Tennessean jailed in Japan for trying to reclaim children

Came across this story on CNN.com

. Apparently, this guy is from Franklin, TN. Terribly tragic story. Little did I know that Japan is not a part of the 1980 Hague Convention on International Child Abduction. Terrible story:


He headed for the U.S. consulate in Fukuoka to try to obtain passports for Isaac and Rebecca.

But Japanese police, alerted by Savoie’s ex-wife, were waiting.

Consulate spokeswoman Tracy Taylor said she heard a scuffle outside the doors of the consulate. She ran up and saw a little girl and a man, whom police were trying to talk to.

Eventually, police took Savoie away, charging him with the abduction of minors — a crime that upon conviction carries a prison sentence of up to five years.

The consulate met with Savoie on Monday and Tuesday, Taylor said. It has provided him with a list of local lawyers and said it will continue to assist.

This reminds me a lot of the case of that guy whose wife ran off to Brazil.

I wonder which Franklin judge was involved with this divorce proceeding.

25 thoughts on “Tennessean jailed in Japan for trying to reclaim children

  1. What I don’t understand is why the US doesn’t change its tactics. If they laws do not allow for the return of the children in Japan, based on custody issues, why not change it to kidnapping of US citizens? The children if born in the US are citizens of the United States and are being forcibly held in another country, then forget custody issues and work on the international laws that pertain to US citizens held hostage in foreign countries. If the US does not do something about this, I for one will be beside myself with anger and disappointment. This is not the 1980’s or even the 1950’s. This is 2009 and the Japanese government knows damn well that those modes of belief and laws are out of date. I am tired of the US government doing anything they please when it comes to the Middle East, but refuse to do anything to countries to Asian countries because they are our allies. They are the biggest culprits in child slavery, molestation, prostitution and a myriad number of other humanitarian issues. Trade embargo’s, sanctions, even military reprisal should be options if they will not listen to reason and logic. I am tired of military targets getting all the attention and the US just sits on its ass while archaic laws that harm children are allowed to continue. Probably not enough money in it for the government to get involved. US should be ashamed that it has tolerated and allowed things like this to continue in this day and age….especially since it quite commonly affects US citizens.

  2. I agree with daniel on this one. Or least, coerce Japan into the terms of the 1980 Hague Convention. How would the US do it? Allow US adults to kidnap children from Japan and bring them to the US. That ought to send a message to the Japanese how royally selfish their policies are. or, just have Prez Obama make a speech about something tlike this. of course, he wouldn’t though…since being excited and voting, I’m slowly thinking he’s just an empty suit!

  3. My sympathy to the father, but he didn’t do his homework and diligence when they were working out the custody agreement. My ex had dual citizenship with a country that was not a signatory to the Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. I made damn sure that the custody agreement stated that I held their passports and she was forbidden to obtain new/replacement passports for them from either the US or the other country. It’s been many years since this occurred, but I believe I also had the children’s names placed on a state department watch list so that it would be reported to me if an attempt to obtain a passport occurred. Some people thought I was going overboard at the time, but once they are overseas in this situation, there is very little that can be done – you’re at the mercy of the foreign courts.

  4. Daniel/Aaron,

    I completely agree with you!!!

    Parental abduction is already a felony at the federal level and in many states it’s also classified as kidnapping. Parental abduction is also recognised as child abuse by child psychologists. Unfortunately, the US government has no interest in protecting it’s youngest and most vulnerable citizens from this kind of abuse.

    My own son has been abducted by his mother to Greece, who are a signatory to the Hague convention, however, they do not comply with the convention and have been written up as non-compliant by the State Department for the last five years. The US government has done nothing about it. I work with the Office of Children’s Issues on my case, but they have not pressured the Greek’s in anyway to return my son. I’ve asked that the US ambassador talk to the Greek Ministry of Justice but they’re not willing to do that. Meanwhile, my son has been taking from all he knew and loved and is unlikely to grow up in the US, the country of his birth and where he lived exclusively until he was abducted.

    International abductions from the US are up 40% in a year. When my lawyer asked the State Department if they were going to impose sanctions on governments that did not sign or did not comply with the Hague convention, they told her the issue wasn’t serious enough! If they’d lost their own children I’m sure they’d feel differently.

    I completely sympathise with Christopher’s actions. Given the lack of assistance from the US government and the fact that many countries, like Japan, protect their own adult citizens he had no choice but to take action himself. Sadly, the Japanese government, like many other governments cannot see the hypocrisy of their actions and the damage that hypocrisy does to children.


    you did the right thing but in court it’s not always that simple. Many judges are unwilling to write custody agreements like that. I know left behind parents that asked for those kind of sanctions and were refused. In my case, I was still living with my wife when one day I came home and she and my son were gone.


  5. Phil,
    I’ve read some more on this case (http://www.newschannel5.com/Global/story.asp?S=11180281) and it seems like this guy did get the shaft from the judge. Not sure if he had all the info he needed going into the fight though.

    It was an uphill fight in my case as well, but I had information from some people at state indicating that they had never had a good outcome in dealing with my ex’s country of origin in these cases which I think helped turn the case. I also took the kids passports as soon as I knew something was wrong and nearly went to jail for contempt for not turning them over.

    Good luck with your situation.

  6. Wow, Eric, thanks for the link. I didn’t know much about this one. It would appear to me that this judge should have recused himself from presiding over this one. What a horribly tragic situation.

  7. Eric,

    thanks for the good wishes and I’m glad you managed to protect your children from this kind of abuse. You played a blinder!


  8. They were too harsh on him. He only want to get his kids for good and they don’t even seems to now the real story behind it. So sad for a dad who wants to reclaim his own children whose really loved him.

  9. This is a terriable story. These people are too bad on his. Father only tried to save his kids, and nobody listen to his. I feel sad for father I hope he managed to find his kids in future

  10. I should say that I’m really impressed by your way of thinking and the ideas you’re sharing with each of your

    Really original way of thinking!
    Go on the same, way!

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