politics

Internet campaigning arrives cautiously in Japan

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Anything that will take campaigners out of their loud-hailer vans and off the streets is welcome. If I hear another middle aged woman screaming "onegai" I am liable to kill someone.

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40 hours something for Hatoyama's campaign and Aso's campaign.

Hatoyama is more obama like,most likely he may win.

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There's not much online because the 93 year old women who are the only people that vote, don't know how to use a computer.

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actually it's not all that internet savvy...texting on their little phones doesn't qualify

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How about removing the sound trucks, I seriously just want to throw eggs at them.

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stirfry at 10:56 AM JST - 28th August actually it's not all that internet savvy...texting on their little phones doesn't qualify

Agreed, Japan's internet is over 10 years behind the times. Software for webpage layouts is horrible and outdated. Navigating a Japanese webpage is like finding your way through a maze, blind, while on LSD. Most people here are just now finding out about videos and interest items that are a decade old.

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Yeah, Japan may have a fast connection to the internet, but that is the only thing the technology world here excels at. The rest if it is completely lame; proprietary to the hilt, awkward, unnecessary interfaces to everything, a general level of ignorance to all things technological, even from shop staff in electronics stores, and nothing actually inventive or world smashing.

Europe and America run things when it comes to computing.

As for Internet based electoral campaigns... bring it on. Would be an excellent trolling opportunity which I would whole heartedly take on.

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"internet savvy".... hah!

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Japan is FAR from being 'one of the savviest nations' when it comes to the internet. They produce much of the best technology world-wide, to be sure, but there are still HUGE numbers of houses without computers, let alone internet connections, and a vast number of people who don't know much beyond where the power switch is.

I've been using online banking with my bank in Canada for TEN YEARS, where only 3 years ago it became available with my bank in Japan. The latter? I had to send in an online application to get an application by mail. After sending that out I got a piece of mail from the bank with a password to register online, only to be told that my bank was closed and the online banking system was after hours as well. E-tax is growing, but again you have to go to your local City Hall and register for a card, buy a card reader (doesn't work with Macs, by the way), and apply to be able to use the service.

They make things so utterly complicated and with so much red-tape it's no wonder even the savviest of internet users would be hesitant.

Now, if you want to see a REAL computer-savvy nation go to Korea -- they abuse them there so much that most young people have no lives outside of Naver and other SNS.

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Internet savvy my arse.

Internet services in Japan are still in the Web's stone age.

Plus in Japan it's not so much the WWW as the JWW (Japan-wide web)

Many of my Japanese friends refuse to view foreign websites for fear of "birusu" (viruses.) And your Yahoo account gets you into every Yahoo site in the world - except Yahoo Japan, which has a 'unique' membership scheme for "Japanese People."

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Japan is one of the world’s most Internet-savvy nations

Hilarious, right up there with Japan being the only country with 4 seasons, etc.

Taiko666 and many else got it down: still many years behind here.

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taiko666: "Many of my Japanese friends refuse to view foreign websites for fear of "birusu" (viruses.) And your Yahoo account gets you into every Yahoo site in the world - except Yahoo Japan, which has a 'unique' membership scheme for "Japanese People.""

Exactly! Most Japanese I know who can use a computer don't even know what Google is and insist that Yahoo (Japan, of course) is the best search engine out there.

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smithinjapan: Since there is virtually no dialup in Japan I would say Japan's internet is very good. Goto Australia where you are capped on how much you can download and most areas are still on dial up.

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@JT: thanks for this article. It explains one of the big mysteries of Japanese election campaigning.

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gogogo: "smithinjapan: Since there is virtually no dialup in Japan I would say Japan's internet is very good. Goto Australia where you are capped on how much you can download and most areas are still on dial up."

'MOST' areas are still on dial-up? Like where, in the outback? Japan has 130 million people on 20% of it's land mass, but go to Ooboku Kooboku, Shikoku (or whatever such a small place is called) and you'll find more or less the same thing. In other words, Japan is basically one big city, so yes, Japan's INTERNET is better; that in no way means the people are any more savvy, now does it?

Japan also leads the world in heating/air-conditioning systems, but go check out 95% of public schools over most of Honshu in winter and you'll see the windows open in temperatures of 5 degrees to let the gas out from the portable heaters (that the students are huddled around). Again, HAVING the technology doesn't mean it's widely or properly used.

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Japan is FAR from being 'one of the savviest nations' when it comes to the internet. They produce much of the best technology world-wide, to be sure, but there are still HUGE numbers of houses without computers, let alone internet connections, and a vast number of people who don't know much beyond where the power switch is

According to the Economist, Japan ranks right up there with 663 per 1,000 people. But then again "savviest" doesn't mean the most number of ownership.

Exactly! Most Japanese I know who can use a computer don't even know what Google is and insist that Yahoo (Japan, of course) is the best search engine out there

Of course, if you use the Japanese language (and you don't), who's to say that Yahoo Japan isn't the best search engine for them? Secondly, Google has nearly 40% market share in terms of search engines and the term "ググる" (to Google/Googled) is used quite often among the net users. So forgive me for not buying your BS once again. But then again, this has nothing to do with being internet "savvy".

Japan also leads the world in heating/air-conditioning systems, but go check out 95% of public schools over most of Honshu in winter and you'll see the windows open in temperatures of 5 degrees to let the gas out from the portable heaters (that the students are huddled around).

I sincerely doubt that you personally visited 95% of public schools in Honshu so I don't think you are qualified to make that argument.

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