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Long haul

Maybe Kazuhisa Mashiko wanted to set some kind of world record.

A Japanese man depressed after his girlfriend dumped him was arrested for failing to pay for a 500-kilometre (300-mile) taxi ride back to his home town, police said Friday.

Jobless Kazuhisa Mashiko, 23, was arrested after he refused to cough up the 367,000-yen (3,800-dollar) fare for the eight-hour ride across Japan.

"I wanted to go back to my home town, because my heart was broken by my girlfriend," he told officers in his home town in Ibaraki prefecture, according to a police official.

But police were sceptical.

"He said he took the free ride because he was dumped by his girlfriend but it just seems like an excuse to defend himself," the official said.

He boarded the taxi Sunday evening in the western city of Himeji in Hyogo prefecture and went all the way to Ibaraki, northeast of Tokyo.

He eventually agreed to make amends after the taxi driver went to police, who took Mashiko into custody.

"I will pay the taxi fare through borrowing money from friends," he said tearfully, according to police.

If Mr. Mashiko was my friend, he wouldn't be getting any money from me. Just because I doubt he would ever repay the loan.


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