(This article applies only to the Japanese-facing parts of e+. There are also overseas-targeted ticket sales run by e+ that these don't apply to.)
It's not capital-H Hard to get a Japanese phone number and pay for tickets on e+ if you go to the right places and talk to the right people. It's true that the investment pays off if you use it enough. But it's enough of a pain that the barrier to entry keeps out a lot of fans.
Some problems with the process:
- The initial cost is expensive, especially if you're only aiming for one concert or stream. Many people, especially younger fans, don't really have that much time and money to blow on watching a concert.
Just think about the absurdity of having to pay >3k JPY to receive a text message so you can watch a 4.8k JPY stream. In better times, that's just to enter a low-chances lottery to buy a ticket (not to mention the cost of lottery codes).
- You have to talk to and trust your money to random internet people. This isn't easy for a lot of people, and unfortunately I wouldn't blame anyone for not trusting strangers to handle your money.
- Telling one person to find a contact in Japan is easy enough, but it doesn't scale well, especially when entry to Japan is really restricted. This is less of an issue when a fandom is smaller, but helping hundreds of people would be a pain.
- The most fragile part might be the JP SIM. The provider says the SIM isn't usable overseas, so its ability to receive SMS overseas might get "fixed" one day, or they might start to actually enforce a JP ID requirement. Then what? (Another SIM we'd used overseas, from Linksmate, already stopped working.)
All this being said, Love Live! fans have been pretty fortunate in some sense. The management has offered overseas-accessible ways to get tickets for major concerts. But this is a recent development and doesn't apply to smaller events.
What can we do about these problems? Beyond spending money through avenues that can show overseas demand and asking staff for ways to access events, there's not much we can do to change their ticketing.
So I think all that I'm hoping for is that people more experienced with JP events can engage newcomers with an understanding of their perspectives, and help make things less intimidating if possible. That's one of my goals for this site and the @loveliveevents Twitter account.