Snap election caught maker of ‘luminous’ poll posters off guard

Kyodo, Staff Report

As the official campaigning for the Dec. 14 Lower House poll kicks off Tuesday, “luminous” election posters of candidates printed with special technologies are in high demand.

With orders pouring in on Tokyo-based Itsuki Print Co., the maker of the posters, company employees are alternating between joy and embarrassment.

As the upcoming snap poll was rather unexpected, “we can’t meet all of the orders,” said company President Hiroshi Saito. “We could have met orders if this election had been a regular one with the experation of the terms of Lower House members.”

According to Saito, the posters are printed with special illumination technologies, including a paint that can store light during the daytime and illuminates for a few hours after dark. Posters that can strongly reflect the headlights of vehicles, similar to traffic signs, are also available.

Although the cost of those special posters are higher than ordinary election posters, orders began to rise in mid-Novermber when the talk of a Lower House dissolution surfaced, and they have never stoped since then, Saito said.

The illuminating posters are legal under election law.

Meanwhile, police nationwide have so far detected 352 cases of illegal posting of election posters and other promotional ploys, NHK reported.

The broadcaster quoted the National Police Agency as saying the 352 cases as of Sunday is a decrease of 826 from the previous year.

The most typical violation is the hanging of posters of excessive size, followed by other promotional methods such as distributing leaflets and making pitches on the Internet, NHK quoted the NPA as saying.