. Debito

    From: American Embassy Tokyo (tokyoacs
    Sent: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 7:11 PM
    Subject: Japan Opens Comment Period Regarding Hague Implementation

    The United States Embassy was encouraged by the Government of Japan’s announcement last May of its intention to join the Hague Convention on International Parental Child Abduction. We continue to urge Japan to advance their Hague Convention ratification process as quickly as possible and to implement legislation as close as possible to widely accepted world standards.

    We are pleased to report that the Government of Japan opened a public comment period concerning the implementing legislation to accede to the Hague Convention. General details in English are on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ (MOFA) website at Comments, which must be in Japanese, can be submitted via this portal: The deadline for submissions is October 31, 2011.


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