Japan’s Professional Relationship Busters

In Japan — a country that shies away from confrontation and frowns upon public displays of emotion — bold entrepreneurs eager to take up the burden of ending a romantic relationship on a client’s behalf can make a fortune. The Wakaresaseya — literally “breaker-uppers” — are professional agents that specialize in destroying relationships for a fee. After taking on a contract, these unlicensed operatives stop at nothing to achieve their goal, which includes extreme measures like entrapment, financial burdening, and downright lying. Wakaresaseya are viewed by some in Japanese society as immoral, but they've been around for decades and their services are more popular than ever. They are tied to private detective agencies and are often advertised online as catering to both married people seeking to leave their spouse and married individuals who know about their partner’s infidelity and want to end it without getting involved. Prices reportedly vary from $200 for simple cases to upwards of $150,000 for high-profile cases, where discretion is of the utmost importance. Wakaresaseya agencies boast a success rate of 95%. While such services may seem unusual in most parts of the world, this is Japan — the same country where you can hire someone to confess your love to someone on your behalf, hire a fake boyfriend, and even hire someone to quit your job if you’re not brave enough to do it yourself.