Voices
in
Japan

have your say

What do you think about the way many politicians campaign in Japan, driving along streets, with their name being repeated over and over again by loudpseaker?

44 Comments

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

44 Comments
Login to comment

They know their audience.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

While I don't enjoy the noise, it is a valid tactic. There are so many candidates, I'm sure many people will get to the polls and draw a blank. That's the moment when repeatedly blaring out "Daisuke daisuki Daisuke daisuki" (like I heard in Keo Hachioji) will pay off.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It's noise pollution of the most annoying kind !

16 ( +17 / -1 )

Absolutely @$inine.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Has anyone ever studied whether it actually works?

The most annoying part is how hysterical it sounds. People who are prone to hysterics should not be in office. People who are swayed by hysterics should not be voting.

18 ( +20 / -2 )

Regardless of whether its a good tactic for them, Japan is noisy enough as it is with all the announcements. This is too much. Does it have a positive effect on overall voter participation? No? Get rid of it.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Witnessed. How do they set the speakers on "piercing"? Ouch.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Yes, it's really annoying but most politicians don't really like it either. They would much rather put campaign literature in your mailbox or ring your doorbell and have a chat, but in Japan the election laws (passed by the ruling LDP) make this illegal. Basically, the law makes it difficult for opposition parties from building up relationships with the community and so the only legal thing left is to drive around with a loudspeaker.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

I like how they have the same white gloves, the same robotic wave, and the same inane blasting of noise.

One thing that is fun to do is stare blankely at them as they make the rounds. They still smile and wave. It is rather creepy.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I utterly despise it — particularly in residential neighborhoods where this noise pollution often wakes infants/toddlers from nap time.

If I were to make even close to the amount of noise they do, people in my neighborhood would call the police.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

While I find the noise annoying myself, since unlike Asians (Kim, 200) I think in language and so loud speech interferes with my thoughts, I am with borscht. The politicians know their electorate. More importantly the electorate know politicians.

The Japanese do not believe nearly so much in the power and verity of language. Political speeches are in large part just spiel to them. Politicians all say and do basically the same thing, like politicians all over the world do, and the Japanese electorate knows this. It could be said that they lack idealism, or that they are more aware of the nature of political systems and human nature. They are also aware that going around shouting "please vote for XYZ , I will do my best" is a drag and thus it demonstrates the biggest thing that might distinguish the politicians: the extent to which they will go the extra mile, spend an hour longer at the negotiating table, search a hour longer for other alternatives. The noise is proof of effort and if Japanese continue to put the name of the politician that has been drummed into their head the most on the ballot sheet they will continue to have the politicians that make this country so pleasant to live in.

Kim, H. S. (2002). We talk, therefore we think? A cultural analysis of the effect of talking on thinking. Journal of personality and social psychology, 83(4), 828.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

They would much rather put campaign literature in your mailbox or ring your doorbell and have a chat, but in Japan the election laws (passed by the ruling LDP) make this illegal. Basically, the law makes it difficult for opposition parties from building up relationships with the community and so the only legal thing left is to drive around with a loudspeaker.

Bingo. M3M3M3. The LDP has successfully reduced elections in Japan to simple popularity/name recognition contests. And since they have the most incumbents, as well as sons/daughters of previous reps., in their ranks, they always win. Truly sad.

They are also aware that going around shouting "please vote for XYZ , I will do my best" is a drag and thus it demonstrates the biggest thing that might distinguish the politicians: the extent to which they will go the extra mile, spend an hour longer at the negotiating table, search a hour longer for other alternatives. The noise is proof of effort and if Japanese continue to put the name of the politician that has been drummed into their head the most on the ballot sheet they will continue to have the politicians that make this country so pleasant to live in.

timtak -- I was with you up until the last few words. But, overall what you say makes sense, since Japan is a country that values process more than results. Nevermind that the country has been mired in a no-growth mode for about three decades, and has simply heaped a staggering level of debt on the younger people. So long as the guys shout loud, and show effort, they should be elected. Priceless.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Nevermind that the country has been mired in a no-growth mode for about three decades, and has simply heaped a staggering level of debt on the younger people.

I agree, yet no one has done this as much as the LDP.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

M3M3M3 nailed it. This is an unfortunate result of a ridiculous law, however it was made with good intentions - the law prevents politicians mass sending flyers around, since that would favor politicians with large political budgets for more extravagant flyers sent to more voters.

Unfortunately, it seems that campaign trucks are exempt from noise pollution laws (which in themselves are not often enforced, unless you are enjoying a bit of music on a beach). The result is what you have.

FYI most if not all of the campaign trucks do actually say more than just the politicians name, they state their major beliefs and promises too, but obviously have to double up on the name part to make sure that sticks.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

During the most recent election a couple weeks ago we had one of them circling our block once every 15 minutes or so telling us how, if elected, the candidate would create a great environment for raising children.

And every time the car went by my 6 month old would be woken from his nap by the racket and start crying his eyes out.

Ah irony......

