Election Campaigning On The Net: When Does Law Catch Up With Social Trends?


Prior to the general election scheduled at the end of this month, Rakuten publicized a letter from Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party(LDP) and the opposition Democratic Party of Japan(DPJ) in response to the question by 60 Japanese business leaders including Rakuten’s CEO Hiroshi Mikitani.
The leaders asked both parties about their policies on six subjects including the ban on the e-commerce sales of OTC drugs, restricting the access by minors to harmful Internet websites, revising the legal systems of telecommunication and broadcasting, lifting the ban on the Internet election campaigning.
As for the ban on the e-commerce sales of OTC drugs, which has been effective since a month ago,  LDP says it would discuss further to study how Internet drug sales should be controlled and permitted in the future.   DPJ pointed out there are many problems caused by banning the sales, and it expects to reexamine the restriction.
Concerning about the Internet election campaigning, LDP says the government has to lift the ban on it with remaining some restriction to avoid possible slandering of candidates.   DPJ shows us its perspective that campaigning in any form of websites, blog and e-mail should be permitted.   DPJ swears it would submit a bill of the Internet campaigning to the National Diet if the party win a majority at the upcoming election.
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