The Hague Convention (Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction)
To Those Who Want to Have Visitation with the child （Assistance Provided by the Central Authority of Japan based on the Hague Convention）
1. Introduction about the Visitation Supporting Institutions
The Hague Convention prescribes that the Contracting States should support for providing opportunities for parent-child visitation or contacts based on the idea that improving difficult circumstances of having parent-child contacts across the border and ensuring opportunities for those contacts would lead to the interest of children.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, which assumes the role of the Central Authority of Japan (JCA) under the Hague Convention, would introduce both the relevant parties to visitation supporting institutions and provide financial support to utilize such Institution within certain limitation if they reach an agreement on the matter of visitation through the family court, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Institution, or other means.
In order to receive support from the JCA, it is necessary that the JCA has decided on assistance after you have filed an application to the JCA under the Hague Convention Implementation Act.
2. General View of Our Support in Child Visitation
3. the Details of Our Support in Child Visitation
- (1) A visitation supporting institution goes through contents of the agreement reached by both parties and explains to the parties about rules and conditions for provision of assistance through separate intake interviews for each party. Following the intake interviews, the institution decides whether they can assist or not. (Please note that visitation assisted by the supporting scheme of the JCA can be arranged four in-person sessions and four indirect sessions, such as “Online Mimamori Contact (please refer to (3) below for more details)”, at maximum for each case. From Oct.1, 2020, in-person sessions can be replaced with online Mimamori sessions if in-person sessions are not used up to 4 sessions. If the party wishes to replace all in-person sessions with online Mimamori sessions, online Mimamori sessions can be used for 8 sessions in total.)
- (2) On the day of the arranged visitation, the visitation supporting institution will take the child to the other party and accompany with the child at the site of visitation. During the visitation, the visitation supporting institution will determine the compliance to the arranged conditions, and the relevant party will be warned if he or she is found not complied. If it is difficult for the parties to communicate with each other, the visitation supporting institution will, on their behalf, communicate with both parties to set the date, time, and place for the arrangement.
- (3) Furthermore, an institution may also provide Online Mimamori Contact: Monitored Online Contact Assisted by the Experts, which provides an online virtual conference room for all participants to join via the Internet. For those who are eligible to use this service will be able to have online meeting sessions with assistance from an expert. Users are required to prepare for their own online network and devices, such as PC, tablet, or smartphone. Cost of this service will be covered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan for the limited number of sessions. The expert may be involved in the sessions by attending to the child's psychological condition through careful observation of the child's facial/verbal expressions and behaviors. For example, the expert may warn, mute, or disconnect a particular person from the meeting when s/he makes inappropriate expressions or comments. For more details, please refer to the attached video clip.
- (4) When you receive the support from the JCA, you are advised to take note of the following points:
- Filming and recording are not allowed during the visitation.
- The JCA and visitation supporting institutions will not make a report on visitation for the parties.
- You have to be aware that the JCA will not pay any incurred expenses such as admission fees to the venue where access to child takes place.
- In case where a session of visitation is suspended by reason attributed to visitation supporting institution, and the party wants to use another visitation supporting institution, the JCA will again provide support to help communication between both parties to arrange with the selected visitation supporting institution.
4. How to Use Assistance in Child Visitation of the Central Authority of Japan
- (1) Contact the JCA via email or phone once both parties agree and decide which Visitation Supporting Institution to use from the List of the Visitation Supporting Institutions (PDF).In case the parties to have difficulties in communicating each other to select the institution, please contact the JCA as we may be able to help communication between both parties.
- (2) Submit an attached form (PDF) to the JCA.
[note] Each party needs to submit the form to the JCA. After receiving the forms from each party, the JCA makes initial contact with the visitation supporting institution selected by both parties
- (3) Contact the visitation supporting institution via email or telephone to apply for assistance.
- [note] Each of the parties needs to directly contact the visitation supporting institution and apply for assistance. Each party should schedule the intake interview with the visitation supporting institution. In case the parties and the visitation or contacts supporting institution do not reach an agreement on the contents of assistance through the intake interviews, and, as a result, the parties are not able to receive assistance from the selected institution, the JCA could refer to other visitation or contacts support institution.