Two Tokyo-based company workers were arrested on suspicion of violating copyright laws on Sunday in Kumamoto. According to the Kumamoto Prefectural Police, the pair conspired to publish a new chapter of a manga from the popular Weekly Shonen Jump anthology before its official release in March 2023. They are also accused of photographing and copying the latest chapter of the same manga on January 31 of this year. 

The Leakers Deny the Charges

It is said that the two in question are foreign nationals who run the company Japan Deal World LLC based in Kita ward, Tokyo. They were allegedly able to commit the crime by obtaining early copies of the magazine at an undisclosed store in Tokyo, before its release date. Investigators believe that others could be involved and are now conducting a detailed investigation. The accused are, at the time of writing, denying the charges from March last year. They have, however, reportedly admitted to the more recent charge. 

On February 5, Shueisha, the publisher of the manga anthology, issued a statement, saying that this kind of crime “deprives readers who are eagerly awaiting the release date of the magazine of the enjoyment they can usually come to expect from the publication.” It added that “the authors are also very upset about the situation.” Shueisha plans to continue to take proactive measures to protect its authors and readers, so its magazine can be enjoyed in an appropriate manner.

About Weekly Shonen Jump

Weekly Shonen Jump is an anthology of shonen manga published by Shueisha, under the Jump line of magazines. The majority of the manga titles fall under the themes of action and comedy. Chapters of the series that run in this weekly issue are typically collected and published in tankobon volumes every few months. 

Weekly Shonen Jump has sold over 7.5 billion copies since its first release in 1968. Notable manga that have been published within its covers are series such as Dragon Ball and Slam Dunk. As part of the media digitization movement, Shonen Jump can now also be consumed via Shonen Jump+, a Japanese phone app, or its English counterpart, Manga Plus (available outside of Japan only). Titles that are currently in Weekly Shonen Jump‘s circulation include Jujutsu Kaisen, RuriDragon and Sakamoto Days.

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