Ken Akamatsu, the creator of Love Hina, Negima, and UQ Holder has announced their intent to run for a spot in the Japanese government.
Akamatsu is an outspoken critic of attempts to curtail “freedom of expression” in Japan. He has also spoken to parliament as a manga creator and explained that Japan’s free expression is what allows the medium to compete internationally; back in June he said:
“This month, a member of the House of Councilors asked me to ask a question, but a Diet member asked, ‘What kind of measures do Japanese comics need to survive in the world?’ From my point of view, ‘First of all, freedom of expression. Japan has the advantage of being able to create freely compared to other countries.”
More recently, Akamatsu was critical of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s “Comprehensive Plan For the Promotion of Gender Equality” which he feared would have unforeseen consequences for Japan’s manga and animation industries.
“A draft revision of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s Comprehensive Plan for the Promotion of Gender Equality.
It mentions the ‘freedom not to be exposed to offensive expressions’ in mass media and public spaces, which scares me as a creator. This means I can’t draw anything in Tokyo! This is a gross disregard for freedom of expression.
The ‘international perspective on sexual and violent expression’ is also too vague, and this will lead to the decline of Japanese culture.”
Akamatsu announced his intention to run on Twitter. Due to the way the government in Japan currently operates, he will first need to be selected to run under the banner of a large party like the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
— 赤松 健 (@KenAkamatsu) December 16, 2021
As mentioned in some reports, we had an interview at the Liberal Democratic Party headquarters. I am determined to run for the Upper House election next summer in order to protect my freedom of expression. We are currently in the process of selection, and if there is a formal announcement from the party, I would like to reiterate my intentions. Ken Akamatsu