national

Dad who tried to take kids from Japan sues Tennessee judge

110 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Copyright 2010 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

110 Comments
Login to comment

Generally it's very hard to win a civil suit against a judge or even a practicing attorney for that matter. I have to at least admire this guys guts.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ossan - Agreed. I don't see him having even a chance. It will almost certainly be dismissed, but I admire the guy for pushing the issue. It shouldn't be forgotten, and this judge was almost certainly negligent. Personally I expect a complaint to the state bar to have a better chance, of exacting actual punishment against this judge.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The American last hope - sue someone

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ex-wife Noriko Savoie had violated a U.S. court custody decision by taking the children to her native Japan a month earlier.

..later as the judge that lifted a restraining order barring the ex-wife from taking the children to Japan.

Don't these 2 statement contradict each other? If the restraining order was lifted, how did the wife violated the decision by bringing the children to Japan?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The American last hope - sue someone

Why go through all this trouble when you know Japan thumbs it's nose at the rest of the world?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Roughneck... she has to live in the US. She is not. She violated a custody order.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Thepro. Sometimes a suit is the only way to make a point in a world driven entirely by profit and money instead of common sense and will to do good. You should reality check the world you live and see that this guy is simply trying to bring his issue to attention and get it addressed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

neverknow2 at 09:28 AM JST - 28th April Why go through all this trouble when you know Japan thumbs it's nose at >the rest of the world?

This article isn't really about Japan. It's about legal action brought in a Tennessee court.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My ex-wife just kidnapped my two kids...so I understand this guys frustration. I am cutting of payments.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I wish he had taken this course in the first place. I think most people in the world would understand how much he wants his children back, but kidnapping isn't the way to do it, however it certainly did bring back to the spotlight a problem that Japanese has been reluctant to cooperate upon. Hopefully by bringing pressure upon the American legal system, will the US government bring greater pressure upon the Japanese government to do the right thing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

roughneck, she was supposed to return to the States after her vacation, which apparently she didn't.

This case is wrong from the start. How can the court give the foreign wife custody then order her to live in Tennessee? Is that normal? Is it until the kids grow up? What happens if she has to move for a job or a new husband?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ossan and Molenir. For two posters who constantly focus on the black and white issues of laws to defend your positions I find it kind of strange that you would admire someone who broke the laws of this country.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Suing the judge? Wow. This guy just lost all credibility as far as I'm concerned. Maybe the mom was right to take the kids away from this nutcase after all.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

goddog- are you in Japan? Ossan America, this article has a great deal in it about Japan. What do you mean? thepro- YES! I wish we could do it in Japan, but unfortunately there is no enforcement of Civil Suit Judgementas in Japan. A Judges decision is just a "strong suggestion".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He needs to go back to Japan and try to get his kids again.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

thundercat - Ossan and Molenir. For two posters who constantly focus on the black and white issues of laws to defend your positions I find it kind of strange that you would admire someone who broke the laws of this country.

Really? So you support her violating US law, and support child kidnappings? Is that what you're saying? Because thats the standpoint I'm coming from on this issue. He was awarded sole custody of his children and a warrant issued for her arrest, after she kidnapped her children. So my supporting the guy in his quest to get his kids back is wrong how?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Judge made a big mistake by allowing her to return to Japan on holiday. He simply didn't understand what was going to happen. But it was clear to the husband that this might be the result and he was trying to stop it from the outset.

The thing is in the U.S. parents have the right to see their kids. They may not always have joint custody but they can get visitation rights. But in Japan the woman can and often does cut the kids off completely from former foreign husbands and there is nothing the husband can do to gain access. It really is criminal but in Japan its shoganai.

So the more pressure that is applied on Japan to change its system the better. I put my hands up to this guy and salute him for trying against all the odds. I hope he can gain access to his children in the future.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There's one piece of critical information that seems to be left out of the most media reports on this case - they uniformally refer to him as an "American" or "from Tennesee". From what I understand, he is Japanese - he became a naturalized Japanese citizen during his time in Japan - and as Japan does not have dual-nationality, he isn't a US citizen.

That makes this issue a whole lot less "black and white" to me. Why isn't he in his adopted country fighting for his kids? If he rescinded his US citizenhsip, why is he now portraying himself as a "US" victim and trying to use the US Government to assist in his case?

To me, irrespective where this guy was born, he made the decision to recounce his US citizenship and become Japanese - this is not an "international" issue like the majority of the other cases where the partents have different citizenships - this is a Japanese domestic issue - and whether or not this guy's complaint is valid, for him to try to frame his case as "Japan is unfair to foreigners" is hypocritical.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So my supporting the guy in his quest to get his kids back is wrong how?

Because he broke the law in Japan. Are you saying that two wrongs make a right?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This man tried to pull a fast one by dragging his wife and kids back to the US when the marriage was on the rocks, immediately divorcing the wife and getting a court order forcing her and the kids (who had spent almost their whole lives up until that time in Japan) to live in a foreign country while he set himself up with a new wife and family.

His ex-wife, stuck in the sticks in a foreign country with no friends, no family and the new wife butting in regularly, pulled a fast one back, and he doesn't like it.

If the interests of the children are placed first (and they should be), then both parents (who both apparently have Japanese nationality... how come this guy is running to the American courts in the first place?) should be living in Japan, which is the children's natural home. If that interferes with his plans regarding new wife and family, then that's for him to sort out and make some hard choices, not throw a hissy fit and demand everything be geared to suit his self-centred wants.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

cleo-

If the interests of the children are placed first (and they should be), then both parents (who both apparently have Japanese nationality... how come this guy is running to the American courts in the first place?) should be living in Japan, which is the children's natural home. If that interferes with his plans regarding new wife and family, then that's for him to sort out and make some hard choices, not throw a hissy fit and demand everything be geared to suit his self-centred wants.

I completely agree with you. This guy CHOSE to become a japanese citizen, then conveniently became an American again, I am not sure if he is still japanese on the paper, but the children's HOME is in Japan as they both grew up in japan their entire lives.

While understanding that the guy wants access to his children, the way he is handling things isn't respected, especially the fact he brought his ex wife and kids to the states knowing he'd divorce her and start a new family with an American woman in the U.S -- dumped the ex-wife in a foreign land -- She speaks English, but my understanding is that her English isn't that great (at least by reading the court hearing records, her English wasn't great). She doesn't have a college degree or any carreer, so for her to find a job in the states, especially in Tennessee is very difficult. She probably got enough money from him, but for her to actually live her life, it'd be difficult. KNOWING THAT, he still took her and the kids there, he was clearly self centered.

I am not saying he shouldn't see his kids. I am just saying that he was being selfish. If he stayed in Japan and divorced her in Japan, even if she got the custody, he might have been able to see the kids still. He CHOSE to remarry and start a new family in America, and that was his own choice, the others involved (ex wife and the kids) shouldn't have been affected by that personal choice.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Cleo,

Hear, hear!

This was a screw up from the get go and the children are the only one's deserving of any sympathy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Savoie and his ex-wife are 50-50 responsible for this whole mess for not being able to hold their marriage together in the first place, and not coming to a "civil" and reasonable agreement over the divorce. Add to that, she kidnapped the kids, then he kidnapped the kids. The kids must have gone through hell, and now their mom is a criminal in the US, and the dad is probably banned from Japan. I think it's pretty dam clear who's at fault... why blame others?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Also, Judge Martin gave Savoie the option of waiting for a different judge when the case came to his docket, but with the full confidence of an arrogant ass used to getting his own way, Savoie said, "no problem" and accepted the former mediator as judge.

Now he sues.

