In the debate about whether Japan should sign the Hague abduction convention, a serious consequence of Japan’s failure to ratify the treaty is being overlooked. Japan’s failure to sign the convention is extremely damaging to Japanese nationals living overseas, since it makes it far harder for them to bring their children to Japan for visits, and encourages them to break foreign criminal laws that prohibit international child abduction.

A key reason that Japan has not signed the treaty is that it believes the convention will help foreigners but will be of no value to Japanese citizens. That claim is not merely reprehensible, but is also entirely false.

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