• Kyodo News

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Japan set up a Cabinet-level council Friday to examine whether it should join an international convention that governs the resolution of child custody cases involving failed international marriages, government sources said.

The council’s first meeting will be held this week. The participants will include Senior Vice Justice Minister Toshio Ogawa, State Foreign Secretary Takeaki Matsumoto and Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Tetsuro Fukuyama, according to the sources.

The move comes amid growing calls by the United States and European countries for Japan to join the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

As Japan has yet to join the convention, non-Japanese people cannot see their children if their Japanese spouses take them to Japan from the country they were living in.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan has instructed Justice Minister Satsuki Eda to review what kind of legal reforms will be needed if Japan decides to join the convention.

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