Prime Minister Kan’s Blog

Posted on January 27, 2011. Filed under: Hague Convention, Japanese Family Law | Tags: , , , |

I wrote a message to PM Kan today.

“Yes signing the Hague is important but more important is solving the existing cases of parental abduction and denial of access among parents living in Japan and abroad. Millions of children are affected by divorce and about 80% of those divorced children loose all contact with one parent. It is important that both parents have access to their child. The Supreme Court of Japan produced a DVD called, “What Couples with Children Must Think About When They Live Apart”. This DVD states that it is best for both kids to have access to both parents. Kids will grow up and do better in school and life if the have love and attention from both parents. Mr. Kan I hope you can personally work on this issue and make the necessary changes so that all children can have long term and meaningful access to both of their parents whether they are Japanese or foreign.”

Please visit his blog (click on the link below) and write a message today!

PM Kan’s blog

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Japan sets up task force as France adds pressure on parental abduction

Posted on January 27, 2011. Filed under: Child Abduction, Hague Convention | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Wednesday 26th January, 2011

According to the Japan Today, the Japanese government set up a task force Tuesday to examine whether to join an international convention on child custody disputes.

The move came as the French Senate adopted a resolution by an overwhelming majority urging Japan to promptly join the 1980 Hague Convention to help resolve cases in which foreign parents are prevented from seeing their children in Japan following failed marriages with Japanese nationals.

The resolution followed a similar one adopted last September by the U.S. House of Representatives. Japan is being urged to join the convention to help resolve cases in which foreign parents are prevented from seeing their children in Japan after failed marriages with Japanese nationals.

The convention provides a procedure for the prompt return of children to their habitual country of residence when they are wrongfully removed or retained in the case of an international divorce. It also protects parental access rights.

The resolution calls on Japan to amend its legislation, saying Japanese laws do not grant joint custody to divorced parents and often restrict the visitation rights of French parents.

In Tokyo, Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara said Tuesday that the government has been holding discussions on the matter with the ruling Democratic Party of Japan and its coalition partner, the People’s New Party, to formulate the country’s policy.

Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Tetsuro Fukuyama said after the first meeting of the newly launched government task force, comprising senior vice ministers and other top officials concerned, that Tokyo will consider ‘‘from scratch’’ whether to join the Hague Convention.

‘‘At the moment we have no plans to set a date, but we don’t intend to let discussion drag on,’’ Fukuyama said when asked how long the government will need to reach a decision on the matter.

As Japan has yet to join the convention, non-Japanese parents cannot meet their children if Japanese parents take their children to Japan from the country in which the family had been living.

Of the Group of Seven major economies, only Japan has yet to ratify the convention, which currently has 83 parties.

Hundreds of American parents have leveled accusations of kidnapping against their former Japanese spouses.

But some critics in Japan have raised concerns over joining the Hague Convention, saying it could endanger Japanese parents and their children who have fled from abuse by non-Japanese parents.

Last October, the ambassadors of 11 countries and the European Union in Japan met with then Justice Minister Minoru Yanagida and urged the Japanese government to join the convention.

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Suicides in Japan top 30,000 for 13th straight year

Posted on January 13, 2011. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death, Suicide | Tags: , , , , |

It is quite easy to reduce the number of suicides in Japan. Just don’t payout the insurance money if the death is a suicide. If Japan did this the suicide rate would be cut in half. According to Japan Today, the number of people who committed suicide in Japan totaled 31,560 in 2010, topping 30,000 for the 13th straight year, the National Police Agency said in a preliminary report on Friday.
Since assuming power in September 2009, the Democratic Party of Japan-led government has taken steps to help those at risk of suicide.

The government’s anti-suicide campaigns last year appear to have had some effect as the number of people who committed suicide declined in the months immediately following the campaigns, falling 15.9% in April and 13.5% in October from a year earlier.

In November, however, the number of cases rose 10%, partially because of the prolonged economic downturn.

The number of people committing suicide declined for six months in a row in the first half of last year but rose and fell in successive months.

While 2008 and 2009 saw some months in which over 3,000 people committed suicide, the number of cases remained below 3,000 each month last year.

Of those who committed suicide last year, 22,178 were men and 9,382 women, continuing the trend for a higher number of cases among men.

The government set up an emergency strategy team at the Cabinet Office in autumn 2009 in concert with civic groups and doctors working on suicide prevention.

The team worked on measures to be implemented by related ministries and agencies, including expanding public counters where people can get advice about mental health and debt problems, and compiling region-by-region suicide prevention steps based on relevant police statistics.

The government set up a task force involving cabinet ministers last September to carry out the measures.

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