TOKYO, Aug. 15 (UPI) -- Complaints about "abducted" children are putting Japan under pressure to solve child custody issues resulting from failed international marriages, experts say.
The Japanese government says it will become a party to a global treaty on child custody as early as next year, bringing its domestic laws in line with international procedures for the rapid return of "abducted" children to their country of residence, Kyodo News reported Sunday.
The issue revolves around cases where a Japanese parent, often a mother, brings a child to Japan -- or back to Japan -- without the consent of the foreign parent, regardless of custody determination in other countries, and denies the other parent access to the child.
The United States, which signed The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction along with many European countries in 1980, has been pressuring Japan to settle the custody issue and join the treaty.
The conflict is over the differences in the legal systems of Japan and other signatory nations, the News said.
Japan's Civil Code also does not allow non-custodial parents visitation rights, and many Japanese parents awarded custody are known to refuse the other parent access to the child.