Home Society & Culture Canadian Entered Into Sham Marriage So She Could Cosplay In Japan, Tokyo Police Say

Canadian Entered Into Sham Marriage So She Could Cosplay In Japan, Tokyo Police Say

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Further proof of how passionate cosplayers can be.

Just like in the U.S. and other financially prosperous countries, there are people in Japan who get married just for the sake of getting a visa. Often these individuals do so because they think staying in Japan will result in a better future for them and their families. However, it has come to light that a Canadian citizen entered into a sham marriage not for financial reasons, but rather because she just wanted to cosplay in Japan.

On July 31 Tokyo Metropolitan Police revealed that they had arrested a 29-year-old Canadian citizen named Shannon Wong and a 37-year-old construction worker named Michinari Sasaki for allegedly creating a false record on a notarized document.

The alleged crime occurred on June 17, 2016. It was at this time when the two suspects registered to be married at a ward office in the city of Yokohama.

Police say Wong came to Japan as an exchange student with a student visa in 2012. Shortly before her visa expired she met Sasaki at a cosplay event held in Kabukicho in Tokyo in 2016. Wong explained to Sasaki that she wanted to fix her status so she could stay in Japan. Sasaki agreed to a deal where he would marry her in exchange for a 700,000 yen (~$6,300 USD) payment followed by monthly payments of 30,000 yen (~$270 USD).

Police were tipped off to the couple by Japan’s Immigration Bureau in February. An investigation revealed that the two were not living as a married couple. Reports note that the two were not even living together. While Wong resided in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward, Sasaki lived in Nerima Ward. Police arrested the two on July 11.

The two suspects have admitted to the allegations and Wong has reportedly told police “I like lolita fashion, so I wanted to do cosplay in Japan, which is a safe place.”

Reports differ slightly on the nature of Wong’s employment. Although a Yahoo News Japan report says she worked at a fuzokuten, which is typically a word used to describe establishments that offer sexual services, Jiji Press and others say she worked at an inshokuten, which is a term used to describes any place that serves food and/or drinks. This suggests that Wong likely worked at an establishment such as a “girls bar” or kyabakura (Cabaret Club), where women are payed to drink, talk, serve, and flirt with male customers.

Source: Jiji Press, Nico Nico News, Yahoo News Japan
Image: Stock photo from Wikipedia Commons

Note: As of the time of this writing reports have yet to reveal the name of the female suspect in English. Her name is written as ウォン (uon) in Japanese and as such it seems very likely that her last name is Wong.

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