A retired sumo wrestler was arrested in Tokyo on allegations that he staged a marriage to a South Korean woman so she could obtain resident status, officials said.
Tokyo Metropolian Police took Takaya Kobayashi into custody Wednesday after filing his marriage papers with the office of Taito Ward in Tokyo on February 6.
The sumo wrestler, known inside the ring as Kotofuji, allegedly married Lee Ki Hyon, 29, in return for helping the South Korean woman to obtain a permanent residency visa.
“The suspects conspired to fabricate a marriage,” a police spokesman said.
Lee has admitted that the two got married so she could obtain resident status. She also told investigator that she is currently living with another Japanese national. Kobayashi apparently received 1.25 million yen as payment.
Kobayashi has denied the allegation, saying the marriage is “real” and that they had planned to live together later, according to Jiji.
Kobayashi made his professional sumo debut in 1980 and won the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament in 1991. He reached the rank of sekiwake, sumo’s third highest rank, before retiring in 1995. He now runs a beef barbecue restaurant.
By Maesie Bertumen
Image: Gwenaël Piaser/Flickr