• Kyodo


Police arrested Friday a 30-year-old man on suspicion that he arranged a fake marriage with a 27-year-old woman whose life is insured for up to 600 million yen and who was involved in a suspicious car accident earlier this year.

Police said they are investigating the fake marriage with a view to establishing charges of attempted murder against the man, who describes himself as a freelance photojournalist.

Koji Miki is suspected of submitting a marriage registration to the Tokai municipal office in Aichi Prefecture in August 1999 without intending to lead a married life with the woman, whom he met at a host club where he once worked, police said.

Miki may have arranged the alleged fake marriage in a murder-for-insurance scheme, police said.

He denies the allegations that his marriage is bogus, police said.

They said the woman contacted police on Jan. 14, saying Miki had pressured her into driving her car into the sea at a port in Minami Chita in the prefecture on Jan. 11.

Police quoted her as saying that after the car plunged into the water, she freed herself from the vehicle and waited for Miki to leave the scene before fleeing to a nearby home and seeking help.

Miki reported the woman missing Jan. 14 — the same day she contacted police — saying she had gone out to take photos and had not returned, police said.

Miki has signed dozens of life insurance contracts in the name of the woman since June 1998, which are worth between 300 million yen and 600 million yen if she dies.