Big in Japan: Rent-A-Friend

Psst! Do you need friends, relatives, or even your boss to come to your wedding but don't have any? If you're in Japan, then you're in luck: no need to make friends, just hire 'em!

Office Agents, a Tokyo-based company, rents out friends, work colleagues and even relatives to pad out the guest list.

For £127, one of the company's agents will attend the wedding as a guest, while a heart-tugging speech will cost an extra £64 and a song or dance will set clients back a mere £32.

Brides or grooms who want to impress their prospective partners with their sheer volume of friends are among those secretly padding the guest list with fakes.

The recession has also boosted the popularity of the service. With unemployment rising and a growing number of Japanese in part time jobs, people rent fake bosses or colleagues.

Others turning to the company for fake work-related guests are those who have recently lost their jobs but want to maintain an air of respectability, according to Hiroshi Mizutani, who heads Office Agents.

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I once saw a Japanese movie where there was a firm that rented itself out to pretend to be family members to lonely people. But then the people went insane and developed some weird loyalty to the firm and forgot all about their real families. Then violent bloody murder ensued.
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