Japanese PM turns himself into cutesy cartoon for iPhone game

Many politicians are jumping on social media to connect with their public and bolster their public profile. Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has taken things one step further, and turned himself into a cartoon character, so voters can help him, uh, be a better politician by turning him into Superman.

In a new game for smartphones and tablets, Abe Pyon (translation: ‘Abe Hops’), potential voters can help the prime minister jump from platform to platform in order to collect points and unlock new outfits along the way. In Abe’s final form, he dons a Superman-esque blue leotard and red cape.

The game is designed to be cutesy in order to appeal to a younger demographic of voters. According to Reuters, the word ‘pyon’ is most often associated with rabbits, giving the whole game a kind of adorable slant right from the get-go. In the game, you tap the squat Abe character to make him jump to the next platform, accompanied by “boy-yoy-yoing” noises with each bounce.

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Unlike other political games we’ve discussed recently, like Stay Mayor which takes a jab at an unnamed mayor with an alleged crack-smoking video, this game is actually endorsed by Abe and his party, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

“There were worries that some young people thought the LDP was distant, that we lacked intimacy… that they didn’t know anything about us,” Takuya Hirai, head of the LDP’s internet strategy team, said in a Reuters interview. “We’re hoping the game will get people interested in politics in a way they never were before.


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