UK Child abduction campaigners urge Japan to improve its procedures

Fears that Hague ratification by Japan might prove ineffectual

The Japan Times reports that campaigners in the United Kingdom, including Anne-Marie Hutchinson OBE, have expressed concerns that the current legal framework in Japan will not ensure effective implementation of the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. Japan has said that it will ratify the Convention.

Anne-Marie Hutchinson, a partner at Dawson Cornwell, is quoted:

“It’s excellent Japan is going to sign up because there are lots of cases where children have been taken to Japan, often by their mothers, and the fathers can’t get a return order.”

She said that there needs to be a political willingness in Japan to put in place the necessary legal framework to ensure the treaty can be implemented, otherwise “a false sense of security is created.”

She continued:

“I know from a case I dealt with . . . there are no powers to put out a court alert, (to ports to stop someone from leaving) no powers to take passports off people and no powers to get a case urgently before a judge and unless they put those in place, I don’t think Japan can comply with Hague.”

The article in The Japan Times elaborates on campaigners’ concerns and gives examples of the problems confronted by parents whose children have been abducted to Japan.

Permanent link to this article: