Human Rights Counseling Offices in Japan

Posted on August 13, 2013. Filed under: Human Rights | Tags: , , , |

Information is in both Japanese and English

なお,人権相談一般に関するお問い合わせは,下記「お問い合わせ先」の各法務局・地方法務局までお願いいたします(受付日時 平日 午前8時30分~午後5時15分)。

局名 相談場所 受付日時 通訳言語 お問い合わせ先
東京 東京法務局内人権相談室
毎週 月
13:30 ~ 16:00
中国語 東京法務局
毎週 火・木
13:30 ~ 16:00
大阪 大阪法務局内人権相談室
毎月 第1,第3水
13:00 ~ 16:00
英語 大阪法務局
毎週 水
13:00 ~ 16:00
神戸 神戸地方法務局内人権相談室
毎月 第2水
13:00 ~ 17:00
英語 神戸地方法務局
毎月 第4水
13:00 ~ 17:00
名古屋 名古屋法務局内人権相談室
毎月 第2火
13:00 ~ 16:00
広島 広島法務局内人権相談室
8:30 ~17:15
福岡 アクロス福岡3階こくさいひろば
毎月 第2土
13:00 ~ 16:00
英語 福岡法務局
高松 アイパル香川(香川国際交流会館)
毎月 第3金
13:00 ~ 15:00
松山 愛媛県国際交流センター
毎月 第4木
13:30 ~ 15:30
英語 松山地方法務局

Human Rights Counseling Offices for Foreigners

Please contact the Offices according to your language in person or by telephone in business hours for counseling to Human Rights Counseling Offices for Foreigners.

Offices Business Hours Language
TOKYO Tokyo Legal Affairs Bureau
1-1-15 Kudanminami Chiyoda-ku
Tel 03 – 5213 – 1372
13:30 ~ 16:00
Tuesday , Thursday
13:30 ~ 16:00
OSAKA Osaka Legal Affairs Bureau
2-1-17 Tani-machi Chuo-ku Osaka-shi
Tel 06 – 6942 – 9496
1st and 3rd Wednesday
13:00 ~ 16:00
13:00 ~ 16:00
KOBE Kobe District Legal Affairs Bureau
1-1 Hatoba-cho Chuo-ku Kobe-shi
Tel 078 – 393 – 0600
2nd Wednesday
13:00 ~ 17:00
4th Wednesday
13:00 ~ 17:00
NAGOYA Nagoya Legal Affairs Bureau
2-2-1 Sannomaru Naka-ku Nagoya-shi
Tel 052 – 952 – 8111
2nd Tuesday
13:00 ~ 16:00
HIROSHIMA Hiroshima Legal Affairs Bureau
6-30 Kamihacchobori Naka-ku Hiroshima-shi
Tel 082 – 228 – 5792
From Monday to Friday
(Excluding public holidays,
the year-end and New Year holidays)
8:30 ~ 17:15
(Reserve in advance)
1-1-1 Tenjin Chuo-ku Fukuoka-shi
Tel 092 – 725 – 9200
2nd Saturday
13:00 ~ 16:00
TAKAMATSU Kagawa International Exchange Center
( I – pal Kagawa )
1-11-63 Ban-cho Takamatsu-shi
Tel 087 – 837 – 5908
3rd Friday
13:00 ~ 15:00
( Reserve in advance)
MATSUYAMA Ehime Prefectural International Center(EPIC)
1-1 Dougoichiman Matsuyama-shi
Tel 089 – 917 – 5678
4th Thursday
13:30 ~ 15:30
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Maligaya House: Citizen’s Network for Japanese-Filipino Children

Posted on February 19, 2013. Filed under: Human Rights | Tags: , , , , , |

Maligaya House GlobeMaligayaHouse

(Citizen’s Network for Japanese-Filipino Children. Inc)

For detailed information about the Maligaya House please click on this link: http://maligaya-house

About Maligaya House

Maligaya House is Tagalog for “Happy House”. The Citizen’s Network for JFC Inc. ran by our Tokyo Office established in 1998 this local office and Maligaya House is dedicated to helping those Japanese-Filipino Children (JFC) whose Japanese fathers abandoned them, find happiness. Maligaya House fights to protect the human rights of the JFC and give support at they grow to adulthood.

