Democratic Party of Japan member Kenzo Fujisue apparently has a "secret plan" to tap into the country's youth for the upcoming July election. Does that plan involve a virtual idol?
Miku Hatsune is a popular computerised singer that was originally just software for the Yamaha Vocaloid, which allows people to synthesise singing by typing in lyrics. She became an otaku favourite, spawning Miku Hatsune manga, fanzines, endless cosplayers, Sega PSP music games and even an arcade title to boot!
Politicians were aiming to use Miku, reports website Japan Trends, but eventually settled on using "Minshu-kun", the Democratic Party of Japan's mascot character. Those familiar with Miku will notice that her voice is in face used in the DMP's song "We Are The One". Even though image and name rights to the character have not been granted, it is OK for the DMP to use her voice. (The party simply cannot state it is Miku Hatsune.)
While in other countries politicians might use fear or religion to move voters, in Japan they're even trying to tap into nerdom. The reaction on places like bulletin board 2ch, the largest in the world, have not be favourable and the tune doesn't seem to be going as planned. "The use of Miku by politicians is disgusting," wrote one 2ch user.
The centre-left Democratic Party defeated the traditionally dominate and more conservative Liberal Democratic Party in 2009, taking the majority in the Japanese House of Representatives.
The next elections will be held on July 11.