Virus Crisis Affecting Family Court Procedures in Japan

Society

Tokyo, June 14 (Jiji Press)--The novel coronavirus outbreak has been causing delays in Japanese family courts’ work on coordination for meetings between parents and children living apart and divorce mediation.

The virus crisis has forced family courts “to continue scaling back their operations, leading the judicial system to collapse,” said a member of a group formed by people who live separately with their children due to divorce and other reasons.

According to the group’s online survey conducted recently for people in mediation procedures at family courts, 48 pct of respondents said that coordination for setting the next dates in their cases had yet to start while 16 pct said that dates more than a month away had been designated.

Such coordination work has been on hold in many cases at family courts in metropolitan areas, especially in Tokyo, as well as Yokohama, Saitama and Sapporo, the capitals of Kanagawa Prefecture, Saitama Prefecture and Hokkaido, respectively. Tokyo and the three prefectures plus Chiba Prefecture remained subject to the government’s coronavirus state of emergency until late May.

Asked about immediate problems in the survey, with multiple answers allowed, the proportion of respondents who said they had been unable to meet with their children living apart was the highest, at 76 pct, followed by 52 pct who cited difficulties confirming the safety of their children and 34 pct who said they had been unable to contact their partner’s side.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press