This is one of the best written analyses of the problems with Japan’s Sole Custody System.
DIVORCE AND THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD:
DISPUTES OVER VISITATION AND THE JAPANESE
By Takao Tanase†
Translated by Matthew J. McCauley‡
Translator’s Note: The following is a translation of an article written by Professor
Takao Tanase for the December 2009 edition of Jiyū to Seigi, a Japanese legal periodical.
Divorce and familial breakdown has become a major problem in modern Japanese
society, yet the law does not provide any meaningful protection for the noncustodial
parent. Professor Tanase analyzes this issue from a comparative and theoretical
perspective, looking at the current Japanese visitation laws in place today, while
contrasting those with the system in the United States. He also looks at how those laws
affect actual families, and how the courts have implemented and enforced visitation
agreements and orders. This article concludes that not only are the rights of the
noncustodial parent insufficient to maintain a meaningful relation with their children
following divorce, but that they hardly exist at all.
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