The Hague Convention (Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction)
For Those Who File a Petition for Conciliation (Adjudication) for Visitation or Contacts under the Hague Convention Implementation Act
1 Cases Where Conciliation (or Adjudication) Procedures [Note] for Visitation or Contacts are Handled by Tokyo or Osaka Family Court under the Hague Convention Implementation Act
2 Conciliation Procedures are Shown as Follows
3 How to Submit Documents, etc. Required for Procedures
- In the conciliation, both parties may be requested to submit documents to support your argument depending on the necessity. As for the ways to submit the documents, ask the Conciliation Committee member in charge or a court clerk.
- Be sure to attach a Japanese translation to an evidentiary document written in a foreign language.
4 Inspection of or Copying of the Submitted Documents
A copy of the written petition submitted by the petitioner is sent to the respondent as specified by the law. Besides that, one party may request for inspection of or copying of the documents, etc. submitted by the other party during conciliation procedures. The judge will make a decision whether to permit the request considering circumstances including if the request is obstructing a smooth discussion. In the case where adjudication procedures commences with a non-conclusion of conciliation, the judge of adjudication procedures examine the documents submitted during the conciliation procedures if the documents are necessary for adjudication. Then a request for inspection of or copying of the documents is permitted as long as the legally specified grounds for exception do not apply. This is the same manner to the case where a petition is filed for adjudication from the beginning.
5 What to Confirm before Filing a Petition
(1) Assistance from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (the Minister for Foreign Affairs)
In the case you file a petition for conciliation (or adjudication) for visitation or contacts to Tokyo Family Court or to Osaka Family Court according to the Hague Convention Implementation Act, the precondition is that you have received the decision of the Minister for Foreign Affairs either for assistance in child's return to foreign state or for assistance in visitation or contacts with child in Japan, or you have filed a petition for the return of child.
In addition, if the address of the child, and the name and address of the person who lives together with the child are not identified, the court will not be able to take any further procedures. However, when the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (the Minister for Foreign Affairs) decides to provide assistance in visitation or contacts, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (the Minister for Foreign Affairs) will collect information from related organizations to discover the whereabouts of the child and to identify the name and address of the person who live together with the child. Therefore, for prompt proceedings, you are advised to file an application for assistance to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (the Minister for Foreign Affairs) before filing a petition to a court.
(2) Prepare a place within Japan to receive documents from the court
You are requested to designate a place to receive documents from the court, when you file a petition. Basically the court will send documents including a written order, etc. to the place you specified. If the address specified is in a foreign state, the court cannot take smooth procedures as it would need much more time for the process to send the documents. Therefore, the receiver's address should be in Japan. If you appoint a Japanese attorney, you may specify the office address of your attorney as the receiver's address.
(3) Investigations on Laws of the State of Habitual Residence
The effectiveness of an agreement on visitation or contacts in the state of habitual residence may depend on interpretation of laws of the state. For this reason, both parties in the conciliation procedures may be requested to investigate laws of the state of habitual residence.