Royal on Japanese manga: Hoist by her own petard
Posted by ampontan on Monday, April 23, 2007
FOREIGN MINISTER TARO ASO has a suggestion for Segolene Royal, the Socialist candidate for president in France, according to this Japan Times article .
Royal criticized Japanese society in a book published in 1989 for its toleration of violence and pornography in manga and animations. She also apparently complained about sexism in manga to Mizuho Fukushima, the head of the Japanese Social Democratic Party (former Socialist Party) when the latter visited Paris in December.
Aso, well-known for his enjoyment of manga, suggested that Royal might broaden her reading of the comics and discover the diversity of the genre.
Actually, I have a different suggestion for Royal: Put a sock in it.
The only reason to get upset about violent or pornographic manga is if reading that material leads to sex crimes against women. Interpol (headquarted in France) keeps international crime statistics. One of these is the incidence of rape per 100,000 population.
This website listed some of those rape statistics by country for 2004.
The numbers for Japan? 1.78. The rate for France? 14.45.
Mr. Aso also suggested to reporters that they not react so much to comments from foreigners about Japanese culture.
“Why are you worried so much if someone in France makes this kind of remark?” Aso asked
Indeed. Particularly when the remarks betray such ignorance.