Goshi Hosono, the Secretary-General for the Democratic Party of Japan, and one of the country’s few popular politicians, has called on the government to end its ban on using the internet during election campaign periods. At a press conference on Monday, Hosono said the law should be changed before the next Upper House election, due to be held this summer.
While it’s already the year 2013, Japan has maintained a backwards law that prohibits the use of the internet and electronic campaigning by candidates during the designated periods leading up to public elections. This includes everything from using social networks like Twitter and Facebook, to updating personal blogs and sending emails, and even to appearing in television commercials. Established many decades ago, the spirit of the law was to put a certain limit on the number campaign posters and flyers that can be distributed, but in this day and age, all it does is severely limit the interaction candidates can have with the public on important issues.
Both the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and opposition parties have called the law outdated, and newly elected Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has already proposed lifting the ban on internet campaigning. The LDP has already decided to introduce an amendment bill on the ban that would take effect as early as the end of this month. With so many in agreement, hopefully this will be one change in Japan’s political landscape that will be quick and welcomed.
[via Jiji Press]