Whether it be in New York, Paris, Hong Kong or Tokyo, street busking has always been a simple production. An individual or small group of people turn up at a street corner or park bench, unpack their instruments, implements or props, and set about their performance. Some routines - whether it's mime, music, stand-up comedy or dance - are good or even excellent. Usually, they're what the charitable would call 'poor'. What most buskers have in common is that they don't have to pass a screening process simply for the right to drop a cap on the floor for contributions. But that's just what anyone wanting to perform in Tokyo's Inokashira Park will have to do from next month. City authorities have decided to enforce a minor point of the City Park Law that requires people to get a permit before using a city park to hold meetings or sell or exhibit items for sale. Authorities are keen to play down suggestions that they are killjoys who would prefer that no one actually visited these relatively rare green and peaceful parts of the metropolis. But they have decided that buskers must submit a written application to the metropolitan government, giving full details of the nature of their performance. If an act is deemed appropriate, the performer will get a registration card allowing park performances for one year. The process will cost a busker 10,000 yen (HK$670) - which, for the less successful acts, might be several days' takings. One of the catches, some performers believe, is that narrow-minded city officials might fail to recognise the art in what they do. City officials say they have acted because the park will host many events in the years leading up to the 100th anniversary of its creation, in 2017. Spread out over more than 380,000 square metres in the Kichijoji suburb of western Tokyo, Inokashira became the first park to be set up by an emperor and opened to the public. Popular with families, particularly in the summer when rowing boats can be taken out on the lake, the park also has a shrine dedicated to entertainment and love. It is a favourite trysting place for young couples and, in the spring, hosts merry cherry-blossom-viewing parties. It has also attracted performers inspired by the story of a singer dubbed 'The diva of Inokashira Park'. Five years ago, Chiyuki Asami began busking in the park. Equipped with an acoustic guitar, she performed more than 100 times and quickly won a loyal group of followers. Word of the singer's talents spread and, two years later, she made her professional debut. Today, at the age of 28, she has a clutch of albums to her name and performs in front of thousands of people at concerts across the country. She might never have been discovered if the cost of a registration fee had prevented her from singing in a public park.