France Presidential Candidate Anti-Anime?


On Sep 10th, Segolene Royal, a popular member of the French congress, announced her candidacy for the coming election for the President of France.

Despite the dissenters inside her Socialist Party, Segolene Royal is one of the top presidential candidate according to most French opinion polls. Segolene Royal's opponent in the upcoming election in the May of next year will be Nicolas Sarkozy, the Minister of the Interior from the "Union for a Popular Movement." There is a possibility that France will see its first female President.

Mrs. Royal is very popular among the French people, but the Japanese anime business will not be very happy if she becomes the president of France, because Segolene Royal is known for her anti-Japanese anime sentiment. In the 70's and 80's, when Japanese animation first became popular in France and many titles were aired on TV, Segolene Royal led the anti-Japanese animation movement of the time.

Segolene Royal once wrote a book on the influence of anime on children. Mrs. Royal accused Japanese anime of their violent and vulgar tendencies, she insisted that the airing of Japanese anime need to be restricted. Her book aroused much reaction, and later became the mental support to the anti-anime movement in France. Later the French government introduced time zone restriction for the airing of Japanese anime.

Today Japanese anime and manga enjoy high popularity in France. Both the previous President Mitterrand and the incumbent President Chirac favor Japan, and friction against Japanese culture has never happened until now.

The next French president's attitude will not change French people's attitude for Japanese anime. On the other hand, the French President has larger authority and influence over the U.S. President on this matter. If Mrs. Royal is nominated to be the French President, she could make new political decisions in the education field where she "knows it well."

Source: AnimeAnime
Translated by T. Ohara