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Japan Lower House OKs Joint Child Custody Bill

Japan Lower House OKs Joint Child Custody Bill

   Tokyo, April 16 (Jiji Press)--Japan's House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a bill aimed at introducing in the country a system that allows divorced parents to share custody of their children.
   At a plenary session of the lower chamber of the Diet, the country's parliament, the bill to revise the Civil Code was approved by a majority vote with support from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, its coalition partner Komeito, the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and opposition Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party).
   Following deliberations in the House of Councillors, the upper chamber, the bill is seen to be enacted during the ongoing regular Diet session ending on June 23.
   The bill would allow divorced parents to choose between joint or sole custody after holding discussions, revising the current Civil Code which grants parental custody to only one of the parents after divorce. If all goes as expected, the joint custody system will be introduced in Japan by 2026.
   If parents cannot reach an agreement on custody for their children after divorce, a family court will make a decision based on the children's interests. The court will choose sole custody if there is a risk of domestic violence or child abuse.

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