1 April 2014

Today is a bit of a catch-up day with recent news in terms of this blog.

In addition to William Hague’s recent trip to Japan, it has been reported that the Hague Convention will be formally implemented on 1 April next year.  This will at least provide some hope for those caught up in all of this after that date but it has yet to be seen whether or not Japan will in fact cease to be regarded as a “safe haven” for those abducting children, even after 1 April next year.

As a non-Japanese, it is very easy to lose sight of the fact that many Japanese parents, mothers and fathers alike, also experience the abduction of their children within Japan when marriages fail and, of course, the Hague Convention, an international instrument, will do nothing at all to alleviate their plight.  In addition, it is still very unclear how the Japanese authorities and Japan’s rigid judicial branch – both of whom see the concept of dual parenting as an anathema – will implement the Convention even in cases that are covered by it.  Worryingly, it will fall to them, who have failed so consistently miserably to date, to implement on the ground the provisions of the Convention.

How much will really change on 1 April 2014?

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