Japanese minister gives Pokemon GO credit for bringing otaku out of their homes
Sometimes politicians say the darnedest things, and that especially holds true in Japan, where some old-timers have been known for their sometimes conservative and controversial remarks regarding sensitives issues in their own country and abroad. This time, however, some lighthearted comments about Pokémon GO and how it affects a certain demographic in Japan may not have offended anyone, except maybe for some sensitive psychiatrists.
Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso, who also happens to be the Deputy Prime Minister, is mostly known for two things: making controversial statements and his love of manga and anime. He is the typical old-school Japanese politician, born into money and groomed to become a public official. He is Japan's version of George W. Bush, often giving simple or even wrong answers to questions from reporters and journalists, while also having trouble reading certain kanji characters in his speeches that are not supposed to be that difficult for any educated adult.
So when Aso recently was asked by reporters what he thought of Pokémon GO on his way to an economic summit of finance ministers and central bankers in China, his answers didn't really surprise anybody, especially considering his reputation as a manga fan. "Shut-ins and otaku are all out there now playing Pokemon, which is doing what psychiatrists couldn’t — just look at what’s happening overseas," he said. "Isn’t the most noteworthy thing the fact that cartoons are way more effective than psychiatrists?" As a man who's been given the nickname of "Otaku Prime Minister," Aso almost sounds proud of the uber-popular game and what it's doing to the Japanese youth.
Other politicians are not so keen on the game. When Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga was told by a reporter that monsters could be found and caught in the Primes Minister's office, he replied, "I would like to caution people not to wander into dangerous areas and places that are off-limits." So that's good — at least not all Japanese Cabinet members are caught up in the craze.
"All the otaku and shut-ins are out and about playing the game now." (Actual quote.)
"LIVE REPORT — CITY OVERRUN BY MONSTERS."