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LDP backs online campaigning

Kyodo, JIJI

The Liberal Democratic Party has outlined legislation that would allow the use of all types of online communications tools, including email, Facebook and Twitter, for election campaigns, LDP lawmakers said.

“A partial lifting of the ban on online election campaigning would not meet the demands of the times,” said a member of the working group on the matter.

It is likely that revisions to the Public Office Election Law will clear the Diet and enable online campaigning in time for the Upper House election in July.

New Komeito, the LDP’s coalition partner, along with the opposition forces Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) and Democratic Party of Japan, support removing the ban.

With that kind of backing, some reform is inevitable, observers said. However, it may be watered down and candidates and political parties will only be allowed to update their websites and blogs for campaign purposes.

The LDP’s proposal calls for authorizing not only candidates and political parties but also organizations and individuals other than political parties and candidates to send email and update their websites and blogs for campaign-related purposes.

The current law bans the distribution of documents and pictures to the general public during political campaigns, except for legally approved handbills and posters.