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MECHA: Japanese Politicians Propose Building a Real, Working Gundam for Defense

Posted on June 26, 2012

Yes, the title is correct, and it's way past the time for April Fool's jokes. Japanese Politicians, specifically the Liberal Democratic Party, have considered developing a real life Gundam for national defense when announced on the Japanese Nico Nico video stream (via Kotaku). Could we possibly see the legendary Mobile Suit in the future?

Seems like the Gundam statue built by Bandai just isn't enough, and now the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan, which has ruled Japan since World War II, have decided that building the Gundam would be a viable option for Japan's industry and defense. Tadamori Oshima and Bunmei Ibuki, well known members of the LDP of Japan, have been looking into bipedal robotic technology and that they are "seriously considering" developing the Gundam.

Considering if they built one, one has to wonder how much this would cost. In 2008, the one-to-one scale Gundam statue erected in Tokyo and later on in Odaiba, Japan had cost their government an estimated $725,000,000 for raw materials and parts, and this isn't considering any other moving mechanical pieces if they continue building such a grand machine.

While the politicians haven't made clear whether this project is for replica purposes (which is unlikely), the reason for building a Gundam for defensive purposes (as awesome as it sounds) does sound preposterous with the given situation. For those not familiar to the Gundam universe, the robotic suits (which are called "Mobile Suits"), are powered by compact nuclear fusion reactors, and with the current technology, this sounds even more ridiculous. Could the politicians be looking that far ahead?

While this project could be a start to a real life Gundam in the future, we cannot forget about the economic problems that Japan is currently facing. Japan is suffering from a deep debt crisis, they don't have natural resources, and they are still rebuilding and recovering from the crisis of last year's earthquake and tsunami which really hurt their economy. Their nuclear crisis in Fukushima doesn't help the Gundam's cause either.

Being a Gundam fan, this plan requires some serious thought. I think that although this is any fans' nice dream for having an actual Gundam in real life, it is also a bit farfetched knowing that these politicians are pitching this idea. This plan needs some rethinking, and perhaps more time and discussion rather than using this project as an attempt to "help" Japan's cause for perhaps their tourism industry and defense capability.

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