crime

Aspiring Canadian cosplayer living in Tokyo arrested for sham marriage

36 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

In 2012, Canadian citizen Shannon Wong came to Japan on a four-year student visa. But while that may sound like a long time, anyone who’s fallen in love with life in Japan will tell you it’s not nearly long enough to experience all that the country has to offer, and Wong wanted to keep living the dream of residing in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward while pursuing her interests in cosplay and Lolita fashion.

With her student visa winding down, though, it was looking like Wong would have to head back to Canada, until she met Narimichi Sasaki, a Japanese construction worker eight years older than her and living in Tokyo’s Nerima Ward. The two became acquainted at a cosplay event held in Shinjuku’s Kabukicho district, and Wong later approached Sasaki with a proposition. She would provide him with 700,000 yen upfront and an additional 30,000 yen a month, and he would become her on-paper husband.

Sasaki agreed, and on June 17, 2016, the pair turned in their marriage paperwork at a ward office in Yokohama, two cities south from Tokyo. However, this February immigration officers in Tokyo began an investigation into the pair, uncovering the fraudulent arrangement and determining that the pair had not been cohabiting or otherwise living as husband and wife.

On July 11, officers from the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department’s arrested Wong and Sasaki, now 29 and 37 years old, respectively. No longer a student, Wong’s employment has been reported as both “restaurant worker” and fuzoku worker, the latter referring to the adult-oriented service sector, including jobs ranging from bar hostess to topless dancer and erotic masseuse.

Wong has admitted to the charges.

Sources: Livedoor News/Jiji Tsushin, FNN via Otakomu

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

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© SoraNews24

©2018 GPlusMedia Inc.

36 Comments
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How is this news? This happens all the time in every country on earth. Must be a slow news day... or?

20 ( +23 / -3 )

A victimless crime.

16 ( +24 / -8 )

Immigration must be pretty freaking bored if they're investigating Canadians for marriage fraud what with the thousands of Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean and Philippine sham marriages happening every single year.

What a joke.

-4 ( +19 / -23 )

@paradoxbox - not sure why you seem to think that Canadians should get a free pass on visa fraud. People from all of the countries you mention get deported all the time. This story is news because it's relatively rare for someone from a developed country to get caught, that's all.

27 ( +29 / -2 )

And why was she reported? Two reasons.... because you know Japanese police don't do any actual "investigative" work. First possible reason, she ticked someone off and they wanted to get back at her. 2nd reason, she "free lances". When one "free lances", they are not managed by a more nefarious type of group that would make money off of her. And that won't do.

-5 ( +11 / -16 )

I wonder how they even managed to figure it out, seems like usually the thing that you wouldn't bother investigating.

I'd also imagine the guy would have been happy enough doing a legit marriage too, how odd.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

I remember when I got married we had to provide proof of at least one year being in a relationship. However, as others have stated, there are many more visa marriages in Japan involving mostly Asian country's people. I'd guess half of the foreign women working in snack clubs and the sex industry are in visa marriages.

-8 ( +8 / -16 )

Many married couples live separately, especially if father is working in a different city from that of his wife.

24 ( +25 / -1 )

I'm against this decision. The concept of marriage itself is for convenience and tax purposes only so am not seeing what the problem is here. Let the woman stay

16 ( +23 / -7 )

She would provide him with 700,000 yen upfront and an additional 30,000 yen a month, and he would become her on-paper husband.

Not a bad deal.

20 ( +21 / -1 )

'Aspiring cosplayer' working as a waitress and 'fuzoku worker'. .

the latter referring to the adult-oriented service sector, including jobs ranging from bar hostess to topless dancer and erotic masseuse.

This is a very lightly put explanation. Ask someone Japanese what fuzoku is, its none of the above.

18 ( +21 / -3 )

@ Hallowed

Since when was the concept of marriage only for convenience and tax purposes? What a weird idea.

-13 ( +5 / -18 )

She knew what she was doing was wrong, it's absolutely irrelevant what anyone here thinks about how many other people are doing it, or how it's some nefarious conspiracy by Japanese authorities against foreigners.

No sympathies from me, you do the crime, you face the punishment. Plenty of people in other countries are regularly punished for sham marriages.

11 ( +17 / -6 )

Why not just find a random otaku and get married then dump him after a year and get alimony for life?

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

Definitely something iffy about this story because just recently, there was a story about the actress dying from cancer, married for years but never lives with her husband. So why this woman?

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

Just out of curiousity, if they filed all the paper work legally, how is it a "sham marriage" and illegal? I mean, it's not an ideal marriage, but I know far worse marriages that are still legal and the government doesn't arrest anyone. Is it because she worked in a fuzoku that probably the government officials frequent often, as well as police? Is it because they Don't get tax money from the payments she made to Sasaki? Seriously, there are far worse marriages of conveniences in which couples Don't live together, have no sex with each other, Don't have kids, etc. So long as they did all the paperwork, what's illegal?

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

I know a Japanese friend in which an American did the same thing to him. She married him, he was happy, as soon as she got an entertainment visa.... bam... divorced. She now does Japanese TV commercials as the cutesy foreigner blonde. I hope she sleeps well at night.

