Manga creator Ken Akamatsu has been quite outspoken about freedom of expression over the span of his career. As the creator of the harem comedy (Love Hina is widely recognized as the first of the genre), Akamatsu has very clear opinions on how much say the government should have regarding what artists can get away with in their works, and now he wants to take his opinions straight to parliament. No literally, Akamatsu wants to run for the upper house of the Japanese parliament.
In a tweet on his official Twitter account, Akamatsu had this to say about him entering the political arena:
— 赤松 健 ⋈ 公式サイトOPENしました (@KenAkamatsu) December 16, 2021
Directly translated and quoting him word for word:
“As reported in some media outlets, I did have an interview at LDP headquarters.
I am committed to running for the House of Councillors next summer in order to protect freedom of expression.
The party is currently in the midst of the selection process. Once an official announcement is made, I will convey my intentions to you all once again.
Now, before anyone gets too excited about the potential for sweeping changes made to the manga industry thanks to having a friend on the inside, we should note that Akamatsu plans to run for the upper house of parliament, which only passes the laws in Japan. As it was explained to me, the lower house is where laws and legislation are created.
Additionally, it is also not currently known if Akamatsu will run for election as a representative of one of the 45 districts in Japan or if he will run in a popularity election that sees new representatives added through proportional voting.
This wouldn’t be the first time that Japan has had an outspoken fan of anime and manga within their political system. Many of us might recall Japan having a legit otaku prime minister, Tarō Asō, for a hot minute (he lasted from September 2008 to September 2009), who believed that manga would bridge the gap between Japan and countries around the world.
Source: Crunchyroll News