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Assistant Secretary of State Bond says Japan has many issues to address under Hague Convention

  • 2016-02-01 15:00:00
  • , Mainichi
  • Translation

(Mainichi: January 30, 2016 – p. 28)

 

 A U.S. senior official in charge of the Hague Convention, which deals with international parental child abduction as a result of divorce or other circumstances, urged Japan to “expedite the judicial process as much as possible” by pointing out that it has been taking more than a year for court procedures in some cases.

 

 U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Michele Thoren Bond spoke with the Mainichi Shimbun at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo on Jan. 29.

 

 The treaty came into force in Japan in April 2014. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as of the end of last year, 13 cases had been settled in which the abducted children were sent back to their parents in foreign countries and seven cases had been resolved in which children were returned to Japan. These include cases in which a parent had taken a child away without the consent of the other parent prior to the effectuation of the treaty. Though these cases were not technically required to be resolved in accordance with the treaty, they were settled through consultations.

 

 With regard to Japan’s efforts to deal with child abduction cases under the treaty, Bond pointed out: “There are many issues that Japan needs to address, such as how to deal with parents who do not respond to consultations after taking their children away.”

 

 “In some cases, it is taking a long time,” said an official with the ministry’s Hague Convention Division.

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