Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Not your father's (or grandfather's) LDP?

Asahi reports that the LDP has leaped into the twenty-first century and set up a YouTube channel of its own, with Kono Taro, third-generation LDP member of the House of Representatives (and third-generation potential party leader) as the party's face on YouTube.

The innovation is not in putting videos on the Internet — there has been no shortage of videos released by the LDP and the Kantei — but in doing it through YouTube, which necessarily means making the party videos open to public comment (and criticism). If the old party Internet strategy emphasized one-way communication, this step could signal the LDP's, or at least its young members', embrace of technology to enhance multi-directional communication between the party and Japanese voters.

The content currently available at the channel by no means suggests a revolution in Japanese political communication, but it's a start. At this point, any step taken to open the political system to the Japanese people is a good thing. This effort does suggest that at least some LDP members realize that the party needs to broaden its appeal. It cannot afford to write off urban and younger voters.

Could the next LDP presidential election — or the next general election — be Japan's first YouTube election?

4 comments:

Bryce said...

They don't seem to have the hang of it yet. Unless you are a politics nerd (and then you'll know who to vote for anyway) I'm not sure the attraction of Youtube is in sitting through long-winded explanations of the proposed new terrorism law or watching some really boring shamisen performance by LDP members. (I did watch the new terror law explanation - I found out that Pakistan's population trusts Japan because they are not Christians.) I think they need to make things a bit more punchy. Put on a short animation clip by Aso Taro or something.

But this isn't just youtube. There is something called "Site B" where Diet members can post stuff about their general lives - club activities, recipes and the like - to make them seem more human. Apparently Hamburg Steak is 和食.

Jun Okumura said...

Mssrs. Ibuki, Tanigaki and Fukuda? I guess I'm growing old, because I'd rather watch the Ronettes. I would vote for the LDP though, if they'd only bring back those JSDF recruitment videos.

Jun Okumura said...

Though Representative Hirata hacks a a mean shamisen IYKWIS.

Japan Observer said...

To answer my own question, then, it is in fact your father's LDP — just with a YouTube site.