About the lawsuit

Summary

We, the plaintiffs (TBD) have been seperated from their parents and their minor children by the Rules of Domestic Relations Case Procedure Act (Family Procedures Act), unable to meet and participate in child-rearing. In violation of the Japanese Constitution and international treaties, their benefits and rights of child-rearing were not realized, so they formed a class and decided to sue the government in the coming weeks for damages with a state remand lawsuit.

Outline of the lawsuit

Faults in the law

The plaintiffs (TBD) suffered damages because of the following faults in the Family Procedure Rules related to arbitration, tribunal and protective measures cases.

  1. There is no definition of the interests of the child, and no decision guidelines based on the interests of the child. Sua sponte fact finding, an absence of sua sponte minor participation in procedures, and an unused minor procedure attorney system are the only statutes that exist.
  2. Despite using the “continuity principle” (not a law), procedures take from half a year to more than a year; there are no speedy procedures. Sua sponte hearing date setting are the only statutes that exist.
  3. Family court investigators hardly investigate the facts of non-custodial parents, denying the possibility that the non-custodial parent might be able to realize the interests of the child. Sua sponte fact investigation by an investigator are the only statues that exist。
  4. Because the necessary child support and visitation is not secured when separating or divorcing by conciliation/arbitration with a minor child, arbitration cases do not end successfuly, and child-rearing does not materialize. The principle of concilation first and sua sponte referral to conciliation are the only statutes that exist.
  5. Statutes for dispositions prior to conciliation and interlocutory orders exist, but theiy are not used in adjudication cases for dispositions regarding child custody. Interlocutory orders and dispositions prior to conciliation are only used for inheritance cases.

Constitution and Treaty violations

The above faults in the law violate the Japanese Constitution’s articles 13 (rights to life, freedom and happiness), 14 (equality under the law), 24 (equality in domestic relations and fundamental equality of the sexes), 32 (right to a trial), as well as statues about equality under the law, the right to a trial and the inseparability of parents and children in Human Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Thus, the plaintiffs (TBD) benefits and rights of child-rearing were lost, and they suffered damages. Furthermore, despite having a duty to legislate about these faults, the National Diet did not legislate for a long time, constituting an illegal lack of legislation.

Claim for damages

The National Diet was supposed to realize child-rearing benefits and rights, an illegal lack of legislation in violation of the Constitution of Japan and international treaties, et cetera. This lack of legislation violated the plaintiffs' child-rearing benefits and rights, making the state liable for remand. Thus, the plaintiffs (TBD) seek damages.

Plantiff’s lawyer

Megumi Hirose(Daini Tokyo Bar Association, license #29131, Ginza East Law Office)

Megumi registered as a lawyer in 2001, spent four years as an ajunct judge in the Tokyo Family Court, four years as a mediation committee member in the Tokyo Family Court, and two years as a civil mediation committee member in the Tokyo Summary Court. Megumi is an expert family cases, having represented clients on many divorce, custody, probate and custodianship cases. Megumi feels there are problems with Japanese family procedures, and she wants to put the spotlight on these procedures in this state remand lawsuit, now that the question of parenting after divorce has been submitted to the Legislative Council. Recently, Megumi was featured in the magazine Very about problems with divorce in Japan. Again, she recently published a book about preparing for divorce in Japan.