The Straits Times
www.straitstimes.com
Published on Apr 19, 2013
 

Japan lifts ban on political e-campaigning

 
 

TOKYO (AFP) - Japan's parliament on Friday lifted a ban on Internet electioneering, permitting candidates and their supporters to tweet, use Facebook and update their websites on the campaign trail.

The upper house unanimously approved the bill to revise the public offices election law, ending a long-running debate on the strict ban, criticised by its detractors as an anachronism.

Despite its reputation for innovative wizardry, Japan has a sometimes confounding tendency to shun technology and the format of elections has changed little over the past few decades.

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