The man to whom persistent rumours of his being the next Japanese Prime Minister have attached, 麻生太郎 / Taro Aso (67), has penned a newspaper column which is bold in its support of otaku, defending them from the vile calumnies the media heaps upon them, and also paid a visit to Akihabara to pay his respects to the fallen.
He had this to say in the column of an evening newspaper:
“When I look at the news reports, I get the feeling that they often single out otaku as being a peculiar group, or as being society’s losers, but I think innumerable great inventors and artists should perhaps be called otaku. Over a life, there are many times when one is beaten. <…> What is important is to keep trying and stick at it. Let us go on to realise a social environment in which that is possible.”
Aso is a prominent politician in the Liberal Democratic Party, having occupied a variety of top posts, and is thought by many to be a PM in waiting. He is notable for his forthright demeanour, trademark sideways sneer, popularity on 2ch (no mean feat), and of course for being an admitted fan of Rozen Maiden, as well as manga and anime more generally. He has also often displayed recognition of otaku culture in enhancing Japan’s cultural might overseas
Of course, it should not be forgotten that Aso is a politician, and conspicuous in his support of otaku culture, so currying favour amongst the substantial portion of the electorate to whom anime and the like is something to be embraced, rather than treated with suspicion, probably does nothing to harm his electoral standing…