The ruling Liberal Democratic Party approved a draft bill Tuesday at a general council meeting to remove the ban on online election campaigning for the Upper House poll this summer.
Under the bill to revise the Public Offices Election Law, the use of social media networks, including Facebook and Twitter, will be allowed, while people who falsely present themselves as candidates will face up to two years in prison or fines of up to ¥300,000 and the suspension of their civil rights.
The LDP will submit the bill to the Diet together with its coalition partner, New Komeito, and Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) of the opposition camp, possibly Wednesday, lawmakers said.
The Democratic Party of Japan and Your Party have also jointly compiled a bill to introduce online election campaigning. It would allow use of emails by voters, which is not permitted in the LDP’s proposal on the grounds that it may lead to the posting of slanderous messages on the Internet.
The LDP’s bill limits the use of emails to political parties and candidates.