Joint Custody Fair 2019 November 22 (Friday)

Joint Custody in Japan Iniative

Official web page:

The current single custody system in Japan allows only one parent to raise children after parents separate. 12 parents, who have had been denied involvement with their children, are acting as plaintiffs in a liability suit which seeks the creation of a joint custody system while accusing Japan of not honoring its responsibility to guarantee parents their constitutional right to raise their children.

Under articles 818 and 819 of the current Civil Code, shared custody is limited exclusively to couples who are married. The plaintiffs are arguing that these laws are contradictory to a parent’s constitutional right to raise his or her children (derived from Article 13), and also infringe on the Constitution’s guarantee of equality under the law (Article 14). The plaintiffs are suing the government, claiming that the failure to pass necessary legislation to address this issue has resulted in emotional and mental distress.

This marks the start of a new phase in the movement toward a joint custody system. Let’s do this!


11:30 *Gather in front of Tokyo Family Courthouse – Address to the Ministry of Justice at the Tokyo Family Courthouse

12:00 *Gather at Bar Association – Street Demonstration

13:00 Filing of case (Lawyers and plaintiffs)

13:30 *Gather in front of gates of Courthouse

13:45 *Photo shoot at Courthouse entrance

14:30 Press Conference (Lawyers and plaintiffs)

16:10 *Bar Association – Meeting about the case

*Where there is a star on the schedule, we urge as many people as possible to participate and show their support.

Please come with posters saying “Joint Custody” and “Both Parents”.

Assembly and Statements about the case: “Normal is BOTH parents!”

15:45 Seating, 16:10-18:00 Event 

Participation Charge: 500 yen

Speeches: Lawyers, Plaintiffs and others.

Lecturer: Makino Sachiko (Journalist)

“The Problem With the Media and Joint Custody”

Profile of Makino Sachiko: Waseda University First Literature Department, Former Journalist for the Tokyo Bureau of the Yomiuri Shinbun, Former JICA Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteer (Niger, Africa). Public Relations Officer at Particle Physics Research Institution (The High Energy Accelerator Research Organization), Editor at Web Production Company LIG, Freelance writer for Class Action Lawsuit Platform ‘enjin’. Writer of many articles related to joint custody. Mother of two childrend with Nigerien husband. Author of short story about her experience in Niger: “A Hot Day in Niger”.

English translation:Kevin Kobos