Japanese Politicians Are Thinking About Building Real, Working Gundam

Politicians everywhere are crap — even the ones who are thinking about building a giant, working mecha. In an upcoming broadcast on Japanese video platform Nico Nico Live, members of Japan's Liberal Democratic Party are apparently going to discuss the idea of building a real life Gundam.

The Liberal Democratic Party, which ruled Japan for over 50 years after World War II, is not actually "liberal". Rather, the party is conservative. Well-known party members, Tadamori Oshima and Bunmei Ibuki, are slated to discuss biped robots and now the LDP is "seriously considering the development of Gundam."

Back in 2008, it was estimated that a working (not just a full scale mock-up like above), one-to-one scale would cost $US725,000,000 for parts and materials. That figure doesn't include the cost of labour or the cost of insanity required to build such a machine.

These politicians probably do not mean they want to make a 18m tall, 43.7-tonne Gundam replica (at least I hope they don't), but instead, large mecha contraptions that could be used by, presumably, the country's Self Defence Force. In an age of drone attacks, mecha don't exactly seem to be ideal on the battlefield.

Japan's economy and society are both in a bad way. The country is deeply in debt, the population is ageing, and Japan has no natural resources. And with a strong yen and a sour world economy, Japan can't export its way to prosperity. It can ship its manufacturing to China and hollow itself out.

These are serious times. They require serious conversations by serious leaders. And the LDP, who hopes to regain power after the current Democratic Party of Japan implodes, appears like its fishing for the nerd vote by appearing on Nico Nico and talking about building Gundam robots as a viable way to promote industry and protect the nation.

「本気で考える、ガンダム開発計画」 [Nico Nico Live via IT Media via 痛いニュース]

Photo: Koji Sasahara/AP


Comments

    I'm looking forward to seeing a 40mm grenade or .50 BMG round do considerable damage to the several million dollar piece of junk.

    According to CIA reports, Japan is 30 billion dollars in profit. Who do they owe money to?

    A 40mm grenade is 4cm or a little under an inch and a half. Am I just confused here? Or do you have another meaning for mm?

    I think about building a Giant Bipedal robot all the time, it would be the greatest most impractical thing ever owned by man and that includes Super Cars.

      No, I mean 40mm. As in, 40x46mm and 40x51mm grenades, as used by most Western nations in weapon mounted and automatic grenade launchers respectively.

        Except those munitions are only effective against light armour and soft targets, if they had any sense they'd be using compound armours and reactive armour plates used in most of today's tanks. So you'd need something like a HEAT round or large calibre munition i.e 20-30mm rounds. But still, pretty silly, too many moving parts in a large bipedal robot, would be very easy to disable by targetting joints and areas with weak armour.

          More armor, more mass, more weight, less speed, requiring bigger engines and more fuel to move, more mass, more weight, by this point you may as well put it on tracks like everything else. They're not going to be able to hang CHOBHAM and DU plating off anything above the knees on these monsters. which is what makes them so heartbreakingly impractical.

          I think it makes a bit of sense. $.75b is a lot to spend on one mech though. The problem isn't even so much its durability (if any) but more its profile. Tanks these days are very very low to the ground, in order to present a much smaller target. Making an 18 meter high robot with guns is all well and good when you're fighting Godzilla in Tokyo with high buildings for cover, but when your tallest enemy is 2.5m (M1 Abrams) or 2.2m (t-90 and variants thereof) you have a very small, very powerful foe that is 180 times cheaper to build.

          Like Umb said, you're not going to be able to armour the mech very heavily if you want it to move at all. As it stands the ground pressure would be too high for it to be practical, but add a few more tonnes of armour on it and it becomes impossible. In essence, the only practical mech will be light armour, which is exactly what those grenades can take out.

          @ Sylver: Even in Tokyo against Godzilla, the tanks would rule by dint of superior firepower, superior maneuverability, superior speed, superior armour and superior concealment.

    First thing Japan needs is some decent god damn leaders, not like Ishihara.. he's an asshole.

    Next they need to work on looking at their education and values, followed by a treatment of the country's xenophobia

    Then learning to toughen up and telling China to stfu.

      lol, do you have any Idea what you are talking about?

      Xenophobia? I was in Japan last year and they are the nicest politest nation I have ever visited. Any time they saw a map in my hand they would offer help.

      Their values and education in most cases are far better than in western countries e.g. healthy life styles. (apart from their long work hours).

        I think the lack of migration into Japan says it all. Although they treat foreginers and tourists very nicely, they also hold some deep-seated prejudices (as with basically all other Asian cultures).

        Lifestyle is another an issue. While many are well off there are social problems, particularly with youths finding it difficult to get a job (NEETs) and the excessively introverted (hikikomori). There's also that high rate of suicide they have (if anyone is interested about this issue they should watch this documentary, it's quite good: http://www.vice.com/vice-news/aokigahara-suicide-forest-v3).

        Being a tourist doesn't make you an expert on a country... do you think an impression a Japanese tourist gets when visiting Cairns and hugging a koala teaches them about what Australian schools, workplaces, society etc are like? of course not.

    This is really pathetic they should not be thinking this as war stands now sadly we have vehicles that are made for shooting big rounds like a TANK. Gundams would not work maybe instead of this big ass gundam they are talking about maybe make atoma tons or w.e they are in Gundam 00 S2 those maybe have a use in todays war or maybe invest in carbon nano tube research and make a 8 foot tall robotic suit that has wheels on the bottom for faster movement knive or a sword (if you still want the gundam thing) and two shoulder machine guns. Its the most war useful gundam like thing we will have in a long LONG time

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