In a rare show of cross-party cooperation, the main parties in the Diet have agreed to pass a revision of the sections of the Elections Law that have been seen as banning changes to online content during the election season. The main parties are ready to go forward with allowing candidates to update content on their home pages and post content on blogs after the official start of the election season.
Two facets leap out of the announcement. First is the unbelievable speed at which the parties have come to this agreement. Only three weeks after opening up intra-party discussions on a revision of the law on April 16, the parties are ready to move on a bill, one they hope to get passed before the end of the current Diet session. Second is relative sophistication of the omissions to complete liberalization of internet campaigning. The revisions will still ban candidates from using Twitter or email for campaign purposes. DPJ members at the intra-party talks were understandably leery of liberalization of the use of platforms that could be used to produce spoof messages.
Why do I say "understandably"?
Ask Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister and former DPJ leader Maehara Seiji.