Summer 2019 message

Hugo

First of all, I want to say sorry for not updating this blog sooner.  Hope you had and are having a great summer.  I will send you something in the post soon as I always do at this time of the year, including from France (see below).

In March, I attended the 1 KBW conference on international child abduction for the 5th year running.  I don’t do it for the CPD points (!); I do it for you.  This year I went along with another British father, also a solicitor, who has a son in Japan, younger than you, who he is not able to see either.  We went for a chat and drink afterwards.  He has taken the lead in actively lobbying the Foreign Office, UK Embassy in Japan and others over the issue of international parental abduction in the context of Japan.  Hopefully there will be some positive movement on this soon; he has specifically referred to you in his representations to Paul Madden, the current UK Ambassador to Japan – as I have done previously.

The week before last I spent just under a week in Cannes in southern France.  It was really hot and the coastline was absolutely amazing.  Here are some photos:

The last one is a hazy view over London on the way back.

Immediately after returning to London, I went down to Hampshire to see your family here.  I was able to see your cousin, Olly, as well as other relatives; these photos of Olly were taken earlier in the year:

We have a new Prime Minister in the UK.  Bizarrely, one night after leaving work after having just got back from France, I bumped into Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition in the UK.  He is the local MP in Islington North, the area where I work.  I am not a fan on any reckoning but he gamely agreed to a photo:

I still cannot quite believe it!

Anyway hope all is well with you.  It would be lovely to hear from you some time.

Take care.

Daddy x.

Japan Times: Japan to beef up law to enable handover of children to parents with custody when the other resists

NATIONAL

Japan to beef up law to enable handover of children to parents with custody when the other resists

KYODO

The Cabinet on Tuesday approved a bill revising the enforcement of civil law to enable the handover of a child to a parent who is awarded custody, even if the other parent refuses to abide by a court order to transfer guardianship.

Currently, the law has no clear stipulation on such handovers, leaving court officials to rely on a clause related to asset seizure to enforce child custody orders. The current system has drawn criticism due to the fact it treats children as property.

Legislation implementing the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, an international treaty providing a framework allowing the return of a child internationally abducted by a parent, will similarly be revised.

At present, legislation requires a parent living with a child to be present when the child is handed over to the other parent, but the proposed revision will allow a transfer without both parents being there.

The convention, to which Japan acceded in 2014, sets out rules and procedures for the prompt return of children under 16 to their country of habitual residence when they are taken or retained by one parent, if requested by the other parent.

The bill to modify the Civil Execution Law also includes revisions to allow courts to obtain debtors’ financial information and bar registered crime syndicate members from acquiring foreclosed real estate properties in public auctions.

The amendments are aimed at helping authorities seize money and properties from parents who fail to meet their court-ordered child support obligations and from people who do not pay compensation to crime victims.

The revised execution law will make it easier for courts to require financial and public institutions to provide information on debtors, including data related to their savings and places of employment.

Japan maintains a system of sole custody and, in a large majority of cases, when a dispute reaches court mothers are awarded custody after divorce. It is not unusual for children in Japan to stop seeing their fathers after their parents break up.

Source:  “Japan to beef up law to enable handover of children to parents with custody when the other resists”, The Japan Times, 19 February 2019 

2019 Child Abduction Conference, London

Details of this year’s conference on child abduction hosted by 1 KBW:

 

We are delighted to announce our Annual Child Abduction Law Conference, will take place on Friday 1st March 2019.

Venue: Crowne Plaza London – The City

Time: 9.30am – 3.30pm – followed by Drinks & Canapés

The cost for attendance will be £120.00 inclusive of VAT per person and includes a buffet lunch.

Further details and information on speakers will be announced shortly. 1KBW are also delighted to welcome again Reunite, who will provide an update on their vital work.

For early registration, please complete the booking form below.

7 years on

Hugo

WKRN News: Franklin brother, sister still missing after 9 years

Franklin brother, sister still missing after 9 years

By: Linda Ong
Posted: Aug 23, 2018 04:00 AM CDT
Updated: Aug 23, 2018 10:26 AM CDT

http://www.WKRN.com
FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WKRN) – Nine years have passed since Rebecca and Isaac Savoie went missing from Franklin, Tennessee.
The kids, six and eight at the time, were at the center of a divorce that took them more than 6,000 miles away from Middle Tennessee to Japan.
Their father, Christopher Savoie, made world headlines, after allegedly trying to recover his children from Japan.

“Elation left for a few minutes, and now we’re back to square one,” said Amy Savoie, Christopher’s wife, in an interview in 2009.
Christopher returned home from that trip in October of 2009 empty-handed, igniting a nearly decade-long overseas battle to get his kids back from their mother, his ex-wife Noriko Esaki.
“Divorce is hard for any family, and for kids involved in it,” said Lt. Charles Warner of the Franklin Police Department.
The department has been overseeing the case from day one.

“Any parental abduction, or custodial interference case, is difficult in itself,” said Lt. Warner. “Take them outside the state of Tennessee, and it grows even more complicated. Take things outside of the U.S. and things grow even more complex.”
The last time Christopher saw his children was August 11, 2009.
That morning, Noriko picked up Isaac and Rebecca for school from Christopher’s house, in the Fieldstone Farms neighborhood in Franklin.
Two days later, Williamson County School officials notified Christopher that his kids didn’t show up to Winstead Elementary.

August 17, the Savoies report to Franklin police that Noriko abducted Isaac and Rebecca and had taken them to Japan.
“Per case report, Chris had full custody of the children,” said Lt. Warner. “She didn’t have any right to remove them from his custody or care and certainly not from the United States.”
The challenge for detectives became the kids now being an ocean apart.
“If those kids were, if they were in Fairview, or in Clarksville, in a heartbeat, we’d be all over that,” said Lt. Warner. “But the fact is, they’re not.”
From sadness and frustration, to hope and action, Christopher’s case made the case for change.
“We’re not kidding,” said New Jersey Rep. Chris Smith. “Please send these children back to the United States and we’re not going to stop until that happens.”
In 2014, Japan joined the Hague Convention, an agreement on international child abductions.
Yet, the children weren’t returned.
Noriko, to this day, is wanted by the FBI for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution and by Franklin police for custodial interference.
The offenses though aren’t recognized by a foreign government.
“It complicates things from our perspective,” said Lt. Warner. “Unless she was here, in the U.S., that warrant is basically unservable. We wish as a department there was more that we could do to help Mr. Savoie. The fact is, our hands are really tied.”
In that gray area is a sense of solace.
Regular welfare checks by federal officials, relay that Isaac and Rebecca are happy and thriving.
“In many cases, we see that parent has to move on with their lives without their children and those children have to move on with their lives without that parent. Unfortunately, since 2009, that’s been the case here,” said Lt. Warner. “Our hopes are, one day, whether, through us or their own accord, they’re able to reconcile that lost time.”
News 2 tried reaching out to Christopher Savoie but have not yet heard back.
Now that Isaac and Rebecca are 15 and 17 years old, investigators say the two now have increased ability to reach out to their father, the Embassy or Consulate.
If you have any tips on this case, you’re urged to call Crime Stoppers at 615-794-4000.
You can also directly share tips with a Franklin police detective at 615-550-6815, or the Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST.
Click here to read more stories from our day-long project, “Missing Kid Mysteries.”

Source:  “Franklin brother, sister still missing after 9 years”, WKRN News, 23 August 2018