The reselling of face masks for profit has now become a punishable crime in Japan as the demand is quickly overtaking supply amid the threat of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
According to Japanese news reports, offenders caught selling face masks above its retail price will be subject to one-year imprisonment or a hefty fine of 1 million Yen (approximately PHP 480,000) or both. This new rule by the government was already in effect starting March 15.
Reselling of face masks at the same price they were purchased for or lower, however, will still be allowed.
The government has also asked e-commerce websites to suspend the online auctioning of face masks.
This rule will be lifted once demand returns to normal.
As of writing, Japan has 1,538 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 31 mortalities.
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