Since writing the post yesterday evening, the Japan Times has published a further article on this; it can be read here. It quotes Paul Toland of the organisation Bring Abducted Children Home who says, as I have written about elsewhere on this blog, that Japan’s failure to address existing cases of abducted children does not bode well for how the country is going to implement the Hague Convention. The founder of the Joint Custody Network in Japan is similarly sceptical, believing that the Bill has only been introduced for political reasons arising out international pressure. Another contributor is recorded as stating that the Convention, once enacted, “might deter some would-be abductors.” That is still open to debate but, even if it were to in some cases, there remain real concerns about how and to what extent the Convention will be implemented by the Japanese and what, if anything, is going to be done about those pre-Convention cases that are not covered by it.
One slightly more positive matter of note is that this issue does seem to be reported in the media more frequently now, given the expectation that Japan will sign. In past years, there was perhaps an article every few months – if that.