Caption: Chief Anchor of NEWS 23, Takako Zenba
On July 23, NEWS 23 broadcasted on TBS (Channel 6) reported that a parody of the LDP’s YouTube video “Teach Me! Captain Mustache” was posted on YouTube by Akari-chan on July 10. As of July 23, the parody had more than 320,000 views, surpassing the original version. As of today, the parody has been viewed over 1 million times, nearly twice the 518,000 views of the original version. The original version is approximately five minutes, while the parody version is about eight minutes.
In the original version, Captain Mustache explains why the security legislation is needed to a female student, Akari-chan, who was eager to learn from him. However, in the parody version, Akari-chan’s comments are completely changed. She responds to the captain sarcastically, even though the captain’s dialogue remains the same as in the original version. The title was even changed to “I Will Teach You, Captain Mustache!”
One of the highlights of Akari-chan’s sharp criticisms of the captain’s arguments involves the statistics of the Self Defense Forces scrambles. In the parody, Akari-chan points out that comparing data on the frequency of scrambles this year and seven years ago does not make sense. She claims that the number of scrambles ten years ago happened to be at record lows so when you compare data from ten years ago to data this year, the increase looks more extreme. She also claims that during the Cold War, the total number of scrambles was higher than this year.
NEWS 23 reports the data that they obtained from the Ministry of Defense. According to the first graph, the total number of scrambles was 943 in 2014 and 141 in 2004, meaning that there were almost seven times more scrambles in 2014 than in 2004. The second graph shows the data from the Cold War until 2014. According to the graph, the total number of scrambles during the Cold War was similar to 2014, and in fact, the total numbers of scrambles in 1984 was a bit higher, at 944.
Change in the Numbers of Scrambles between 2004 and 2014 (from Ministry of Defense)
Change in the Numbers of Scrambles between 1975 and 2014 (from Ministry of Defense)
In an interview with TBS, MP Sato said “the voice over [in the parody] is very good. Captain Mustache is funny when he explains earnestly even though Akari-chan argues back bluntly. People will see the original version [after being] intrigued by the parody version. People who saw the parody will see the original and people who saw original will see parody. So, the parody and the original affect one another positively to increase viewers”
MP Sato the image is from NEWS23
“The original video ended when the train arrived at Akari’s stop, just as the captain tried to explain the reason why conscription would never happen. So, I would like to make the next episode about conscription. If watching the parody version provides an opportunity for the viewer to think about the issue, then I don’t mind even though we are being criticized in the parody version.”
なぜ人気：Why popular? あかりちゃん：Akari-chan ツッコミ Responses
On the right is Shigetada Kishii, who is a journalist from Mainichi Shimbun, one of Japan’s major national newspapers. He was formerly the Washington correspondent for Mainichi Shimbun.
After the news was reported, Zenba said “MP Sato wryly smiled after he watched the parody, but Akari-chan’s responses were quite sharp, weren’t they?”
Commentator Kishii answered, “Yes. MP Sato cannot get off so easily. She is highlighting the points the where the government’s explanations are not adequate. For instance, the government has not provided an adequate response to claims made by scholars that the security legislation is unconstitutional. Also, he referred to the threats from neighboring countries, but Akari-chan emphasized that if Japan were attacked, Japan could already defend itself using the individual right to self-defense. Collective self-defense would only be invoked in cases where allied nations were attacked. One more thing that they need to explain is that the legislation allows the Self Defense Forces to be sent anywhere in the world at any time, and that is the most important purpose of the legislation.”
The parody can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9WjGyo9AU8
Transcript of Parody
MP Sato: Wow. Are you Akari-chan?
Akari-chan: No. I don’t know you. I don’t want a stranger to talk to me on a train. Why are we on a train in the first place? This story, where an older man teaches a girl has a lot of sexist implications. It’s impossible. Well, there is a sense in which this is “nice timing.”
MP Sato: What do you mean by “nice timing”?
Akari-chan: A leading political party is trying to ram through legislation that doesn’t make sense at all. Did you know?
MP Sato: Wow, that’s is a big deal!
Akari-chan: I will get straight to the point. This legislation is unconstitutional.
MP Sato: Wow, that’s a big deal!
Akari-chan: It’s super big deal. What kind of authoritarian country denies constitutionalism nowadays? This is unacceptable. Japan will be so ashamed that it will not be able to show its face to the international community.
