Nervous groom held for blaze at wedding hotel

by Reiji Yoshida

It’s only natural for brides and grooms to get nervous before the big day, but Tatsuhiko Kawata of Yamanashi may have gone too far.

Kawata, 39, was arrested Sunday on suspicion of setting fire Saturday to a hotel in Hokuto, northern Yamanashi Prefecture, where he and his fiancee were supposed to get married later in the day, a spokesman at the local police station said. No one was injured.

Police started questioning Kawata after learning he had suddenly notified the Risonare Hotel of his intention to cancel the ceremony, the police spokesman said.

Kawata was quoted as telling police he set the fire “because there were definite reasons I could not get married.”

Kawata allegedly started the fire around 2:20 a.m. after spreading a flammable liquid, possibly kerosene, in a corridor behind the hotel’s concert hall, the police said.