Japan to finally be compliant with Hague Convention on child abduction in April 2014 – The Japan Daily Press
The Japanese government is set to finally comply with the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction on April 1, 2014. Japan has taken the brunt of criticism from the United States and other European countries of being a “safe haven” for international child abductions. The treaty, currently with 89 signatories, has laid down rules and procedures for the prompt return to the country of habitual residence of children under the age of 16 taken to another country, if requested by the other parent. Japan’s compliance of the treaty will enter into force on the first day of the third calendar month after the instrument of accession is deposited with the Dutch Foreign Ministry.
There was strong criticism of Japan’s legal system before the law, because unlike other industrialized countries, Japan’s system does not recognize the concept of joint custody. This resulted in Japanese courts almost always forcing half-Japanese children to live with their mothers, and male parents who live in North America and Europe are then left without any choice – Japanese mothers usually end up with full custody of their children. When Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the U.S. in February, the premier promised action and progress on Hague Convention compliance after official meetings with U.S. President Barack Obama.
The parents of a 5-year-old boy in Kirkland, King County inWashington State are battling for custody over the boy. Although the King County Superior Court has ordered both parents to seek permission prior to flying out of the country with their son, the mother has defied the court order and is believed to have fled to Japan to have full custody of their son.
“The defendant has ignored the conditions of the parenting plan and simply defied the court’s last order,” Deputy Prosecutor Benjamin Santos stated. In late July, Maximus missed a supposed weekend visitation to Morness. When the Kirkland police went to Kawabata’s residence, as requested by Morness, they found out she already moved out. “It appears the defendant has made arrangements to move all of her belongings to Japan. … There is little reason to believe this move is not permanent.” The prosecutors of King County also believe that she left the country and is unlikely to return as she only bought one-way tickets.
See on japandailypress.com