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crime

Osaka man arrested after reserving and canceling 1,873 seats at 2 baseball games to get more space

26 Comments

Who doesn’t enjoy the thrill of live baseball? The crack of the bat and the roar of the crowd as wacky mascots take the field are but a few of the delights that can only be truly enjoyed firsthand.

But for some people, that also means cramped seating among other people who have proven themselves capable of using their own children as weapons to attack each other. It’s crazy enough to drive some people to equally crazy lengths just to get a little more elbow room.

Enter 41-year-old Kiyoshi Shibamura, who on Sept 10 last year reserved a total of 1,873 seats online for two games between the Orix Buffaloes and SoftBank Hawks at Osaka’s Kyocera Dome on the 28th and 29th of that same month. He then cancelled all but his own, thus ensuring that no one else would be sitting in a roughly 300-seat radius of himself.

These particular games were right at the end of the regular season and featured a visiting team that would go on to be the 2019 NPB (Nippon Professional Baseball) Champions. So, these games were especially popular and the cancelled seats were valued at approximately 10.86 million yen.

Naturally, those with a stake in this revenue weren’t happy and an investigation was launched. It probably wasn’t too hard to find the one guy sitting among the hundreds of cancelled seats and on March 11, Shibamura was arrested on charges of obstructing business.

▼ Highlights from the Sept 29 game, show that it was otherwise well-attended, but the empty patch of roughly 900 seats around Shibamura can be seen behind third base in this video.

According to police he admitted to the charges saying “I wanted to watch the game comfortably with no people around” and “I wanted to stand out [on TV].” The plan certainly worked but was not without consequences.

Despite the ingenuity and sheer patience it took to craft nearly 2,000 fake identities to make all those reservations, comments online had little sympathy for the suspect.

“He didn’t think this through very well, did he?”

“He committed a crime so he could stand out on TV? There’s a genius.”

“I’m glad they caught him. Sure it’s not a major crime but these little things add up and before you know it society is broken.”

“I know how he feels. But there are better ways to go about it.”

“It’s an Orix game, so it was a victimless crime.”

“It’s not like 1,800 empty seats at an Orix game is a rare occurrence.”

“Wouldn’t he have been surrounded by empty seats at a Buffaloes game anyway?”

As you can see, there was also no shortage of Orix Buffalo cracks among the comments. For those unfamiliar with Japanese baseball, the Buffaloes are a perennially low-ranked team with the arguably smallest fanbase in NPB.

In a way though, that does increase the negative impact of his crime as the Buffaloes probably don’t have the financial reserves of other teams.

Sources: Sankei News, Hachima Kiko

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Japanese truck driver steals 5,800 bicycle seats over 25 years “for fun”

-- Japanese senior stabs younger man multiple times after seeing him sit in train’s priority seat

-- “We just wanted to see them stop!” Four train otaku arrested for throwing smoke bombs at trains

© SoraNews24

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

26 Comments
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Mean and quite sad but actually brilliant and quite funny. Charge him for the seats as a fine and give it to the stadium.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Someone’s been doing the same trick at Villa Park for years.

Not been caught yet....

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Look up selfish in the encyclopedia and this guy is front and center! Just amazing

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Loser.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

How can you cancel without paying ?

No possible in my country.

Make it a rule and such idiotic bookings won't happen again.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Judge should throw this one out.... Stadiums booking system is stupid in the extreme.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

I admire his inginuity, but not his selfishness.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

charges of obstructing business ?

Haven't come across that one before.

Anyway, it's the fault of the Stadium to allow Reservations to be cancelled without incurring a cost.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Where in the video?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

They could sell him the reservation of all seats of a stadium for one or two events at the ghost Olympics next Summer... And find him a 15 yr loan to pay with interests.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Why was he arrested? Sounds like the company needs to adjust its reservation policy. Ian doesnt expect to get arrested if he returns too many things to walmart, even if bought elsewhere. That's the fault of their policy, just like here. Let the police handle the real crimes, no the corporate booboos brought on by their own fault.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

That's a $100,000 USD blunder on this guy's part. Dumb.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yes Orix games are often empty vut they were playing the Hawks who bring in a lot of fans because they are a powerhouse and they have a lot of older fans who liked the Nankai Hawks when they were in Osaka.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Naturally, those with a stake in this revenue weren’t happy and an investigation was launched. It probably wasn’t too hard to find the one guy sitting among the hundreds of cancelled seats and on March 11, Shibamura was arrested on charges of obstructing business.

Is there a "dumb criminal of the week" award? He is certainly a good contender.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Six months to catch him? Why? Wasn’t he the only one in a 1,872-seat area?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

OK, for those of you who were saying that there should be a cost for cancellation, you obviously don’t understand how far some companies can go regarding this. In fact, some companies don’t allow you to cancel at all, therefore making you absorb the entirety of the cost, regardless of what circumstances pop up at the last minute.

And yeah, this guy is a moron, and I’m glad that he was arrested, but to change the whole cancellation policy just because of one guy? Do you really think that something like this will ever happen again? Come on, it’s completely unnecessary.

Don’t make the rest of us pay, just because of the actions of one guy. That’s not fair to the rest of us.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

thus ensuring that no one else would be sitting in a roughly 300-seat radius of himself.

Maths is a bit off! Area of a circle with radius of 300 would be (pi r squared) over 282,000 seats. That would be some stadium... No, his 1873 seats would make a more modest circle of radius only 24.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The law against obstructing a lawful business is possibly the best law Japan has on its books that other countries should emulate.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

smart man.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

**@mmwkdw** charges of obstructing business? Haven't come across that one before.

It's a 'catch all' that is often used when no designated crime has been committed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Jonathan

Maths is a bit off! Area of a circle with radius of 300 would be (pi r squared) over 282,000 seats. That would be some stadium..

Well said , Sir. Are you by any chance related to Stephen Fry?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And yeah, this guy is a moron, and I’m glad that he was arrested, but to change the whole cancellation policy just because of one guy? Do you really think that something like this will ever happen again? Come on, it’s completely unnecessary.

Don’t make the rest of us pay, just because of the actions of one guy. That’s not fair to the rest of us.

The rest of us don't have to pay, just prevent people from canceling over a certain number of seats.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Someone’s been doing the same trick at Villa Park for years. 

Not been caught yet....

Haha! Then again, at least it’s their own stadium.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Someone’s been doing the same trick at Villa Park for years. 

Not been caught yet...

Prince William!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Someone’s been doing the same trick at Villa Park for years. 

Not been caught yet....

Lol

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Even if he hasn't actually broken a law, one of the more vague entries will be interpreted in a way that allows him to be charged.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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