Concerning the First Meeting of the Round Table on the Modality of the Central Authority for the Implementation of the Hague Convention

July 27, 2011

  1. The First Meeting of the Round Table on the Modality of the Central Authority for the Implementation of the Hague Convention was held today, Wednesday, July 27 from 16:00 to 18:00 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

  2. This Round Table meeting was launched as a forum to gather wide ranging opinions from outside experts and others with the aim of drafting the domestic legislation necessary for Japan to conclude and ensure the implementation of the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (the Hague Convention), based on the understanding of the Meeting of Relevant Ministers. Those who attended today's Round Table meeting were Professor Mitsuo Kobayakawa, Seikei University School of Law, who was chosen to serve as the chair of the Round Table; Professor Masayuki Tanamura, Waseda Law School; Professor Shizuo Fujiwara, Chuo Law School, Ms. Mikiko Otani and Ms. Akiko Sugitani, both of whom are attorneys-at-law and members of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, as well as the officials of relevant Ministries and Agencies (Ministry of Justice, Cabinet Office, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology , and National Police Agency) and others.

  3. Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Ikuo Yamahana delivered the following opening remarks. Since the Cabinet Approval was made this May to proceed with the preparations for concluding the Hague Convention, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has started its work to draft the domestic legislation in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice. As the discussion regarding the judicial proceedings has started in the Legislative Council of the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has decided to launch this Round Table to facilitate transparent discussion on the modality of the Central Authority. It is the Government's intention to proceed in unison with the discussions toward establishing a scheme which would benefit the welfare of children.

  4. At the free discussion session following the above remarks, the participants actively exchanged their views. The issues discussed include the necessary powers and organization for the Central Authority to discharge its duties, research on other countries’ legislation and regimes, methods of discovering the whereabouts of a child and surrounding issues, the relationship with protection of personal information, and the promotion of amicable resolutions.

 An outline of the proceedings of this Round Table and related conference materials are scheduled to be posted on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    • (*This is a provisional translation. The above date denotes the date of the issue of the original press release in Japanese.)

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