In what has turned out to be major news in Japan, Canadian national Shannon Wong was arrested in Tokyo for immigration fraud; the cosplay and lolita fashion enthusiast bribed a local man to pretend to be married to her, so she could stay in the country on a spousal visa.
Originally in the country in 2012 on a four-year student visa, Wong illegally tried to prolong her stay in Japan by bribing Japanese national Narimichi Sasaki with JPY 700,000 upfront, and providing a monthly allowance of JPY 30,000, to become her husband — at least, on paper.
The “husband and wife” filed for marriage in Yokohama in 2016, and proceeded to live separately in Tokyo’s Nerima and Shinjuku wards respectively.
— Fuji News Network (@FNN_News) July 31, 2018
In early 2018, immigration officials launched an investigation into the fraudulent marriage, and formally arrested both Wong and Sasaki on 11th July 2018. If found guilty, Wong will be deported from Japan and blacklisted indefinitely; she will no longer be able to step foot in Japan, not even for short holidays.
Japan is notorious for having a hardline stance on immigration — even international celebrities such as heiress Paris Hilton and actor Robert Downey Jr. were barred from entering the country due to their previous drug convictions.