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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 161810 Find in a Library
Title: Controversies and Dilemmas: Japan Confronts the Convention (From Children's Rights: A Comparative Perspective, P 125-144, 1996, Michael Freeman, ed. -- See NCJ-161805)
Author(s): Y Matsushima
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 20
Sponsoring Agency: Dartmouth Publishing Co Limited
Hants, GU11 3HR, England
Sale Source: Dartmouth Publishing Co Limited
Gower House, Croft Road
Hants, GU11 3HR,
United Kingdom
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This paper provides an overview of children's rights under Japanese law and compares it with standards for children's rights under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Abstract: Japan became a signatory to the Convention on September 21, 1990, and the proposal for its ratification was submitted to the Diet in March 1992. After much discussion, the Japanese Diet ratified the Convention on March 29, 1994, and it became effective on May 22, 1994. The first part of this paper summarizes the legal rights of parents and children under Japanese civil law, including the history of family law, the legal status of children, parental rights, and the protective function of the family court. The second part of the paper describes controversial children's rights issues regarding the Convention, including cruelty to children, discrimination against illegitimate children, the rights of children after divorce, and juvenile justice. The author occasionally makes references to the relevant Articles of the Convention and summarizes majority (and sometimes minority) academic opinions on important issues regarding current legal problems relevant to children's rights in Japan. In explaining Japan's failure to comply with many of the Convention's standards, the author advises that parents and children in Japan tend to be much closer to one another than in other countries. Japanese parents tend to feel that they and their children are a single "unit," and distinctions between individuals often become blurred. This sense of unity on the part of parents often leads to excessive control over their children and inhibits the development of respect for individual children. Although Japanese parents are conscientious in seeking to protect their children, this may mean stripping the children of their rights as individuals. 55 notes
Main Term(s): Juveniles
Index Term(s): Child protection laws; Foreign laws; International agreements; Japan; Parental rights; Rights of minors; United Nations (UN)
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