Hague Abduction Convention Experts’ Meetings in Tokyo Come to a Close

On September 17-18, the U.S. Embassy Tokyo and the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues hosted successful meetings in Tokyo with Japanese officials and other experts regarding the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. The meetings increased mutual understanding of U.S. and Japanese programs and procedures related to parental child abduction and laid a foundation for a strong working relationship under the Convention.

Experts from both countries presented on topics related to implementation of the Convention, including details on mediation, reunification of families, court structures, central authority processing, and the prevention of abduction. The presentations and panel discussions focused on procedures and resources available for the resolution of Hague Abduction Convention cases.

The Hague Abduction Convention entered into force between the United States and Japan on April 1, 2014. The treaty provides a civil legal remedy for the return of children who are wrongfully removed to or retained outside their country of habitual residence in another Convention partner country. The Convention also provides a structure to protect legal rights of access and visitation.

U.S. experts at the meetings included representatives from the U.S. Departments of State, Justice, and Defense, The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the State of California Attorney General’s Office. Also attending were U.S. judges and mediators representing the American Bar Association, officials from the Japanese Central Authority, private attorneys, and social services representatives.