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Japanese manga stirs up nuclear controversy via Kotaku

The Japanese manga, Oishinbo (美味しんぼ) is a long-running food manga that has been ongoing since 1983. In his latest chapter that was recently published in the magazine Big Comic Spirits, author Tetsu Kariya depicted the manga protagonist, Shiro Yamaoka, as he returned from a visit to the nuclear-disaster-suffering prefecture when he suddenly has a random nosebleed.

After the incident, there is a discussion with another character who says that he, too, has suffered from such unexplained nosebleeds and fatigue, finishing with the comment, “There are a lot of people in Fukushima who suffer from the same symptoms. They just don’t talk about it.”[...]
The town of Futaba-machi wrote an official complaint, stating that there was no truth to the claim that “lots of people suffer from nosebleeds and other symptoms” and that the manga was damaging the image of Fukushima that they were trying hard to rebuild. The complaint notes that ever since the manga came out, there have been cancellations of visits and product orders and that Fukushima residents were afraid that the manga was cultivating discrimination against the prefecture and its residents.

Shogakukan has responded, saying that the depictions in the manga are based on real-world coverage by the author and that the manga had been published respecting the author’s expression.

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