The Lower House on April 12 passed a bill that will allow the use of the Internet for election campaigning and the Upper House followed by passing it Friday. Enactment of the bill will greatly change the face of election campaigns.
The law should increase people's interest in politics, better familiarize them with the policies and views of parties and candidates, and eventually lead to a higher voter turnout in elections. The voter turnout for the Dec. 16 Lower House election was just 59.3 percent, a postwar low.
Currently heavy restrictions are imposed on the volume and the types of campaign literature, including flyers, that can be distributed before and after the official start of an election campaign. Articles and photos posted online are regarded as campaign literature, and once a campaign has officially kicked off, updating related online information is prohibited.