In November 2004, Ayako Maniwa abducted the two children of her marriage to Murray Wood, from Canada to Japan. Earlier that year, after a two year struggle to secure Maniwa’s cooperation in co-parenting the children, the Supreme Court of British Columbia had ordered that Wood be granted full custody of the children. A subsequent Order, entered by consent, outlined the specifics of a trip that was to give the children an opportunity to see their ailing grandfather in Japan.

On the day she was to have returned to Canada Maniwa informed a Canadian Diplomatic Officer that she had no intention of abiding by the Order. She said she was unconcerned about possible criminal charges might face in Canada because she never intended to return there.

Maniwa has been charged with abduction in Canada and there is a warrant for her arrest posted on the Interpol website. However, Wood’s attempts to have his son and daughter returned to Canada have been frustrated at all levels. Japan is not signatory to The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Parental Abduction. Wood’s attempts to have the Japanese Courts enforce the Canadian Orders for the return of the children to their custodial parent were unsuccessful despite repeated appeals to the Supreme Court of Japan. In fact, the Japanese Family Court took jurisdiction over the children and ordered that their mother be granted custody.

In the years since his children were abducted to Japan, the only contact Wood has had with his children has been one brief impromptu curbside visit with each child. All attempts by Wood to reconnect with his children have been ignored by Maniwa.

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