Christine Ro from the BBC writes about the private agents in Japan, called “wakaresaseya,” that you can hire to seduce your spouse or their partner. From the report: The industry is still serving a niche market. One survey showed around 270 wakaresaseya agencies advertising online. Many are attached to private-detective firms, similar to private investigators in other countries (who can also become entangled in relationship dissolution). “Wakaresaseya service costs quite a lot of money,” acknowledges [Yusuke Mochizuki, an agent of the “farewell shop” First Group], so clients tend to be well-off. Mochizuki, a former musician who has turned his lifelong interest in detective work into a career, says that he might charge 400,000 yen for a relatively straightforward case in which there’s plenty of information about the target’s activities, but more if the target is, for example, a recluse. Fees can go as high as 20 million yen if a client is a politician or a celebrity, requiring the highest level of secrecy. (While Mochizuki says that his firm has a high success rate, a consultancy that provides advice on the industry points out that potential clients should be sceptical of such claims, and prepared for possible failure.) Although some features of the wakaresaseya industry are unique to Japan, similar services exist around the world. They may be less formalized honeytrap or con-artist arrangements, or they may be part of the private-investigations industry. Conventionally “the Western perspective was to sensationalize the industry and almost exoticise it. There’s this false exoticisation of Japan that occurs in the West quite frequently.” It’s difficult to gain a full understanding of the people affected by the wakaresaseya industry, because according to Scott, “people are very reluctant to be seen as associated with it, let alone a victim of it.” The industry has a seedy reputation. As TV and radio producer Mai Nishiyama comments; “There’s a market for everything in Japan.” This includes a variety of relationship-based services like renting faux family members and the additional services offered by wakaresaseya firms, such as assistance with romantic reconciliation, separating a child from an unsuitable girlfriend or boyfriend or preventing revenge porn. Agents can also be hired to gather evidence that will help a wronged spouse collect consolation money, which is compensation for the dissolution of a relationship. Although the Yamagami International Law Office hasn’t worked with wakaresaseya agents, lawyer Shogo Yamagami notes that some clients do work with private agents more generally to obtain evidence of adultery. The consolation payment system means that hiring wakaresaseya agents can be beneficial not just emotionally, but also in practical monetary terms. Read more of this story at Slashdot.