The health ministry has enlisted the help of Amuro, the protagonist of the popular anime series "Mobile Suit Gundam," in its battle against the misuse and overuse of antibiotics — which can lead to antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

Amuro Ray's famous phrase, "Amuro ikimasu!" ("Amuro is heading out!"), used when the pilot embarks on a flight to fight the enemy, is featured prominently on the official poster for the campaign launched on Sept. 29, albeit with a twist: "AMR taisaku ikimasu!" ("AMR countermeasures are heading out!").

Ministry official Hiroshi Naruse said he came up with the idea himself as he tried to figure out how to raise public awareness of the little-known acronym for antimicrobial resistance, which has lead to the prevalence of superbugs, or bacteria resistant to antibiotics.