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Man to be nabbed for illegal manga-viewing site in Philippines

This Aug. 21, 2019 file photo shows Ninoy Aquino International Airport's Terminal 1 in Manila, Philippines. (Kyodo)

FUKUOKA/MANILA (Kyodo) -- Japanese police are set to arrest a man for running an illegal manga-viewing website in the Philippines, investigative sources said Tuesday.

The man, identified by the Bureau of Immigration as Romi Hoshino, 27, has been detained at Manila airport by local authorities. According to the sources, Japanese police have obtained an arrest warrant for the man suspected of copyright infringement for operating "Manga-Mura," a website that allowed visitors to read pirated comics.

Hoshino is expected to be deported to Japan.

Manga-Mura was one of three websites the Japanese government in April 2018 deemed appropriate for internet service providers to block users' access to, 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 yen ($2.93 billion), according to the organization's estimate.

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.

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