OSAKA (TR) – Osaka Prefectural Police have arrested a 59-year-old male manager of a hostess club for arranging fake marriages involving female Filipinos and his male customers who were in debt, reports the Asahi Shimbun (Oct. 3).
Between December of 2013 and July of 2015, Itoshi Morishita, the 59-year-old manager of Bar Bay Watch, located in Izumisano City, allegedly filed fake marriage registrations in Izumisano and Kishiwada cities and the town of Kumatori for six fake marriages involving Filipino hostesses at the establishments and male Japanese customers.
Police believe Morishita carried out the ruse to ensure the hostesses could work at the pub.
Morishita, who has been accused of forging notarized documents, partially denies the allegations. “There is no doubt that I made the introductions, but they got married via their own will,” the suspect was quoted by the Izumisano Police Station.
In addition to Morishita, police have arrested 13 other persons, including the hostesses, male customers and Morishita’s wife.
Ceremony in the Philippines
According to police, the women, aged in their 20s and 30s, were recruited in the Philippines by Morishita who told them they could earn handsome wages in Japan. After the fake marriages were finalized, the bar customers visited the Philippines for a marriage ceremony.
The Filipino women later arrived in Japan with the men. They were then put to work at the pub. Most the women and their partners did not live together, according to police.
Morishita was also running a loan sharking business on the side. The male customers told police that they engaged in the fake marriages since they were in debt to Morishita, who paid them 50,000 yen per month.
The majority of the Filipino women were handed suspended sentences and repatriated, according to police.
Moritshita has also been accused of violating money-lending laws.