Goddog, very sorry to hear of your troubles. Here's hoping that things will work out for you and your family.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

When she took the kids, it wasn't yet "kidnap". It was all part of their custody agreement. It became kidnap when she failed to return at the end of the 6 week, agreed upon "home-country visit".

It may seem like the same thing to some readers, especially to any left behind parents.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Whether he was here (living)or not (coming from the US to visit)is irrelevant. Either way he wouldnt be granted visitation rights. Dont even argue this point. His ex was supposed to return after the vacation and she didnt, so shes breaking the law in the US. Japan is protecting her as they always do with their nationals in this situation. Both parents especially if they are/were good parents should be able to visit the kids but we all know that in Japan they wont do anything to enforce this. Here or there has no bearing on the situation. Its messed up curruption.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

btw. Savoie is completely correct in saying the judge should have known about custody problems with Japan. Sue that judge and get them booted. What a stupid mistake judge.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This case just don't make sense to me. The guy was a naturalized Japanese citizen marrying to a Japanese woman married in Japan making both children are Japanese citizen (with no dual citizenship). The family goes to the US all with Japanese VISA and the guy files divorce? How did the Tennessee district court even consider this case valid? Really does not make any sense.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

does anyone know if Savoie still has Japanese citizenship? or did he renounce it? and IF he is still a japanese citizen, how is he allowed to permanently live and work in the U.S? Unless he's got green card.. hmm.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Come on people put on yr thinking caps, clearly neither mom nor dad are saints, far from it by the looks of that.

Having said that this whole problem exists because of Jpns screwed laws & primitive thinking, clearly this guy moved his family & then divorced beacause it was THE ONLY WAY to have a shot at staying in his kids lives, if he got divorced in Jpn he wud have been shut out like so many others.

I dont condone his methods but its easy to understand his thinking.

Jpn needs to clean up its system so both parents can be part of their kids lives in the case of divorce plain & simple.

How about Jpn?? Care to step up to the plate & do the right thing or do you need to be embarassed in front of the whole world some more first?? I bet on the later, shame though

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I was watching some TV show the other day.. A comedian who got divorced a few years ago said he sees his kids twice a week, and then Sanma (a famous comedian) said "That is so Kawaiso for the kids". He said, since the kids already have a step dad (mom remarried), it is Kawaiso for kids to have to go between the new dad and the biological dad.

I have heard the same exact thing many times here... Many people think once children have new dad (step dad), it is better for them not to see their biological father...

Japan doesn't sign the Hague Convention not only because to protect it's women from "abusive" foreign spouses (by the way, this is such a BS!!), but basically, the way many Japanese people think of children's happiness is actually different from the way westerners think.

So unless we can do something about the difference way of thinking, I think cases like Savoie's will continue happening..

It was actually interesting how Sanma said that confidently (without a doubt, Sanma truely believes children would be happy with a step dad and not see their biological dad until they are adults) while the divorced comedian looked like he wanted to burst Sanma's bubbles.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Americans can sue Judges? Well I guess that makes more work for other Judges.Where does it end?

This dude Savoie has done massive damage to the cause of parents who want to see their children in Japan.He has brought 100% of what has happened to him upon himself and should start looking closer to home for someone to blame

0 ( +0 / -0 )

he became a naturalized Japanese citizen during his time in Japan - and as Japan does not have dual-nationality, he isn't a US citizen.

Unless he renounced his US citizenship, then he is still a US citizen. Japan might consider him to not be a Japanese citizen, based on violation of Japanese conditions of citizenship, but this would have zero to do with his US citizen status.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Unless he renounced his US citizenship, I thought, he wouldn't have been able to get Japanese citizenship.. correct me if I'm wrong.

Japanese Nationality Act (article5, 1-6 ) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_nationality_law

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Everyone here knows that my ex took my baby boy 3 years ago and the police did nothing to help me but arrest(twice), persecute and harass me to the point of suicide. Yet I decided to continue my life..got remarried and had a new baby girl. No day passes without me thinking how is my little boy doing..is he smiling now? is he crying? is he hungry or cold? I rather think he is fine. Unfortunately my mind is wrecked for life, I have many deep emotional and mental problems but somehow I can still work and take care of my new family. I'm definitely hanging on. I've been living here since 2004 and counting, no plans to go back(to my homeland)...ever. Unless of course I get thrown out? hmmm...but then again I try to stay busy with the kendo and sadou lessons. Also I play the Koto. Goddog, honey..you are not the only one. I'm here too. I had my baby inside of me for 9 months and he was taken away from me. My story is horrible so I prefer not to go into detail. Anyways, I'm on wikipedia so, I'm sure many people know who I am though. Still I pray for mental and emotional relief to all those loving parents left behind. I pray for you as I hope people can pray for me. I'm trying to not succumb into suicidal thoughts again, I have two more children, you know...and a loving husband. I'm deeply sorry to read this sort of news.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

hang in there, kyoko. killing yourself doesn't solve any problem. be strong for your babies (and yes, including your boy)

Moderator: Readers, please focus your comments on the story and refrain from posting any personal information about yourselves.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How can the court give the foreign wife custody then order her to live in Tennessee? Is that normal?

She's also a dual Japan/US dual citizen. It's standard to for judges to require custodial parents to remain in-state so that the other parent can be near their children.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For those of you condeming him for divorcing her after they moved to the States, may I suggest that you don't know the full story. I had a good friend who did something similar because his Japanese wife had made numerous suicide threats in front of their children. It was clear to all that she had mental health problems but she refused to get help. It became a serious concern as to not only if she'd actually kill herself but if she'd tried to kill the kids as well. It was to the point where the husband was afraid to go to work and leave her with the kids and her family was no help at all. A lawyer here actually recomended that he move the family back to his country, try to get her help there and if she still refused, then go through with a divorce, so that's what he did. It wasn't what he wanted to do but it was probably the only way he was going to ensure that his kids lived to see adulthood and in a stable home. None of us knows what went on in the Savoie house but given what I've seen over the years and knowing how slim his chances were of even getting enforced visitation rights - even with Japanese citizenship- I don't blame him for waiting until they were away from here to divorce. She certainly could have learned the language and made friends, just as those of us who are living outside of our home countries have done.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Unless he renounced his US citizenship, I thought, he wouldn't have been able to get Japanese citizenship.. correct me if I'm wrong. Japanese Nationality Act (article5, 1-6 )http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanesenationalitylaw

I don't think you have to prove that you have renounced your other citizenship. So you can get Japanese citizenship while keeping your original citizenship, which is what most people do. Getting Japanese citizenship has no effect on your original citizenship.

However, if you're caught out by Japan, you could lose your Japanese citizenship. That's how I understand it, anyway. Japan has no power to rescind your other nationality. Only you can do that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

fishy,

Yr sanma story is just another example of just how cold too many Japanese are, the sad thing here is many J-dads seem to quite easily opt out of their kids lives, classic example was koizumi/PMinister.

Jpn is a cold cold place even in the heat of summer

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Unless ex is abusive to the child(ren), I despise people who strip ex of visitation right. That is abhorrently selfish, period. Don't people have the decency to feel for others? You cannot make it as couple shouldn't translate into getting at each other's throat at every opportunity.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

thundercat at 10:29 AM JST - 28th April I find it kind of strange that you would admire someone who broke the >laws of this country.

We are talking about his bringing action against the Tennessee Court judge and the attorney. We aren't talking about, much less admiring, anything else.

KaptainKichigai at 10:49 AM JST - 28th April Ossan America, this article has a great deal in it about Japan.

Yes as a background but the entire article itself is about legal action being brought in a Tennessee legal forum.

I wish we could do it in Japan, but unfortunately there is no >enforcement of Civil Suit Judgementas in Japan. A Judges decision is >just a "strong suggestion".

Yes and no. In very clear cut cases, US civil judgements may be enforced by a Japanese Court through comity. However it would have to pass high standards. For example a default judgement in a US State has basically no chance at all. From the mid 1800s Japan suffered from being "bullied" by western colonial powers who established foreigner "zones" in Kobe and Yokohoma and elsewhere where Japanese laws did not apply to foreigners. Personally I suspect that left a lingering taste of unfairness which manifests itself in Japanese Laws often rejecting foreign judgements and being "difficult" with foreign requests that in any way touches on Japanese jurisdiction.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There seems to be a lot of misperceptions on this board, so let me help clarify:

Citizenship – yes, he is a dual citizen of Japan and the US. The US allows dual citizenship, so being a Japanese citizen has no effect on his US citizenship whatsoever.

Breaking the law – The only person who ever broke any laws was Noriko Savoie. Mr. Savoie did not break any laws in Japan. When he traveled to Japan to recover his kidnapped children, his custody order from the United States was the only legal order in existence, and by default, he was the only legally recognized custodian in both the US and Japan. Japan made a knee-jerk arrest and released Mr. Savoie without pressing any charges, because there were no crimes to charge him with.

US vs. Japanese courts - Because of Mr. Savoie's expertise in Japan, he knew how dangerous the situation was to both he and his children. He did the ONLY thing ANY loving parent could do. He insisted on getting the divorce in the ONLY country that offers legal protection enabling his children to grow up knowing and loving both parents. Japan is the #1 world leader in International Child Abduction. In the past decade, 231 children have been abducted to Japan and NONE have ever been returned. Since the establishment of a sovereign post war Japanese government in 1952, Japan has NEVER returned a child to any country. Japan is quite literally a black hole from which no child has EVER returned.

Mr. Savoie would have certainly gotten a better financial deal in Japan, but instead he gave up his entire fortune in the divorce in order to hold the divorce in the United States. He did this because he put the best interest of his children over money. Unfortunately, due to this judges negligent actions, even that was not enough, and Rebecca and Isaac were lost as another Japan abduction like the hundreds who went before them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He insisted on getting the divorce in the ONLY country that offers legal protection enabling his children to grow up knowing and loving both parents.

So he lied on the application when he petitioned Noriko to come to U.S. on a spousal visa. (Please note that Savoie served the divorce papers a day after she arrived to U.S.)

"I rented the house to Christopher and Nokiro," he said. "She wanted the marriage to work, but he left. She was in the house for a year and two months...

http://www.wbir.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=100692&catid=168

...Crafton, a native of Japan who befriended Noriko Savoie during her short time in Tennessee, said her friend tried to get a divorce while the couple still lived in Japan, but her husband had refused and later persuaded her to move to the U.S. with the children.

"Everything was provided so she could begin a new lifestyle, but right after that he gave her divorce papers," Crafton said. "So basically she was trapped."....

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2009/09/30/international/i012618D24.DTL

Sorry bud. If he was thinking about the best interest if his children, he would of stayed in Japan, a recognized habitual residence of the children. Instead, it was he who left them in Jan of 2008 and shacked up with his current wife while pretending to Noriko that they wanted to work things out in TN.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sorry bud. If he was thinking about the best interest if his children, he would of stayed in Japan, a recognized habitual residence of the children. Instead, it was he who left them in Jan of 2008 and shacked up with his current wife while pretending to Noriko that they wanted to work things out in TN.

Sorry to you bud. Sure, he could have gotten a divorce in Japan where a judge has absolutely no power of enforcement. He could have taken the very “Japanese” way out and divorced, provided no money to his ex, and walked away forever from his children. Instead, he moved back to the United States, where parental and children’s rights are respected and enforced. He knew that by getting divorced in the US, he would have the legal protections to guarantee a life with his children. To do this, he had to pay an exorbitant and obscene amount to Noriko (I believe I saw in the newspapers that it was over $700,000). He paid this because his concern was first and foremost being able to have a life with his children. He could have gotten his divorce in Japan, kept his $700,000, and walked away from his children like so many Japanese fathers do, but he truly loved his children and sacrificed his life savings so he could guarantee his children the gift of being able to know and love both of their parents. Noriko, unfortunately, had her cake and ate it too. She voluntarily and happily came to the US for the divorce where she gladly took the huge sum of money, and then promptly kidnapped the children to the world’s #1 nation for child abduction, Japan, where she remains as a wanted criminal. The worst part is that this Tennessee judge let it happen. What a tragedy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This guy tried to play the sytem and was busted. When it looked like his plans would not work his way he kidnaped his own kids and tried to take them to a place where he knew he would be given the benifit of the doubt and have a much easier time in controlling the fallout. I am only sorry that they let his but out of jail.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japanabducts, America might allow dual citizenship but Japan doesn't. The dude made a concious decision to become a Japanese national and that entails renouncing your other citizenship. If the Japanese way of doing things is not good enough after that, then he should seek to change that within Japan. Running to his old country and tricking his wife to go there is not cool. It makes him a traitor and a liar.

Noriko was a recognized guardian of the children...OF COURSE! What she did was violate a court order not to take the children out of the country and to raise them in Tennesse. A pretty bizarre order given the fact that she came to America on the premise of getting her husband back, which turned out to be an utter lie. Utter lies are deal breakers. She was in the country under a false premise and should have been allowed to go right back as she had come. Instead they tell her to raise the kids in Tennessee? There was no job waiting for her, no family or friends to help her, no nothing. She is not a native to America and had no citizenship. So how in blazes is she supposed to raise kids there let alone keep her sanity?

Sorry, but it all goes back to Chris pledging allegiance to Japan. If Japan's rules just were not good enough for him, he should have thought of that first. Its not like it was a circumstance of birth or something. He made the concious choice. He should have slept in the bed he made. Since he didn't he has harmed the position of other naturized citizens and other parents trying have some form of custody of their kids after divorce. This guy is disrespectful and destructive.

I don't like Japan's position either, but America's is no better. But fact is, all of this should have stayed in Japan, the place the kids were born and raised, the land of their mother and the land Chris chose. It was Chris alone that made this an international incident.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japanabducts said: She voluntarily and happily came to the US for the divorce

That is so obviously wrong. Of course she did not do that! How in the world could you think for one second she would do that? Of course she would want to divorce in Japan! She would not drag the kids to the U.S. just to file for divorce!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Yr sanma story is just another example of just how cold too many Japanese are, the sad thing here is many J-dads seem to quite easily opt out of their kids lives, classic example was koizumi/PMinister."

This is not the coldness of Japanese people. It is the result of the system that does not properly deal with these issues, mental and physical disabilities and much more. The system is backward. J Dads are like any Dads anywhere in the world. In the Japanese "system", J Dads, due to the system, sacrifice being with their children to provide for their children. It is culturally different to the west, but it should be understood. They are not cold, the system makes them cold.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

She is not a native to America and had no citizenship.

I thought she was a dual citizen as well.

Still, if the court order required her to stay in the US, that's what she should have done if she cared about her children. We can hardly condemn Chris for flouting the law if Noriko is doing the same thing.

Millions upon millions of immigrants have begun lives in America with a lot less English ability and general smarts than Noriko has. And they didn't have $700,000 in seed money to keep them set for life.

MistWizard, it looks to me like Noriko accepted the US as the forum for the divorce because she knew that then she could get the massive financial settlement that wives tend to get in the US, and then run back to Japan and keep the kids all to herself, something that wouldn't have been as possible in the US. She made sure Chris was on the losing end both financially and emotionally.

