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Japanese man wanted for running illegal manga site detained in Philippines

Kyodo

A man wanted in Japan for allegedly infringing copyrights by running an illegal manga website has been detained in Manila, authorities said Tuesday.

The man identified by the Philippines’ Bureau of Immigration as Romi Hoshino, 27, is suspected of operating Manga-Mura, which allowed visitors to read pirated comics. He is expected to be deported to Japan.

In April 2018, the Japanese government deemed it appropriate for internet service providers to block users’ access to Manga-Mura and two other websites, in order to address internet piracy.

The website was created in around August 2017 and had a total of some 620 million visitors between September that year and February 2018, according to the Content Overseas Distribution Association, a Japanese entity working on copyright infringement.

That translated into losses worth about ¥319.2 billion ($2.93 billion), according to an estimate by the organization.

Hoshino was apprehended Sunday at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila while he was about to depart for Hong Kong.

Hoshino’s arrest was requested by the Japanese Embassy in Manila and conducted in coordination with Japanese authorities, according to the bureau.

“We are in close coordination with our foreign counterparts who send us information about criminals who might be hiding in the Philippines,” Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said in a statement.

Hoshino is being detained at an immigration facility in Manila pending deportation proceedings.