5 ( +6 / -1 )

One thing I don't get are the white gloves. What is the purpose of waving with white gloves? Also don't wave at me, I'm the white boy that isn't allowed to vote.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

@DaDude. Right. Don't wave. Don't try to shake my hand either. (Especially those JCP crooks). I can't vote.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I like that they wave at me. Makes me feel part of the group.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It's the Japanese way. Like the uyoku dantai. Or all the touts outside stores bellowing thru loudhailers. or general instructions at stations, escalators, everwhere.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It makes me think this: If the candidates can't come up with new and more effective ways of campaigning than this, then they certainly can't come up with new solutions to government. Campaign the way it has always been done, and then they govern the way it has always been done.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Sure is loud. Wow. Its nice though because they drive past with big smilse on their faces and say hello and wave to me. It gives me a spring in my step.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Great! I'll remember not to vote for them.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

i dont understand a word they scream, and i find it annoying to the extreme that i wish i could just turn the loadspeakers directly at the screamer's ears. i think that if i understood the words in their screams, i would hate a million times more.
1 ( +2 / -1 )

What do you think about the way many politicians campaign in Japan, driving along streets, with their name being repeated over and over again by loudpseaker?

The word "annoying" comes to mind

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I stopped a woman and showed her my groceries...not junk food and the receipt and asked why were food staples taxed like luxury goods. She laughed and they hit the gas. idiots.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I wonder how many people vote for a candidate because their people waving from the van looked the friendliest?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Infuriating, inane, obnoxious, incredibly irritating, intrusive. Choose whichever adjective you like. I can't believe this form of pollution is permitted. I beckoned one of them over the other week in their van and gave them an explicative-full piece of my mind. The man's face was a picture. While it won't change anything, it made me feel better.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I stick my fingers in my ears when they drive by.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Way too noisy and like most countries, it doesn't matter who wins. Things will stay the same anyways. So basically, I hate it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

U - Ru - Sai

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'm the white boy that isn't allowed to vote.

I know huh? I told one of them that once and they were surprised, go figure.

What do I think? Urusai~! This country is SO damned noisy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Back in the mid-70s, when I lived in Tachikawa, one of the blaring vans with huge speakers and white-gloved, waving robotic like beauties in the back seat came by mid-day when infants and toddlers, including my 1-yr old daughter, were sleeping. Thinking enough is enough, I went out and stood in the middle of the road, stopping the van. Told them what the problem was, and the politician just looked at me and waved the driver to go on. I went to the police station to see if I could file a noise pollution or public nuisance suit. They didn't know and called their headquarters. HQ told them election activities, including the stupid speaker vans, fall under special election laws and there was nothing, thank you not very much, I or anyone could do about it; have a nice life and don't bother us anymore. Democracy? No so's you'd recognize it...

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I just turn off my hearing aids.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

kokoro7:

I remember recently a non-Japanese guy got into trouble because he also tried to stop some local politician from using a loudspeaker. The amount of noise which Japanese people can tolerate is unbelievable. I have very rarely come across a supermarket in Japan where they didn't have music on full blast and some sort of noise coming from a cassette player. It makes shopping in my own country so peaceful.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I have to admit getting a little revenge last week, I was stuck at lights, on a corner where an LDP candidate was making a racket, I tought I'd kick up one of my own.... The pistols were playing on my car stereo, so I opened the windows and cranked it up to 20. They still had to wave and smile though, there was a look of relief though, when the lights turned green.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

It's annoying, but at least it's strictly limited to a few days, and only some hours of the day. Better than campaigning and TV ads that run for months and months and months.

All of it is annoying, though.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What's the alternative for them?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think many consciously shut out the noise but imagine subliminally it adds to daily stress. I wonder how many leapers on the Yamanote Line are due to that final push from their local politician disturbing the early morning walk to the station?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It's annoying, but at least it's strictly limited to a few days, and only some hours of the day.

A few hours? Try 12 hours of ear-splitting madness in our city, daily, from 8 till 8. Last weekend, they were even out-blaring emergency vehicles passing through intersections, which is outrageous.

With TV adverts, one can flick the channel. There is no let up from these geriatric windbags!

What's the alternative for them?

Civilised media and other advertising as happens in many western democracies. Inflicting ear-splitting noise on families, kids and shift-workers trying to sleep is not democracy.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

My neck still hurts from shaking my head every time they roll by. Boy I can't wait to move out of the city. Do they run local and national TV adds? That would seem to be more effective but might interfere with Ame Talk.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Try 12 hours of ear-splitting madness in our city, daily, from 8 till 8.

For 10 days total. That's it.

Civilised media and other advertising as happens in many western democracies.

No way. This is FAR FAR FAR preferable to months of TV/Radio/Billboard blitzes that you get in US/UK. Now THAT is annoying, way more annoying than a few days of trucks that shut up after 8pm.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Put a legal ceiling on the decibels. The uyoku are much worse, and far more sinister.

What pisses me off most, though, is the cop helicopters in our prefecture who shatter the peace with inane and generic road safety bleatings.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Personally I don't see why we cant make a reality tv-like show out it. That is to say, have weekly topics that the candidates respond to and unwanted/not so good candidates get voted off the show. Let the public vote via keitai in a simple way.

Also, how about limiting the budget each candidate is allowed to spend to vey specific and modest amount.

Oh wait, that might allow the more charismatic people outside of the 'ol boys club get a foothold. Can't have that!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ban them. Ban them all and issue HEAVY fines for those that breach said ban. It's not just a little here & there, it's a daily ear-bashing with each candidate by and large spewing out the same rhetoric. Do it in a rented hall with a keen audience, if you really must.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites