Say, how would you feel about having a nuclear-powered U.S. Navy aicraft carrier parked in your backyard? Not too peachy, eh? Now imagine how the nuclear-phobic Japanese citizens residing near the Yokosuka
naval base must be feeling about the imminent arrival of USS George Washington
in their town, this August... So what does Uncle Sam do to ease their minds? He puts out a propagandistic manga, go figure!
In an alleged attempt to explain its mission to Japanese youngsters, the U.S. Navy has printed a manga about life aboard the 'Washington aircraft carrier, titled "CVN-73" (like the ship's hull number). The story itself is not new, but now Stars and Stripes
) reports that the 200-page manga is ready for distribution, as 30,000 copies have already been printed by Commander U.S. Naval Forces Japan (CNFJ).
"We're not trying to lie or state false facts. We're simply putting several key aspects of the George Washington in a format that is widely accepted in Japan", [CNFJ spokesman] Waterman said.
Sure, sure, neither was Bill Clinton trying to lie or state false facts about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. Anyway, politics aside... yaaay, free manga! More about it below.
"The manga's story follows Ohara, an American of Japanese descent, aboard his first aircraft carrier. While all of the information about the ship and Navy particulars are accurate, the story is "a little Hollywood" in that Ohara seems to work in all of the ship's divisions to give a general overview of carrier life, Waterman said.
Ohara gets seasick, knocks his knees on ladders and gets into trouble for eating food stolen from the mess hall. His mentor is Petty Officer 1st Class Elly Benton, a strong female character who, Waterman hopes, will resonate with Japanese women.
While mixing in excitement and drama, the manga avoids flashpoint issues like the George Washington's nuclear power plant or liberty incidents, Waterman said."