PM Hatoyama Huge Fan of Ecchi Manga I”s

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New Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has confessed to being an avid fan of manga and anime, mentioning the notoriously erotic manga I”s as a favourite, and saying that he thinks government should promote and not restrict manga and anime.

The 62-year-old statesman professed in a freshly uncovered 2005 interview with a now defunct otaku magazine to reading manga magazines such as Weekly Shonen Magazine and Shonen Sunday when a student, but his more recent favourite is apparently Katsura Masakazu’s famed and highly erotic tale of school romance I”s (shown), which he apparently avidly read each week during its serialisation in the late nineties.

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Regarding anime, he confesses to being a fan of Hayao Miyazaki, of Studio Ghibli fame, mentioning Spirited Away and Mononoke Hime as particular favourites.

He says of Miyazaki “he portrays man and nature skilfully, and leads the viewer on,” not entirely unexpected praise coming from a man who pledged to impose draconian CO2 output reductions on his nation’s industry.

He holds forth on anime and manga more generally:

“Well, Japan is proud that its anime is the best in the world, we have to continue this. I think that ensuring the industry is led forward is extremely important.

Government should not regulate the industry, but should rather help promote it. Japan today is becoming less valued by the world.

But Japanese anime and manga are leading the world, isn’t this something we should promote? I think Japanese have lately been losing their sense of hope and their dreams; I want them to reclaim these through the likes of manga and anime.”

Former PM Aso too was supposedly a fan and ardent supporter of Japanese visual culture, yet his administration led a series of attacks on the very freedom of expression which has created the industry as it is today.

Just what actions Hatoyama will take remains to be seen, particularly considering the potential that he was merely telling the interviewer what he wanted to hear, but with the PM himself once admitting to being a fan of the sort of thing illustrated, it might be wondered how seriously he could take the claims of organisations which would have his favourite manga banned given the chance…

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