MP Sato: No, it won’t. You seem to be sincerely worried. And, it is an important question. Those of us in government are thinking about this very seriously.
Akari-chan: You don’t seem willing to explain the issue seriously to the public even though you’re claiming to be thinking about the issue seriously. 80% of people claim that the explanation isn’t adequate and 60% oppose to the legislation. The prime minister and Mr. Komura [who is the vice president of LDP] have said that they will adopt the legislation even if it is not popular among the public. They changed the name of the legislation after it was criticised as a “War Bill.” They are like swindlers.
平和安全法制：Peace and Security Legislation
MP Sato: That’s Peace and Security Legislation. The goal of this law is to protect the lives of Japanese citizens, as well as preserve their peaceful way of life. As you know, the international situation around Japan is, unfortunately, unsafe.
Akari-chan: If so, why don’t you explain it to the public in a more open manner, and if you want to alter Constitution, why don’t you try to do so in a more reasonable way?
MP Sato: As you know, the international situation around Japan is, unfortunately, unsafe.
Akari-chan: To begin with, what data are you looking at?
MP Sato: Did you know that there is actually a country that has aimed its missiles at Japan? What if they were to fire those missiles?
Akari-chan: You want to say it’s China, don’t you? Why don’t you just say it openly? Also, you’re saying this as if they have aimed their missiles at Japan recently. But, they have done this since the Cold War. It hasn’t just changed. Why are you fanning a sense of crisis about regional threats among the public?
MP Sato: What if they were to fire those missiles?
Akari-chan: If they actually shoot missiles toward Japan, then Japan can respond according to its individual right to self-defense. It has nothing to do with the collective right to self defense, which you’re trying to forcefully ram through the parliament, right? Also, isn’t diplomacy supposed to prevent them from launching missiles? Isn’t this way of thinking like that of an overly proud son from a rich family, who blows every little provocation out of proportion?
MP Sato: The number of times that the Self Defense Forces has had to scramble its jet fighters has increased by seven fold since ten years ago. These deployments are needed to protect the our country’s territory.
10年前の7倍:Seven times larger than 10 years ago
Akari-chan: Here comes your theory that “it is seven times more frequent than ten years ago.” To begin with, during Cold War, the frequency of scrambles was more than now. Why did you purposefully compare the data from the lowest point with the data of today? In addition, since Abe government was formed, the number of scrambles has increased a lot. There are allegations that the government is inflating the data on scrambles. But, nevermind that. Look at the shapes of the ships [in the illustration]. They’re not warships. If the Self Defense Forces attacked these ships, it will be regarded as preemptive attack by international law. It would give the other party a right to attack Japan. We should choose our cards carefully, because the missiles are aiming us. Why do you need to show off our power? Why do you want so badly for us to be the great fighters?
MP Sato: In addition, North Korea has conducted several nuclear weapons tests. Moreover, the risks of terrorism and cyber attacks are very serious today. We are exposed to various threats.
Akari-chan: If you have time to talk about cyber attacks, why don’t you deal with the leaks of personal information from pension funds? A country will be a target of terrorism when they participate in war. You guys want to make Japan a participant in war. Don’t you realize what you are saying is contradictory?
MP Sato: We are exposed to various threats.
Akari-chan: It’s the government who went mad and who is the biggest threat.
MP Sato: The problem is that, with existing laws, we cannot adequately deal with unsafe situations, because they have gaps.
Akari-chan: Before you deal with the gaps in security, could you do something about the gaps in the answers in Parliament?
MP Sato: For example, even when a US ship is carrying Japanese citizens evacuating from a war-torn country, Japan cannot assist in protecting that US ship.
Akari-chan: I explained this to you many times. This setting is strange. Warships risk being attacked, so they shouldn’t transport private citizens. Moreover, the US military doesn’t expect to transport Japanese citizens. If you’re trying to sell your legislation by bringing up a situation which is possible in real life, why don’t you come up with a better example?
MP Sato: And, if a US warship were to try to destroy a missile launched toward Japan, and the US warship was attacked, Japan would not be able to assist.
Akari-chan: Like I said, if Japan was targeted, Japan can deal with it by resorting the right to individual self-defense, right? Why are you trying to explain the right to collective self-defense using a situation which does not fit to the use of the right to collective self-defense? Isn’t it strange?
