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Illegal Japanese manga site manager arrested in the Philippines

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    Agence France-Presse

Manila, Philippines   /   Tue, July 9, 2019   /   02:29 pm
 Illegal Japanese manga site manager arrested in the Philippines Natsu, center, sets off on another adventure with others in a scene from the final installment of 'Fairy Tail.' (Hiro Mashima / KODANSHA via The Japan News/File)

A man who ran an illegal online manga comic library read by around 100 million people each month has been arrested in Manila, Philippine authorities said Tuesday.

Romi Hoshino, 28, managed "Manga Mura" (Manga village), which shut down on its own in April last year as Japan launched a manhunt for the website's founder for massive violation of copyright.

About 100 million people each month used the popular pirate website, which made around 60,000 manga -- Japanese graphic novels or comics -- available to the public for free immediately after publication.

Manga publishers lost about 320 billion yen ($2.94 billion) in potential revenues over a six-month period to February 2018 alone, Japan's Content Overseas Distribution Association said.

"It's an enormous amount and Manga Mura was a very big issue for manga editors," an official from the anti-piracy group told AFP.

"The Japanese government created a task force just to take measures against Manga Mura," the association official added.

Hoshino, who holds a Japanese passport, was arrested on Sunday at Manila airport after the Japanese embassy in Manila sought help in locating him, immigration commissioner Jaime Morente said in a statement, describing him as the Manga Mura manager.

"His presence in the country is a risk to public safety and security," and will likely be deported to Japan, Morente said.

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