The different political parties and politicians may be gung-ho about using the Internet for their campaigns for the first time this year, but a survey shows that a little over 75% of the voting public do not use online resources to search for information about the candidates. This is despite the heavy Internet penetration rate in Japan, which is at 79.5% as of 2012.
The poll conducted over the weekend shows that 75.1% of respondents do not use the Internet to get information about the platforms and campaign promises of the candidates for the upcoming Upper House elections. Only a mere 21.6% of those surveyed have relied on social networks like Facebook, Twitter and the blogs and websites of the parties and candidates to make informed decisions as who to vote for in the elections scheduled for next week. Not surprisingly, the statistics by age group show that 85.4% of those 60 years and older do not refer to the Internet for information, followed by 78% of voters in their 50s, 69.2 pct of those in their 30s, 61.8 pct in their 40s and 59.1 pct in their 20s. By gender, 24.3% of men and 19.1 % of women are using online resources while 72.5% of men and 77.5% of women do not.
For the first time in Japan’s history, a legislative amendment lifted the ban on online campaigning and all the parties had to adjust to including social platforms in their campaigns. The ruling Liberal Democratic Party seems light years ahead of other parties in terms of maximizing all the social networks, while the others are playing catch-up for the last few days of the campaign by coming up with different gimmicks. But based on this survey, maybe the public is not yet prepared to widely accept the concept of using online resources for information about the election.
[ via Jiji Press ]