As Japan has the sole custody system after divorce, there are a number of parental disputes over child custody and visitation or access nowadays. Currently, only 1/3 of children with divorced parents can have access to their non-custodial parent, and only 1/4 of children obtain child support from their non-custodial parent. In contrast, Germany and other Western countries have implemented joint custody after divorce, which requires both parents to consult with each other and take joint decisions in relation to long-term issues concerning their children. The divergent legal settings and societal conditions between Japan and Western countries yield difficult questions in a cross-border family separation. Prof. Nishitani will address the historical, legal and societal background of these differences in family law institutions between Japan and Western countries with a particular focus on Germany. Prof. Odagiri will show what we have learned about the impact of divorce on children from research in psychology and what actions are now being taken.
Yuko Nishitani, Kyoto University
Noriko Odagiri, Tokyo International University