Good News - Japan to sign Hague.

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Refer to the following link posted 9 May 08. I have also posted a concern there.

Edited 5/22/2008 9:20:04 AM
Posted By:
Administrator (72 posts)
5/20/2008 11:33:35 AM
re: Good News - Japan to sign Ha...   profile
It is good news and a step in the right direction. It's going to be active from 2010 and I have no idea if it will be retroactive (dealing with claims of abduction prior to the signing) and if it will actually be enforced. But before you deal with those, they need to sign the convention so it's the first step.

I also hope it will prevent future abductions since it will actually be a criminal offence under International Law as recognised by the Japanese government from 2010.

I also hope it won't create an increase in abductions before 2010 (if the law turns out not to be retroactive).

The next step is for the Japanese government to enforce visitation rights for non-custodial parents, and ensure that visitation itself is meaningful and not a humiliating experience behind one-way glass or supervised meeting in a public place. Remember that abduction takes place within Japan too so if they can recognise this also as a crime perhaps visitation will not be seen as "potential abduction" but simply a non-custodial wanting regular and meaningful access to their children.

Right now the divorce "culture" of Japan allows unbelievable crimes to take place with the tacit approval of friends and family of the abductor. If this becomes a crime, then perhaps the shame element will make these people think for once (guilt is not really a motivator in Japan to get people to behave, but shame works).

Let's see what happens because that's all we powerless people (at the moment) can do.

Edited 5/20/2008 11:33:57 AM (3 posts)
5/22/2008 9:12:56 AM
re: Good News - Japan to sign Ha...   profile
A major setback - I received a call from an officer in the International Family Law section of the Attorney-General's Department, Australian Government stemming from my inquiry into what I should be doing now to have my case heard if Japan signs the treaty in 2010. Unfortunately, the news is not good. The issue is two-fold:

First, Australia has to formally acknowledge Japan as a signatory to the treaty. Relevant Australian regulations will need to be amended and systems established to ensure Hague cases are dealt with through the correct channels in Japan. It may be another year or two after 2010 before infrastructure is in place to deal with abduction cases.

While noteworthy, it is the second point that is more poignant. While it may be that the Hague will not be made retroactive, the intent and wording of the convention is such that abducted/detained children will be returned to their habitual place of residence where custody issues will be dealt with. The longer the children remain in Japan, the more likely that Japan will be treated as their habitual place of residence as it will be deemed that the children have adjusted to life there. I've been advised that jurisdictional time limits apply typically one to two years.

This is a major blow for those of us who have already had our children taken without our consent. For what it's worth, my advice to those of you with children and who still have your family intact, if you have any suspicions at all about your Japanse spouse:

1. If you're not resident in Japan, stay vigilant until Japan signs and your nation has processes in place to deal with children abducted to Japan.

2. If you are currently resident in Japan, you may wish to consider moving back to your birth nation or a nation that is a signatory to the Hague, so that that country will, once Japan signs, be treated as your childrens habitual place of residence. Your family will then be afforded the protection of the family laws of that country rather than the domestic laws of Japan which are still likely to be biased towards your Japanese spouse.

Until Japan is signatory to the Hague and your nation is able to accommodate Japan, you as a parent and your children remain completely unprotected.

Edited 5/23/2008 5:04:37 AM
angela123holmes (3 posts)
5/26/2008 1:23:07 AM
re: Good News - Japan to sign Ha...   profile
It is indeed good news,that japan will sign,but why in two years time,it sounds like a stallling tactic to me,how will it help families who have gone before,my beloved granddaughters were stolen in 2004,we are not allowed contact or a photo,nothing,l would advise any young man,if a japanese girl walks his way,then turn tails and go the other way,they look like sweet angels,but inside they are nothing short of evil
robertmedhurst (5 posts)
8/11/2011 1:26:45 PM
re: Good News - Japan to sign Ha...   profile
I finally spoke to my son on his birthday yesterday after 20 years of being ignored. I was actually quite surprised when his mother passed the phone to him.His grandmother died in February so that may be the reason.I never gave up these 20 years since he was abducted.
Robert Medhurst

FRIJ recommends you also visit crn japan, who are fighting international abduction to Japan and working to assure children in Japan of meaningful contact with both parents regardless of marital status