Government censorship?

Good morning everyone,

It's going to be another gorgeous day out there! It'll be warm and sunny with a high around 27C. By Saturday, it'll get up to 29C and Sunday is still looking cloudy...that's ok! I can deal with cloudy weather...rainy weather...not so much...

Have you been following the news about the comic 'Oishinbo'?
oishinbo.jpg 

For those of you who don't know what it is, 'Oishinbo' is a long-running manga (the 8th longest ever, actually) about a culinary journalist, Shiro Yamaoka and his adventures. In one of the recent editions, Shiro went to Fukushima and developed a nosebleed...
oishinbo nosebleed

Apparently, the government is still a little touchy about criticism on the nuclear leak at Fukushima-which is STILL ongoing! But aside from the fact that they are now pouring tons-hundreds of thousands of tons actually, of radiated seawater into the ocean...one ton is equal to 1000 kgs, right...so hundreds of thousands of tons is how much? Well, it would like this 436,000,000,000 kgs of water. In case you can't imagine how much that is (I can't). That's enough water to fill every swimming pool in Japan 10 times over!

Anyway, aside from the fact that the nuclear disaster isn't in the past, it's still ongoing...they (meaning the government) have now moved into the business of censorship. You see...the real point of this blog was to complain about the government getting involved in things published in a comic book.

There is no easy way out for the government in this situation. They (politicians from local Fukushima all the way up to the mayor of Osaka and even the PM of Japan) criticized and pressured the publisher to the point that the comic strip has been cancelled. How is that not censorship? The best thing for them would have been to not get involved at all.

One of the good things about art is that it allows people to have frank discussions about things that concern them-you know...like their kids getting thyroid cancer...If the government bans comic books, how much information do you think we'll find in textbooks? Not very much I'm guessing...

And then there is what it looks like to the rest of the world...think about it. A comic book (not exactly high-brow material) publishes something negative about Fukushima and the government responds by basically banning the comic? It makes them look childish and seriously over-reactive. Shouldn't the government's reaction when asked about the comic by reporters or citizens have been something like, "First of all, we appreciate any frank discussion on the situation in Fukushima. However, our studies have shown that there are no long term health effects (if that's true). Besides, it is a comic book...we have bigger issues to deal with. Next question?"

If they had done that, the issue would have been over by now. But because they over-reacted, the story has been picked up by newspapers all over the world (newspapers love stories about censorship)...and become a bigger issue than if they had just left it alone...

What do you think they should have done? Did they do the right thing? (It's ok to disagree with me, I'm a man...I can take it! Ha ha!)

Have a great day!

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