FUKUOKA – A 37-year-old man was arrested Saturday for allegedly engaging in the management of an illegal manga-viewing website that hosted copies of “One Piece.”
Wataru Adachi is suspected of uploading unauthorized image files of the megahit comic in May 2017 on Mangamura, a website that allowed visitors to read pirated comics.
The suspect has neither admitted nor denied the allegation, saying he wants to speak with a lawyer.
Romi Hoshino, 27, the head of the website’s operations, was detained in the Philippines last month and Japanese police are set to arrest him on suspicion of copyright infringement for running the website as soon as he is deported to Japan.
Mangamura, which also hosted unauthorized copies of other popular manga titles such as “Attack on Titan,” was one of three websites that the Japanese government in April 2018 deemed appropriate for internet service providers to block users’ access to, in order to address internet piracy.
The closed manga website, created around April 2017, had 620 million visitors between September of that year and February 2018, according to the Tokyo-based Content Overseas Distribution Association.
The association estimates that number of visitors translates into losses of ¥319.2 billion for the manga industry.
A man believed to be Adachi contacted the Fukuoka police earlier this month, saying he wanted to turn himself in. Adachi was arrested when he arrived at Fukuoka airport from the Philippines via Taiwan.