Asia: Bogus Tickets, Tokyo Theatre, Bomb Scare

Singapore Police Warn Of Bogus Tickets 

Police in Singapore issued an advisory warning the public to be very careful when buying concert tickets online that are being “resold,” saying they have received numerous reports of ticketing scams in the past year or so.

Channel News Asia has reported that the July 4 advisory comes ahead of a six-month period in which a number of very big foreign acts will be playing Singapore, including Ed SheeranHarry StylesFoo Fighters and Show Luo.

The scams involved sellers who “pretend” to be reselling tickets to popular, usually sold-out events, but once the money is transferred the sellers disappear without producing the tickets. In the advisory, police say to only purchase tickets from authorized sellers and to take note of the terms and conditions, use shopping platforms that allow payments to be released only after the buyer receives the tickets, and demand physical meetups with unauthorized sellers to verify the authenticity of the tickets before paying for them.

Alternative Theatre Opens

The Alternative Theatre opened for business in Tokyo’s busy Yurakucho district on July 7. The 410-seat venue, which also has a standing room for 52 people, is the brainchild of Kazutoshi Tanuma, a veteran TV producer in Japan who is making his first foray into live theater.

Tanuma is the president of Studio Alta, a landmark television studio that was famous for hosting a daily live TV talk show for 32 years before it was finally canceled two years ago.

When that ended he was looking for new horizons, and hit on Alternative Theater. At stake, he told the Japan Times, was the “so-called 2016 issue,” which describes a crisis in the live entertainment field in Tokyo.

Many theaters and halls have been closed or will be closed for renovations ahead of the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, thus leading to a shortage of suitable venues for live music and theater. Tanuma has partnered with veteran theatrical director Shunichi Okumura with the idea of producing a “70-minute samurai action drama titled ‘Alata'” that would target foreign visitors to Tokyo. In the past two years, the number of foreign tourists to Japan has skyrocketed, and Tanuma hopes to take advantage of the windfall.

The show would not have any dialogue and would be centered around “chanbara,” the entertainment art of sword fighting. The actors, for the most part would be young dancers specially trained in the art. Tanuma was inspired by Broadway and the West End, two theatrical districts in, respectively, New York and London, that are huge attractions for foreign tourists. There is no such equivalent in Tokyo.

However, in order to create such a theater he had to start from scratch. He renovated a space on the tenth floor of a department store in the central district of Yurakucho and turned it into Alternative Theater, complete with state-of-the-art equipment such as LED lighting, surround screens, and facilities that allow actors to fly over the heads of the audience. Tanuma says if the show is a success, he will take it on tour overseas.

Bomb Threat At Music Show Recording 

AP Photo / Joshua Paul
– Apink
MTV World Stage Live, Pataling Jaya, Malaysia

More than 150 people were evacuated from a studio belonging to the Korean Broadcasting System on June 30 after someone called the station claiming that a bomb had been planted on the premises.

Later, a military ordnance unit swept the building and found no explosive devices. At the time of the call, a popular music show, “Music Bank,” was being recorded, and a number of major Kpop artists were participating, including the girl band APink, which seemed to be the main target.

In the afternoon, the recording of the show continued, though security was tighter. It wasn’t the first threat involving APink. Earlier this year, the six members of the group had appeared on a reality show where they went on blind dates. A man called the TV station saying he planned to kill all of them. Police believe that man and the one who called in the bomb threat were the same.

According to, Apink isn’t the only Kpop band that has received death threats in recent months. Experts surmise that most of the threats are made by fans of the groups targeted.

“When fans become infatuated with their favorite celebrities beyond what is considered rational, it becomes a turning point,” one said.

“The fans become possessive, as if they are taking ownership of them.” In fact, Korean idols have a fairly long history of receiving death threats. In the 1990s, the group Baby VOX received a threatening letter that was actually written in blood. In 2006, Yunho, a member of the boy band TVXQ, was given a drink by a fan that contained Superglue.

The singer had to be hospitalized.  But the threats have become more frequent and intense this year. 

One man issued a death threat to a member of the girl group Twice on June 13 when he said that he’d heard the woman was in a relationship.

When Twice recently returned from Japan after conducting promotional activities, a user of an Internet community site expressed outrage that they had performed abroad and said he planned to be waiting at the airport to throw acid at the group.

And it’s not just female idols. In March, a woman on the Internet said she would shoot Jimin, a member of BTS, during his solo slot in Anaheim during the group’s world tour.

She even identified where she and four other possible attackers would be sitting. Nothing happened, however. It is a crime to intimidate someone in public in South Korea. A conviction can bring up to three years in prison.