DPJ To Submit The Bill Removing The Ban Of Internet Election Campaign

Japan’s ruling Democratic Party of Japan(DPJ) decided to submit the bill removing the ban of election campaign using the Internet, which is intend to be applied for the upper house election this coming summer.   After the public office election law changes, candidates will be allowed to update their websites and to post blogs and tweets even on election period.   The bill will be submitted in April and be expected to be settled by late May.
Currently the law prohibits website updating, blog postings and e-mail because these actions are considered as “the distribution documents and drawings to an unspecified number of people.”
Main points of the bill are:

  1. Election campaign using the Internet is legally approved.   Any campaigning websites and blogs are allowed to be updated and to be browsed even on election period including vote day.
  2. E-mails are allowed to be sent only to voters who have agreed to receive them in advance.
  3. Non-candidates and non-members of political parties are not allowed to place any paid ads that make people imagine candidate’s names or party’s name.
  4. The new law is set to be effective from the upper house election this year.
  5. Violators will be punished.

Yahoo Japan set up a website[J] expecting removing the ban of election campaign using the Internet last November, and collected signatures of voters who have agreed were handed over to Japanese Minister of Public Affairs at the beginning of this month.
Via: The Sankei Shimbun[J]
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