2 Men Arrested for Forging Artworks of Renowned Japanese Painter

Society

Osaka, Sept. 27 (Jiji Press)--Japanese police arrested two men on Monday for allegedly forging artworks of renowned Japanese painter Kaii Higashiyama.

The two are Yuzo Kato, a former art dealer from Osaka Prefecture, western Japan, and Masashi Kitabata, the operator of an art studio in Nara Prefecture, which neighbors Osaka.

The Metropolitan Police Department of Tokyo arrested the men on suspicion of making seven forged prints of five artworks of Higashiyama in conspiracy without the consent of the copyright holder between mid-January 2017 and early January 2019, in violation of the copyright law.

The police suspect that counterfeits, based on artworks of Japanese painters including Higashiyama and Ikuo Hirayama, have been made by Kato and Kitabata on a large scale over a long period of time.

In spring last year, a different art dealer noticed that prints of the same artworks were circulating on the market in unusually large numbers and began an investigation.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press