Chris may not be a saint, but as things stand now, we have a loving father stripped of his fortune and of any ties with his children, and a mother who is now rich, totally anonymous, and depriving her children of one of the most important people in any child's life.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It has never been properly explained why this guy Savoie was let out of prison after so obviously having committed several illegal not to mention morally depraved acts.I feel sorriest for the kids but wish that he would apologise to Noriko and just let the thing die rather than stirring up more unwanted publicity for her and the children

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The fact that Japan still hasn't signed the Hague Convention on Child Abduction is awful. And it's incredibly hypocritical for Japanese to say that they don't want to get involved in domestic disputes so they don't arrest Japanese people who abduct their children, but then go around arresting the foreign spouses who try to get them back! My heart goes out to all the parents who have been shut out of their childrens' lives. My husband is Japanese, and every time I read a case like this I tell him if we have kids, get divorced, and he takes them back to Japan, I will hunt him down and do, well, not-so-nice things to his naughty bits. Thankfully, he said his own parents would probably help me were he to do something like that.

HOWEVER - Christopher Savoie is a tool. He tricked his whole family into moving to a foreign country for his own selfish reasons. I don't care if he was afraid his wife would take the kids and run. Self-fulfilling prophecy much? The best interest of the children, first and foremost, is to be in a loving, stable environment. Savoie messed that up the minute he moved them to the U.S. where he was punished his wife for the rest of her life to follow him around like a dog until the kids were grown. If the situation were reversed, and my husband coaxed me to move to Japan only to serve me with divorce papers and then tell me I could only see my kids by agreeing to live in some country town away from MY family so he could live a happy new life with his new bride, I would have done the same thing. No sympathy for this man what-so-ever.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

pandaclair

its my understanding she went to the USA knowing shud wud be paid, if thats true she pulled a real scam, as I said before these 2 are both clearly at fault to some extent but its Jpns daft primitive stoneage system thats caused this whole sorry affair!

stevobevo

J Dads, due to the system, sacrifice being with their children to provide for their children. It is culturally different to the west, but it should be understood. They are not cold, the system makes them cold.

Ok now who made the system, oh the Japanese! They made a cold system & produces lots of cold people, I wud say they have done it to themselves, they cud change things but its unlikely. Me I understand it very well & its cold!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

michaelqtodd: wrote: "It has never been properly explained why this guy Savoie was let out of prison after so obviously having committed several illegal not to mention morally depraved acts.I feel sorriest for the kids but wish that he would apologise to Noriko and just let the thing die rather than stirring up more unwanted publicity for her and the children"

Mr. Todd we all know you have your agenda to promote your personal philosophy BUT could you at least stick to the facts!

This man broke no laws and if you and everyone else would even bother to check things out that would be obvious.

In japan there is no such thing as parental abduction and possession is the rule, the first parent to grab the children and run gets them if the other parent grabs them back and succeeds in hiding long enough for the children to be "established" then they will be granted custody and this can go on and on if the parents keep grabbing the children from each other the last time a foreign father tried the same thing as Mr. Savoie, he was stopped at Kansai airport but the police had nothing to charge him with, so they came up with a little know and very old Meiji era law still on the books of "trafficking a minor female for reasons of prostitution" just long enough for the mother to take the girl and hide her, then they released the man.

Mr. Savoie broke no Japanese laws and that is why they had to release him on the other had Mrs. Savoie did break US law.

I know of at least 2 Japanese ex couples that have been doing this tug of war for several years now and when I said to them "can't this get you in trouble?" their answers were all the same their lawyer arranged all the locating and returning of their children through PI agencies but they must be the ones that actually take the children for it to be legal.

So you if you love Japan so much learn the laws and customs of the land correctly, this is how the Japanese do it so it would be only fair that the police in Japan bud out when a non-Japanese does the same instead of inventing reasons to hold them in-order for the Japanese parent to have an advantage!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The point is whether or not he is acting in the best interests of the children in stirring up more publicity and trouble. I say no he is not

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ThonTaddeo said: Millions upon millions of immigrants have begun lives in America with a lot less English ability and general smarts than Noriko has. And they didn't have $700,000 in seed money to keep them set for life.

And how many were forcibly relocated to the U.S. via a court order?? As for Noriko's dual citizenship I sort of doubt that. A whole bunch was reported that was later retracted, and it was initially reported that she had dual citizenship, this via interviews of Chris who was find to have lied constantly during that interview. nigelboy says she went to the U.S. on a spousal visa. What nigelboy says seems a whole lot more likely. Its quite possible she did get U.S. citizenship or at least permanent residency after going to the U.S. and got it easily via her children. It still does not mean she ever wanted to live there.

While it is possible that she calculated that she could take the money and run, I find it to be HIGHLY unlikely that she would take such a risk, kids in tow. She could have lost the kids permanently, and nearly did when Chris filed for sole custody.

Back to the part about the retractions: It seems the reason we are so misinformed is because Chris lied his @$$ off at the initial interviews. I can't say much about Noriko, but it seems Chris is quite a lying piece of work. He lied when he applied for Japanese citizenship, nigelboy says he lied to obtain the spousal visa, and he lied profusely to the press. Meanwhile nothing but conjecture about Noriko.

I used to back the Hague convention on reflex. But after looking at this case I am certianly having doubts about it. Its hard to resolve a dispute between two people like this. If the Hague supports Chris's case over Noriko's I think something might be wrong with it. Japan might have been correct not so sign it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japanabducts

Sorry to break it to you but Noriko could of very well filed a divorce not only in Japan but in Tennessee as well for all it takes is for one party to fulfil the residency requirements under Tennessee Statute.

“The spouse filing for the divorce must be a resident of the state at the time the grounds for divorce took place. If the grounds took place outside the state of Tennessee, one of the spouses must be a resident for 6 months prior to filing. The divorce shall be filed in the county in which both spouses reside if they are both residents; or the county in which the respondent resides if he or she is a resident; or the county in which the petitioner resides. (Tennessee Code – Volume 6A, Title 36, Sections 36-4-104 and 36-4-105)”

So yeah. I believe that Noriko brought her kids to Tennesse in good faith in hopes to patch thing up. And why not considering that Noriko agreed their kids to move a place that was completely foreign to them. If this was just a case of trying to get a better settlement in the U.S. courts in terms of division of assets, then there was no need to obtain the visa or bring the children to Tennessee.

Just imagine the shock and dissapointment when Noriko was served with the divorce papers the day after she arrived in TN. The guy is a scum.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

its my understanding she went to the USA knowing shud wud be paid, if thats true she pulled a real scam

Absolutely true. She wanted the divorce in Japan, he wanted it in America. They both knew they were getting divorced. There were no "Tricks" here. They had been separated for four years prior to the divorce. Noriko knew she could come to the US for the divorce, get all his money in the divorce (because Chris was willing to give it all up to ensure he could have a life with his children) and then she could run and abduct the children and get the best of both worlds. She could get all his money via the US divorce AND get complete and total access to the children via the kidnapping to Japan. Noriko got it all and Chris got screwed, and all he wanted was to be able to have a life with his children.

For those of you who critize him, I ask, what would you do? Get a divorce in a Japan where you would likely never be able to see your children again, but you would get to keep most if not all your money, or get a divorce in the United States, where you would have to give up most of your fortune, but you could be guaranteed a loving life with your children. Answer that honestly and you will have no room to criticize Chris Savoie, because he clearly demonstrated parental love first and foremost and love of his children before money.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Absolutely true. She wanted the divorce in Japan, he wanted it in America.

