Lawyer for Christopher Savoie foresees curbs on visits 'home' with kids
By JEREMY D. MORLEY
A key reason that Japan has not signed the treaty is that it believes the convention will help foreigners but will be of no value to Japanese citizens. That claim is not merely reprehensible, but is also entirely false.
The ordeal of my client, Chris Savoie, in losing his beloved children to Japan, has served to shine a strong light on this problem. As an international family lawyer, I have consulted with about 100 non-Japanese parents whose children have been abducted to Japan, but Chris' case is the first to have really caught the attention of the world's media.
Japan's family law system, as it applies to foreign parents seeking access to their own children, seems intended to accomplish nothing except to wear out the petitioning foreign parent and to endorse the status quo in favor of the child-abducting Japanese parent. The "system" does not issue orders in contested cases, perhaps because it has no means of enforcing any of its orders. Indeed, Japan does not even have an efficient child support system within Japan, never mind on an international level.
Japan's hands-off approach to international child custody issues needs to change. It is to be hoped that President Obama discussed these matters very forthrightly with Prime Minister Hatoyama during his recent trip to Japan.
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