The child, a boy, was 7 years of age at the time of alleged wrongful removal. He had been born in Japan to his Japanese father and Canadian mother. The child had Canadian and Japanese citizenship and was fluent in English and Japanese.
In December 2007 the father told the mother that he would seek a divorce. In July 2008 the parents attempted marriage mediation. On 1 November 2008 the mother moved to her parents’ home in British Columbia, Canada. On 20 November 2008 the mother brought an application for custody of the child in British Columbia. On 21 November 2008, the father began custody proceedings in Japan, not a State Party to the 1980 Hague Child Abduction Convention. The father requested a declaration that the British Columbia court did not have jurisdiction to determine custody or, in the alternative, sought an order that the court decline to exercise its territorial jurisdiction to determine custody.