Psycho-social Intervention Program (PSI)

Our principal activities: Telephone and at office consultations, new clients will have to attend an orientation, to understand individual cases we will conduct home visits and inquiries, offer legal advice, also we offer counseling for the mother and child, and these services are available to all clients. Furthermore, we can send all of this information to the JFC Network office and through the help of our lawyers (they have volunteered for the purpose of supporting the JFC) we can help locate the father, negotiate for legal recognition and/or child Orientation for the New Clients support and mediate with Japanese man. If the a need arises they are also capable of filing lawsuits in Japanese court. Through this process Maligaya House will act as the representation of the mother and child between the JFC Network and their legal counsel.

Training and Education Program (TEP)

Twice a month we have a Japanese Classroom Workshop where we familiarize the JFC with Japanese language and culture. This activity also doubles as an exercise to develop their identity as a Japanese. We also do arts and crafts, games and sometimes dances to allow the JFC to express themselves and these activities also help empower the JFC with more self-confidence. At these regular gatherings the JFC have the opportunity to meet and make friends with other children in a similar situation.

For the mothers we offer, law and legal proceedings seminars, gender workshops, and seminars on migrant workers. Our aim is to recommend strategies to improve their lives, give emotional support, and give leadership training.

Research & Publications Program (RPP)

We publish a handbook for Filipino women who plan to go to Japan. It began being distributed through the Philippine government in 2004. We also manage a mini library and publish a regular newsletter.

Advocacy & Networking Program

We pressure the Philippine Ministry of Foreign Affairs to cooperate with the negotiations between the Japanese embassy and this Japanese NGO

Maligaya House ( Citizen’s Network for JFC-Philippine Office)

Address: Maligaya House ( Citizen’s Network for Japanese-Filipino Children, Inc. )

18-A Cabezas St., Project 4, Quezon City, Metro Manila, 1109 Philippines

Telephone#: 02-439-1520 and 02-913-8913


Person In Charge: Ms. Naoko Kono

Citizen’s Network for JFC-Tokyo Office (Joint Representation: Atty. Chang Hanyo & Shigeko Yamano)

Address: 206 Hai Home-Nishishinjuku, 4-16-2 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo

Telephone: FAX 050-3328-0143

Home Page

For Paying Membership Fee to Japan: Postal Transfer Account: 00120-2-720290

Account Name: Citizen’s Network for JFC

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State Dept. Testifies at Child Abduction HearingSmith: Negotiate MOU with Japan Concurently with the Hague Convention…

Posted on July 29, 2011. Filed under: Child Abduction, Domestic Violence (DV), Hague Convention, Human Rights, Japanese Family Law | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |


Washington, Jul 28 – The fate of more than 2,400 abducted American children was the emotional topic at a congressional hearing today held by Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-04), chairman of the House congressional panel that oversees international human rights.Top officials of the U.S. State Department explained U.S. administration efforts to return the children to the U.S. A heavy emphasis was placed on Japan, which is not one of the 85 signatory nations of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

It is on behalf of left behind parents –in recognition of the extreme pain they suffer as victims of international child abduction, and in recognition of our own duty as the U.S. government to help bring their children home—that we hold this hearing today,” Smith said. “I believe child abduction is a global human rights abuse—a form of child abuse—that seriously harms children while inflicting excruciating emotional pain and suffering on left-behind parents and families.” Click here to read Chairman Smith’s opening remarks.

Smith, who chairs subcommittee on human rights of the Foreign Affairs Committee, said international child abduction occurs when one parent unlawfully moves a child from his or her country of residence, often for the purpose of denying the other parent rightful access to the child. “Left behind” parents from across the country, including David Goldman of Monmouth County, N.J., who Smith helped win a five-year battle to bring his son home from Brazil in December 2009, Chris Savoie, who was arrested by Japanese law enforcement when he attempted to recover his own children in 2009, and other desperate parents.

