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Posted by: Maricopa Lawyers on May 30, 2013

Japanese parliament has approved a measure that will bond its territory to the international child custody treaty. The decision was reached following Tokyo failing to address concerns regarding Japanese mothers seizing children from foreign fathers without legal penalties.

Japanese legislators voted unanimously to observe the 1980 Hague Convention on international child abduction. The measure was initially processed by the lower house before moving on to upper house.

Many believed Japan’s ratified laws were long overdue and needed to be more in line with the international child custody treaty standards. Prior to the vote, Japan was classified as the sole remaining Group of Seven nation that had not supported the convention. Presently, the convention hosts 89 signatories.

Before the convention can actually make an important difference, it must follow its originally outlined legislation. Passage of an implementation bill marks the first major step to change in Japanese custody rights.

International custody battles are incredibly complex, requiring specific legal guidelines to reach peaceful resolution. Several countries already observing the convention – the US, Britain and France – have been motioning for Japan to follow suit in the child custody treaty for some time.

Japan’s inability to observe the convention statutes has created many sensitive issues, Japanese mothers often seizing children and denying visitation rights to foreign ex-husbands over the course of many years. Japanese legislators reportedly resisted joining the international convention due to allegations of Japanese women being abused by their foreign husbands.

Japanese and US relations are notably favorable, citing few international disputes. Japanese parliament’s recent decision ensures the historically sound relationship remains intact, addressing a variety of complaints on behalf of the international community.

Japan’s adoption of the Hague pact will allow the Foreign Ministry to create a central authority to resolve petitions placed by foreign parents regarding visitation rights. The newly implemented pact will not alter traditional Japanese family law.