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Japan Subculture Research Center

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Someone had to do it: Man arrested for telling politician to STFU


Apr 24, 2011
Doing a bit of asa-dachi?!

An English teacher was arrested this Easter Sunday after he did what many Japan residents dream of doing: Telling those pesky campaigning politicians that they’re loud and obnoxious.

English citizen Edward Jones, 34, was in Tokorozawa, Saitama, and had been having a few drinks with friends when the group happened upon a local politician campaigning with microphone and loud speaker outside of JR Higashi-Tokorozawa Station. Jones grabbed the mic from the politician’s hand and yelled at him, amongst other things, “nihon no senkyo wa urusai!” (Japanese elections are loud!) He was arrested for “obstruction of freedom” (自由妨害).

To this we say, “Right on, Jones-san!!” Noisy campaign trucks plague neighborhoods around the country during the weeks leading up to any election, as hopeful candidates mindlessly repeat their names and manifestos for hours on end, finishing each loop with an unwelcome “yoroshiku onegaishimasu!

Japan’s outdated election rules disallow politicians from using the Internet to campaign (though for a few years now there have been hopes this will change), and candidates are forced to rely on newspapers, TV and public appearances to make their appeal.

Fun fact: The custom where candidates and politicians to stand out in front of a station or other public place and greet passer-bys first thing in the morning is known as asa-dachi (朝立ち). Asa-dachi has a few other meanings, one of which is morning wood.

Original article here.

9 thoughts on “Someone had to do it: Man arrested for telling politician to STFU”
  1. It’s amazing that none of them seem able to do simple things like distributing flyers or pamphlets with their policy positions, but manage to spend days on end driving around shouting “arigatou gozaimasu.” Literally the only political party from which I receive any information on their policy stances is the JCP. It’s interesting to note that some activists were arrested and convicted for distributing pamphlets a few years back (which were for the JCP, no?), as this constituted a nuisance and trespassing, yet screaming through amplification in violation of all local ordinances on noise pollution is somehow constitutionally protected.

  2. Good job, Mr. Jones. I’ve always wanted to do that. My policy is this: If I hear your name, you lose my vote. Of course, since I’m a gaijin and ineligible to vote in Japan, this is a rather meaningless threat.

  3. Well done son ! If now is not the time for change then when is? I thought they were gonna lower the tone this year as people are obviously stressed, why add to it? Unforgivable in my eyes. This, more than earthquakes and Fukushima made me question whether I want to stay here. I live in Saitama too.

    How is he now? Been released?

  4. If Japanese election law allowed for the use of social media and door-to-door canvassing, Japan might get politicians who listen to the electorate rather than just screaming at them.
    Unfortunately, the drunken gaijin will get fined or jailed for interferring in Japan’s antidemocratic process.

  5. I salute you Edward Jones! The endless, mind-numbing, high-decibel repetition of candidate names, how on earth does that contribute to the democratic process? If anything it speaks to the lack of respect politicians have for the electorate.

  6. Haha! I actually used to live in boring Hig Toko for 4 years! Nice job. Hopefully he doesn`t get booted out of Japan.

  7. lol, I think this was the guy who was working at the same company as me…

    last time at the meeting, they told us “please behave in public because if you do something unacceptable it might reflect badly upon us”

  8. Ok, well, it’s definitely the guy from my company, but he wasn’t at the meeting yesterday. However, his name was still on the sheet, so I don’t think he’s been fired (though I can’t say for sure).
    I’ve actually never talked to him, because he’s new from this year, and the meetings are only once a month (and there are always 60 of us attending them, so there’s no time to get to know everybody).

    I’m… not really sure that my company would appreciate it if I said who I’m working for, but I’ll try to remember this, and if I see him at next month’s meeting, I’ll ask him if he has an e-mail address that I could give this website so that you can get in contact with him.

    Don’t hold your breath though, it’s possible that he won’t be attending the meetings, or that he’s been fired, or even that he has decided to return to his country. Like I said, I’ve never met/noticed that person because there are a lot of employees, and the meetings are short, and we’re always listening to presentations, so there isn’t much time to interact.

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