Summary of the Minister of Justice's press conference after a Cabinet meeting

Summary of the Minister of Justice’s press conference after a Cabinet meeting (Ministry of Justice, Katsuyuki Kawai, September 27th, 2019)

September 27, 2019 (Friday)

 At this morning’s Cabinet meeting, there were no matters from the Ministry of Justice.

 Next, I would like to make a report on one matter.

 It is that the Study Group on Shared Foster Care will be established.

 There are various voices calling for a review of the family law system. In fact, we have received some questions from you.

 Therefore, by the end of this year, a study group on the state of the family law system will be established under the auspices of the Commercial Law Study Group, a public interest incorporated association, mainly consisting of civil law researchers and legal practitioners. I am pleased to report that the Ministry of Justice has also decided to participate in this study group with its staff.

 The main issues that are expected to be discussed in this study group are how to provide for the upbringing of children after divorce, how to sort out the concept of “custody,” whether or not to introduce a joint custody system after divorce, whether or not to review the requirements for divorce, and how to promote visitation exchange.

 I have heard that these issues will be discussed in this study group, but I understand that the discussion will not be conducted in a specific direction in advance, but rather, the issues will be sorted out to see what kind of direction can be considered.

Questions regarding the deportation of three Sri Lankan men

Reporter

 Yesterday, the Japan Federation of Bar Associations (JFBA) announced that it had filed a petition for human rights relief with the Ministry of Justice and the Immigration Bureau, warning them against deportations that violate the “right to a fair trial” or violate the “prohibition of arbitrary interference with family members. In addition, the Japan Federation of Bar Associations (JFBA) has filed a petition for human rights relief. In addition, the Japan Federation of Bar Associations claims that the Ministry of Justice did not allow the men to have access to lawyers in order to file the lawsuit. What is the Ministry of Justice’s understanding of the facts and the reason for the decision to repatriate?

Minister.

 With regard to the case of the petition for human rights relief by the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, which you have just asked about, I understand that a “warning letter” was submitted to the Ministry of Justice and the Immigration and Refugee Management Agency the day before yesterday (September 25) in relation to this case. The warning letter was addressed to the Minister of Justice and to my name.

  However, I would like to refrain from answering your question here, as the case is pending litigation.

Questions regarding joint custody

Reporter

 As you mentioned in your opening remarks, the study group on the family system is going to have various discussions from now on, especially on joint custody. What kind of discussion would you like to see? I would like to hear your opinion at this stage.

What is your opinion at this point?

 I am aware that even within the Liberal Democratic Party, there are various opinions regarding the joint custody that you have just mentioned. I am aware that there are various opinions within the Liberal Democratic Party about joint custody, and I am also aware that there are various opinions from experts in family law, people involved in various matters, and people concerned. I hope that the newly established study group will carefully discuss such opinions from various standpoints of society as a whole.

 As I mentioned earlier, the Ministry of Justice does not have a certain direction in mind in advance. It is my hope that the members of the study group will engage in careful and fruitful discussions.

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