The 2014 elections in Japan were the first in which online campaigning was permitted, and the Wall Street Journal reports that Japan’s Communist Party was widely seen as having made best use of it.
JCP has its own kawaii (cute) characters now, animated mascots – the Proliferation Bureau . The cast of eight mascots include Otento-sun, a sun who is fighting nuclear power, a purse called Gamagucchan who looks after tax reduction for ordinary households, Shiisa, an Okinawan lion dog (shisa) in charge of the issue of US bases in Okinawa, and Kakusan (“proliferation”), the leader. See them in action here.
This year, armed with a bigger budget, they want to stop Prime Minister Shinzo Abe from letting the sales tax rise again, from restarting nuclear reactors and from revising the nation’s constitution.
In local elections this year, as the Economist reports, the JCP emerged as the country’s largest opposition at the local level.