I omitted to post again regarding the consular visit on Hugo back in March.  After it took place, I emailed my point of contact at the Foreign Office.  My email and the reply are reproduced below.  As I feared, there is nothing more that they can do.  Given this, given the fact that the Hague Convention will not have retrospective effect and given that reform of Japan’s custody laws is not anywhere on the horizon, the outlook for left behind parents in pre- Hague Convention cases looks as bleak as ever.


Dear [name removed]

Thank you for your email. I have passed on your thanks to my colleagues in Japan.

I am not sure there is anything else we can do at the moment as the apparent obstacle in your case is one of access to Hugo.  The advice given by Catriona Gorry in her email to you of 23 January still stands and I have repeated that immediately below:

“If you have not already done so you may also find it helpful to speak to Reunite, a UK-based organisation who specialise in international child abduction and custody issues. They have a mediation service that you may wish to ask them about. Reunite can be contacted on 0116 2556 234 and have a website:


I also attach, for info, a link to a list of lawyers in Japan. You may be able to approach the Family Court in Japan for assistance in retaining contact with Hugo in the longer term:

I also attach a copy of our leaflet which explains what we can and cannot do to assist in similar cases.  If you think there is something we can properly do to assist further that we have not yet done, please do let me know.


[name removed]

 | Caseworker Child Abduction Section: Middle East & North Africa | Consular Assistance | E4.4| Foreign & Commonwealth Office| London SW1A 2AH | |Tel: + 44 (0)20 7008 0200 | FTN: 8008 0200 |

If an email reply is overdue please telephone the above number.

Sent: 28 March 2013 16:01
To: * (Restricted)
Subject: RE: Consular Visit Report on Hugo

Dear [name removed]

Thank you for the report about Hugo, photograph and the confirmation of the bank details.  Please thank the officers who conducted the visit on him.  I am very grateful that the visit was undertaken as it brought with it the first real news about Hugo in well over a year.

Given that Hugo is not yet even 4 1/2, is there anything else that the FCO can do, now or potentially in the future, to assist with this situation?


 [name removed]

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