chapter  5
32 Pages

On Introducing the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into Japan

O n 22 May 1994,Japan became the 158th country to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child which it had originally signed in September 1990. The intervening four years saw a series of interesting and potentially far-reaching debates in Japan over the whole question of children's rights. Domestic civil rights groups such as the Children's Rights Council Uido Kenri Kyokat),ARC (Action for the Rights of the Children) and,perhaps most vocally, the Japan Federation of Bar Associations (Nichibenren) tried to pressurize the Japanese government to ensure that Japan conformed to the obligations of the treaty by changing existing laws or enacting new legislation; the government - in particular the foreign, education and justice ministries which were most involved in the ratification process - insisted that there was no need for major legal revisions or legislation upon ratification.2