Hashimoto tops 1 million Twitter follower mark


Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto, coleader of Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party), has crossed the threshold of 1 million followers on his Twitter social-networking account, reflecting strong public attention rarely enjoyed by other politicians.

Hashimoto posted over 9,000 tweets during the two years and two months until Sunday, when the 1 million mark was achieved, often using the microblog as a platform to express his resolve for political and economic reforms as well as to criticize the media and intellectuals he disagrees with.

According to his Twitter timeline, the mayor posted his first message on Feb. 1, 2011. Postings varied, ranging from 28 to 1,025 messages per month.

As of 2 p.m. Tuesday, Hashimoto had added another 5,700 followers.

Hashimoto continued tweeting during last December’s general elections, when the government said such an act could infringe on the election law forbidding the use of the Internet for campaigning. Lawmakers are deliberating legislation to lift the ban ahead of the July Upper House election.