The government and producers of manga and anime began an anti-piracy campaign Wednesday, demanding that around 300 Internet site operators delete their pirated content within the next five months.
The project to crack down on piracy is targeted at around 580 manga and animation items that have been copied illegally. Legal action may be pursued if the operators do not take down the offending content, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said.
The targeted sites are based in several countries, including China and South Korea. A survey conducted by the government in 2012 showed the damage to Japanese industries in the Chinese cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chongqing is estimated at around ¥560 billion a year.
The producers and METI also launched a website, manga-anime-here.com , that provides links to legitimate manga and anime content.
The site currently offers links to around 220 items and the number will increase down the road, METI said.