Thursday, March 14, 2013
Ruling Bloc, Restoration Party Sponsor Online Campaign Bill
TOKYO (Nikkei)--The ruling coalition and the Japan Restoration Party initiated a bill Wednesday that would drop all restrictions on online campaigning for public office starting with this summer's upper house election.
The bill would allow parties and candidates to campaign by e-mail, as well as through Twitter, Facebook and other social networks.
As a safeguard against impersonation, slander and other abuses, campaign websites and e-mails would need to contain valid contact information. Penalties for breaking this or other rules would include fines, imprisonment and the loss of public office.
The bill's backers will seek to merge it with similar legislation proposed by the Democratic Party of Japan and Your Party.
Under the DPJ-Your Party bill, the general public would also be able to send campaign-related e-mails, and candidates could post paid online advertisements. The LDP-Komeito bill would only allow parties to place such ads.
(The Nikkei, March 14 morning edition)