The anti-censorship campaign stance of Japan House of Councillors candidate Taro Yamada appears to have resonated strongly with his constituents, as it has been reported that Yamada has won his bid for election.

Yamada’s election campaign greatly focused on standing against the censorship of comics, manga, and video games, appealing greatly to the otaku community. During his campaign, Yamada further courted the otaku community by playing a custom vocaloid theme song, “Yamada Taro no Uta” or “Yamata Taro Song” from the speakers of his campaign cars:

In addition to standing against censorship of media, Yamada also focused on issues such as internet privacy and freedom of expression on the internet.

On July 21st, the NHK declared that Yamada, formerly a member of the House, had regained his seat. Dan Kanemitsu, the translator for the recent Netflix dub of Neon Genesis Evangelion, notes that the resonance of Yamada’s message and its translation into a political victory election could be a preview of the “clout otakus will have in national politics of Japan in the future”:

Upon achieving victory in his election bid, Yamada noted that he was able to win without the major financial backing and support other candidates have access to, thanking his supporters and stating that he “will do [his] best to realize the policy [he] promised to [them]”:

Manga, Anime, and video game censorship has become a growing concern. Sony recently confirmed they have a censorship policy to the Wall Street Journal. The paper reported their guidelines entail:

A Sony spokeswoman confirmed the company has established its own guidelines “so that creators can offer well- balanced content on the platform” and gaming “does not inhibit the sound growth and development” of young people. She declined to say when these guidelines were introduced or to discuss them in detail.

However, this would be contradicted by a Japanese Sony spokesman who indicated these are not new guidelines. They did confirm that executives will review games on a case by case basis for content that “may be considered offensive and unsafe.” The spokesman also noted that Sony looks “toward their global standard” when executives are reviewing content in question.

Not only has Sony’s recent censorship decisions brought this subject to the forefront, but the United Nations has proposed guidelines in order to restrict “Loli” and “Shota” animation.

What do you make of Taro Yamada’s win?

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About The Author

Spencer is a contributing reporter for Bounding Into Comics. Unabashed anime fan, life-long comic book reader, avid video game player, and in need of a separate house for all of his figures. Trying to sift through the noise to bring the readers the facts.

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