MAEBASHI — A replicated car from the 1960s anime series “Speed Racer” joined a police patrol here on Sept. 21.
The replica of “Mach 5” left Gunma Prefecture’s Maebashi Police Station to the tune of the theme song of the TV anime, whose original Japanese title is “Mach GoGoGo,” patrolling the area with police cars and motorcycles as part of the national autumn traffic safety campaign.
Mach 5 was built over a period of about 15 years by Hiroyuki Fukuda, 57, who runs an auto-repair shop in Maebashi. Police approached Fukuda to participate in the event, hoping it would raise awareness about safe driving while bringing a sense of nostalgia to middle-aged people.
In the anime, there is apparently a scene where the Mach 5 car runs alongside a police vehicle, and Fukuda said, “I am honored to be able to drive alongside a police car. I am very happy to be able to recreate the world of anime.” As for safe driving, he said, “I think it is important to have a spirit of mutual respect (among drivers).”
Traffic accidents tend to increase across Japan in and after autumn, when the sun sets earlier. Motoaki Tanaka, chief of the traffic division of the police station, urged drivers to turn on their headlights early to ensure the safety of pedestrians.
(Japanese original by Ryotaro Nishimoto, Maebashi Bureau)