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Comic-book version of defense White Paper to be published Tuesday

Comic-book version of defense White Paper to be published Tuesday

Taipei, Oct. 26 (CNA) In an unprecedented move, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) has prepared a comic-book version of its latest defense White Paper as part of its efforts to cultivate interest in military service among young readers, an official said Monday.
The ministry will host a news conference Tuesday to introduce this new version of its newly released 2009 National Defense White Paper, the MND official said.
In addition to expounding on various national defense programs, the official said, the new comic book will also provide answers to many frequently asked questions about national defense and military service.
Two of the leading characters -- an armored vehicle captain and a navy frogwoman -- featured in the special edition of the defense White Paper will appear at the news conference, the official said, and they will be joined by the three cartoonists who worked on the project.
The official said the publication represented a bold step for the traditionally staid and conservative ministry to reach out to the younger generation in a lively, animated style.
"The new approach is part of our efforts to attract more youngsters to sign up for military service, as the government is set to establish an all-volunteer military by 2015," the official said.
While the ministry's regularly published defense White Papers could be good material to help students grasp what military service is like, they may be too difficult, complex and boring for young readers, the official said.
"Therefore, we have decided to break with tradition and publish a comic-book version of our defense White Paper, " he said, adding that the traditional form of the 2009 defense White Paper was released Oct.20.
The ministry has published 10,000 copies of the comic book, which will mainly target junior high school students, who tend to be avid fans of the medium. The comic books will sell for NT$100 (US$3.12) apiece.
"Through an illustrated and animated dialogue style, the comic-book version of our defense White Paper is expected to inspire teen readers to opt for a military career when they reach the right age, " the official said.
The publication contains seven chapters that explain in detail the functions and duties of military service personnel as well as the country's major combat arsenals, the official said.
(By Lee Shu-hua and Sofia Wu)