Japan enacted Wednesday a law needed to ratify an international treaty to help settle cross-border child custody disputes, paving the way for implementation of the pact in Japan possibly early next year.
The House of Councillors at its plenary session unanimously approved the legislation, which stipulates domestic implementation procedures for the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. The parliament endorsed the treaty late last month.
After completing all domestic procedures, Tokyo aims to join the convention with 89 signatories by the end of this year. The pact sets out rules and procedures for the prompt return to the country of habitual residence of children under 16 taken or retained by one parent, if requested by the other parent.