National / Politics

Darwinism in LDP pitch for Japan constitutional reform stirs controversy

Jiji

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party has drawn controversy over the citation of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution in its online PR cartoons claiming the need to reform the country’s Constitution.

In the cartoons, posted on the party’s Twitter account on Friday, the Darwin theory was interpreted as saying that only those who can change will survive.

Objections have been raised online to the cartoons, with some arguing that they were based on a misunderstanding of the theory, and that they did not reflect Darwin’s words.

At a news conference on Monday, Akira Koike, head of the Japanese Communist Party’s secretariat, criticized the LDP cartoons. “You mustn’t apply the theory of evolution to human society. This is a lesson from history, including the Nazi ethnic cleansing,” Koike said.

On Tuesday, LDP Secretary-General Toshihiro Nikai downplayed the criticism of the cartoons. “In a democratic society, whatever you say can be discussed by others. And this is a beauty of our country,” Nikai said. “Darwin would be happy” to see his theory mentioned in the LDP cartoons, he claimed.

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