As Japan’s ratification of an international treaty that helps settle international child custody disputes awaits Diet approval, some mothers are dealing with the distress of their non-Japanese spouses taking their children abroad at the last minute.

These women face difficulties in enlisting wide support, as the issue of “parental abductions” to Japan tends to grab more attention. Japan is often portrayed as a safe haven for estranged Japanese parents bringing their children here, and as such has been under international pressure to sign the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

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