• Kyodo

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China has confiscated close to 6,000 of Japan’s popular “Death Note” comic books as part of a crackdown on horror publications that it deems harmful to children, according to state-run media.

The 5,912 comic books join 11,930 other “illegal horror books” that have already been swept from shelves across the country, Xinhua news agency reported late Wednesday.

The report did not mention the names of other publications that have been targeted since the authorities began the crackdown in April.

The stories in “Death Note” center on a character who decides to punish evildoers using a notebook that kills anyone whose name is written in it.

A spokeswoman of Japan’s Shueisha Inc. said the company does not publish the comic book in mainland China, although copies of it are being sold in Hong Kong.

Those confiscated on the mainland “could be counterfeits,” she said.

Chinese authorities have issued a notice saying “Death Note” comics “contain elements of mystery, death and revenge, and are harmful to children’s psychological development,” Xinhua said.

The report said that students in Chinese schools have been seen imitating the character in the comic book, writing down the names of people they do not like in a notebook.

In Japan, the 12-part series sold about 26 million copies and was made into a movie.

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