JAPAN is moving closer to accepting a long-delayed treaty on child abductions.

The cabinet on Friday gave approval to the 1980 Hague Convention, which requires children be returned to their usual country of residence if they are brought to the country during the collapse of an international marriage.

Japan is the only member of the Group of Eight major industrialised nations that has not joined the convention.

Hundreds of non-Japanese parents, mostly men, have been left without recourse after their estranged partners took their children back to Japan.

Unlike Western nations, Japan does not recognise joint custody and divorce courts usually award custody to mothers.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said following cabinet approval, the government would swiftly submit the necessary legislation to parliament.

“It is important for our country to join the Hague Convention that sets international rules on dealing with illegal kidnapping of children, now that the numbers of international marriages and international divorces have increased,” he said.

source: http://www.news.com.au