JAPAN: Emoto's Plan

In Japan, where 23,500 people killed themselves last year, and the suicide rate increases by 5% a year, Candy Salesman Akira Emoto, 31. was long regarded as a candidate for the statistics column. He brooded, he ate sleeping pills and last summer he tried to poison himself. "Just you wait." he told friends in the southern city of Kokonoe, "very soon I shall do something that will startle the nation."

To snap his son out of his despondency. Akira's father found him a bride. Though it was an arranged marriage, Akira seemed pleased...