asth77 (asth77) wrote in aramatheydidnt,

Parents urge Clinton to press Japan on child custody

Around 40 Japanese and Japan-based foreign parents who are separated from their children due to divorce or marital disputes marched in downtown Tokyo on Sunday to solicit the help of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in pressing Japan to address the issue of child custody.With Japan yet to fix a schedule for ratifying an international treaty to help settle cross-border child custody disputes, the parents shouted "Stop child abduction" and "Sign the Hague" convention in the busy Ginza shopping district. Clinton is visiting Tokyo to attend an international conference on aid for Afghanistan.
Although the government submitted a bill to endorse the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction in March, parliament is yet to begin deliberations on it due to political struggles over a planned increase in the nation's sales tax rate.
The participants also called on Japan to realize joint child custody and joint parenting instead of its sole custody system. Japanese courts tend to award mothers sole custody after divorce and it is not unusual for children to stop seeing their fathers after their parents break up.

Hakushi Inoue, a Japanese father who cannot see his child, blasted Japanese parliamentarians for their lack of interest in the child custody issue, saying, "They are not interested in issues that will not bring them money."

John Gomez, an American father who is separated from his child, said the parents need to urge Clinton to help resolve existing parental child abduction cases because the Hague Convention is not retroactive and only deals with cases occurring after it takes effect in a country.

Representing parents who are denied regular access to their children, Gomez handed an open letter Friday to the U.S. Embassy appealing for Clinton's help.

The parents said in the letter, "We and our families are devastated — emotionally and financially — by the loss of our children and seek your assistance in ensuring that the U.S. government is exercising all available means at its disposal to assist us in highlighting the human rights abuses they are suffering every day that they remain abducted."

Source & Credit : Japan Times

Tags: japanese culture, politics

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