Japan: Vote of Confidence for Ikeda

Japan's new election regulations severely limit campaign activities, but the country's politicians are masters at circumventing the rules. Faced with a $7,000 limit on campaign expenditures, many a candidate in last week's general elections simply followed an old practice of having contributions funneled through "research institutes." Since candidates were restricted to three posters each (v. the previous limit of 12,000), many "accidentally" dropped cards, complete with picture and slogan, in telephone booths, department stores, bars and buses. On rainy days, one aspirant even had his campaign workers approach commuters and hand out armloads of umbrellas; when they were opened,...

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