Government to Submit Bill Allowing Joint Child Custody

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The building that houses the Immigration Services Agency in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — A government panel submitted a report on revising the Civil Code to Justice Minister Ryuji Koizumi on Thursday, proposing that divorced parents be allowed to share custody of their children.

Based on the report from the Legislative Council, the government plans to submit a related bill during the ongoing ordinary session of the Diet.

Currently, only one of the divorced parents is granted parental custody in Japan. But the report calls for parents to be able to choose joint custody through negotiations.

Under the proposed joint custody system, if parents cannot reach an agreement, a family court would make a decision based on the interests of the child and family relations. If there is a risk of domestic violence or abuse, a family court will choose sole custody.