[Story by Brad] This is truly a sad story and unfortunately the children get hurt in the process. Divorce is a sad fact of reality, but when international borders are involved it takes on an entirely different dimension. If emotions are involved and there is no chance of an amicable split it is unfortunate that an angry former spouse will result to fleeing the country with their child in order avoid a court order. If I put myself in Mr. Savoie’s shoes I am not sure what I would do, but in cases such as this when your right, your actually wrong. Despite the fact of having a standing court order in the States, it is merely a piece of paper that does not hold much weight in Japan. It is truly unfortunate that Japan has not signed an agreement with the United States in order to help curve this problem of international kidnapping. Mr. Savoie’s bold move may have landed him in hot water. Right or wrong the feeling of betrayal and being alienated from your children can drive any parent to desperate measures.

I guess in a perfect world those that would attempt to kidnap their own children and flee the country would be intercepted by law enforcement or security personnel at the terminal and taken into custody. In addition, if the second parent could somehow locate their children and arrange for a safe and secure meeting at the embassy or consulate of either country than perhaps the details can be sorted out and justice would be served. But unfortunately we do not live in a perfect world and some people in acts of desperation or selfishness take matters into their own hands and defy the law and flee the country.

Moreover, when countries do not sit down to work on solutions to problems of this nature, many more parents and children will become victims. There are many stories like this involving people from all over the world and some cases end on a happy note while others are years in the making. I took a look at the Federal Bureau of Investigation website and I found a few more cases of mothers that have fled to Japan with their children. Please have a look it makes for some interesting reading.

Reiko Nakata – Greenberg
Unlawful Flight To Avoid Prosecution – Child Abduction
Orange County California, on August 26, 2008.

Ryoko Uchiyama
Unlawful Flight To Avoid Prosecution – Child Custody Deprivation
County of Los Angeles, on March 27, 2006

Chiharu Kaneda
International Parental Kidnapping
Federal arrest warrant issued on May 12, 2005.