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Unauthorised ticket touting will be punishable by a million-yen fine, or a prison sentence, as a result of Japan's new anti-secondary law

Japan’s House of Councillors has voted 237–0 to approve a law criminalising nearly all ticket touting, just over two years after the #ResaleNO campaign first brought the issue to public prominence.

The legislation – approved by Japan’s lower house, the House of Representatives, on 4 December, and the upper house, the House of Councillors, on Saturday 8 December – proscribes ticket touting, both online and outside venues, for all shows where the organiser has prohibited resale – in practice, the majority of promoters.

Anyone who violates the new law, which encompasses both paper and electronic tickets, may be punished with a one-year prison sentence, a fine of up to ¥1 million (US$8,900), or both.

The legislation – in full [A law] regarding securing proper distribution of entertainment tickets by prohibiting illegal resale of specific entertainment tickets (特定興行入場券の不正転売の禁止等による興行入場券の適正な流通の確保に関する件) – also outlaws ticket touting as a ‘business’: ie purchasing tickets for the express purpose of reselling them.

It comes into effect six months from 8 December (8 June 2019).

The law has its roots in a bill drafted by Japan’s Parliamentary Group on Live Entertainment late last year, with MPs seeking to abolish secondary ticketing before the 2020 Olympic Games.

It followed the launch of #ResaleNO (#転売NO), an industry backed, FanFair Alliance-style campaign aimed at ending ticket touting, in August 2016, and that of Tiketore, Japan’s first face-value ticket exchange, in May 2017.

Welcoming the swift passage of the bill and its signing into law, Takeo Nakanishi, chairman of promoters’ association ACPC (All-Japan Concert and Live Entertainment Promoters’ Conference), tells IQ: “This legislation, developed after a two-year discussion, will not only protect consumers but also enable further development of the live industry ahead of the 2025 World Expo and the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.

“We hope this new act will set a precedent and spread all over the world.”

Other territories where for-profit ticket resale (or ticket resale altogether) is illegal include France, Norway, Belgium, Israel and Poland, with the Republic of Ireland set to follow suit.

see more on IQ Magazine