Parental child abduction cases: Japan’s new pilot scheme

In any case involving a foreign jurisdiction, it is important to understand the law and procedures followed in that jurisdiction in order to be able to take appropriate steps.

Having been fortunate enough to visit Japan recently, the writer appreciates the difficulties which may well arise in dealing with a legal matter without some knowledge of the Japanese language, let alone its legal system.

A new pilot scheme is being launched in Japan which Reunite, the UK-based charity which deals with international parental child abduction, has reported will serve to assist those involved in the specific case of a parental child abduction where the child is taken to Japan and the other parent resides outside of Japan.

Although the scheme will not provide advice on individual cases, it will advise the child’s parent how to navigate through the Japanese legal system, offering up to an hour of advice, given by a lawyer who speaks both English and Japanese, on Japanese family law, family court proceedings and other aspects of the Japanese legal framework.

Charges for the international call to the parent by the lawyer will be paid by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.

Further details and a contact e-mail address can be found at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan website here:

For further information on child abduction issues and for advice, please contact our Family team at: