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Tokyo man arrested after coronavirus joke tweet causes concert delay

A sign outside the Metropolitan Police Department's Shibuya Police Station is seen in this file photo, taken in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, on May 16, 2019. (Mainichi/Yukiko Murata)

TOKYO -- A 30-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of obstruction of business by fraudulent means after tweets he reportedly posted that falsely suggested he'd been infected with the new coronavirus led to the temporary suspension of a concert on March 15.

Kota Tsujiyama, a resident of Tokyo's Edogawa Ward, was arrested by the Metropolitan Police Department's Shibuya Police Station on March 16. He is said to have admitted to the allegations, saying, "I treated the issue lightly, and didn't think about the consequences when I tweeted."

Tsujiyama is reported to have submitted tweets ahead of an idol music event at a live venue in Shibuya Ward on March 15 that included messages such as, "Recovered from coronavirus. Looking forward to today!" The messages are said to have led to an obstruction of business after the show was halted for around 15 minutes.

According to police, around 200 people including staff were at the venue. The tweets came to light after another fan discovered the posts and notified organizers while the event was taking place.

Tsujiyama was in the audience, but he was reportedly not suffering from ill health, nor had he been tested for the new coronavirus.

(Japanese original by Yoshitaka Yamamoto, City News Department)

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