Japan's next PM ready to lift ban on e-campaigning

Dec 21, 2012
Japan's incoming prime minister Shinzo Abe speaks at a breakfast meeting with Japanese business leaders at a hotel in Tokyo, on December 18, 2012. Abe said on Friday he wanted to lift the strict ban on all forms of Internet electioneering as he met with information technology company chiefs.

Japan's incoming prime minister Shinzo Abe said on Friday he wanted to lift the strict ban on all forms of Internet electioneering as he met with information technology company chiefs.

"I think we should remove the on election campaigning over the Net by the next poll," Abe told reporters.

"I think it would lead to higher ," he said after holding a meeting with IT business people.

Abe's conservative Liberal Democratic Party is already gearing up for upper-house elections next summer after scoring a landslide win in Sunday's lower-house polls, which saw voter turnout fall to a record low 59.3 percent.

Hiroshi Mikitani, at online retailer Rakuten, who was in the meeting with Abe, said he was "very much encouraged" by the incoming prime minister's attitude.

Despite its reputation for innovative wizardry, Japan has a sometimes confounding tendency to shun technology.

Electoral laws that predate the Internet era treat anything appearing on a screen as akin to a leaflet, which means it falls under restrictions on how many fliers any nominee can produce.

Candidates and their supporters are not permitted to Tweet, use Facebook, update their websites or even send emails during the official campaign period.

They spend two frenetic weeks driving and walking around their districts doing little more than shouting out their names.

Explore further: Austria court throws out Facebook privacy class action suit

Related Stories

Campaign spending affects electoral outcomes

Mar 18, 2009

In Canada, campaign spending limits for candidates during a federal election are stipulated by the Canada Elections Act. A study recently published in the Canadian Journal of Economics uses these spending limits to evalua ...

Recommended for you

New approach to online compatibility

Jun 30, 2015

Many of the online social networks match users with each other based on common keywords and assumed shared interests based on their activity. A new approach that could help users find new friends and contacts with a greater ...

Most internet anonymity software leaks users' details

Jun 29, 2015

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are legal and increasingly popular for individuals wanting to circumvent censorship, avoid mass surveillance or access geographically limited services like Netflix and BBC ...

WikiLeaks says NSA spied on French business

Jun 29, 2015

WikiLeaks has released documents that it says show that the U.S. National Security Agency eavesdropped on France's top finance officials and high-stakes French export bids over a decade in what the group called targeted economic ...

Google gets extended deadline to answer EU case

Jun 29, 2015

Brussels has given Google an extension until mid-August to answer an anti-trust case alleging that the tech giant abuses its search engine's market dominance, a company spokesman said Monday.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.