Twitter Chief Executive Dick Costolo made a 24-hour visit to Japan this week, an event that was so under the radar not many people were aware of. Yesterday, he met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for the first time since premiership was won in December 2012. According to a Twitter spokesman, Costolo provided Abe with a comparison between the United States and Japan in terms of using Twitter during political campaigns.
Abe had utilized the social networking site Facebook in the months leading to his election campaign. Of course, during the campaign period, he had to refrain from it because the literal interpretation of Japan’s election laws prohibits use of nearly all kinds of digital electioneering. Costelo provided Abe with an overview of how the United States maximized the microblogging site during its election season. His visit is said to be a sort of promotion for the amendment of how the laws are interpreted.
The relationship of Twitter and the country of Japan is not merely casual. During the earthquake and tsunami disaster in 2011, and even during the recovery period, Twitter has been an important channel of communication. The national government, the local governments and the disaster emergency outlets had used the microblogging site to disseminate information about the situation. In fact, it is this extensive use of Twitter that made other countries follow suit and try to maximize the use of the free social network Twitter brings about. Costelo is reportedly to meet Tokyo Gov. Naoki Inose before he leaves today.