News Japan Prints Manga to Explain Economic Growth Policy (Updated)
posted on 2009-08-14 08:35 EDT by Egan Loo
Not-So-Daily Link of the Day II: The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) of the Japanese government has put out a book this month to explain Japan's New Economic Growth Strategy to manga readers. Nihon no Mirai wa Nozomi ni Omakase! ~Manga de Wakaru Shin Keizai Seichō Senryaku (Count on Our Hopes [Nozomi] for Japan's Future! Understanding the New Economic Growth Strategy with Manga) features a "charismatic" 16-year-old high school girl named Nozomi Mitsuno as its heroine. The heroine's name can be read as a wordplay that means "hope of light." Nozomi and her 18-year-old female rival (both of whom have the title of "Management Consultants") were created with the intent of making Japan's economic policy easy to understand and even "fun."
The book's heroine covers such topics as "making the economic unification of East Asia a reality," "making the low-carbon society a reality," and "developing new techniques through the cooperation of mid-sized and small businesses." The book is aimed at young readers from middle school to college, as well as young company workers.
The New Economic Growth Strategy is the policy to strengthen the Japanese economy that METI initially drafted in 2006 and finalized in 2008. According the ministry, Japan is in danger of losing its status as the world's second largest economy in 10 years, due its low birth rate and the inertial resistance to change within government bureaucracies and business institutions.
Midori Natsu wrote the story with input from METI, and Hitori Renda drew the manga. METI compiled the work, while the Nikkei BP Publishing Center sells the book. DrMaster published Natsu's Feng Shui Academy manga in North America.
Update: The wraparound jacket band (pictured above) on the book features a glowing blurb from Prime Minister Tarō Asō, a self-professed manga fan. Asō faces an uphill battle in the parliamentary elections this month.
this article has been modified since it was originally posted; see change history