U.S. Government Welcomes Japan as Hague Abduction Convention Partner

Looking forward to comprehensive implementation of the Convention in Japan

January 27, 2014

The United States welcomes Japan’s formal declaration to the Dutch Foreign Ministry on January 24 that Japan has ratified the Hague Abduction Convention. The Convention will enter into force between the United States and Japan on April 1, 2014.

We applaud the work of all those in Japan who have made the implementation of the Convention possible. Ambassador Kennedy stated, “I commend Japan for taking this final step allowing full domestic implementation of the Hague Convention. This Convention is a very important tool to resolve international parental child abductions. The United States also looks forward to continued progress, with the help of our Japanese counterparts and in the spirit of the Hague Convention, to resolve existing cases of children brought to Japan without the permission of both parents.”

The United States Department of State has no higher priority than to safeguard the welfare of U.S. citizens abroad, the most vulnerable of whom are children. International parental child abduction occurs when one parent wrongfully removes a child from the country of his or her habitual residence to a foreign country, or wrongfully retains a child in a foreign country that is not the child’s habitual residence, without permission of the other parent.

The 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty that provides a legal framework for securing the prompt return of wrongfully removed or retained children, bringing them back to their country of habitual residence where a competent court can make decisions on issues of custody and the child’s best interests. The Convention also secures the effective rights of parental access to a child. On April 1 the United States will welcome Japan as its 73rd partner under the Convention.