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37 Japanese Publishers to Launch N. American Manga Portal (Updated)

ANN writes: "37 Japanese publishers are collaborating to set up a joint portal site for North American anime fans this year. The tentatively named J Manga Portal Site will digitally distribute manga whose rights are held by each of the companies. Shueisha Managing Director Kazuhiko Torishima outlined the plans for the site during a talk at the Denshi Shoseki Comic Summit in Tokyo's Akihabara UDX building on Friday.

The publishers involved include Akita Shoten, Kadokawa Shoten, Kodansha, Shueisha, and Shogakukan. The publishers aim to open a beta version of the site within the year, and the site is slated to start full distribution next March. The publisher cannot announce which titles and how many titles they will put on the site yet.

Update: More background information added."

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