crime

2 men arrested for operating movie theater without permit

16 Comments

Police in Tokyo have sent papers to prosecutors on two men charged with violating the Entertainment Facilities Act by running a movie theater without a permit. One man is a 50-year-old company president who lives in Minato Ward, and the other is a 42-year-old man from Setagaya Ward who was the operations director of Cocomaru Theater in Kichijoji, which closed in September, Sankei Shimbun reported.

According to police, Cocomaru Theater had gained a business permit from the Tokyo government for the first floor area of the theater, but had not been able to gain permission for the second floor, as it only has one emergency staircase and did not meet other safety requirements. The theater company continued to show movies on the second floor while reporting that the space was used as an eating area.

Under the Entertainment Facilities Act, businesses pertaining to movies, music and theatrical plays require a permit. The men have admitted showing movies in the second floor theater without a permit, despite receiving safety hazard warnings from the Tamafuchu Public Health Center. Criminal charges were filed against the theater company in May.

Police said the second floor movie theater had about 1,200 customers and took in 1.1 million yen during the period between December 2017 and February 2019.

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16 Comments
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It's great these men were caught. Safety regulations are in place for a reason and should not be ignored.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Glad they were nailed, yet it's just a drop in the bucket in regards to businesses that do not follow the fire codes here.

I would rather have the cops going after businesses like this!

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Fire codes are important to protect the workers and the public.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

I'm guessing that these men feel harshly done by. When you look at Osaka's Shinsaibashi, or Kyoto's Nishiki (and let's not even go to Tokyo), with the tourism boom, the number of people occupying these places, most of whom can't read kanji, it's a fire trap.

1,200 people over 14 months vs hundreds of thousands each week in Shinsaibashi, I would personally deem both fire hazards.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Wouldn't it be nice if they were instead simply busted for violating fire codes? I don't care if they had a license for a theater or not. I care that they threw safety to the wind.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Obviously these people were not doing this for the money - 1.1 million yen over that period of time?

Police said the second floor movie theater had about 1,200 customers and took in 1.1 million yen during the period between December 2017 and February 2019

I agree the big issue is the violation of fire codes and putting people at risk. My guess is they were trying to do something unique, artsy or show films they are interested in and they did not necessarily have a profit motive. Give them a fine or a type of penalty such that they will not do this again but do not be overly harsh.

I have seen some very large businesses neglect some pretty important safety requirements (I see alot of factories in Japan) and the very large enterprises should be targeted rather than the small guys who do not have the clout to either "donate" to political parties or otherwise influence decisions.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Throw the book at them. Safety regulations are there for a reason, and time and time again there are multiple casualties in buildings in Japan where these have been ignored.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I am a huge supporter of regulations that are designed to ensure safety in the event of a fire and I am sure they probably did do what they are accused of.

That said, for any of us that live in Japan, we are well aware that these types of regulations are never applied in an even-handed manner. Sometimes its legal, because of things like grandfathering clauses and the like.

However, in many cases, it has everything to do with connections and who you know. One wonders if some competing business with a connection to the police / fire department made this happen. Or if these guys didn't play nice with the "right people."

Just saying.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I see fire escapes and stairwells filled with boxes all the time. I check and if it is so, I leave the establishment.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

If every business in Japan that was a firetrap was closed, there would be a lot of empty buildings. There are towers full of fire traps called "Snacks" in every city of any size in the country.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

zones2surf is right. Buildings violate the fire codes everywhere, but they are owned by the rich and connected, or by yakuza. These 2 guys were singled out because they are small and unconnected, and hadn't paid anybody off, probably because they weren't making much money.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Having the right "connections" in Japan helps... just like it does in other Countries, so nothing new here.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

We caught the reel criminals! ;)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

These 2 guys were singled out because they are small and unconnected, and hadn't paid anybody off, probably because they weren't making much money.

I agree. They weren't making enough to fill up the brown envelopes, and probably someone else was eyeing that space.

Living in "a nation children", you will run across a lot of jealous people.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Tom

I see fire escapes and stairwells filled with boxes all the time. I check and if it is so, I leave the establishment.

Me too. And sometimes, when if I have time before forgetting about it, I also mention it in a review on gurunavi, trip advisor, etc.

I hope this action against these two guys is the beginning of a new campaign to keep us all safer by enforcing safety regulations.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

1.1 million over 2 years?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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