Online shopping websites have been banned from offering sales of anime and manga, a decision that comes after the authorities in several cities began cracking down on online sales of pirated material.
The ban comes as internet users have started to demand that online shopping sites stop offering the anime and its manga online.
Last week, police raided the website of the Anime Expo in Tokyo, arresting two employees for allegedly illegally selling anime DVDs and other goods.
“This will not be the last,” said Haruaki Takahashi, chief of the Tokyo police’s anti-piracy division.
“We have a large number of people who have been arrested so far.
It will not stop here.”
Tokyo is a major trading hub for Japanese anime, with over a million visitors per day.
It is also home to one of the world’s largest anime conventions, the Tokyo Anime Expo, where thousands of fans from around the world attend to watch shows.
The decision by Tokyo authorities follows similar moves in other Asian cities, with authorities in Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul and other cities in China and South Korea taking similar action to shut down online anime sales.
In some cases, the anime industry has also taken a more draconian approach.
In Japan, anime sales have been heavily regulated, with most anime available only to subscribers of a particular company or to those who pay for membership fees, but in South Korea, only those who own a membership to a certain online anime club or company are allowed to buy anime.
Tokyo police have so far been unsuccessful in arresting the alleged illegal sellers of the anime on these two sites.
But in a bid to deter future legal action, Tokyo police have recently begun to impose restrictions on the sale of anime on online shopping websites.
On Sunday, the city’s chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, said the decision to ban online anime was not a new one.
“There is a trend to restrict the sale and viewing of anime in Japan, and it’s our duty to enforce it,” he told reporters.
“We are doing it to make sure the market remains open, but at the same time we also want to prevent the illegal online sales.”
Takahashi said online sales will continue to be banned in the future.
“I do not know what other measures are being taken, but we are doing everything we can to protect the consumers,” he said.
The ruling by Tokyo came amid a nationwide crackdown on online illegal sales of merchandise and goods last month, as police began cracking the whip on online manga and anime sales in a nationwide operation known as Operation Lava.