In court proceedings of a petition for return of child, it is important for both petitioner and respondent to establish prompt and accurate allegations and evidence, with legal knowledge of Japan and the State of the child's habitual residence. Therefore, you are advised to consult with legal professionals. When you appoint legal professionals, they will represent you, prepare the written petition and other documents, and present allegations and evidence during the proceedings. If you are interested in consulting with legal professionals, please consult with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which serves as the central authority in such matters.
Hague Convention Division, Foreign Policy Bureau, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Address：〒100-8919 Kasumigaseki 2-2-1, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan
The Japanese language shall be used in Japanese courts (Article 74 of the Court Act), meaning that court proceedings are conducted in Japanese. A party may apply for the appointment of an interpreter if needed during the proceedings, though interpretation costs are borne by the party who apply for it. Documents to be submitted to the court shall be prepared in the Japanese language, and any documentary evidence written in a foreign language shall be accompanied by a Japanese translation. Translation costs are borne by the party needing to prepare the translation. In most cases, inquiries to the court by telephone or other means shall also be in the Japanese language. The family courts in Japan are not ready to respond in languages other than Japanese.
When you intend to file a petition with a Japanese court for return of child, and the whereabouts of the child are not discovered, you should first file an application with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan for assistance in child's return. You should file the petition for return of child after the investigation into the whereabouts of the child is completed. If you file the petition before the completion of the investigation into the whereabouts of the child, a considerable amount of time will be needed to complete the investigation, making it difficult to carry out the proceedings expeditiously.
For more information on the details of proceedings of a petition for return of child and the appointment of counsel in Japan, please refer to the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- ＜For Those Who File a Petition for the Return of Child under the Hague Convention Implementation Act＞(PDF:265KB)
- ＜You Can Use Conciliation in a Case on the Order for the Return of Child＞(PDF:135KB)
- ＜For Those Who File a Petition for Conciliation (Adjudication) for Visitation or Contacts under the Hague Convention Implementation Act＞(PDF:177KB)