Japanese elections are a remarkably noisy affair: trucks drive around playing recorded exhortations to vote for a particular candidate for weeks beforehand. Candidates stand in public areas and drone on through microphones. It can be quite tiresome. But here’s how not to deal with it:
A Briton has been arrested in Tokorozawa, Saitama prefecture, on charges of disrupting the electoral process after grabbing a candidate’s microphone and shouting, “Japanese elections need to shut up!”
The Tokorozawa office of Saitama police on 23rd April arrested British citizen Edward Jones (34), a teacher of conversational English based in Nishinippori, Aragawa-ku, Tokyo, on charges of violating the public election law.
It is alleged that, on the evening of 23rd April, on the pedestrian path in front of JR Tokorozawa Station, the suspect grabbed the microphone being used by a city council election candidate in mid-speech, and shouted [in Japanese], “Japanese elections need to shut up!”
According to the city police, Jones had been drinking with a friend immediately before the incident. A campaigner reported the incident at a police box. A member of the station staff then detained the suspect on the station premises.
I translated the article from Sankei News.
What the suspect is actually alleged to have shouted down the microphone is “日本の選挙はうるさい”. The literal meaning is “Japanese elections are noisy”, but the word うるさい (noisy) is commonly used not so much as an observation of sound pressure levels as as an invitation to the originator of the noise to desist from producing it. A better translation might even be “Japanese elections STFU!”
Thanks to Andrew Plummer for directing me to this story.