MOFA Hague Convention pilot project

May 2, 2013

http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/page3e_000018.html

Notice: A Pilot Project towards concluding the Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction

April 30, 2013

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will offer a telephone information service concerning cases of international parental child removal and retention on a trial basis.

The Government of Japan is now making preparations towards concluding the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (hereinafter “Hague Convention”), including the planning of a Central Authority to be established within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for its part, has decided to launch a pilot project designed to offer a telephone information service by a lawyer on the Japanese legal framework for parties to such cases residing in and outside Japan, as it anticipates that the Central Authority, once established, will receive phone calls seeking consultation. The idea is to put the experience gained through this project to good use in facilitating the implementation of the Hague Convention after the launch of the Central Authority.

For parties to a case of international parental child removal and retention who reside outside Japan

This pilot project will provide an information service by a Japanese lawyer on the Japanese legal system for parents whose child has been removed to Japan and who reside outside Japan, and are seeking a solution to the issue but unfamiliar with the Japanese legal framework. This service will be available in English or Japanese via Skype or telephone, free of charge.

1. Who is eligible to use this service?
Parents residing outside Japan whose child has been removed to Japan.
(Only a parent of the removed child can apply.
A grandfather, grandmother or other close relative of the child, as well as friends and acquaintances of the parent, are not eligible.)

2. When is this service available?
9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. (Japan Standard Time), from Monday through Friday (a day of the week), from May 1st, 2013 through March 31st, 2014 (Japanese Standard Time)
Please note that this service might be terminated earlier than the date specified above, depending on the number of applicants and the launch of the Central Authority. Any changes will be posted at this page.

3. How many times and how long may I use this service?
One session only per applicant; up to one hour

4. Do you speak English?
The lawyer speaks English and Japanese.

5. What information can I get from this service?
Information on Japanese family law, family court proceedings and other aspects of the Japanese legal framework. (Please note that in this service the lawyer in charge will not offer professional consultation to solve an individual case.)

6. I’d like to use this service. What should I do?
Step 1: To arrange an information session with a Japanese lawyer in charge, send an email to the address below that includes the following information. The lawyer will report back to you regarding the time and date of the session via email.

pilot.project.eng@gmail.com

Note: The email address below is not hyperlinked. Please type this email address.

Time and date (based on Japan Standard Time) you prefer: Provide three or more options in order of preference in the period described in Section 2 above. Please consider the time difference between your location and Japan.
The lawyer in charge might be unavailable at your requested time, so please give a number of preferred day and time slots.
Example:
i) 1st June, from 9 am (JST)
ii) 5th June, from 11 am (JST)
iii) 10th June, from 3 pm (JST)…
The specific information you want to know
Your contact phone number (including country code) or Skype name
Your country/region (if your country has multiple time zones, please also provide your city name.)
Step 2: The lawyer will call you on the date specified.

Notes:
Charges for the international call to you by the lawyer will be paid by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. However, you will need to pay any incoming call charges incurred on a cellphone roaming service or the like if you use such a service. If you use Skype, you will need to pay the charges for internet access for that purpose.
The lawyer will not give you professional consultation on your specific case. This pilot project is designed to allow you, who reside outside Japan, to gain a deeper understanding as to what scheme currently available in Japan might be of help to you.
The emails to be sent under Section 6 Step 1 above will be only for the purpose of arranging a telephone information session, not for seeking or giving professional consultation on your specific case.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the lawyer will treat the information you give with complete confidentiality.
Foreign Policy Bureau

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