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Japan and the Hague Convention

For many years, Japan was one of the hold-out countries that had yet to agree to the Hague Convention, a treaty that assists nations to resolve international child custody and child abduction cases. However, in 2014, Japan acceded to the Hague Convention as it relates to international child abduction.

Following Japan's ratification of the Hague Convention, however, the nation has faced scrutiny about its method of enforcing the treaty. Some say that Japan has not participated adequately to enforce Hague Convention rules in cases that involve Japanese parents bringing their children back to Japan in violation of foreign family law decrees.

Recently, however, an advisory panel proposed increased enforcement measures to the Japanese Justice Ministry. The panel stated that if Japanese parents refuse to give up their children after they are ordered to do so, court officials may take their children away.

The Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction sets out special rules and procedures that apply to children below the age of 16 who are taken from their home countries unlawfully by another parent. However, in Japan, there has existed the procedural difficulty of a legal system that doesn't offer a stipulation on what to do if parents refuse to listen to a court order demanding that they give their children up to an ex-marital partner. Traditionally, these kinds of disputes were resolved under laws that relate to asset seizures.

Are you in the throes of an international child custody dispute? The rules laid out by the Hague Convention may be able to help you get your child back. By speaking with a North Carolina child custody lawyer, you can gain clarity on your legal rights and options.

Source: Japan Today, "Enforcement measures eyed to settle child custody battles," Sep. 11, 2017