Indonesia’s Maritime Minister Makes a Cameo in Japanese Comic Golgo13
Susi Pudjiastuti recently gained popularity in Japan. Her trademark action of blowing up boats guilty of illegal fishing inspired Japanese manga
(a term to define Japanese comic) artist Takao Saito. This Indonesian Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries caught the world’s attention through her eccentric behaviour and unique mindset. Since Pudjiastuti became minister in 2014, she has destroyed at least 300 local and foreign vessels involved in illegal fishing.
Granted, her actions have successfully reduced illegal fishing cases and increased Indonesian fisheries’ productivity rates. In fact, the local fishery and aquaculture industry saw a more than 100 percent boost in fishery catches between the first and second quarters of 2016.
Pudjiastuti may have created enemies, but she has also inspired countries including Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.
She appeared in Saito’s latest episode of Japanese manga Golgo 13. What makes the comic famous is that it was created in 1968 and is still running, making it the longest manga comic ever created in Japan.
The character was never named Susi (instead Saito named her Supi), but it is clear from the resemblance of the picture and the fact that the story took place in Indonesia and Timor- Leste. In the comic, Saito describes a character Supi who was questioned for blowing up boats in Malaysia and Vietnam for illegal fishing.
When first informed, the real life Pudjiastuti expressed slight worry. “Ahhh, now I understand what the content is about. I thought I was going to be bullied again, but the story is okay. Indonesia is proud,” she tweeted in reply to a local Twitter user @ Vicihansan_ gung.
Reportedly, Pudjiastuti also asked for copies of the comic to be shown to her children. She plans to meet Saito in Japan in August this year.