MP Sato: This is strange.
Akari-chan: What you’re saying is strange.
MP Sato: Therefore, in order to protect the lives of Japanese citizens, it’s important to examine these gaps [in the law] and fill those gaps so that we can work together to protect Japan.
Akari-chan: I think so too. I’ not opposed to that.
MP Sato: If we do this, our ability to deter attacks will be strengthened, and war will be prevented. This is the purpose of the Peace and Security Legislation.
Akari-chan: You made a good comment right before you said that. What you said doesn’t explain the purpose of the legislation at all. It really scares me. I think strengthening deterrence will increase the likelihood of being attacked.
MP Sato: When deterrence is enhanced, then war is less likely to occur.
Akari-chan: You really like the word deterrence. Deterrence doesn’t work in a war against terrorism. As a country that doesn’t wage war, Japan has made various contributions to world peace, especially with its low profile activities in war-torn countries and poor regions in the world. It has obtained a lot of trust. This is the true deterrence. In spite of that, your boss is bringing useless muscularism into politics and committing a constitutional violation. Could you tell your boss that he is mad? It’s simple, isn’t it?
MP Sato: It’s not that simple.
Akari-chan: I thought that you would say that.
MP: But, it’s also important to make preparations on many fronts.
Akari-chan: Don’t duplicate yourself. Gross.
MP Sato: We will strengthen our alliance with the US. Also, it will be important for us to deepen the trust with our friends in Asia, and all over the world.
Hoshu means conservative. Sokuho means breaking news.
Akari: You said Asia now, right? Your boss seems to like Hoshusokuho, which is filled with articles that are disrespectful of China and South Korea. Did he go mad?
MP Sato: That’s a big deal.
Akari-chan: Shut up!
MP Sato: In particular, it’s important for our country to fulfill its responsibility as a member of international community. Nowadays, no country can protect itself on its own. Therefore, it’s important for Japan to contribute to the international community and become a reliable member of it.
信頼するメンバー: a reliable member
Akari-chan: I think so too, but you guys have a fixed belief that Japan needs to obtain war-making abilities in order to do that. Do you support all the wars fought by America? Have you ever thought even a little bit about the reasons why terrorism has become so serious?
MP Sato: Japan should broaden its capacity to contribute to international humanitarian missions, and thus play its part.
Akari-chan: Japanese NGOs and doctors who are already working tremendously hard abroad strongly oppose this legislation. Once Japan becomes a country that can wage war, it is possible that they will be the first targets. How can you let them face such risks while giving humanitarian assistance? Give me a break!
MP Sato:We tend to see this issue as somebody else’s issue, but this is not only relevant to politicians and to the Self Defense Forces. The most important thing for Japan is that everybody understands the issue properly and becomes interested in the issue.
Akari-chan: Since you spoke of “understanding properly,” I would recommend that your bosses understand Constitution properly first. Let me talk about one last thing. You’re trivializing the Constitution and trying to change its interpretation. But, when it comes to conscription, for some reason, you emphasize the importance of Constitution and maintain that conscription will never happen since the Constitution prohibits it.
MP Sato: That will not happen…
Akari-chan: What you guys are aiming for is economic conscription. Japan is about to become a very poor country. Invitations offering high wages to join the Self Defense Forces will be sent to 18 year olds who cannot afford to go to college. In this way, the young will be driven into a voluntary military, just like in the US.
MP Sato: That will not happen…
Akari-chan: Honestly, you want conscription, right? You like such masculine things. You want young people to be indoctrinated with your ideology, and you think you can make a “beautiful” Japanese people, right? That is the one of the reasons why you lowered the voting age to 18 years old, isn’t it?
MP Sato: That will never be possible, because, because, because…
Akari-chan: See? You can’t say more than that, because I hit the nail on the head. While you’re saying stupid things, the streets in front of parliament will be flooded with people who oppose the legislation.
国会前抗議：Rallies In Front of Parliament
If you come to the rallies in front of parliament, I’m happy to teach you about the term “popular sovereignty,” which we all learn in junior high school. I’ll be waiting for you, MP Masahisa Sato.
MP Sato: Haha, but please be easy on me!
Akari-chan: See you [said in English].
The parody,”教えてあげる！ヒゲの隊長” can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9WjGyo9AU8