Seventy percent of the 259 candidates for the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election on July 2 are using Twitter to announce campaign speech schedules and provide detailed policies, a tally by the Mainichi Shimbun found. The ban on Internet-based election campaigning was lifted before the Upper House election in July 2013. The upcoming election is the first metropolitan assembly election since the lifting of the ban and since the voting age was lowered from 20 to 18 years, prompting the candidates to seek support from young voters via Twitter.
The Mainichi Shimbun searched for the candidates’ Twitter accounts by entering their real names and the names they have registered with the election administration committee on the Twitter’s search screen after the campaigning for the upcoming election kicked off on June 23. Of the 259 candidates, 182 candidates’ accounts were confirmed, for a utilization rate of 70.3%.
But the extent of use varies among the candidates. The average number of tweets by and followers of ruling-coalition-backed candidates remained in three digits. Some LDP candidates have tweeted less than 10 times. (Abridged)