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Japan officially adopted the Hague Convention on child abductions in 2014,

Japan joins the Hague Convention on Child Abduction

Thursday 20th of February 2014

I am very lucky to have you as my lawyer.

Japan has shown its willingness to recognise child abduction as a major issue in private international law and recently became the 91st contracting state to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

The Convention is a multi-lateral treaty developed to create measures to locate and return abducted children from one member nation to another. 

Japan first announced its intentions to begin preparations to ratify the Convention in 2011 and from 1 April 2014 the provisions of the Convention will become operational in Japanese law.

Japan’s approach to family law matters is in stark contrast to those of many Western nations.  Considerations of child custody are largely considered private matters and the Japanese family courts have limited enforcement mechanisms.  As such, Japan has historically been considered a ‘black hole’ in international child abduction matters.  Japan’s ratification of the Convention suggests a significant attitude shift in Japan’s approach to issues of international custody and has been welcomed by the other contracting members of the Convention.

Why is Japan’s ratification important?

Japan’s ratification is important for parents in Australia whose former spouse relocates to Japan without permission or knowledge.  An application for an order to return the child can be made to the Family Court of Australia pursuant to the terms of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

If you wish to discuss an issue of international child abduction with one of our solicitors, please telephone us on 03 9804 0035.

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