The Hague Convention bill has now cleared both Houses of the Japanese parliament. Surprisingly, given all of the fuss and prevarication that there has been in the past, the Bill passed unanimously. There is a BBC news report here and a report here from the Jurist website, both of which set the matter out in greater detail.
The Treaty itself is expected to be ratified by March 2014. As is clear from the articles, it is difficult to see, in the absence of wider reform to Japan’s approach to child custody, what impact this change is going to make – all the more so as the Bill is said to be littered with “exceptions”. The letter of the Convention will become part of Japanese law, once the Bill receives Royal Assent, but whether the spirit of it will remains to be seen.