Japan Panel to Discuss Introduction of Joint Child Custody

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Experts participated in a meeting of a government panel discussing joint custody for divorced parents, at the Justice Ministry in August.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — A Japanese government panel agreed on Tuesday to hold discussions on introducing a joint custody system for divorced parents to share custody of their children.

The family law subcommittee of the Legislative Council, which advises the justice minister, had a meeting behind closed doors on the day. But according to informed sources, many of its members said it is necessary to revise the current law that prohibits divorced parents from sharing custody of their children without exception.

In November last year, the subcommittee compiled an interim report that listed proposals for introducing a joint custody system and for maintaining the current scheme that gives sole custody to either parent after divorce.

Assuming that joint custody should be allowed with the consent of both parents, the panel is now expected to consider a system that allows them to choose joint custody or sole custody when they divorce.

At the day’s meeting, some members of the panel remained wary of a joint custody system because of concerns that it could lead to continued domestic violence after divorce.

The panel will consider measures to address these concerns.