Readers in Council,
The Japan Times,
5-4, Shibaura 4-chome,
Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0023
The April 26, 2011 story “Brit held in campaign noise protest” about a man in Tokorozawa grabbing a microphone away from a local political candidate in frustration over noise made me cringe with embarrassment. I know a British man in Tokorozawa. I know that election noise sets his teeth on edge. Was the suspect my friend? Fortunately not. I would be interested to know the time of day that the grabbing incident occurred, because often when they are campaigning - standing at intersections, or outside local subway or train stations - and using bullhorns to broadcast themselves many political candidates reveal themselves as criminals in complete, total and blatant violation of the Japan Election Law which prohibits campaigning before 8:00 a.m. and after 8:00 p.m. I would like to complain to my local police station or koban about these nefarious criminals but worry that I am the one who would be detained, not the offenders. It is one more example of one of the multiplicity of daily common crimes that are simply ignored, unreported or neglected by authorities.
Japanese campaign style is often a butt of jokes among foreigners. But I understand that since the law also prohibits door-to-door canvassing by candidates and campaign workers - a wonderful prohibition, thank you - then those seeking elected office have fewer options to advertise themselves and gain name recognition.