There comes a time in some people’s lives when the urge to settle down and get married kicks in. However, marriage requires hard work and patience to lay a solid foundation through a series of major steps, the hardest of which is asking someone out in the first place.
Wouldn’t it be nice to skip all that fear of rejection and subsequent emotional investment, and just get right to the honeymoon? That’s what one 39-year-old man in Isesaki City, Gunma Prefecture thought, but paid the price for it.
In late September of last year, the man walked into his local government office and submitted the necessary documents to register for marriage with a woman in her thirties. All the paperwork was in order and signed in the traditional Japanese manner of a hanko stamp bearing the owner’s family name.
The only problem was that the woman had no idea what was happening. Although everyone has one unique registered hanko for signing documents, less official back-up stamps can also be easily bought at most stationery stores for less important purposes like signing for packages or letters from school. While such a stamp wouldn’t hold up if challenged in court, it was enough to pass a basic check in this case.
Presumably, after either the man or the government broke the news to the new bride, she immediately called the police. They were then able to cancel the marriage registration before it was finalized. The man was arrested on Jan 5 for forgery and is said to have admitted to the charges, telling police that he wanted to marry the woman because he liked her.
While the police are probably busy advising the suspect on matters of the heart and the law, readers of the news were understandably creeped out that such a weird crime had gotten as far as it did.
“That guy’s crazy.”
“Put him in prison.”
“I know how he feels, but that’s something you just fantasize about doing.”
“It would have worked if the woman was Hatsune Miku.”
“That’s too creepy.”
“I’m a little jealous, because I’ve never met someone I was that into.”
“The scary part is that the government accepted it.”
There have been stories of “divorce without consent” in the past, in which one partner files for divorce without the other person knowing, but this is a very rare case of marriage without consent.
As such, it’s hard to say what kind of penalty awaits the suspect, but hopefully it’s enough to send a clear message that you can’t just go around marrying people as you please. That’s what VR is for.
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