A British expatriate living in Tokyo has been arrested following an odd outburst directed at the manner in which Japanese politicians drum up support.
According to reports the Briton, 34 year old Edward Jones, accosted a megaphone wielding politician, commandeered the megaphone and proceeded to exclaim that “Japanese elections are too noisy”. For his troubles Jones was then set upon by the politician’s supporters who swiftly marched him to a local police station in the Saitama Prefecture of Tokyo, where he was charged with violating the Public Offences Election Act.
Japanese law states that interfering with a political candidate’s election speeches infringes their freedom and is punishable by a Y1 million fine or a maximum jail term of four years. Jones, an English teacher, is still in custody.
However, despite his arrest Edwards could find himself as a cult hero. Many people in Japan, both natives and foreigners, dislike the antics of political candidates. Candidates often employ the tactic of simply driving around the streets and repeatedly shouting the name of the candidate through a megaphone.
Although they create a public annoyance, political candidates are forced to adopt these tactics as Japanese law forbids them from using the internet to drum up support, instead they rely on public appearances, expensive print ads and the documented megaphone assault.