Refusal of Child Return Order Under Hague Pact Ruled Illegal in Japan


Tokyo, March 15 (Jiji Press)—Japan's Supreme Court ruled Thursday that it is illegal to refuse an order to return a child under the Hague treaty to settle cross-border custody disputes, unless under exceptional circumstances.

The top court overturned a ruling by Nagoya High Court's Kanazawa branch, which dismissed a petition by a Japanese husband living in the United States requesting that his Japanese wife, a Japanese resident, return their U.S.-born second son living in the Asian country to the United States.

Making a judgment on such a refusal for the first time, the top court sent back the case to the high court.

The Japanese couple used to live in the United States together. As their relationship deteriorated, the wife returned to Japan in 2016 with the son, now 13.

Based on the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, the husband sought the return of the son. But the wife refused a Tokyo Family Court order to hand over the son to the husband.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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