Yes. She wanted the divorce in Japan, hence you can throw "get all his money in the divorce" theory right out the window.

And if her intention was to "get all his money via the US divorce", she could of done so by filing the divorce proceeding by herself in TN.

For those of you who critize him, I ask, what would you do?

Get a divorce in Japan without using the courts. Stay in Japan and work out an amicable visitation schedule with your ex-spouse. A lot of divorced couples do this in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

First for all those who for some reason are saying, poor Japanese woman in a foreign land garbage, here are some facts. This poor woman managed to not only get a lawyer but also get $700,000 out of this man then also proceed to get a no travel order lifted and passports back, no naive innocence there!

If this man wants to see his children then he needs to do things like the Japanese, go after every one around her get any and all dirt and make it clear that if she is not willing to work things out then he will let loose the dogs of war through ever legal means possible, and for those who are wondering what that means it means the most common one here in Japan and that is suing anyone and everyone from her parents to her friends for contributing to the breakup of the marriage whether actual or not this usually bring the parties back to the negotiating table fast and with a renewed motivation to actually come to an acceptable solution for all especially the children who have the right to see and be with both parents!

Mr. Savioe if you are reading this hire a PI and get what you need to force her back to the table.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Stay in Japan and work out an amicable visitation schedule with your ex-spouse.

And if she doesn't wish to be amicable, what legal protections are afforded to him in Japan, where family law has no enforcement mechanisms, and compliance is completely voluntary.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The point is whether or not he is acting in the best interests of the children in stirring up more publicity and trouble. I say no he is not

Exactly the point. People are obviously on one side or the other and are unlikely to change their perspective, but what child custody really comes down to is what is in the children's best interests. Studies on the effects of divorce on children vary, but from what I understand the best situation is a stable one, where both parents, while not living together, mutually respect one another, and where children's lives do not become disrupted from their previous lives. Savoie screwed this up when he made his family move to the U.S.!!

I don't doubt his love for his children, but let's face it - BOTH these parents love themselves much more. However, I side with Noriko on this issue because the kids were born and raised in Japan. It sucks that in the world of divorce women more often than not get the kids. There's prejudice in the system. But considering how much prejudice there is in the world the other way around, I think this is something men are just going to have deal with. And it sucks that foreigners don't have many of the same rights as Japanese while living in Japan. And so, it sucks that if he stayed in Japan to get divorced he may have lost the chance for joint custody. But who's to say that his sole custody of the kids in the U.S. is better than the mother's sole custody in Japan? An American judge? Who even knows if it was a fair trial, especially given the mother's level of English.

If Savoie REALLY loved his kids, and was willing to sacrifice his own happiness for their well-being, he would have done his absoulte best to work an amicable split with their mother so they could continue going to the same schools, seeing the same friends, and living in the same house. Instead, he selfishly brought the whole family to a foreign country for his own comfort. He gambled and lost.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"People are obviously on one side or the other"

True. And here's where I'm coming from. Originally I knew of the case from reading news reports and went into default ("OMG! Poor left out non-Japanese parent. Then kept seeing Savoie and his new wife in interviews. And started questioning their judgement in showing photos of ALL their blended family on the news.

Then, I started reading court transcripts. And learned that there was a lot of factually inaccuracy in what Chris and his new wife were saying. And things like the fact that Noriko had to forfeit ALL that money she got in settlement, in order to keep her kids back in Japan. And how much effort she made to try to adjust to her new circumstances in TN. And how much harder it was being made by having the new wife and her mother drop by, against her wishes.

There is a lot of factual information available, via the net. And still a lot of utter crap, like the idea that Noriko got all chris's cash and the kids, that's still being floated.

Please don't believe everything that you see on the boards and also be aware that the new Mrs. Savoie herself has been posting on news boards, under a variety of names.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Answer that honestly and you will have no room to criticize Chris Savoie, because he clearly demonstrated parental love first and foremost and love of his children before money.

Unfortunately, such heroic image was shattered by his irrationality, which is quite comparable to the political maneuvering by the legal institution. He's the one who made a choice to file a divorce in the US because he believed his nation's legal system regarding the family law. What he should have been aware of, however, is that the system is not well adjusted to international legal cases. Neither the state legislatures, the federal government, nor the US Congress has any power to prevent the international abduction.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

believed/believed in

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For those of you who critize him, I ask, what would you do?

Face the music of the law of my adopted country while trying to win the judges to my side. But before that do everything to make sure the divorce is amicable.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

do everything to make sure the divorce is amicable.

Funny how nobody can answer the question I posed. If she doesn't wish to be amicable, what legal protections are afforded to him in Japan, where family law has no enforcement mechanisms, and compliance is completely voluntary?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japanabducts, he could have declined divorcing. He could have stayed with his family, in Japan, rather than leaving them behind to be with his mistress and her family in a foreign country.

And here's a question for you. What could she have done, after he absconded to the US with all the money they'd earned over 14 years of marriage, sticking her dad for outstanding student loans for the doctorate he did in Japan?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Funny how nobody can answer the question I posed. If she doesn't wish to be amicable, what legal protections are afforded to him in Japan, where family law has no enforcement mechanisms, and compliance is completely voluntary?

Frankly, "amicable" went right out the window when Chris left from Japan, abandoning his kids, so he could shack up with his mistress. And so did his "parental rights" IMO.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

he could have declined divorcing

Noriko had been asking for the divorce for years and they had been separated for years. He just wanted to ensure his divorce included legal protections. So I am assuming from your answer and from Nigelboy's answer that you both agree that Japan offers no legal protections. Sounds like Chris took the only possible action that could protect his children's human rights to know and love both their parents.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So I am assuming from your answer and from Nigelboy's answer that you both agree that Japan offers no legal protections.

You're assuming wrong since you already are in a set mind frame, like the US courts, that both parents must have access to the kids without taking into consideration that the best interest of the children ,first and foremost, is to remain in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

One thing that is not getting published about this case and I cannot figure out why not, because it is clear in the court documents, is that the mother is a documented child abuser and this is why she lost custody. Have any of you read the documents available from the court? Nothing else matters. She was a child abuser. On the other hand, there were absolutely no allegations of abuse by the father against either the children or the mother in a highly contested divorce. And that is a rare situation because if there is even a hint of evidence it would be alleged against a man.

This being the case, any jurisdiction that provided supervision of the mother and intervention by the father would have been better. Anyone who supports the mother here is supporting a documented child abuser. That clearly means that these kids should not be in Japan where nobody can intervene and maintain their safety.

Japan is one of the worst places in the world to raise children post-divorce as far as protections to their psychology and interests go, especially when there is clear and convincing evidence of child abuse and neglect. Even Japanese experts in family law agree. Read some law journals. I feel sorry for the foreigners living in Japan posting this garbage in support of a kidnapper and wanted felon child abuser in order to make themselves feel better about living in that place. Shame on you. Japan may have many positive aspects about it but to suggest that the best place for these abuse victims is in Japan with their abuser and without access to their non-abuser custodial father, is beyond nuts. It is just evil.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

because it is clear in the court documents, is that the mother is a documented child abuser

Please provide sources for your assertion. That means something other than what 'some guy posted on the interweb thingy'

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japanabducts said: If she doesn't wish to be amicable, what legal protections are afforded to him in Japan, where family law has no enforcement mechanisms, and compliance is completely voluntary?

