Tokyo Notes

Permission Granted

Finally, Japanese politicians are allowed to use the Internet for their campaigns. But is it enough?

 Japan’s elections are set to finally lurch into the Internet age. Political parties here struck a deal on Wednesday to allow election candidates to update their Web site home pages and blogs during campaigns.

 It almost defies belief that in a country so associated with technology, politicians have been banned from using the Net for campaigning during official election periods. But a 1950 election law banning the distribution of election materials has until now prohibited them from doing so. This law is set to be revised under the deal.

 The move will brush aside some of the cobwebs covering Japan’s election campaign rulebook and hopefully put politicians more in touch with a younger generation more engaged in information technology than in politics.

 But these are still baby steps. According to the Asahi Shimbun daily, which lauded the move in its editorial on Thursday, the deal also urged ‘self-restraint’ when it comes to using microblogging site Twitter…