Former Prime Minister Asō Confirms Rozen Maiden Story
posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
Tarō Asō, a former Prime Minister of Japan, confirmed on the Japanese television program Takajin no Soko Made Itte Iinkai on August 28 that he did read Peach-Pit's Rozen Maiden manga. Asō had received the nicknames "Rozen Asō" and "Rosen Prime Minister" after a (then unverified) report claimed he was seen reading the manga at Tokyo's Haneda airport.
Asō clarified on the program, however, that he does not regularly read the manga. While he was in the airport, he picked up the manga (having known that girls read it) and read it while waiting in a line.
Asō is a self-professed anime and manga fan who was elected Prime Minister in 2008. Asō stepped down in 2009 after his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) lost its majority in the nation's parliament to the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ).
Before being elected Prime Minister, Asō served as a foreign minister and gained a reputation for using anime and manga as examples of cultural exchange. In April of 2007, he urged French presidential candidate Segolene Royal to "read a little bit more" manga after she criticized Japanese society for what she perceived to be a high degree of tolerance for expressions of violence and pornography in popular culture. The next month, he spearheaded the first International Manga Award, and his Foreign Ministry hosted a meeting of International Cosplay Summit participants later that year. Asō is currently serving as an envoy to Japan specifically to promote anime.
Peach Pit is still drawing Rozen Maiden, long after Asō left office. Peach-Pit will launch the Kugiko-san horror manga series in December. Tokyopop once published the Rozen Maiden manga, and Sentai Filmworks just announced on Friday that it licensed the 12-episode Rozen Maiden anime series, the 12-episode sequel series Rozen Maiden - Träumend, and the two-episode video anime Rozen Maiden: Ouvertüre.
[Via Hachima Kikō]