The Yomiuri Shimbun
A bill enacted Friday will allow courts to suspend parental rights for up to two years, rather than the indefinite term currently allowed, with the aim of better protecting children from abuse by their parents.
The Civil Code currently allows family courts to suspend parental rights for an unspecified period, but the measure has rarely been implemented due to concerns about the potential impact of indefinite suspensions on parent-child relationships.
Introducing the two-year limit is intended to improve the legal system's effectiveness in protecting children from abuse.
The bill to revise the Civil Code, the Child Welfare Law and other related laws was unanimously approved at a plenary session of the House of Councillors, having been passed by the House of Representatives last month.
The revised laws will be enforced from April next year or later.
Under the revised Civil Code, family courts will be able to suspend parental rights for a period of up to two years. It will be possible to extend the period of suspension, depending on certain factors.
The revised code also will make it easier for parental rights to minors to be assigned to corporations operating child welfare facilities or to groups of people.
(May. 28, 2011)