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New family law system 新しい家族法制度

What should we be looking for from the new family law system in Japan? Part One


Catherine Henderson 13th March 2024

How will we know if the new family law system in Japan is successful and not merely a band aid to deflect international criticism and local dissatisfaction?

Firstly, there needs to be an improvement in the family violence (DV) system in Japan. To the greatest extent possible genuine domestic violence victims need to be protected. No one wants any victim, male or female or child to be placed in harm's way. 

Education about domestic violence in society needs to be increased. Perpetrators need counselling and support to reduce the chance of reoffending. Education on how to handle domestic violence claims is essential for first-line workers such as nurses, police and city hall staff.




Secondly, there needs to be strong penalties for false DV claims used for the purpose of securing sole custody. People who are accused of DV need to be informed appropriately and the investigation process needs to be fair and transparent. 

Thirdly, parental child abductions for the purpose of obtaining sole custody need to be made illegal. These should be rigorously investigated by the police. Legal consequences of unjustified abductions need to be swift and substantial.



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