First Manga Creator Joins Japan's Legislature

It seems history has been made in Japan thanks one of its latest elections. The country's headlines have been filled as of late with reports about the shocking assassination of Shinzo Abe, but that did not stop voters from hitting the polls this month. It was there the House of Councillors were voted for, and the election turnout will welcome the country's first mangaka to office all thanks to Ken Akatsuma.

The news comes from the Liberal Democratic Party overseas as the group announced Akamatsu had secured enough votes in the 26th House of Councillors election to win his seat. The seat won puts Akamatsu in the upper house of Japan's House of Representatives and will stand for the LDP nationwide. This victory comes after Akamatsu announced he would run for election last winter and even ended one of his ongoing manga to dedicate time to his campaign.

For those who have kept up with the election, you will know that Akamatsu pursued this shift into politics because he worried the nation's freedom of expression was being curtailed. In 2011, the artist first commented on this ideology when Japan's Copyright Law began weighing amendments that Akamatsu disagreed with.

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For those unfamiliar with the mangaka himself, Akamatsu is most famous for Love Hina which popularized harem storylines with readers. Tokyopop oversaw the series' release stateside, and Akamatsu went on to release his own J-Comi digital library service in 2008. The service went on to drum up controversy in 2011 when Seiji Matsuyama's My Wife Is an Elementary Student joined the catalog. Akamatsu carried on releasing new manga through February 2022 when Kodansha wrapped UQ Holder, and the politician is now ready to turn his career towards politics following his election win. 

What do you make of this latest election update? Do you agree with Akamatsu's platform here? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB.