Japan is working towards strengthening the rights of foreign parents who are in international child-custody disputes. Japan’s government is currently working to ratify the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.
Japan is one of only seven nations who have not joined the convention, which restricts a foreign parent from fleeing to another country with their children. Japan’s Parliament stated that they believe by the end of the year they should be a member of the convention.
Currently, if a Japanese mother leaves with her children to Japan the father does not have any custodial rights to retrieve them, even if he was granted rights by another country. This was the case for Christopher Savoie, an American father, who was arrested in Japan in 2009 after attempting to take his children to an American Consulate. Mr. Savoie was attempting to reunite with his children after his wife disobeyed an American court order and fled the country with their children.
Once Japan signs on the convention it will grant equal parental rights to the parent of non-Japanese decent. However, the bill faces heavy scrutiny from the public. Child custody is primarily always given to the mother in Japan, who also does not acknowledge joint custody. Many fathers in Japan do not see their children once a couple splits.
Jayson Lutzky, P.C. (https://mynewyorkcitylawyer.com/) has been a practicing New York attorney for over 28 years and is experienced in working with his clients in family law issues in achieving the best results. If you have legal questions about a family issue, then please feel free to call us at 1-800-660-LAWYER or 1-800-660-5299 or visit our office for a free initial consultation.