We are extremely concerned about the direction of the implementing legislation in the Japanese Diet. This is an intentional effort by ruling parties to create loopholes that will all but ensure that no child abducted in the future will be returned to their country of habitual residence. Additionally, Japan has continued to fail to address the current cases or provide aid or assistance in providing information on where children kidnapped from the U.S. and other countries are being held.
Legislation that obligates judges to reject a return request by allowing the kidnapping parent to make allegations unsupported by evidence violates the principal and spirit of The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. It will do little to ensure the return of children kidnapped in the future to their homes. It is an appalling action which will create government supported victimization and the human trafficking of children.
Nearly 400 American children have been kidnapped to Japan from the U.S. since 1994 according to the Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues. Though it has been raised previously, Japan has not entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to specify how and when our children will come home. Without a firm commitment to return to our children, Japan will remain a black hole for child abduction and a government that harbors kidnappers and sanctions International Parental Child Abduction.
Video and testimony transcripts are available here: