The Hague Convention (Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction)
Assistance in Child’s Return to Japan
April 6, 2016
1 Before filing an application：Be advised of reasons for dismissal.
In case you have a child of yours removed from Japan to a the Hague Convention (officially the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction) Contracting State or retained [Note1] in a Contracting State, and want your removed child returned to Japan, you can file an application to the Central Authority of Japan for assistance in order to realize the return of the child to Japan (Assistance in Child’s return to Japan).
Your application, however, is to be dismissed if any of the following conditions are met . (Article No.13, Paragraph (1) Implementation Act; officially Act on Implementation of Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction) Therefore, you are advised to make sure that your case does NOT fall under any of the following items for dismissal.
- A child who is sought to be retuned in the application for assistance in child’s return to Japan has attained the age of 16.
- The state or territory where the child pertaining to the application is located is unknown
- It is obvious that the child pertaining to the application is located in Japan or any state or territory other than Contracting State.
- It is obvious that the location of the child pertaining to the application and the domicile or residence of the applicant are in the same Contracting State.
- It is obvious that the state of habitual residence of the child pertaining to the application is not Japan.
- At the time of the removal or the commencement of the retention of the child pertaining to the application, the state or territory where said child is considered to have been located was not a Contracting State. [Note 2]
- It is obvious that the applicant does not have the rights of custody with respect to the child pertaining to the application under the laws or regulations of Japan, or that said rights of custody are not breached by the removal or retention of the child pertaining to the application.
[Note1] "Retention" means the condition he or she is prevented from returning to the state of his or her habitual residence after a child travels from Japan to the state of his or her habitual residence and the limited period agreed by both parents.
[Note2] Applications are also dismissed if they are concerned with cases of a removal or a retention of said child which began before the enforcement date, April 1, 2014, of the Hague Convention in Japan since such cases meet this condition.
2 How to file an application
（1）Flow of Procedure
The outline of the procedure of the child’s return based on the Hague Convention is shown in the below diagram for those who have a child removed from Japan to another Contracting State, or retained in another Contracting State.
Details of the procedures and assistance in each contracting state vary from state to state. For further details about the procedures and assistance in each contracting states, please refer to “Country Profile” of each state available on the Hague Conference on International Private Law homepage (Country Profiles are available in English, French or Spanish. Country profiles of some states are not provided) or enquire at the Central Authority of the relevant state directly.
（2）Submitting your application to the Japanese Central Authority
Should you wish to submit your application to Japan, you will be required to submit the application documents along with supporting materials to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is the Central Authority of Japan. For the application form and information on how to apply, please refer to this page. The Central Authority of Japan accepts applications in Japanese and English. However, translation into the language accepted by the requested central authority of the state in which the child resides may be necessary, and the translation process will require some time. We therefore recommend applicants to submit application in English from the first instance for purposes of celerity in case the requested Central Authority accepts an application in English.
（3）Submitting your application to the Central Authority of the Contracting State in which the child resides
Application for assistance in child’s return can also be sent directly to the Central Authority of a Contracting State where the child resides.
In this case, the applicant is required to submit an application form and supporting documents specified by the Central Authority of the state where the child resides. Pease directly enquire at the Central Authority for further information (Contact details of the Central Authorities of the Contracting States can be found here (English only).
|Accepting Central Authority|
|Central Authority of Japan||Central Authority of the Contracting State where the Child resides|
Exceptions apply in some states[Note]
|Any other languages||×||△
Please enquire directly at the Central Authorities
- [Note]Exceptions as follows:
- France: Only French accepted
- Andorra: Only French and Catalan accepted
- Germany: Only German accepted
- Brazil: Only Portuguese accepted
- El Salvador: Only Spanish accepted