Original Article from here.


Hamasaki Ayumi Unregistered in Japan, Responsible by Law to Report
19 January 2012.

Early morning on 17 Jan, Hamasaki Ayumi (33) announced her divorce on her Official fanclub site. Her marriage to Austrian actor husband Manuel Schwarz or Mannie (31) was just in January last year…..

Las Vegas in the US is known as the “Marriage Capital of the World”. As long as a passport and a marriage registration is made at the public office, even applications from foreigners can easily be approved and a marriage certificate issued. There are also drive-thru wedding ceremonies, and churches are open 24-7.

On the evening of New Year’s Day last year, ayu and Mannie registered for marriage at a public office in Las Vegas. Then, they made their way to a small chapel along Main Street. It was a place called the Little White Chapel, where Britney Spears, Bruce Willis and Michael Jordan once held their wedding ceremonies.

For the ceremony, ayu ditched the gorgeous jewellry and traditional wedding dress, opting for a casual look with a rock T-shirt and mini-skirt instead.

After registering for marriage in Las Vegas, the two came back to Japan for a short while before flying off to the Maldives for their honeymoon. Photos from that time show ayu clinging tightly onto 180-cm tall Mannie’s arm the entire time. Everyone could see the happiness between the couple, but even then, they were not truly husband and wife.

“They may have registered their marriage with the Las Vegas public office, but if the correct procedure is not followed here in Japan, we will not recognize it as a legitimate marriage. For some reason, ayu did not do it.” (Entertainment Authority)

The procedure which ayu would have needed to do was to submit her section of the family register, the original and translated copy of the Las Vegas marriage certificate, and the original and translated copy of Mannie’s birth certificate and passport to the Japan public office within 90 days of the wedding ceremony.

Tanaka Atsushi from the Narashino Ministry of Justice Office explains.

“By law, the marriage is legitimate at the place where the ceremony is held, but if Japan receives no report, the marriage partner will not be entered into the family register. That causes one’s status to remain as unmarried. While the marriage is recognized, since the family register lists one as unmarried, one can technically still marry a third party in Japan. However, if this happens, one can be charged with bigamy since the marriage is still valid. It is one’s reponsibility by law to report such registrations; infringement can be sentenced to a fine of up to 50,000yen.