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Publishers, Japan take on pirated, foreign-language versions of manga online

Published on Apr 22, 2014 1:44 PM

TOKYO (Yomiuri Shimbun/Asia News Network) - As more and more pirated, foreign-language versions of Japanese manga have been posted online, the Japanese government and comics publishers plan to reinforce countermeasures to protect the nation's highly competitive content industry.

Some Japanese comics have been unofficially translated into English, and these pirated versions have been posted on multiple Internet sites several days before they are published in Japanese weekly magazines, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.

As these pirated versions could give a blow to the nation's content industry - one of Japan's leading sectors as Japanese manga are popular overseas - the government aims to revise the Copyright Law to better tackle these pirated versions, while publishers are trying to promote the foreign language versions they have produced.

For example, Kadokawa Corp., a major publishing company, in March launched a site called ComicWalker through which users can read about 200 comics and other works that are currently running in its magazines free via personal computers and smartphones. Of these works, about 40 are translated into both English and Chinese.

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