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YAHOO! JAPAN

Japanese Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) ruled Japan for nearly 54 years until the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) rose to power. The LDP has long been the gray flipside to the neon instincts that fuel the Japanese popular culture that brings such gems as karaoke bars and anime alternative universes.

But now well-known LDP party members like Tadamori Oshima and Bunmei Ibuki are said to be considering the development of a functioning version of a giant robot Gundam, Yahoo Japan reports.

Gundam, a white and biped robot piloted by young characters, is one of the most popular animation series in Japanese pop culture. "That's stupid!", "Don't you have anything better to do? There are more important things to discuss!", people commented on the Internet. "Are you going to charge taxes from Gundam pilots', added another user, talking about the recent increase of consumption taxes in Japan allowed by LDP.

The plan was discussed during a 12-hour transmission held in Nico Nico Douga website—a Japanese version of YouTube very popular among cartoon and comics fans. Who knows where politics -- or pop culture -- is headed next.

A giant-sized statue of a Gundam robot in Tokyo's Odaiba district (Photo - switchstyle)

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Geopolitics

Ingrid Betancourt, A Hostage Heroine Reinvented As Feminist For President

Although Betancourt is best known for surviving six years as a hostage of the Colombian terror group FARC, and is considered a centrist politician, her unlikely new campaign for president will be centered on gender issues.

Betancourt in Bogota announcing her candidacy Tuesday

Chepa Beltran/LongVisual via ZUMA
Felipe García Altamar

-Analysis-

BOGOTA — Exactly 20 years after she was kidnapped by the FARC terror group in the middle of her campaign for Colombian president, Íngrid Betancourt is launching a new campaign to lead her nation. She will do so on behalf of her party, Verde Oxígeno, becoming the only female candidate from the Centro Esperanza Coalition (CCE), which for months received a barrage of criticism for grouping only male candidacies and traditional politicians.

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