The Hyogo Prefecture Police Department has arrested a 43-year-old unemployed man named Masatoshi Konishi on suspicion of fraud for online ticket scalping.
Konishi had purchased digital tickets to Sakanaction concerts. The cyber crimes division of the Hyogo Prefecture Police Department accused Konishi of reselling the tickets online at a higher price.
In addition to the Sakanaction tickets, the department claims Konishi has sold ¥60 million Yen ($547,585 USD) worth of tickets since 2014 through online resale sites.
This the first time that anyone has been arrested in Japan for purchasing concert tickets with the intent of reselling them for profit.
The resale of concert tickets has become a hot topic issue in Japan as the practice became more prevalent in recent years. Websites dedicated to the resale of tickets for profit can fetch as high as 10 times the original sales price.
Due to the high profit margins and effortlessness of online resales, fans of musicians have faced difficulties obtaining tickets to concerts as more and more get bought up by scalpers. This has created an inaccessible environment for many fans who cannot afford to buy for-profit resold tickets.
Within the past year, the music industry has pushed back against the resale industry. Coalitions of artists, agencies, music labels and concert venues have formed to lobby against the practice. Technology such as facial recognition is also being utilized to prevent the easy transfer of tickets.