8 Arrested over Campaign Posters for Tokyo Election; Charges Including Removing, Defacing Candidates’ Posters

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A person walks past an election poster board in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo, on June 26.

The recent gubernatorial election in Tokyo saw a number of unprecedented incidents, including the many unrelated posters that were put up on election poster boards.

According to the Metropolitan Police Department, eight people had been arrested as of 8 p.m. Sunday in connection with the gubernatorial election on that day, compared to just one in the previous election.

Violations related to election posters were rampant. Four of the arrested people were accused of such acts as removing or defacing candidates’ posters, which would constitute obstruction of the freedom of elections guaranteed by the Public Offices Election Law.

The remaining four were arrested on charges of property damage for tearing posters and assault.

In addition, 22 warnings were issued over such violations as breaches of the Public Offices Election Law, including incidents related to the Tokyo metropolitan assembly by-election. Of these, 13 were violations related to posting documents, such as using posters that did not meet the standards.

Candidates who put up a poster containing a photo of an almost-naked woman, and supporters who displayed posters introducing women-only establishments for adult entertainment were warned for violating the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Ordinance on the Prevention of Violent Delinquent Behavior that Causes Considerable Public Nuisance and the Law on Control and Improvement of Amusement Business.