Source : Japan Times
The reselling of face masks for profit will become a crime punishable by a one-year prison term or a ¥1 million ($9,800) fine — or both — as demand surged amid the growing coronavirus epidemic, the government said Tuesday.
The new rule, aimed at preventing would-be profiteers from taking advantage of a nationwide shortage of the masks, will take effect March 15.
Reselling face masks at the same price they were purchased for, or at lower prices, will still be allowed, a trade ministry official said, stressing that the rule is not meant to keep people from distributing them to friends and family.
“We want to ensure that the average consumer can get their hands on masks,” the official said.
The rule will be implemented through a revision to a law enacted in response to panic-buying during the 1973 oil crisis.
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