After months of taking shit from left and right and three agricultural ministers later, Shinzo Abe finally announced today that he is resigning as prime minister of Japan (YouTube video). The Liberal Democratic Party, which is the ruling party and controls the lower house of the Diet, will be likely to pick one of their own people to replace him.
The most likely candidate is Taro Aso (麻生太郎), AKA Rozen Aso, the secretary general of LDP and foreign minister in Abe’s cabinet. Mr. Aso is probably the most well-known politician among the 2ch and Akiba crowd because of his nickname which he got after he was once seen reading a volume of Rozen Maiden at an airport book store. He professes to be a dedicated manga fan and his favourite works include Golgo 13, Nodame Cantible and Kochikame. He gave a speech at Akihabara during the 2006 elections campaign and drew a large crowd (YouTube video). In his speech, he addressed the otaku population directly and spoke on manga-related topics and the soft power of Japanese pop culture.
LDP will be carrying out internal voting on the 19th. If Rozen Aso does take over, he does not need to call for a general election until 2009. However, it is likely that he will be forced by the opposition to call for one within the next few months, and it will be hard to say if LDP’s current reputation can carry the embattled ruling party through.
Still, the first step towards possible otaku world domination?