The House and The Senate both held hearings on international parental child abduction in April. One of the focal points was the State Department's lack of use of the sanction tools under The Goldman Act.
Below is a condensed video where senators ask about the sanctions during the April 24, 2018 Senate Committee on the Judiciary hearing, "Abducted Abroad: Exploring the Plight of International Parental Child Abduction and its Effect on American Families."
Representatives asked a similar line of questions in the condensed video of the April 11, 2018 House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearing, "No Abducted Child Left Behind: An Update on the Goldman Act."
Ambassador Susan Jacobs, Special Advisor to the Secretary for Children's Issues testifies that Brazil, India and Japan are the worst offenders of International Parental Child Abduction.
Rep. Christopher Smith (NJ-4) to Secretary of State John Kerry, "Japan has been breathtakingly unresponsive especially to abductions that occurred prior to ratification of the Hague (Abduction) Convention."
At her confirmation hearing to be the next U.S. Ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy, gives her commitment to promote and protect the welfare of U.S. citizens in Japan.
During the hearing she is asked by Senator Ben Cardin if she will use her position to help resolve the almost 400 American cases that will not be covered under The Hague Abduction Convention.
Ms. Kennedy states that as a parent she understands the emotional aspects of this issue and that she has already indicated her concerns to Bureau of Consular Affairs in a meeting in advance of the hearing.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY KURT CAMPBELL: “The President also very strongly affirmed the Japanese decision to enter into The Hague Convention — asked that this — on Child Abduction — asked that these steps be taken clearly and that the necessary implementing legislation would be addressed.
He also indicated that while that was an important milestone for Japan, that — he also asked the Japanese prime minister and the government to focus on the preexisting cases, the cases that have come before. The prime minister indicated that very clearly, he knew about the number of cases. He mentioned 123. He said that he would take special care to focus on these particular issues as we — as Japan also works to implement the joining of The Hague Convention, which the United States appreciates greatly.”
From the letter to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton: "Since our letter to you dated March 14, 2011, the situation in Japan has become increasingly worse. It is our understanding that the potentially devastating nuclear radiation exposure crisis is worsening and experts are expressing grave concerns.
We, the legal custodial parents, urge you to provide U.S. assistance in locating and evacuating our helpless children..."
From the letter to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton: "As Japan faces the tragic aftermath of their earthquakes and its increasingly likely and potentially devastating nuclear radiation exposure, our children are at immediate and present danger..."
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifying at a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on U.S. foreign policy priorities on the abduction of U.S. children to and within Japan on March 1, 2011.
By the Ambassadors and Representatives of Australia, Canada, Colombia, the European Union, France, Hungary, Italy, New Zealand, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America
Feb. 9, 2011
We, the Ambassadors of Canada, the European Union, France, Hungary, Italy, New Zealand, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America, the Political Counsellor of the Embassy of Australia, and the Consul of Colombia, called on Japan’s Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs today to express the importance we continue to attach to the issue of international parental abduction, and to once again urge Japan to ratify the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (“the Convention”).
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
January 6, 2011
It is a great pleasure once again to be hosting my colleague and counterpart, Foreign Minister Maehara. Mr. Minister, I am looking forward to the 2+2 meeting with Secretary Gates and your Minister of Defense in the coming months, and I am delighted that we will host Prime Minister Kan on his official visit to the United States this spring.
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Kahala Hotel and Resort
October 27, 2010
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, thank you very much. We just had a very comprehensive, far-ranging discussion on many issues of concern to the United States and Japan, and I want to thank my colleague and counterpart, the foreign minister. It is a pleasure to be back in Hawaii and an even greater pleasure to be hosting the foreign minister here in Honolulu. I appreciate very much his willingness to take the long trip from Japan to be here.
By The Ambassadors Of Australia, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, New Zealand, Spain, The United Kingdom And The United States, And The Head Of The Delegation Of The European Union To Japan
October 22, 2010
We, the Ambassadors to Japan of Australia, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, and the United States, and the Chargé d’affaires a.i. of the Delegation of the European Union to Japan, the Deputy Heads of Mission of Spain, and the United Kingdom, and the Political Counselor of France, called on Japan’s Minister of Justice today to express our concerns over the increase of international parental abduction cases involving Japan that affect our nationals as well as Japanese citizens, and to urge Japan to ratify the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (“the Convention”).
QUESTION: With regard to the child abduction issues, would you expect any good sign from the Japanese government, like the GOJ will get ready to join the Hague Convention?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY CAMPBELL: Yes, I’m hopeful. I have seen a substantial change in recent months in Japanese attitudes about the parental custody and abduction issues, and I’m struck – you know, Japan is a compassionate nation, and the more that my Japanese friends and colleagues are exposed to the truth of these parents who have been separated forcibly from their children, the more that they understand the horrible challenges that this issue produces. And I think we have seen a very consequential diplomatic effort, not just from the United States, but from a very large number of industrialized democracies who have come to Japan and said, “Look, you’re an outlier on this issue. Join the Hague Convention. It will bring you in alignment with the other countries who face these difficult issues.” And I believe a process has begun in Japan.
From the Editor
Konnichiwa. I hope you all enjoyed a nice holiday season with your families. My name is Ray Baca, and I am the Consul General at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. I am happy to be the guest editor for this issue of "American View," which focuses on child abduction and custody issues.
Washington, District of Columbia
U.S. Senator Jim M. Inhofe (R-OK), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs, submitted a written statement for the hearing on US-Japan relations about two subjects of concern: Japan’s hesitation on relocating the U.S. Marine’s Futenma Air Station and the ever increasing abduction of children to Japan.
Ambassadors of Australia, Canada, France, Italy, New Zealand, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States express concerns to Government of Japan calling it a critical issue.
Lantos Human Rights Commission calls on President Obama and Secretary Clinton to meet with left-behind parents and to address the issue of International Child Abductions.
Australia, Canada, France, Italy, New Zealand, Spain, The United Kingdom, and The United States call on Japan to address the abduction crisis.
Remarks by Michele Bond, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Overseas Citizens Services at Symposium on International Child Abduction at the US Embassy Tokyo.
(Released at the Joint Press Conference, U.S. Embassy Tokyo, May 21, 2009)
When one parent abducts a child with the intention of denying the other parent contact with his or her child, it is a tragedy for all concerned. Canada, France, the United Kingdom and the United States are all parties to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (“the Convention”), which was created to protect children from this tragedy.