Japan to announce plan to join int'l custody pact in May
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan plans to announce in May its plan to join an international treaty that deals with cross-border child custody disputes, government sources said Wednesday.
The government is expected to instruct the justice and foreign ministries to develop necessary bills, with the aim of approving the plan to have Japan join the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction during a regular Diet session next year, the sources told Kyodo News.
Japan has been under international pressure to join the child custody treaty, which would help resolve cases in which foreign parents are prevented from seeing their children in Japan after their marriages with Japanese nationals fail.
If Japan remains outside of the treaty, it could damage international confidence in the country, the sources said.
Prime Minister Naoto Kan is expected to relay Japan's policy on the matter at the Group of Eight developed countries' summit in late May in Deauville, France.
The Hague Convention sets procedures for resolving child custody cases in failed international marriages. As Japan has yet to join it, non-Japanese cannot see their children if their Japanese spouses takes them to Japan from the country where the family had been living.
Whether to join the convention has triggered a heated debate in Japan, where it is customary for mothers to take sole care of children after divorce. It is not unusual for children to stop seeing their fathers after their parents break up.
Japan to announce plan to join int'l custody pact in May - The Mainichi Daily News