Manga-Loving Minister Taro Asō Buys Golgo 13 on Morning of Tax Hike
posted on by Chris Nishijima
Former Prime Minister Taro Asō was witnessed purchasing a copy of Golgo 13 from a convenience store on Tuesday, April 1. Interestingly enough, this also happened to coincide with the first day of the nationwide consumption tax increase, which brought the tax rate up to a total of 8%.
Asō's total bill from the convenience store came out to a total of 432 yen, after tax, as it included the copy of the manga as well as a bottle of mineral water. When asked about his purchase, Asō responded by saying he was relieved to see that implementation of the new tax had been carried out so quickly in stores.
This peculiar happenstance reminded the Japanese news site Jiji of a similar point in Japanese history in 1989, when Noboru Takeshita, the Prime Minister at the time, was seen purchasing a 15,000 yen (roughly 144 USD) necktie despite the fact that taxes had just gone up at that time.
This is not the first time the media has caught the former Prime Minister in an awkward situation with manga, as he was previously spotted in Haneda Airport reading a copy of Peach Pit's Rozen Maiden. Asō has made his love of the anime and manga clear, calling himself a fan of the medium and even spearheading the first International Manga Award in 2007.
Asō is currently serving as Japan's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance under current Prime Minister Shinzō Abe.