The LDP has announced it is considering a Gundam development program, with the presumed intent of defending Japan with an army of giant robots.
On a political talk-show broadcast on NicoNico Douga, LDP parliamentarians including the LDP’s vice president Tadamori Oshima and former party general secretary Bunmei Ibuki revealed the LDP was “seriously considering” a “Gundam development project.”
This policy would apparently incorporate both industrial promotion of the development of bipedal robots, and their military employment.
This is not the first time the fascination of Japanese with militarily ludicrous giant robots has reached into the official sphere – previously civil servants famously developed cost estimates for the construction of a Gundam unit.
Online the plan has attracted the expected ridicule (although the prospect of seeing a billion dollar titan toppled by a hundred dollar shell to the knee admittedly has a certain appeal), as well as some suspicion that it is part of a crude attempt by the censorship loving LDP to curry favour with the creepy right-wing otaku demographic – and, this being Japan, some actual support:
“This is how they are going to spend our newly raised consumption tax?”
“These are Japan’s politicians.”
“Why Gundam all of a sudden now? You start with Zaku, Zaku!”
“Patlabor, you mean.”
“Nice to see they have some dreams, at least.”
“You lot are always trolled by this stuff, like that nonsense about Aso being a Rozen Maiden fan.”
“Why not start by making some robots which can clean up after a nuclear accident, morons.”
“Forget about useless bipedal bots, make something more useful.”
“Humanoid development allows artificial limbs and other good stuff. It’s good for Japan to follow its own direction, compared to the US and China and company, who are all on the same track.”
“People ridiculing this are the same people who would have been ridiculing the car a century ago!”
“Encouraging robotic development is great, but there really is not likely to be any merit in pushing bipedal ones.”
“Gundams would be useless in a real war. If their intent is anything more than to curry favour with otaku they should start looking at what would be.”
“Well, Gundam is just a symbol. Any idiot can see they are useless. They must be talking about promoting the robotics industry.”
“They are just trying to get your votes, guys.”