18 ( +20 / -2 )

gogogoToday  12:50 pm JST

I know a Japanese friend in which an American did the same thing to him. She married him, he was happy, as soon as she got an entertainment visa.... bam... divorced. She now does Japanese TV commercials as the cutesy foreigner blonde. I hope she sleeps well at night.

She'll get her's in the end. Karma.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

@gogogo: if the American lady took care of his needs for a while and she is way above his league then it is a win-win. A lady's got to do what a lady's got to do.

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

paradoxboxToday  09:24 am JST

Immigration must be pretty freaking bored if they're investigating Canadians for marriage fraud what with the thousands of Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean and Philippine sham marriages happening every single year.

What makes you think that those other sham marriages aren't being investigated as well?

Sounds like you think that, despite clearly breaking the law, she should have been given a pass just because she was Canadian instead of Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, or Filipino.

I hope that's not what you meant.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

Sounds like you think that, despite clearly breaking the law, she should have been given a pass just because she was Canadian instead of Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, or Filipino.

Actually with a name like Wong, wouldn't be surprised if the Japanese lumped her in the latter category.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Foreigners married to Japanese are held to different standards than regular Japanese couples (Surprise surprise?)

You may not have known it, but if you live separately from your spouse for an extended period of time, whether it's work related or not, you are in violation of JP immigration law and you can be deported at the drop of a hat, like this woman was.

I'm sure people think I'm fear mongering, but look on the JP Immigration website itself, this is all written there. Immigration agents who start an investigation about this are able to enter your house and search your belongings with impunity. They do not need a warrant to start an investigation, as others have mentioned, anyone angry at a foreigner can call in an anonymous tip and that is enough for them to start.

Again, check the laws. Immigration agents have unlimited power, exceeding that of police, whenever a foreigner is involved. They can do anything they want and have IIRC a 60 day time span in which to do it, during which time they are able to detain you in their facilities.

I'm always reminded of how tenuous our status is and how badly we're treated by the government. This lady was abusing the system, but the fact that random people can have immigration rifling through your underwear without probable cause is pretty sad.

-7 ( +8 / -15 )

@paradoxbox: Good to hear the laws are being properly enforced for foreigners, among whom marriages of convenience and opportunity are common.

If they don't like it, why even come or stay? Have they no pride or self respect in themselves?

10 ( +13 / -3 )

I hear USA is very easy going about new immigrants lately. She should try her luck there.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

@zurcronium: the going rate is 2 years sex with your husband until the green card vests and becomes permanent then bye bye...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This is actually quite amusing, as for the people making comment about immigration officers chasing after this person, that's the their job arresting illegal immigrants or people or are breaching their Visa conditions.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

gogogo: "I know a Japanese friend in which an American did the same thing to him. She married him, he was happy, as soon as she got an entertainment visa.... bam... divorced. She now does Japanese TV commercials as the cutesy foreigner blonde. I hope she sleeps well at night."

Lots of people use others to get a visa, it's nothing new, and certainly not at all limited to foreigners marrying Japanese nationals. Unfortunately your example is not at all relatable to what happened here. The woman set out from the beginning that it was just a marriage of convenience for a visa, paying the man. In the example you mention the guy was just flat out used and abused.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

If she had a 4-year student visa, does that mean that she studied and graduated from university here?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

seriously? they got nothing real to investigate?

How about real sham marriages where girls are forced into prostitution , which is a standard across all the country ( although I suspect officials get extra benefits for those )

Maybe her real crime was not providing the extra ...

Tbh, the monetary and intimacy side seems quite normal marriage in Japan although typically the roles are reversed with man paying.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@hello kitty 321 , marriage has always been only for tax and convenience, that is the concept of civil marriage.. otherwise, why else would you need to declare you married.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Chinese gaijins do this all the time, they do this in Australia, US and the west too. Not to mention they are the number one migrants % in every single country! Even now migrating to developing African countries, I've seen it. Next it will be Mars and the moon overfilled with China!

They come to Japan but purely hate us and our culture, there is that negative veneer they hide but then start talking about the war and over exaggerating Nanking.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

They come to Japan but purely hate us and our culture

Can't possibly imagine why....

4 ( +5 / -1 )

No news here happens all the time....even among foreigners..

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I know a Japanese friend in which an American did the same thing to him. She married him, he was happy, as soon as she got an entertainment visa.... bam... divorced. She now does Japanese TV commercials as the cutesy foreigner blonde. I hope she sleeps well at night.

Why would they grant an entertainment visa to a woman married to a Japanese citizen? Surely the purpose of getting married would be to get a spouse visa?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Some foreign students do this in American universities too but they become pregnant by American surrogates. That's a step for staying in the U.S.A. Some Chinese girls do this.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

 know a Japanese friend in which an American did the same thing to him. She married him, he was happy, as soon as she got an entertainment visa.... bam... divorced. She now does Japanese TV commercials as the cutesy foreigner blonde. I hope she sleeps well at night.

Why would they grant an entertainment visa to a woman married to a Japanese citizen? Surely the purpose of getting married would be to get a spouse visa?

Yeah, I am not buying that story either. That comment was more interesting then article itself. Please do tell and show some proof of this so called bamboozled marriage.

There are many cutesy foreign blonds in Japanese TV. Hard to get it down to one. A spousal VISA is the one you want. Until you have gained PR status. I would think.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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