Despite things looking hopeful earlier in the year, it appears that Japan will not now be joining the Hague Convention in regard to Child Abduction in the foreseeable future, much to the disappointment of abduction practitioners worldwide.Japan had traditionally been reluctant to sign up to the Hague Convention, which currently has 88 signatories and which effects co-operation between countries to safeguard the return of Abducted Children, however significant progress has been made over the last 2 years. It was hoped that Japan would adopt the convention during the current parliament; however unfortunately, the session was closed last week after a general election was called. The matter will not now be revisited until the new parliament is convened, and many fear that momentum will have been lost, meaning that any further progress could be significantly delayed or even abandoned altogether.Politicians and members of the judiciary in various countries have spoken in favour of Japan adopting the convention and tried to encourage them to do so and no doubt this most recent development will be a significant disappointment to them as well.Members of the Hague Community will be keeping a careful eye on progress once the new parliament is up and running next year and many practitioners will be awaiting progress reports with interest.
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