It just so happens that I don't think that meddling by the authorities makes things better for the kids in a divorce.

the mother is a documented child abuser

Ummm...yeah. I have not seen that documentation but I have seen lots showing that Chris is a compulsive liar. Its even been alledged that his new wife floods the net with that sort of wild hearsay. The more that it is said by the pro-Chris crowd the better Noriko looks. Seriously.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

From The Tennessean: "Also named in the federal lawsuit are the law firm Stites & Harbison, which employed Martin as a mediator, and Celia Woolverton, a court-ordered parental coordinator in the case.

Savoie filed a state lawsuit April 6 against his former divorce attorney Virginia Lee Story, claiming she failed to object to proceedings that Martin oversaw and actions he took."

and also:

"Before the hearing started, Story told Martin that Christopher Savoie had no objection to his hearing the case. Martin asked Story and Savoie if they wanted to postpone the hearing. Christopher Savoie told Martin he would "rather go through mediation," according to a transcript."

He probably would have been better off with a judge who didn't actually know all the people involved.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

http://www.tennessean.com/comments/article/20100427/NEWS01/4270334/Franklin-man-whose-ex-wife-fled-to-Japan-with-children-sues-judge-in-custody-case

Another site where someone is posting outrageous claims about child abuse; something I never saw in the court documents.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

the mother is a documented child abuser and this is why she lost custody.

I would like to see a link to such documents. I don't believe they exist. The fact is that the US court gave custody of the children to Noriko, with the provider that she live in Tennessee so that Chris could have access.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

An arrest warrant issued in Tennessee for Savoie’s ex-wife has no effect in Japan because the country hasn’t signed the 1980 Hague Convention on International Child Abduction

Has absolutely nothing at all to do with this "1980 Hague Convention on International Child Abduction," the reason it has no effect in Japan, is because there is NO EXTRADITION TREATY between Japan and The U.S.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Another site where someone is posting outrageous claims about child abuse; something I never saw in the court documents.

And if you scroll down you see the user JapanAbducts posting about the 1000 pound gorilla in the room. Would the real 1000 pound gorilla please stand up!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Oh, the abuse record is certainly true and it is there. But there are no "links" to it. You need to be more resourceful than that if you really want to know the truth. Look up the 6th district case on Pacer, get the complaint (not the suppressed one but the one listed as document 8) and read it. When you have it, post here allegation #12 so I know you did it. Then I will give you the rest of the clues.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Look up the 6th district case on Pacer

Looks like Pacer requires registration and billing details. No thank you.

If there were documented abuse, I have no doubt Chris would be using it as a weapon in his favour. So why hasn't he even mentioned abuse?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That's exactly my point! I think he has been hiding this to protect his kids and ex-wife. What scum! Abuse should not be hidden for any motive. He is a liar and should not be ashamed of telling the truth about his ex-wife being an abuser! And if you want to know the truth it is there.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ihateabusers,

Japan is one of the worst places in the world to raise children post-divorce as far as protections to their psychology and interests go, especially when there is clear and convincing evidence of child abuse and neglect. Even Japanese experts in family law agree. Read some law journals. I feel sorry for the foreigners living in Japan posting this garbage in support of a kidnapper and wanted felon child abuser in order to make themselves feel better about living in that place. Shame on you.

Who the heck are you to say you are sorry for the foreigners living in japan blah blah, shame on you blah blah.. ???????? you just appeared like a day or two ago all the sudden and then saying all the garbage. Shame on you. If you are to say Noriko was a child abuser, give us a link that says so, and by MY own standard, both Noriko and Christopher seriously abused the kids by taking the actions they did.

is that the mother is a documented child abuser and this is why she lost custody

She had the kids custody first UNTIL she left the country with the kids, didn't she???? Why did she get the custody if she was a child abuser?

Give us a link or prove what you're saying are correct because you're not making any sense.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

the abuse record is certainly true and it is there. But there are no "links" to it. You need to be more resourceful than that if you really want to know the truth

Divorce proceedings are a matter of public record and abuse allegations do NOT appear in the the court documents.

Wild and false accusations are libel. Provide documentation to the contrary.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Bottom Line: Chris Savoie went to great lengths to protect the human rights of his children to be able to know and love both parents, and he is making every effort and doing everything he possibly can to recover his kidnapped children and Noriko Savoie is in hiding as a wanted felon for kidnapping.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And my point stands you cannot get the documented evidence of abuse on the web. You need to buy the whole case from the Williamson county court. And it is a public record. And it costs a bit more than the $2 that a Pacer printout costs. Write them and get it. Here is your free hint: the case number is 34775. If you give them that number, the style of the case and a couple hundred dollars you can find out the truth. Truth is all that matters here. When you have the documents let me know and I will tell you where to look. I wonder if anyone will actually care enough to drop the $200? Probably not is my guess.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

lol, drop $200 just to argue on JT? You're right, not likely. I feel sorry for the guy and I hope he wins his suit in the US. But I highly doubt he's ever going to get his kids back. I just hope we don't get to read about their untimely demise at the hands of the ex here in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sorry, your wild accusations are not going to entice me to fall for a scam like an archive search of public records. You are obviously trying to scam people out of money by libeling someone else.

If you really cared, you would publish these so called public records yourself for the world to see. Since you do not, one can only conclude that they do not exist.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I do not think a judge will grant Ms. Noriko Savoie custody of the children if there was doubts of child abuse against her unless she went through extensive rehab or there was no evidence to support the claim. If the judge had granted custody to a person with liability of child abuse then the judge had made a gross mistake of judgment in placing the children into harms way which will make the whole case invalid in the first place.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Chris Savoie went to great lengths to protect the human rights of his children

No, he went to great lengths to try and get his cake and eat it. He dragged two small children and their mother across the world to live in a country that was foreign to them, just so that he could set up house with another family. He manipulated the kids, he manipulated their mother, he manipulated the law. If he really cared about the kids, he would have stayed in Japan.

There is no suggestion anywhere of child abuse by either parent (apart from Chris violently grabbing them off the street on their way to school, which sounds pretty abusive to me). Ihateabusers is trolling.

For the Tennessee court to decide that Tennessee was the habitual residence of the children beggars belief and the judge does deserve to be sued for incompetence and bias - but by Noriko, not Chris.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@cleo Totally.I had the same thought. I reckon the kids had a lucky escape.

If this dude Chris was serious about having a relationship with his kids it is perfectly possible for him to come here to Japan and do it.So where is he? Or would it be "inconvenient"?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is probably "inconvenient" for his new wife and her kids to live in Japan. How would you feel if you were dragged halfway around the planet to live in a strange land you barely knew and deal with a language you may or may not feel comfortable using, far from all of your friends and the family you grew up with.

Oh, wait...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If this dude Chris was serious about having a relationship with his kids it is perfectly possible for him to come here to Japan and do it

I feel like I'm repeating myself over again. Read the string. Japan, #1 child abducting nation in the world. Hello?! Also, I had posed here a simple question which nobody could address. In Japan, where compliance with family law is completely voluntary and no enforcement mechanism exists, what legal protections are afforded to Mr. Savoie or his children to protect them if Noriko chooses to not let him see the children. What are his legal recourses? Nobdody can seem to answer that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I feel like I'm repeating myself over again. Read the string. Japan, #1 child abducting nation in the world. Hello?! Also, I had posed here a simple question which nobody could address. In Japan, where compliance with family law is completely voluntary and no enforcement mechanism exists, what legal protections are afforded to Mr. Savoie or his children to protect them if Noriko chooses to not let him see the children. What are his legal recourses? Nobdody can seem to answer that

Because you are. Read the arguments from other posters carefully (especially Cleo) and stop viewing Chris intention as something noble.

