Visit from Japan at the International Social Service
On 29th March, ISS German Branch/the German Association received a visit from Kyoko Hijikata, deputy director of the Division for Hague Conventions of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Division for Hague Conventions has the function of Japanese Central Authority according to the 1980 Hague Convention on Child Abduction (HAC). The purpose of her visit was to get to know the work of the Central Contact Point for Cross-border Family Conflicts and Mediation (ZAnK) as well as better insight into the roles of the different stakeholders in Germany, especially the youth welfare offices. A special focus was placed on the problem how to support contact between the child and the left-behind parent during the child abduction procedure as effectively as possible – as the abducting parent often tries to prevent it. Japan, being a Contracting State to the HAC since 1st April 2014, is particularly interested in shaping the handling of those procedures in the best interest of the child. During her fact-finding tour of Germany, Ms. Hijikata will also visit, among others, the German Central Authority in Bonn as well as a family court in charge of HAC proceedings.