Japan is the only G-7 nation to not sign the treaty.  Congress is not aware of any case where a Japanese court has issued and enforced an order to return an abducted child to the U.S. In fact, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, the European Union, Spain, U.K. & France have all pressed Japan to both sign the treaty and act to allow visitation, communication and a framework, or memorandum of understanding (MOU), to resolve current cases.

I and many others urge the Obama Administration to negotiate a memorandum of understanding with the Japanese to ensure that the 123 left behind parents are not left behind a second time—this time by treaty promises that won’t apply to them,” said Smith, who traveled to Japan in February with the family of Rutherford, N.J. resident and Iraqi war veteran Michael Elias to meet with U.S. and Japanese officials. Elias’s two children were abducted with the help of the Japanese Consulate in contravention of U.S. court orders in 2008.

Kurt Campbell, Assistant Secretary of State at the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs in the State Department, testified that the unaddressed issue of international child abduction to Japan remains a serious concern for the Department of State and the United States Government.

While the Convention will only apply to cases that arise after ratification, we continue at all levels to encourage the Government of Japan to implement measures that would resolve existing child-abduction cases and allow parents currently separated from their children to reestablish contact with them and ensure visitation rights,” Campbell said.

We are prepared to use all necessary political and legal means necessary to facilitate contact and access for parents and abducted children,” Campbell said. “Currently the left-behind parents of children abducted to or from Japan have little hope of having their children returned and encounter great difficulties in obtaining access to their children and exercising their parental rights and responsibilities.” Click here to read Campbell’s testimony.

Susan Jacobs, Special Advisor for Children’s Issues in the Bureau of Consular Affairs at the State Department, told Smith and the human rights panel that the State Department welcomed Congressional support as it urges countries such as Korea, India and Japan to join the Hague Convention.

The prevention and prompt resolution of abduction cases are of paramount importance to the United States,” Jacobs said. Click here to read Jacob’s testimony.

Thursday’s  hearing follows the direct, emotional testimony at a May hearing of left-behind parents, who in most cases have never seen their children again after the abduction.

After returning from Brazil with abducted child Sean Goldman and his left behind New Jersey dad, Smith introduced “The International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act of 2011”. The bill, H.R. 1940, would establish an Ambassador-at-Large dedicated to international child abduction, and office within the State Department to aggressively work to resolve abduction cases. The legislation would also prescribe a series of increasingly punitive actions and sanctions the president and State Department may impose on a nation that demonstrates a “pattern of non-cooperation” in resolving child abduction cases.  In September 2010 Smith cosponsored and managed the debate in the House chamber on a similar bipartisan measure, H. Res. 1326, calling on the Government of Japan to resolve the many cases involving American children abducted to Japan. The bill passed 416-1.

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Legislation Urging Immediate Return of U.S. Kids Abducted to Japan Clears 1st Hurdle

Posted on July 25, 2011. Filed under: Child Abduction, Child Custody and Visitation, Human Rights | Tags: , , , , , |


Washington, Jul 21 – The House Foreign Affairs Committee adopted an amendment by U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04) Thursday calling for a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Japan for the immediate return of the approximately 156 U.S. children currently being held in Japan against the wishes of their American parent, and in many cases in violation of valid U.S. court orders.“The amendment passed today makes it clear that the United States must, by way of an MOU with Japan, or any other appropriate means, seek the immediate return of U.S. children abducted to Japan,” said Smith (NJ-04), a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and chairman of its human rights subcommittee.  “Abducted children are at risk of serious emotional and psychological problems.  The U.S. government has a duty to protect these children and fight for their parents who have a right and want to meet their responsibilities of raising their own children.” Click here to view the amendment.

Smith said Japan has become known as a haven for international child abduction. “Tragically, Japan has become a black hole for children whose Japanese parent—or in some cases non-Japanese parent—decided not to abide by the laws of the United States and rather to run to a jurisdiction where they would not have to share custody, or even permit visitation of the child by the child’s other parent. Japan has historically been complicit in these abductions, offering protection without investigation.”

Smith said Japan’s recent announcement that it will finally sign the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is welcomed but pointed out that the Convention, by its own terms, will only apply to future cases.

