TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Thursday announced the arrest a former sumo wrestler for engaging in a fake marriage to a Korean national last year, reports the Asahi Shimbun (Feb. 20).
On Wednesday, officers took Takaya Kotofuji, 49, into custody for falsely claiming in February of last year to be marrying a 29-year-old Korean bar hostess in information entered into a notarized document at the Taito Ward government office. The hostess was also arrested.
Kotofuji, whose original surname is Kobayashi, currently operates a yakiniku grilled beef restaurant in Tokyo. He was allegedly compensated 1.25 million yen for the arrangement.
Kotofuji reportedly denies the allegations. “This is a real marriage,” the former rikishi is quoted by police. “We were planning on living together.”
The Korean hostess told investigators that she lives with another Japanese national. Her intention for engaging in the fake marriage with the former wrestler was in order to receive permanent residency status.
In 1980, Kotofuji made his professional sumo debut. He eventually rose through the ranks to the level of sekiwake, the third highest.
Kotofuji’s greatest triumph was claiming the championship at the Nagoya Basho in 1991. He retired four years later.