TOKYO: Japan’s parliament on Wednesday approved an international treaty on child abductions after decades of pressure from the United States and other Western nations.
Japan is the only member of the Group of Eight major industrialized nations that has not ratified the 1980 Hague Convention, which requires nations to return snatched children to the countries where they usually reside.
Hundreds of parents, mostly men from North America, Europe and elsewhere have been left without any recourse after their estranged partners took their half-Japanese children back to the country.
Unlike Western nations, Japan does not recognize joint custody and courts almost always order that children of divorcees live with their mothers.
US lawmakers have long demanded Japan fall into line on the issue, one of the few open disputes between the close allies.