Press Conference at FCCJ – Children Lost in Japan

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan
Press Conference, Thierry Consigny, Colin Jones & Takao Tanase
15:00-16:00 Monday, July 14, 2008
(The speech and Q & A will be in English)

“Children Lost in Japan”

An intense debate is occurring now in the media in Japan, at the Japanese Federation of Bar Associations (Nichibenren), and within the Japanese political system about adapting Japanese civil law to changes within Japanese society and to fulfilling Japan’s international legal obligations.

The latest government survey shows that over 160,000 parents in Japan cannot meet their children after a separation or divorce, and only in the best of cases are able to meet their children after the children reach adulthood. Foreign parents of dual citizenship children are no exception, with an estimated 10,000 or more such children falling into this situation. Foreign parents face additional obstacles in maintaining access with their children because of inequitable Japanese immigration policies, making it difficult for foreign parents to continue to legally live and work in Japan after a separation or divorce.

Today, 18 Japanese NPO and volunteer associations have tied up with left-behind parent associations from the U.S., UK, Canada, and France to lobby Japanese parliamentarians about changing the law.

We are at a very crucial moment where key LDP and DJP members are acting on these issues, with Japan having declared it will sign the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction as early as 2010, and adapt Japanese law to comply with this treaty beforehand.

The following experts will contribute to a press conference at the FCCJ on July 14:

  • Colin Jones, Attorney at Law (New York Bar), Law Professor of Doshisha University Law School;
  • Takao Tanase, Attorney at Law, registered with JFBA (Japan Federation of Bar Associations,
    Nichibenren), Committee on Family Law Legislation, and Law Professor of Chuo University Law School;
  • Thierry Consigny, elected member of the Assembly for French Overseas Nationals (AFE) for Japan and North Asia.

Note from Thierry Consigny: Attendance is restricted to FCCJ members but hand-outs will be posted on this website.