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.

 

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