What makes you so sure that Noriko wouldn't grant visitation if Chris stayed in Japan considering the fact that Noriko agreed to bring her kids half way across the globe to be close with Chris? That in of itself is a consent to give Chris his visitation rights so you can shove your "Noriko chooses to note le him see the children" where the sun don't shine.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The woman is a felon kidnapper, perjurer (that means liar under oath) and a child abuser. She has not let the children even call their father. (That is from the $2.00 Pacer complaint and other court documents)

She broke a contract. She does not negotiate in good faith. Such a person needs a family law system that forces her to comply with what is in the kids' best interests which is to grow up with both parents. If any of you know anything about post-divorce parenting, you would understand this.

Japan does not have a family law system that is modern or functional. It was last updated in the 1800's. Japan does not protect kids from child abuse. It is a terrible system to be in with kids post-divorce. Divorce itself still carries a stigma in Japan.

And it is very clear from the record that the mom here moved to the US to get the money. She got it based on fraud and then kidnapped. That are the US legal facts. What you are proposing is anarchy. That it is OK to break just laws because you think it is OK. That is not OK. She wanted the money and wanted to keep the kids away from their father illegally. And she did so.

But Japanese people and their friends think very little of the laws of other countries. Kidnapping is OK. Fraud is OK. perjury is OK. Contract breaking is OK. Child abuse is OK. That is what I am hearing. Not surprised either, unfortunately.

And we are the only ones being censored for telling the truth.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What makes you so sure that Noriko wouldn't grant visitation if Chris stayed in Japan considering the fact that Noriko agreed to bring her kids half way across the globe to be close with Chris?

Thank you for making my point. The whole POINT and the entire problem is she could even have the ability to make this choice in Japan. In the United States, where our children's rights are protected by the rule of law, a parent COULD NOT be allowed to simply make that kind of arbitrary decisin.

In Japan, these children may or may not be allowed to exercise their human right to know and love both parents, and that decison can simply be arbitrarily made by one parent, no matter how unstable that parent is, and there are no provisions in law or no enforcement mechanisms to protect the other parent or to protect the children from having their human rights stripped away based on the whim of an unstable parent.

In the United States, those protections are in place. We, as a society, have determined that one parent should not be allowed to simply strip children away from their other parent. We have rules of evidence, enforcement and protections in place to protect our most innocent citizens, our children, from having this happen to them. Japan does not have these protections in place.

Unfortunately, until legal protections are in place in Japan, no Japanese citizen who is married to an American (or any foreigner) should ever be allowed to travel back to Japan. This is a terrible price to pay for Japanese citizens, but the finger of blame for this can only be pointed back at the Japanese government. Until Japan puts into place a family law system with enforcement mechanisms that can protect a child's human rights to know and love both parents, Japanese citizens traveling overseas will continue to suffer. IT'S HIGH TIME FOR JAPAN TO GET OUT OF THE 19th CENTURY AND ENTER THE 21st CENTURY and ENACT FAMILY LAWS THAT PROTECT CHILDREN AND PARENTS!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That are the US legal facts.

The US so-called 'legal facts' put the children's habitual residence in Tennessee, after they'd lived most of their tiny lives in Japan. Kinda knocks the stuffing out of any decision made on the basis of those 'facts'.

She broke a contract

Chris broke his marriage contract.

She does not negotiate in good faith.

Where do you find 'good faith' in dragging a woman and two small children half way around the world only to serve her with divorce papers as soon as they arrive? Where do you find 'good faith' in trapping a woman in a foreign land where she barely speaks the language, has no friends or family and little to no chance of getting a job to support herself? Stuck in a foreign limbo, it's no wonder she 'wanted the money'. How else is she supposed to live?

That it is OK to break just laws

There's nothing just about laws that put a woman and her children in that kind of situation.

And we are the only ones being censored

Who is 'we'? People who claim there is all kinds of documentary evidence of child abuse, but are unable to provide a single link? Self-censorship?

In the United States, where our children's rights are protected by the rule of law, a parent COULD NOT be allowed to simply make that kind of arbitrary decisin.

What kind of 'arbitrary decision'? Are you trying to suggest that an American parent would be prevented by law from moving with the children to a foreign country to live with the other parent, also an American citizen, both parents being legally married to each other? Pardon my French, but that sounds like rubbish.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Thank you for making my point. The whole POINT and the entire problem is she could even have the ability to make this choice in Japan.

No sir. Your premise is based on the fact that Noriko would not give visitation rights if Chris remained in Japan which is simply not true.

The facts are, by Chris moving to U.S. and shacking up with his GF and eventually marrying her, he clearly showed that his primary interest was, first and foremost, himself and not the children. The failure for the U.S. courts to recognize this as well as not considering the true best interests of the children (which is to reside in Japan) clearly shows how messed up their systems really are.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No sir. Your premise is based on the fact that Noriko would not give visitation rights if Chris remained in Japan which is simply not true.

Wrong, my premise is based on the fact that Noriko, or ANYBODY, Could simply decide to do that in Japan. Japan offers no legal protections to ANY CHILD or ANY PARENT.

What kind of 'arbitrary decision'? Are you trying to suggest that an American parent would be prevented by law from moving with the children to a foreign country to live with the other parent.

NO, I am suggesting that ANY parent be prevented from moving to Japan because Japan offers no legal protections. An American parent could not arbitrarily decide to move to another state and withhold access from another parent. They would end up in Jail because our society protects children's human rights.

I know of one parent who is the only living parent of his child, and the child has been kidnapped by the Japanese Grandmother. Both the US State Department AND the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs have asked to visit his daughter to check on her health and well-being, but the abductor said "No". In Japan, where compliance is voluntary and no legal mechanisms exist to enforce family law, all the State Department and Ministry of Foreign Affairs can say is "Sorry, we tried, there's nothing else we can do." This is exactly the problem I am talking about in Japan. Christopher knew this about Japan and did what he had to do to legally protect his children's human rights.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The facts are, by Chris moving to U.S. and shacking up with his GF and eventually marrying her, he clearly showed that his primary interest was, first and foremost, himself and not the children. The failure for the U.S. courts to recognize this as well as not considering the true best interests of the children (which is to reside in Japan) clearly shows how messed up their systems really are.

I don't think his GF, who is his current wife, is the main reason for his stigma, since his marital relationship was already wrecked awhile ago. He and Noriko came to the US to file a divorce--not while they were living in the states. The US court system in the US is messed up, although it is parents' responsibilities to appeal child grievances at the court--rather than the court judges. You can't simply assume the Japanese cultural expectations in the US court, and it's vice versa.

NO, I am suggesting that ANY parent be prevented from moving to Japan because Japan offers no legal protections.

What legal protections are you referring? The rights to protect children from abusive parents? If so, that's exactly why the Ministry of Foreign Affairs believe that the Hague Convention is detrimental to the interests of Japanese parents. They assume that foreign parents tend to be more abusive than Japanese parents. Such premise contains a racial bias for the uncertainties of international marriage.

In Japan, where compliance is voluntary and no legal mechanisms exist to enforce family law, all the State Department and Ministry of Foreign Affairs can say is "Sorry, we tried, there's nothing else we can do." This is exactly the problem I am talking about in Japan. Christopher knew this about Japan and did what he had to do to legally protect his children's human rights.

He did know the constraints with Japanese family law, but he chose to come to the US for his chance of visitation rights--which will be slightly higher than in Japan. And, the argument that Chris flew to the US to protect his children's human rights is not very convincing, because it is based on the premise that his ex-wife could be as abusive as some dysfunctional Japanese parents-- which is unwarranted.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wrong, my premise is based on the fact that Noriko, or ANYBODY, Could simply decide to do that in Japan. Japan offers no legal protections to ANY CHILD or ANY PARENT.

