One Piece mangaka Eiichiro Oda is usually to busy to get embroiled in controversy, but now, he’s in hot water. In the Volume 89 Tankoubon release of his One Piece manga, Oda joked about a World War II Japanese soldier.
In that volume’s inside flap, Oda stated that while eating karaage with friends, they left ate all except for one. He then joked that someone named that “One Piece” as “Sergeant Yokoi”. Of course, this refers to the World War II Japanese soldier who hid in Guam until 1972, decades after World War II ended. However, Oda then made a joke which didn’t sit well with many.
In that flap, he joked that “Sergent Yokoi is left behind! Someone end the war!”. He then asked kids to look up the reference and then stated “With embarrassment!! Volume 89 begins!!!”. This pertains to Yokoi’s famous quote upon returning to Japan,”It is with much embarrassment that I return.”
Many simply found the comment innocuous, while others said it was insensitive and inappropriate. They felt that Oda was mocking Yokoi’s 28 years of hardships within Guam’s jungles for his country. Shonen Jump’s editorial staff then apologised in a statement they released online. They cited a “lack of consideration” in Oda’s comments, and said that both the mangaka and staff are reflecting on it.
source: Weekly Shonen Jump official