Japanese election campaigns won’t include Twitter or FaceBook



Candidates vying for seats in Japan’s legislature (Diet) began their campaigns on Tuesday without one element that is now key in American elections, social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

Office-seekers could be seen around the nation riding around in vans with campaign posters hanging off the sides giving soapbox speeches on megaphones. But on the web, such activity was hardly detectable.

Time magazine reported that a clause in an archaic election law drafted in 1950 prohibits candidates from updating their websites during the campaign period, though voters can still access their sites online.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has long defended the law that largely limits campaign materials to print form. But after 54 years in power, the LDP may be on the cusp of an upset at the hands of the opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and the law has become a wedge issue for the DPJ.

“The law should be changed,” Kan Suzuki, a DPJ lawmaker told Time.

Despite the law, candidates are doing what they can to reach out to voters using technology. Some lawmakers have included codes on poster so that voters can access their stagnant websites on their mobile devices.

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