Yoshinori Kobayashi, Cartoonist
Monday, August 10, 2015, 15:00 - 16:00
Cartoonist Yoshinori Kobayashi is usually known to be conservative and hawk, but he is sounding more like liberal these days. He still believes the pacifist Constitution must be revised and that Japanese politicians should dismiss foreign criticism of visits to Yasukuni Shrine. And yet, even Kobayashi is now sounding the alarm bells about Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's "Legislation for Peace and Security".
Fundamentally, Kobayashi argues that while the Constitution should be revised, it is not acceptable to do what the government has done: to maintain the current Constitution but "reinterpret" it in a way which allows Japan a greater military role. To do so, he argues, is to undermine the basic principles of constitutional government and threaten the legal stability of the nation.
Kobayashi was invited by a group of ruling party lawmakers recently to make his case, but then the event was abruptly cancelled, apparently after the party had learned that Kobayashi is harshly critical about the government's position on the security legislation. Kobayashi criticized the cancellation as the LDP's "intolerance of diverse opinions" and even "a prevalent atmosphere of totalitarianism." Come to the FCCJ and hear what else he has to say.
Yoshinori Kobayashi is a best-selling author and manga artist whose work has been prominent since the late 1970s. In 1989 he won the Shogakukan Manga Award in the children's manga category for his popular Obocchama-kun (Little Princeling) series.