The First Petty Bench of the Supreme Court had decided as of Feb. 12 to hold a hearing on a case in which a Japanese father living in the U.S. has called for the return of his child (by filing a habeas corpus appeal) from the mother who refuses to return the child even after a Family Court decision to order the child’s return in accordance with the Hague Convention was finalized. The Kanazawa branch of the Nagoya High Court issued a ruling that differed from the judicial decision made based on the treaty and did not approve the return of the child in the first ruling on the habeas corpus appeal. The hearing will be held on March 5.
Both parents are Japanese and they had been living in the U.S. The mother took their younger son (13 years old) to Japan in early 2016. The father filed a suit with the Tokyo Family Court to demand the return of the child. The court’s decision to order the child’s return was finalized in 2016. But the mother refused to return the child when an officer of the court visited her home. The father filed a habeas corpus appeal, but the Kanazawa branch court dismissed the appeal by saying that “the younger son is saying that he wants to continue living in Japan. Returning him to his father would go against his will. The Hague Convention does not apply to rulings on habeas corpus appeal cases.” (Slightly abridged)