Tokyo's 1st Female Governor Advocated for 'Anime Land'
posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
Tokyo made headlines on Monday when its citizens elected its first female governor, 64-year-old former Environment Minister and Defense Chief Yuriko Koike.
The candidate made waves by announcing her plans to run before receiving the official blessing from her party, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). As a result, Koike ran as an independent while the LDP backed a different candidate. Despite this controversial move and a negativity-fueled campaign season where former Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara, warned voters that "We cannot leave Tokyo to a woman with too much make-up," Koike came out ahead of her LPD-backed opponent Hiroya Masuda by over one million votes.
Her history has also drawn attention of Japanese anime and manga fans for different reasons. She's indulged in cosplay, specifically as anime's first magical girl, Sally the Witch for Halloween last year. Koike tweeted a picture of her in the costume last month to show her support for Comiket and its creators. She even went on the record that she'd like to turn "all of Tokyo" into "anime land."
私は東京を文化の発信地にしていきます。コミケ開催地も出版社もその多くが東京にあるのです。東京都が総力を挙げて、コミケを応援します! pic.twitter.com/QF5Iyu2kQM— 小池百合子 (@ecoyuri) July 17, 2016
On the flipside, Koike endorsed the LDP's attempt to apply child pornography laws to anime, manga and video games. A Tokyo law to restrict and regulate sexually provocative, "visual depictions" of characters who sound or appear to be younger than 18 years old was presented in 2010 but met resistance from creators and was summarily shelved. Japan's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) attempted to resurrect it and it was reintroduced in earlier drafts of the passed child pornography bill.
Koike's views run the gambit, promising to promote female- and environmentally-friendly policies but she is also seen as right-leaning. She was endorsed by the revisionist Japan Society for History Textbook Reform, is a vice secretary general for the Diet's main historical revisionist lobby, supports Article 9 Constitution reform, and has previously been critical of North Korea while making accusations about the money earned by Korean-owned pachinko parlors in Japan.