International Symposium on Japanese Studies in Global Contexts

Open Japan Closed Japan: Towards Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Mobility

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International Marriages and Divorces

Mari Nagata, Osaka University

The so-called Family Law regulates marriages and divorces. In this area of law, depending on region, there is a significant difference between domestic legislations; e.g. in the Philippines, whose tradition and culture is greatly influenced by Catholicism, divorce is still prohibited, whereas in Japan it is very easy to get divorced. Furthermore, in some countries there is a one-sided divorce system, which does not require mutual consent between spouses.

On one hand, in recent years, more and more people are moving across the border of their native countries due to the globalization of business and accessibility to cross-border transportation. The more people have chances to go abroad, the more family relationships will globalize. However, unification of family law in the global community has never happened; this is because of the fact that each jurisdiction has its own family law, which immensely differs on many issues. As a result, the conflict of laws in this area becomes more acute.

On the other hand, the notion of “family” is transforming in recently diversified societies. Now, there is no correct answer to questions such as: “What is a real marriage?” or “What is a correct family?”. Family relationships with international factors can be much more influenced by these transformations of “family.” In this presentation, international marriage and divorce will be discussed from the perspective of private international law. Specifically the main topics will be: (1) the diversity of the legal marriage, (2) the diversity of parent-child relationship, and (3) parental issues after divorce.

Short Biography

Mari Nagata is professor of law at Graduate School of Law and Politics, Osaka University. She earned a Ph.D. in Law from Osaka University and taught at Osaka University of Foreign Studies from 2000 to 2004 before joining Osaka University in 2004. Her main research areas are conflict of laws, international civil procedure and international family law, international child abduction, and alternative dispute resolution; with a special interest in international family mediation.