This is not "news" since this law exists since 1950, but in this age of cybercommunication, this can only shock.

Mainichi Shimbun : Internet-savvy candidates hampered by Japan's archaic election laws

Quote Originally Posted by mainichi
When the head of Japan's top opposition party gave a heated speech in Tokyo this week, party officials did what seemed natural in one of the world's most technology-savvy countries -- they put a movie clip of the speech on the party Web site.

But only hours later, election officials called the Democratic Party of Japan to say the movie clip was in danger of violating the country's election laws. By Wednesday morning, the video was gone.

Candidates in Japan's Sept. 11 elections for the lower house of Parliament are finding their efforts to reach out to voters via the Internet hampered by the nation's 1950 election laws.

The regulations stipulate that each candidate can only distribute 35,000 postcards and 70,000 leaflets during the official election campaign period. TV and radio spots can be used by parties, but not individual candidates.

The law effectively bars all other media, preventing candidates from using the Internet and e-mail to disseminate images, and parties and candidates from updating their Web sites until after polls close.