Japan to revise child custody rules to enforce handovers
Japan Today -- Feb 20
The cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday approved a bill to revise the enforcement of the civil law to enable the handover of a child to a parent who is awarded custody even if the other parent refuses to abide by a court order to transfer guardianship.

Currently, the law has no clear stipulation on such handovers, leaving court officials to rely on a clause related to asset seizure to enforce child custody orders. The current system has drawn criticism due to the fact it treats children as property.

Japan will similarly revise legislation implementing The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, an international treaty providing a framework allowing the return of a child internationally abducted by a parent.

At present, Japanese legislation requires a parent living with a child to be present in person when the child is handed over to the other parent, the proposed revision will allow a transfer without both parents being there.

The convention, to which Japan acceded in 2014, sets out rules and procedures for the prompt return to the country of habitual residence of children under 16 taken or retained by one parent, if requested by the other parent.

The bill to modify the civil execution law also included revisions to allow Japanese courts to obtain debtors' financial information and bar registered crime syndicate members from acquiring foreclosed real estate properties in public auctions.

News source: Japan Today
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