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We’ve learned some fantastic news – Yamada Taro (山田太郎), a Japanese politician, is projected to win (via Asahi, Reuters Japan) a seat in the Japanese House of Councillors – and he did it by courting the local geeks and anime nerds.
Yamada won over 514,000 votes for his campaign. The greatest and most pertinent bit from this is that he largely campaigned to otaku. The House of Councillors is like the post-war Japanese equivalent of the U.S. Congress, or the U.K. Parliament.
Taro did this by holding daily “internet door-to-door” speeches around Tokyo and in Akihabara, as well as digitally through popular internet communication services like LINE, Twitter, YouTube, SNS, and even Nico Nico.
Yamada’s platform is focused entirely on freedom of expression and communication privacy.
To help attest his commitment to this platform, he drove campaign vehicles around blaring his own vocaloid theme song, “Yamada Taro no Uta” or “Yamada Taro song”. Their goal was making a song so catchy, once you heard it you can’t get it out of your head.
Here’s a video of the theme song blaring from one of his campaign cars:
— 温泉半熟卵⋈日曜日西し34b (@UL14_MITINOKU) July 6, 2019
Upon hearing the news he is projected to win his election, Yamada sounded off on his own Twitter, noting they had no official groups, and that each and every supporter helped.
“We have advocated for the freedom of expression, centered on the internet,” he said. “I will do my best to realize the policy I promised to you.”
His aggressive pursuit of the otaku vote seems to have worked, alongside his projected win came the phrase “Yamada Taro is an otaku” spread on SNS.
Taro himself may not be a big otaku, but his family definitely is – regularly bringing him to Comiket (the largest manga and otaku convention in Japan). He even jokingly refers to his family as the “Comiket Family.”