Japan has been ramping up its anti-piracy campaign for anime and manga as of late. And now, it seems that one of the “Big Fish” for manga piracy has been caught in the Philippines.

The country’s Bureau of Immigration (BI) recently caught Zakay Romi (real name: Romi Hoshino), the alleged manager of Japanese manga piracy website Mangamura at the request by the Embassy of Japan to the Philippine government.

The Philippine police then took Hoshino and detained him at a facility inside Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City. He is now pending deportation back to Japan where Philippine authorities will formally hand him to Japanese custody.

Hoshino’s arrest in the Philippines became big news in Japan. In fact, several Japanese netizens have commented on several Philippine news agencies’ tweets regarding the arrest. Many were celebrating and thanking the Philippine authorities for his capture. One example is Philippine news giant, ABSCBN’s tweet on Hoshino’s arrest. It was one of the first tweets regarding the news, and Japanese netizens flooded it with replies of celebration.

Mangamura became a notorious site in Japan, uploading manga online without copyright owner’s consent. It is estimated to have cost the manga publishers and mangaka billions of yen in potential revenue each year, until the site itself voluntarily shut down its operations in 2018.

Following the shutdown, Japanese authorities have been trying to find its managers, including Hoshino.

source: The Manila Bulletin