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Justice Minister Yoko Kamikawa said Friday that she will ask an advisory panel to consider law revisions to secure expenses for child support after divorce.

The Legislative Council, which advises the minister, will hold a general meeting next month to start wide-ranging discussions on the legal system regarding divorce and child-rearing.

In Japan, about 40% of fatherless families have agreements on expenses for child support, with the figure standing as low as 20% for motherless households.

Nonpayment of child support is believed to be a cause for poverty in single-parent families.

Last month, an expert panel of the Justice Ministry compiled a report calling for a Civil Code provision on the right to claim child support.

The council is also expected to discuss appropriate visitations by noncustodial parents.

Currently, about 25% of families without fathers have arrangements on visitations and some 27% of households without mothers have such arrangements.

The council will also discuss whether to establish rules on property distribution at the time of divorce. In judicial precedents, the wealth accumulated jointly by a married couple is divided equally in principle when the couple is divorced.

Kamikawa also said that she will ask the council to study collateral law reforms in response to calls for clear rules to ensure stable business transactions.

The Civil Code has no provision on mortgage or the reservation of property rights, both of which are used by companies to procure funds.

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