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American Father Locked Up Abroad Jailed in Japan Trying to Regain Custody

By FEI — February 15, 2012

Chicago, IL – October 2, 2009 — A Tennessee man was arrested in Japan for reclaiming his two young children from his ex-wife who fled to Japan with the children in defiance of U.S. Law, according to court documents. James Hagler, Director of The Fatherhood Educational Institute (FEI) says: “It’s time to establish firm international protocols to recover abducted American children.”

Christopher Savoie is on a mission to regain his children, ages 8 and 6, after learning his ex-wife, Noriko took them to Fukuoka. After the alleged abduction in August, a Tennessee Court granted Christopher full custody of the children and issued an arrest warrant for Noriko.

The father’s efforts to regain custody were thwarted when Japanese police arrested him for abduction in front of the U.S. Consulate.

An estimated 125 children have been taken from the U.S. to Japan by native Japanese parents. The U.S. State Department confirms that there isn’t a single case where a child has been ordered returned by the Japanese courts.

“Not a part of the Hague Convention, the U.S. Legal System holds no sway in Japan. Additionally, ‘joint or shared custody’ is an unfamiliar concept in Japanese culture which heavily favors the mother. In Japan, the ex-wife is the victim,” says Attorney Jeffery Leving (President Emeritus of FEI – www.fatherhood-edu.org). Leving is the co-author of the Illinois Joint Custody Law.

Right now, Christopher Savoie languishes in a Japanese jail.

This is a case where the U.S. legal system has its hands tied. What is needed is diplomatic assistance. This is an opportunity for the Obama Administration to shape new policies with the newly formed Japanese government.

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