The US and Europe have been criticizing the Japanese government for many years about significant human rights violations in Japan due to the sole custody system and judicial decisions. The Japanese media doesn’t report on it at all.
However, under external pressure, with the media slowly reporting the message of the domestic mutual self-help groups and the support groups, the government’s response is slowly changing, and aside from the actual details, we are beginning to move towards joint custody legislation after divorce. And those who have been campaigning for it so far may have high hopes for it…
I have become less actively involved in those movements over the past few years. This is not to say that I am opposed to legislation, but I have come to the conclusion that changing the laws and systems will not solve much of the problem, and in my day job, which is to provide composite support for family issues, there has been a certain amount of restorative divorce and visitation regardless of the laws and systems. And that restorative support has become so busy that there is no time for it.
I understand that the problems with the law and the system are not the essence of the problem, but rather the underlying problems of people’s sense of family and home, gender bias, poor support skills, and distorted support for domestic violence and abuse, which the law and the system have helped to foster. I believe that the problems with the law are only part of the problem.
Of course, the law needs to be changed, but there are many things that need to be changed to fit the law. I can’t help but hope that those who have been working to change the law will take a good look at those issues, which are often overlooked by those who have been working to change the law, and learn to take a clear and objective view of the issues.
I happened to look at a website of a lawyer today, who is one of those rare people who, as a lawyer, always makes precise and accurate decisions, and he also seems to think the same way I do.
Originally posted on October 2, 2020
English text translated with DeepL (Japanese to English) and checked by Mina.