When the infamous Japanese manga piracy site, Mangamura, went down, the entire manga industry rejoiced as one of the country’s biggest pirates is now finally offline. And now, the trials of those responsible for the site have finally begun!
The Fukuoka district court held the arraignment for two of the suspects who allegedly ran the site. Fukuoka police arrested them last July, with 26-year-old male suspect Kouta Fujisaki pleaded guilty, while 24-year-old female suspect Shiho Itou pleaded not guilty. Both are also allegedly friends with the infamous Romi Hoshino, who was previously captured in the Philippines as he tried to hide from authorities.
During the trial, the prosecution claimed that Fujisaki was responsible for handling site updates since late 2016. He was also responsible for gathering images for the site since February 2017. It was also claimed that it was 37-year old Wataru Adachi, who himself was caught just last month, was the one giving instructions to both suspects. The suspects allegedly receive payment twice a month, with both also getting instructions directly from Hoshino himself.
Mangamura reportedly shut down voluntarily in 2018. After it shut down, several mangaka reported huge jumps in the sales of their works. Japan has been stepping up its anti-piracy campaign lately, and big publishers like Shogakukan have also launched their own campaigns as well. And in addition to Mangamura’s closure, Japanese police also arrested five Chinese nationals tied to anime and manga piracy.
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