Japan cabinet approves Hague Convention on child abduction

The Japanese government has announced plans to join the Hague Convention on child abduction. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet approved the treaty earlier today.

To date Japan is the only member of the G8 international forum yet to join the treaty.

The 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction allows children who have been abducted by a parent to be returned from one member state to another.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that now the Japanese cabinet has approved the Hague Convention, the government would quickly submit the necessary legislation to parliament:

“It is important for our country to join the Hague Convention that sets international rules on dealing with illegal kidnapping of children, now that the numbers of international marriages and international divorces have increased”.

Prime Minister Abe recently said he was keen to join the convention despite political opposition. Mr Abe also assured President Barack Obama in a visit to the US last month that Japan was close to joining the convention.


Photo by Héctor de Pereda via Flickr under a Creative Commons license

1 comment

Patrick - March 15, 2013 at 7:20pm

This won’t really fix the problem. Japan is refusing to address any of the existing cases, and seems to be unwilling to address their broken family court system – which is the root of the problem. The Family courts condone abduction and use it to determine sole-custody (the only kind which exists in Japan).

Until Japan starts to protect the rights of children – the right to have a relationship with both parents, the right to not be abducted, etc – this issue will not go away.

And, just because Japan joins… doesn’t mean that they will honor it. The are party to the UNCRC, UNCERD, etc., yet do not abide by those treaties. The mere fact that Japan is refusing to address existing cases and reform it’s family court system indicates that this is merely for show. The Government of Japan either doesn’t actually care about the children of the country OR still cannot comprehend that severing a child from a loving parent is harmful.

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