Moms speak out for Hague treaty

by Natsuko Fukue

Japanese mothers whose children were spirited away by their foreign husbands urged the government Thursday to sign the Hague Treaty to prevent cross-border parental child abductions.

One of the mothers said she wants Japan to sign the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction now, after attending the second day of a high-level government panel forum.

The panel session was held a day after anti-Hague Treaty parents shared their views with the government officials.

“I haven’t seen my child since 2009, when my Czech husband took the child back to his hometown,” the mother said. The Czech republic is a signatory to the treaty, but she said she hopes that if Japan also joins the pact, she will have a greater chance for visitation.

“There is no organization I could consult with about the child abduction,” she said.

Since the Democratic Party of Japan took power in 2009, government leaders have indicated a willingness to sign the Hague treaty, but others remain opposed, noting some Japanese mothers brought children to Japan to get away from an abusive environment.