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Hokkaido: Pair suspected of dodging bills at 10 inns

HOKKAIDO (TR) – Hokkaido Prefectural Police last week arrested two men who are suspected of dodging bills at inns across the prefecture on more than 10 occasions this year, reports NHK (May 15).

According to the Muroran Police Station, Kazuki Shoji, a 29-year-old middle school teacher, and Naoto Abe, 43, of no known occupation, failed to pay their combined bill of 176,000 yen for lodging, meals and massages at an ryokan inn in Noboribetsu City between April 30 and May 30.

When it came time to check out, staff members from the ryokan found their room empty. “Since we used aliases, I didn’t think [the ruse] would get out,” Shoji was quoted by the Muroran Police Station in admitting to the allegations.

Kazuki Shoji and Naoto Abe
Kazuki Shoji (left) and Naoto Abe (Twitter)

According to police, the two suspects met on the internet last fall. For a time, Abe stayed rent-free at Shoji’s residence in the town of Kamikawa.

During questioning, they admitted to defrauding innkeepers in areas popular for tourists, Sapporo City’s Jozankei Onsen and Tokachigawa Onsen in the town of Otofuke, on more than 10 occasions since March.