If and when Japan ratifies the Hague, and I hope they do, such action, unfortunately will not be sufficient to address the existing abduction cases,” said Smith, who led a human rights mission to Japan this past February and met with government leaders as well as American parents blocked from seeing their children in Japan. “A Memorandum of Understanding between the United States and Japan is urgently needed to ensure that families are reunited and left behind parents are not left behind again.”

During the debate on his a amendment, Smith spoke of the current abduction cases involving Japan including the case of New Jersey resident and former Marine Sgt. Michael Elias, whose children Jade and Michael were abducted to Japan by his estranged wife in 2008.  He has not held them since or been allowed any communication with them in over a year.

Additionally, my amendment calls on the Secretary of State to take any and all other appropriate measures to enable left behind parents direct access and communications with their children wrongfully removed to or retained in Japan.  These children must be allowed to have a relationship with their American parent—the arbitrary deprivation they currently suffer is child abuse,” Smith said.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously adopted the amendment demanding an MOU as part of legislation controlling foreign aid.  The bill is expected to move to the House Floor.

In September 2010 Smith cosponsored and managed the debate in the House chamber on a similar bipartisan measure, H. Res. 1326, calling on the Government of Japan to resolve the many cases involving over American children abducted to Japan. The bill passed 416-1.

Smith also has been working to push Congress and the Administration to better address international child abductions in Japan and elsewhere. After returning from Brazil in Dec. 24, 2009 with abducted child Sean Goldman and his left behind New Jersey dad who had been deprived of his son for five years, Smith introduced “The International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act of 2011”, H.R. 1940, and is working for passage of the bill.

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Asia-Pacific Human Rights Information Center (HURIGHTS OSAKA)

Posted on July 14, 2011. Filed under: Human Rights | Tags: , , , , , |



Jinken, the Japanese word for human rights, appeared in the late 19th century. Yukichi Fukuzawa, a famous Japanese intellectual, coined the term at a time when Japan was opening up to European and American ideas and technology. Despite a late 19th century law that banned discrimination against a group of Japanese called Burakumin, the discrimination continued. This led to the formation of a levelers movement, called the National Levelers’ Association (Zenkoku Suiheisha), in the 1920s. The movement adopted the so-called Suiheisha Sengen (Suiheisha Declaration) in 1922, which the movement presently regards as an early Japanese human rights declaration. (See the Human Rights Declarations section in this website for the text of this document). It was the 1946 Constitution of Japan (Nihon Koku Kenpo) that formally adopted human rights, with a provision on “fundamental human rights” in Article 11. The 1946 Constitution also provides for women suffrage and the separation of state powers as a principle of democratic Japanese government.
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Kan demands N Korea reinvestigate abductions by Sept

Posted on June 12, 2011. Filed under: Child Abduction | Tags: , , , , , |

Friday 10th June, 03:05 PM JST      TOKYO         Japan Today

Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Friday reiterated a call for North Korea to reinvestigate the whereabouts of Japanese abductees by September, while instructing his ministers to consider toughening sanctions against Pyongyang if it fails to do so. ‘‘This is a problem that concerns human rights and people’s lives, so I am fully resolved to work on it,’’ he said at a meeting of the government panel on the abduction issue, according to a participant.

North Korea has not launched a reinvestigation even though the Japanese government decided last November on eight-point guidelines to deal with the matter, including the need for such a move and tougher sanctions against Pyongyang. ‘‘I’m very disappointed as we haven’t had tangible progress,’’ Kan was quoted as saying at the meeting.

During the meeting, he directed that an environment be prepared for a dialogue with North Korea, for international cooperation to be beefed up, and for intelligence gathering and analysis to be strengthened, according to Kansei Nakano, minister in charge of abduction issues.

The two countries agreed at working-level talks in August 2008 to establish a commission to reinvestigate the whereabouts of those North Korea says were already dead after they were abducted or had never entered the country.

But after Yasuo Fukuda announced his resignation as Japanese prime minister in September that year, North Korea conveyed to Japan that it had postponed establishing the commission.

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