• Kyodo

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A drunken security guard at the Itami Municipal Office put a couple’s nuptial plans on ice early Jan. 1, delaying the submission of their marriage certificate for 3 1/2 hours, city officials said Friday.

According to the officials, the couple arrived at the city office a little after midnight. They tried to submit their marriage certificate but were rejected by the night security guard.

The 56-year-old guard, who had been hired from a security company, was quoted as saying, “There are blanks that need to be filled. Are you stupid?” He also reportedly admitted he was too drunk to confirm the certificate’s contents.

Shortly afterward, a part-time city worker tried to intervene. This 65-year-old man was also drunk, however, and became embroiled in a quarrel with the couple.

After the couple later told officers at the Itami Police Station about the incident, a city official accepted the couple’s marriage certificate at 3:30 a.m. By law, all procedures relating to marriage and household register applications must be carried out on a 24-hour basis.

Akira Okawa, an official in charge of the personnel department at the Itami Municipal Office, said: “There are no excuses for drinking during work. We will consider disciplinary measures after hearing the details.”

The guard and the part-time worker had each consumed about 0.18 liter of sake and 350 ml of beer starting at about 10 p.m., during what they described as a yearend party.

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