Since you obviously look at a point from a worst case scenario, I'll give you one. Why would I want to support a system where in a worst case scenario, a law enforcement officer is involved in exercizing visitation rights/exchange of children? This scenario is yet again another example of a failed system where "best interests of the children" is lost because of the "me, me, me" selfish laws that plague the U.S. courts.

I know of one parent who is the only living parent

And I know couple parents who took their kids back to Japan because one husband was a junky and the other was a deadbeat. So yeah. When a mother takes her kids back to Japan and decides to raise them on their own as a single mother, you bet there is a compelling reason to do so.

To amerijap:

I don't think his GF, who is his current wife, is the main reason for his stigma, since his marital relationship was already wrecked awhile ago.

As I addressed this issue in the previous post, Noriko agreed to come to U.S. to work on the marriage.

"I rented the house to Christopher and Nokiro," he said. "She wanted the marriage to work, but he left. She was in the house for a year and two months...

http://www.wbir.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=100692&catid=168

...Crafton, a native of Japan who befriended Noriko Savoie during her short time in Tennessee, said her friend tried to get a divorce while the couple still lived in Japan, but her husband had refused and later persuaded her to move to the U.S. with the children.

"Everything was provided so she could begin a new lifestyle, but right after that he gave her divorce papers," Crafton said. "So basically she was trapped."....

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2009/09/30/international/i012618D24.DTL

In addition, according to court docs, Noriko was in TN under permanent residency. In order for that to happen, it’s Christopher that has to petition Noriko(I-130)under CR1 (spousal) in order for the residency to be approved.

He and Noriko came to the US to file a divorce--not while they were living in the states.

Not sure what you mean but under TN statute

“The spouse filing for the divorce must be a resident of the state at the time the grounds for divorce took place. If the grounds took place outside the state of Tennessee, one of the spouses must be a resident for 6 months prior to filing. The divorce shall be filed in the county in which both spouses reside if they are both residents; or the county in which the respondent resides if he or she is a resident; or the county in which the petitioner resides. (Tennessee Code – Volume 6A, Title 36, Sections 36-4-104 and 36-4-105)”

In other words, Noriko herself coulf of filed for divorce in TN if she wanted to. She didn't have to bring the children half way across the world.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Chris Savoie ensured a divorce in the only country that could protect the human rights of his children and in the only country with an existing enforcement mechanism to guarantee his children the right to know and love both of their parents. Noriko Savoie willingly flew to the United States for the divorce, knowing she would get a handsome sum of money for doing so. Noriko Savoie was granted a most generous amount of $700,000 by Chris in the divorce settlement. Chris gave up most of his fortune to be able to guarantee that he would have access to his children and that they would be guaranteed the right to know and love both of their parents. Noriko Savoie BROKE THE LAW and kidnapped the children and is now a wanted fellon criminal. Chris is now left without his money and without his children, while his felon ex-wife is taking refuge in the world's biggest haven for child kidnapping with his money AND his children. Those are the facts and they are indisputable. What a true human rights tragedy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Chris is now left without his money

You are forgetting that the money was set up in trust and accessible by Noriko on condition she remain in a foreign land as a baby sitter for her ex-husband's children. She choice to forfeit her access to that money to return to the place where her children grew up. The money returns to Christopher.

Now, not satisfied that his initial child grab failed miserably, he is suing anyone he can think of because he was unwilling to work things out with his ex-wife. Christopher is shacked up with "the other woman" and taking refuge in a haven for lawsuits and suing to get what you want in spite of what is necessarily right.

Even if Japan had signed the Hague convention, it is likely the children would STILL be in Japan because that was their habitual home for almost all of the ENTIRE existence.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

By "shacked up with another woman" I assume y'all mean he "remarried"? Or is that term not inflammatory enough for y'all?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He and Noriko came to the US to file a divorce--not while they were living in the states.

To articulate it, their marital relationship was almost broken and irreparable before they came to the US. It was not after they moved to Tennessee when their marital relationship got wrecked. That's the reason why Chris' current wife is NOT the factor that has led to the consequence of their break-up, although it could be considered critical for growing hostility between the two.

In other words, Noriko herself coulf of filed for divorce in TN if she wanted to. She didn't have to bring the children half way across the world.

She could. But, I don't see any point in her doing so. As far as I know, they lived in Japan for a long time. They were living in Tennessee for only 14 months.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Noriko Savoie willingly flew to the United States for the divorce, knowing she would get a handsome sum of money for doing so.

Again, your description of Noriko as money-grubber is problematic. The only reason she deserves blame is that she didn't follow an appropriate procedure to change her choice that went against the court order.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sorry all, I didn't have any time to write anything today. I was TOO BUSY WATCHING THE US CONGRESS CONDEMN JAPAN FOR CHILD ABDUCTION AND WATCHING CHRISTOPHER SAVOIE SPEAK SIDE BY SIDE WITH NUMEROUS CONGRESSMAN AT A CAPITOL HILL PRESS CONFERENCE. What a great day to witness.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I was TOO BUSY WATCHING THE US CONGRESS CONDEMN JAPAN FOR CHILD ABDUCTION AND WATCHING CHRISTOPHER SAVOIE SPEAK SIDE BY SIDE WITH NUMEROUS CONGRESSMAN AT A CAPITOL HILL PRESS CONFERENCE. What a great day to witness.

Japan's indifference to international child abduction is one thing. Savoie's motivation is quite another. To me, it's obvious that this man used his privilege of white power by promoting his case. He took advantage of his Japanese ex-wife for her limited ability to speak English and assimilate into American culture. He trapped her into the constraints of US legal system.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Savoie's motivation was entire driven by Japan's record on child abduction. Because of Mr. Savoie's expertise in Japan, he knew how dangerous the situation was to both he and his children. He did the ONLY thing ANY loving parent could do. He insisted on getting the divorce in the ONLY country that offers legal protection enabling his children to grow up knowing and loving both parents. Since the establishment of a sovereign post war Japanese government in 1952, Japan has NEVER returned a child to any country. Japan is quite literally a black hole from which no child has EVER returned.

Mr. Savoie would have certainly gotten a better financial deal in Japan, but instead he gave up his entire fortune in the divorce in order to hold the divorce in the United States. He did this because he put the best interest of his children over money. Unfortunately, due to this judges negligent actions, even that was not enough, and Rebecca and Isaac were lost as another Japan abduction like the hundreds who went before them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Savoie's motivation was entire driven by Japan's record on child abduction. Because of Mr. Savoie's expertise in Japan, he knew how dangerous the situation was to both he and his children.

I don't know what you mean by "dangerous situation." Unlike your statement, Savoie's impression on Japan is NOT entirely negative. He got a Ph. D out there. He and his ex-wife have lived there for almost ten years since they got married many years ago. The main reason they flew to the US to file a divorce is because Japanese legal system does not allow the joint custody-- which is exactly what he wished for. He also knew the legal loophole in international marriage, and that's why he pleaded the court judge to issue the injunction on his ex-wife. He would not have to do this, if he filed a divorce in Japan or made an effort to settle the marriage dispute with her.

Mr. Savoie would have certainly gotten a better financial deal in Japan, but instead he gave up his entire fortune

He is an entrepreneur. He has his own business. I don't think money is his big concern at all.

He did this because he put the best interest of his children over money.

Oh really? Was he really sure living in the US would be the best interest for his kids?? They were born and raised in Japan. And what about his treatment of his ex-wife? His kids were always with her. It sounds like he was using her as a baby-sitter for his kids to enjoy his visitation rights with his current wife.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites