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Global Voices: Rent-A-Family, Inc.

Ryuichi owns a company that rents out fake family members and friends, but his own family doesn't know. Ryuichi and his employees are professional stand-ins, part of a growing service industry in Japan that rents out fake spouses, best men, relatives, friends, colleagues, boyfriends and girlfriends, all to spare their clients embarassment at social functions such as weddings, funerals, or other family gatherings.

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