The Hague Convention (Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction)
Legal Aid for the Hague Convention in Japan
1 Hiring Lawyers
For information about Lawyer Referral Service for Hague Convention cases by Japan Federation of Bar Association, please refer to this website.
For more details, please contact the Central Authority by email or telephone.
2 Temporary lending to cover the cost for court proceedings
Under the Hague Convention, you may use the legal aid system for filing a petition to the courts in Japan for return of or visitation or contacts with a child The legal aid system of Japan is to advance fee for attorney' fee, interpreter's fee, or translation fee etc. without interests. The borrowed amount can normally be paid back in installments. To be eligible for the scheme, some requirements such as a certain income standard must be met.
The legal aid system is operated by Japan Legal Support Center (JLSC).
For more details, visit Web page of Japan Legal Support Center (JLSC).
3 Translation Services for Court proceedings
Documents submitted to the Courts in Japan must be presented in Japanese language. Accordingly, you need to translate all the submitting documentary evidence and other documents similar thereto in foreign language into Japanese when filing a petition for Return of Child or Conciliation (Adjudication) for Visitation or Contacts with Child. The Central Authority of Japan provides assistance in the translation of documentary evidence and other documents similar thereto into Japanese by outsourced translation agency at no charge within the certain limit.
Eligibility for Translation Services
- Those who have received the Decision for Assistance by the Minister for Foreign Affairs with regards to Assistance in Return of Child to Foreign State or Assistance in Visitation or Contacts with Child in Japan and intend to file a petition to a Japanese Court for Return of or Conciliation (Adjudication) for Visitation or Contacts with Child.
- Any parties to the case of Return of or Conciliation (Adjudication) for Visitation or Contacts with Child filed by the petitioner mentioned above.
For further information, please enquire at the Central Authority of Japan by telephone or email.
4 For Attorneys Who Undertake the Hague Case
If you would like to contact the Central Authority of Japan regarding your client’s case, you need to submit the power of attorney signed by your client to the Central Authority. [Note]
There is no specific required format of the POA. The following is an example of how to specify the matter delegated to the attorney in the POA.
“To contact the Hague Convention Division at Consular Affairs Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (the Central Authority of Japan for the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction) in regard to all the matters related to its assistance in 【child’s return to [COUNTRY] / contacts or visitation with the child in [COUNTRY]】under the Act for Implementation of the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (case number: X-XXXXX).”
[Note] You do not need to submit the power of attorney to the Central Authority if your client already have provided your name as his/her attorney-in-fact in the application and checked one of the boxes to indicate that his/her preferred contact person with the Central Authority is you or either you or the client.