In my Dec. 18 column in The Japan Times, I took a look at some of Japan’s campaign practices, starting with senkyo postā keijiba 選挙ポスター掲示場, the temporary poster posting places that are erected with public funds for every election. We get two when national and local elections run concurrently.
I also touched on the senkyo kā 選挙カー (election car). This is a vehicle fitted with loud-speakers through which the candidate calls out his or her name along with appeals for support.
You have to hear an election car to get the full effect, so I’ve provided a video with some wry English commentary provided by a foreign resident of Sapporo. It’s 11 long minutes long, making it perfect for sharing the pain with the folks back home.
For a more academic look at Japanese campaigning, check out these video clips by Gerald L. Curtis, an expert on Japanese politics. In them, he addresses the restrictive nature of campaign practices in Japan, including the the prohibition against door-to-door canvassing. He’ll also tell you why not everyone thinks the rules should be liberalized.