Osaka — Mayor Toru Hashimoto caused a stir on twitter last month by refusing to stick to national laws about party promotions. The law, first enacted in 1950, states that in the 12 days before an election, candidates can’t display or mass-distribute campaign information other than via pre-approved posters and campaigns. It was first created to ensure fairness across parties, regardless of their campaign budget.
Because he was not running directly for the election, Hashimoto decided to opt out of the Japan Restoration Party’s request to members to stop updating their internet sites. He not only defied the rule, but also told his 907,000 followers that he thought the rule was absurd, unreasonable and stupid.
“It’s been said that the established parties spent ¥35 billion on advertisements during the last election. In spite of this fact, my petty election campaign tweets are banned? What’s wrong with this Japan? This is something that the government should fix. But the government has been unable to lift this ban so far,” he tweeted angrily.