Paris – French President Emmanuel Macron will call for talks with Japan on parental child abductions during a visit to Tokyo, presidential officials said Tuesday.
Macron, who is scheduled to visit Japan to attend the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics on Friday, will meet Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Saturday, the officials said.
France gives parents joint child custody, allowing separated or divorced parents to see their children. A parent is prohibited from relocating his or her children without the other parent’s permission.
In Japan, sole child custody is common. One of a separated or divorced parental couple lives with their children and, in some cases, the other parent is banned from interacting with them.
Due to the differences in policy between the two countries, there have been many disputes over child custody and parent-children interactions.
Vincent Fichot, a 39-year-old French national who lives in Japan, has been on a hunger strike since July 10 and says his Japanese wife left home with their children suddenly.
A French presidential official said that Macron was paying attention to Fichot’s situation, and that Paris has been continuing to seek ways to resolve the issue with Tokyo.
On July 13, Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi declined to discuss the matter. “A civil case in Japan should be resolved by people concerned in accordance with domestic laws,” he said.
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