The Japanese general election was held yesterday, December 16th, for the House of Representatives. Prime Minister Noda dissolved parliament on Nov. 16th and shortly thereafter these numbered bulletin boards appeared around town. On the right is a list of instructions for those posting the posters and how the voting will be handled.
It’s been kind of a weird month – immediately after the dissolution, no less than three new political parties popped into existence. Election junk mail appeared in my mailbox, political ads appeared on TV, trucks travel around town broadcasting messages from candidates. The junk mail is easily disposed of and the TV ads are still cute and “inspiring”, rather than attacks on the moral character of the opposition. The trucks are annoying, but avoidable here in the sticks.
Of course, Otobe is small enough for politicians to go door to door. Last year, one walked right into my entryway (where I keep my shoes) since the front door is unlocked. This is perfectly allowable here and I often find my mail deposited by the coat-rack on particularly rainy days. Thankfully the encounter was brief, as he quickly realized that I couldn’t vote for him even if I wanted to.