150,000 CHILDREN ARE
KIDNAPPED EVERY YEAR
BY THEIR JAPANESE PARENTS
Despite every effort by the other ‘excluded’ parent to gain access through the Japanese authorities, these children are deprived of access to their excluded parents for many years, sometimes until they reach the age of majority. Through the acts and omissions of its state organs, Japan has committed serious violations of the rights of the child.
The consequences of these violations cannot be overstated. The children, whose ‘best interests’ have been ignored, find themselves exposed to devastating trauma that may cause long-term behavioral problems such as school drop out, hyper-sexuality and self-harm. In Japan there has been a rising number of children committing suicide in the last few years in Japan.
THE HARD TRUTH
IN JAPAN PARENTAL KIDNAPPINGS
ARE NOT CONSIDERED CRIMES
NO CHILD HAS EVER BEEN RETURNED AFTER BEING KIDNAPPED
PARENTS CAN IGNORE COURT RULINGS UNPUNISHED
THE ROLE OF THE JAPANESE AUTHORITIES
Japanese authorities commit a catalog of breaches that fail to respect the most fundamental child right principle – the “best interests of the child”. The Japanese police refuse to record the criminal complaint for abduction by the excluded parent. And the police often threaten the excluded parent with prosecution if he/she even attempts to find his child. Family courts then grant to the abductor parent custody of the child for spurious reasons, such as “not to disturb the child’s balance.” And abductor parents often ignore any visitation rights obtained, however meager, with no consequences.
Criminal acts by the abductor parents are at best ignored, but more often facilitated or encouraged by the Japanese authorities. By favouring the abductor parent notwithstanding the child’s best interests, they violate several provisions of international law aimed at protecting children, including the right “to maintain personal relations and direct contact with both parents on a regular basis” (Article 9 and 35 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by Japan).
Despite several cases of abductions of dual national children from France to Japan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan and Japan Federation Bar Association organized a conference in Paris in May 2018, whereby, the audience “was taught how to prevent having their children returned to France should they take them without consent to live in Japan. More simply put, organizers lay out how to abduct to Japan and get away with it”, in violation of the The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Parental Child Abduction (recording available.)
JAPAN KNOWINGLY VIOLATES THE UN CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILDREN IT RATIFIED IN 1994
JAPAN KNOWINGLY VIOLATES THE HAGUE TREATY ON INTERNATIONAL CHILD ABDUCTION IT RATIFIED IN 2014
JAPAN KNOWINGLY VIOLATES THE UN INTERNATIONAL COVENANT ON CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS IT RATIFIED IN 1974
JAPAN KNOWINGLY VIOLATES THE 1963 VIENNA CONVENTION ON CONSULAR PROTECTION
On 26 June 2019, French President Emmanuel Macron, meeting in Tokyo with several French fathers, stated their situation to be “unacceptable.” The Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, expressed a similar view. Both leaders raised the issue with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. In March 2018, 26 EU Ambassadors issued a joint letter to the Japanese Minister of Justice, calling for the legal system to remedy the situation.
"TO DENY PEOPLE THEIR HUMAN RIGHTS IS TO CHALLENGE THEIR VERY HUMANITY"