American Dad Jailed in Japan for Trying to Bring Kids Home

Earlier this year, a New Jersey dad fought to get his son back from Brazil from his ex-wife’s family. Now, a similarly heart-breaking scenario is playing out–this time, in Japan.

Christopher Savoie is sitting in jail right now because he went to Japan to reclaim his two children. Their mother, Noriko–a Japanese native–previously had this court-approved agreement with Christopher: She would take the children on vacation to Japan during summers, and bring them back to Franklin, Tennessee, in time for school. This August, Noriko kept them in Japan. Since she had violated the agreement, a judge awarded Christopher full custody of the children. A warrant went out for Noriko’s arrest.

Unfortunately for Christopher, Japan is not part of the 1980 Hague Convention on international child abduction, which finds a way to bring kids home across international borders. Instead, Japanese family law follows the tradition of sole custody divorces–that is, when a couple splits up, the children usually stay with one parent while the other leaves their lives permanently.

Knowing he might never see his kids again, Christopher flew out to Japan, grabbed his kids, and tried to bring them to the U.S. consulate. That’s where he was arrested by the Japanese police. Christopher now faces the charge of abducting minors, which carries a jail sentence of up to five years.

Can we get Bill Clinton over there to fix this?

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About Linda

Linda Chan lives in New York City. She is interested in all issues Asian, particularly Asians in media and entertainment. She watches what some would consider an unhealthy amount of TV and blogs her sometimes snarky thoughts here:
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