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September 30th, 2009
12:14 PM ET

Japan-Tennessee custody fight not so clear cut

TOKYO, Japan (CNN) - The case of a Tennessee man jailed in Japan for trying to snatch back his children from his estranged wife is not as clear-cut as it's been made out to be, authorities here said Wednesday.

The father, Christopher Savoie, apparently became a naturalized Japanese citizen four years ago, listing a permanent address in Tokyo, they said.

And while he and Noriko Savoie, a Japanese native, divorced in Tennessee, the two never annulled their marriage in Japan, Japanese officials said.

Christopher Savoie's current wife, Amy, spoke to Kiran Chetry on CNN's "American Morning" Wednesday.

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Filed under: World
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Elenore

    These children are not US citizens they were born and raised in Japan The father even has Japan citizenship,the X husband is a jerk who asked wife to visit US and Divorced her,married 30 days later and tried to get custody.Those kids belong in Japan where they were born and raised.

    November 9, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  2. Gill

    I do not have any sympathy for this man. Watching his new wife, on CNN making the ex wife out to be the bad guy in all this, made me feel there has to be 2 sides to this story! Then I read it today! The new wife is a woman, from all accounts was mostly responsible for the break up of that marriage!! The Savoie's married in Japan, therefore they are not divorced in that country. If the children where born there, they are also citizens of japan. You do not go to another country and carry off children from the street even if they are your biological children!! He broke Japans law, even if we do not agree with their laws, we have no right to interfere with them. He and his new wife feel because he is American we get him out of Jail, no! he broke the law in that country therefore he has to face their justice system.

    October 4, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  3. yipyap

    it seems that so many (white) American men think that by marrying an Asian woman, things will be so wonderful...that all Asian women make the perfect mates (this belief being a knee-jerk reaction to their past failed relationships with WHITE women). .But as this and other stories you hear in the news show, Asian women are no different than any other women. Some are nice, so not so nice. White men need to stop categorizing white women as being this and that, and asian women being this and that. And asian women need to stop thinking that white men are trophies. When you see so many white male/asian female couples nowadays, there's no denying that MOST of these couples were attracted to each other due to racial stereotypes. If this were NOT the case, you'd see more variety out there with inter-racial couplings. But no, it's the same old white male/asian female that you see everywhere; and contrary to what the asian females like everybody to think, it's not that most men have "yellow fever" (though some certainly do). Rather it's that most of these asian women have "white worship fever". And these men simply know an easy target when they see one. It's no secret amongst white men (and even black men now) that many asian women have a thing for them, and will usually be much more receptive to them than to any asian man.

    October 3, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  4. mike-sey

    Life's tough but there's a limit to the amount of sympathy due to this Tennesee/Tokyo dad. After all, he knew what he was doing was wrong especially since he used force in carrying out his kidnapping. and thought he could get away with it – :

    The whole world doesn't run by Nashville Rules;

    October 1, 2009 at 8:19 am |
  5. Richard

    How was she able to leave the country with out a letter from her husband, my wife has been stoped at airport for not having my permission to fly with my kids, where was the TSA...

    October 1, 2009 at 7:54 am |
  6. Kim

    When is the United States going to put our American children first and
    do something for these left behind parents who never see their children again. Why does the United States have no exit controls when all these parents abduct children out of the United States? Brazil has exit controls when you leave that country. They are one of the worst countries as non compliant with the Hague Convention. Congress has a new bill in Congress HR3240 The International Child Abduction Act of 2009 to start enforcing sanctions on countries that don't comply with the Hague Convention. If this bill does not pass the house then shame on every congressman that does not co-sponsor this bill to help these children. 5 years later David Goldman is still fighting for his son and he is the sole surviving parent and their is no end in sight with all these appeals. The time
    is now to say enough is enough and do something.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:22 pm |