Yodobashi Camera in Akihabara today, a small stage was set up outside on the street. A few idols were singing crappy J-pop songs and a 100-strong otagei crowd were dancing, jumping, whooping and going mad. Of course this was worth a photo.
There was a small handwritten sign held up by one Yodobashi staff member saying "No photo", which I assumed was referring to the idols. I wanted to take some shots of the crowd so pulled out my camera but was almost instantly approached by another staff member telling me "No photos". When I explained I wasn't taking photos of the idols, just the crowd (members of the public standing on a public street cordoned-off only by a rope from the rest of the footpath) he wouldn't have any of it. Although he didn't grab me or the camera he stood in front of me and wouldn't get out of the way until I put my camera away.
I've had similar requests from staff/roadies/whoever they are in front of Shibuya 109 when there are public advertising campaigns and performances etc.
Does anyone know the laws in Japan in such situations? Are people actually within their rights to prohibit the taking of photos in such public places, or should I simply give a polite refusal to their requests and continue to snap away?