The Hague Convention treaty was originally signed by over eighty nations on October 25, 1980. The treaty was a breakthrough in international family law; it protects children from international abductions. Now, thirty years later, Japan has agreed to sign this important treaty.

Obviously there are internal politics that dictate how Japan has dealt with this matter. But I would like to understand what has taken them so long. Whatever reasons Japan may have, those reasons, surely, cannot compare to the effort of all civilized nations coming together to protect the unprotected. How we treat the unfortunate and the weak – kidnapped children, for example – is a measure of a society’s integrity.

I, for one, am very pleased that the Japanese government has finally agreed to sign the Hague Convention Treaty. Let’s hope Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Tunisia are next.