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Home >  > Father's arrest shows Japan's preference to mothers
Divorced fathers in Japan typically don't get much access to their children because of widespread cultural beliefs that small children should be with their mothers.

Savoie had tried for a year to persuade a judge in Tennessee that his ex-wife, Noriko, was likely to flee the U.S. with their children, divorce records said.

The documents obtained Wednesday outline his attempts to restrict his ex-wife's ability to travel with their 8-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter, and her unhappiness with living in Franklin, Tenn., a Nashville suburb.

In a February e-mail, his ex-wife expressed her struggles in the U.S. He offered it to the court as proof she was threatening to leave:

"It's very difficult to watch kids becoming American and losing Japanese identity," she wrote. "I am at the edge of the cliff. I cannot hold it anymore if you keep bothering me."

On Aug. 13, Savoie learned that his children were gone when their school called to tell him they were absent.
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FRIJ recommends you also visit CRN Japan, who are fighting international abduction to Japan and working to assure children in Japan of meaningful contact with both parents regardless of marital status