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Japan travel agent forgets booking, forges suicide note

/ 06:27 PM May 01, 2014

TOKYO—A Japanese travel agent who forgot to book a fleet of buses for a school trip tried to cover his tracks by forging a student’s suicide note in a failed bid to get the excursion cancelled.

Regulators from the Japan Tourism Agency raided the offices of JTB Corp, the country’s biggest travel agency, after a 30-year-old employee failed to order 11 buses for a high school in central Japan for its trip scheduled for April 25.

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The man noticed his mistake on the day before the students were due to depart, but instead of owning up to his error, he hatched a wild-eyed plan to get himself off the hook.

The man, who has not been identified, drafted a note in the style of a student threatening to commit suicide unless the trip was cancelled.

He then handed the note to the school’s principal, saying he had found it nearby.

After questioning all of its more than 300 students, the school decided to go ahead with the trip as planned, only to find the next morning that they had no transport.

JTB has promised to conduct a detailed internal review and said it will punish the employee.

The school has rearranged its trip for a future date, with a different agency.

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