https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/09/01/national/justice-panel-drafts-rules-facilitate-child-custody-exchanges/#.W4ypAi2ZNsM

Justice panel drafts rules to facilitate child custody exchanges

JIJI

SEP 1, 2018

The Justice Ministry’s legislative council subcommittee on Friday drafted rules to facilitate child custody exchanges between divorced parents, including greater power for enforcement officers.

The panel compiled the draft in response to several cases in which custody exchanges did not succeed due to uncooperative parents who lost guardianship rights.

In 2017, handovers took place in only 35 of the 106 cases where such requests were filed, according to the Supreme Court.

Enforcement officers acting on court orders have little recourse when parents stripped of custody rights refuse to cooperate, sources familiar with the matter said.

After the panel’s rules are submitted to the justice minister, the government plans to present a bill to revise the law to the extraordinary Diet session expected to be convened in the fall.

There is no legal provision to force parents who are divorced or separated to handover children. Children are handed back to enforcement officers in the presence of the parent who lost custody but is living with them.

The rules call for giving more power to enforcement officers and allowing handovers to take place only in the presence of parents with custody rights, on condition sufficient consideration is paid to the sentiment of the children.

To help, the panel also called a legal revision to implement the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, which is used to settle cross-border custody disputes arising from breakups of international marriages.

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https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/Parental-child-abduction-places-Japan-on-blacklist

Parental child abduction places Japan on blacklist

Different views on family hamper compliance with Hague convention

The U.S. State department noted in a May report that Japan has no effective means of enforcing the Hague Abduction Convention, which leads to a pattern of noncompliance. (Photo by Wataru Ito) 

TOKYO — Japan is facing criticism over noncompliance with an international treaty that sets rules for cross-border parental child abductions as the government is slow to enforce court orders on its own citizens who have taken their children to escape overseas custody battles.

Japan was among the 12 nations singled out in a U.S. report in May for “demonstrating a pattern of noncompliance” with the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

As criticism grows amid the rise in international marriages, the country is being forced to rethink its traditional family views that assume that children should stay with their mothers.

Japan, which appeared on the list for the first time, is accused of not having effective measures to enforce court orders demanding that abducting parents return children to the countries where they previously resided.

Despite the “measurable progress” Japan has made on international parental child abduction, “in cases where taking parents refused to comply with court return orders, there were no effective means to enforce the order, resulting in a pattern of noncompliance,” the U.S. State Department report says.

Japan is the only Group of Seven country among the 12, which also includes China, India, Brazil and Argentina.

Since the Hague Abduction Convention came into force in 1983, a total of 98 countries have joined the treaty. It is aimed at facilitating the return of children removed from their “habitual residence” in violation of custody agreements.