Before Arrest, Savoie Asks Japan to Change Laws - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

NC5 Investigates: Abducted to Japan

Before Arrest, Savoie Asks Japan to Change Laws

Christopher Savoie Christopher Savoie
Rebecca Rebecca
Isaac Isaac
Isaac and Rebecca Isaac and Rebecca
Noriko Savoie Noriko Savoie

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- In never-seen video, a Franklin father -- who now sits in a Japanese jail -- talks about what he thought about the laws that are now being used against him.

Christopher Savoie is accused of trying to abduct the two children who were abducted from him here in Tennessee.

Before he made the 7,000-mile journey to Fukuoka, Japan, he spoke exclusively to NewsChannel 5 chief investigative reporter Phil Williams.

"Divorce doesn't have to be a tragedy unless the parents make it that way," Savoie said back on Aug. 24.

New photos show Christopher Savoie -- with his two children, Isaac and Rebecca -- before they became the focus of the international custody dispute.

"I want the Japanese government to join ... the rest of the world in supporting the known fact that it's better for kids to have two parents in their lives," he added.

Those statements came before he launched his ill-fated mission to Japan to regain the children from the ex-wife who'd abducted them.

Even though a Tennessee court gave him full custody, Japan hasn't signed what's called the Hague Convention -- under which it would honor family court orders issued here.

"If they join the Hague Treaty, then it would also be good for Japanese people in this situation because we could come up with an amicable -- or even unamicable -- arrangement where legally both parents could be guaranteed some time with their kids," Savoie said.

On Wednesday, the U.S. State Department renewed its calls for Japan to sign the agreement after Savoie found himself locked up in a Japanese jail, accused of snatching his own children and making a run to the nearest U.S. Consulate.

"On this particular issue, the issue of abduction, we have different points of view," said Assistant Secretary of State P.J. Crowley.

It's a plight shared by non-Japanese fathers around the globe.

"There are a lot of Japanese fathers who need the same treatment," Savoie said, adding that it highlights how -- in Japan -- men in general are cut out of the parenting process in the case of divorce.

"I happen to have been brought up in this country and I can speak English and I can live here, but that's not an option for all the other Japanese Dads -- and they are in the same shoes as me," he added. "They have no rights in their own country."

Ironically, Savoie also holds Japanese citizenship -- so he spoke as fellow countryman when he asked Japan to join the world in protecting families and signing the Hague Convention.

"So, yeah, I would urge the Japanese government to join the 21st century on this."

The Japanese government says it is considering it.

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