UK Man Crashes Speech – “Japan’s Elections are Too Noisy!”

japanese-mayoral-election-car.jpg

A British man arrested for interfering with a “political address” (although in Japan candidates screaming their name through a megaphone for hours on end is a common form of political address), complaining that “Japanese elections are too noisy,” has earned the wholehearted support of 2ch, not that this will be much help in court.

Saitama police arrested the 34-year-old man of UK nationality for interfering with the election activities of a local candidate, who had been giving an address at a station when the man seized his microphone and began shouting complaints about the noisiness of Japanese elections.

The candidate’s lackeys reported the matter to police, and staff from the station swiftly caught him before any further disruption to the candidate’s posturing was dealt.

The man had apparently been drinking just before his foray into Japanese politics, and identified himself as an English teacher.

Japanese politicians can generally be relied on to inflict as much noise on the general public as possible come election time – loud speeches in random locations and patrolling sound trucks are a particular favourite.

Noisy sound trucks are a phenomenon peculiar to Japan, with their role in election campaigning apparently protecting them from criticism on noise pollution grounds.

Used by politicians, shady neo-fascist fringe groups, and annoying local retailers, they can often be heard parked in busy spots screeching incomprehensible speeches, or in the case of retailers, driving slowly through the streets endlessly repeating sales patter through a megaphone.

Unsurprisingly, Japanese elections themselves are generally more about ritual than any form of substantive politics – policies are rarely discussed in any detail, campaign regulations are some of the most restrictive in the democratic world despite funding and actual politics being some of the most opaque and corrupt, and a large proportion of politicians now enjoy hereditary seats as a result of family connections and powerful local campaign organisation being passed from father to son.

Tangling with such organisations is of course unwise at best – even tearing down election posters in public places can result in arrest.

Perhaps more interesting than the antics of a drunken barbarian is 2ch’s highly sympathetic response the plight of this political renegade:

“Well done!”

“I forgive you!”

“I can forgive him, damn elections are seriously too noisy.”

“Nice one.”

“Elections really are the shame of Japan.”

“Cool English guy! Also repeatedly calling out your candidate’s name is pointless so stop it already.”

“I can’t help but think those election cars just damage their candidate’s image in this day and age.”

“Japanese elections are not rational. Having people drive around neighbourhoods repeatedly screaming their name through a megaphone in a noise car makes no sense, why can’t we have televised policy debates like in the US?”

“He should be acquitted, or better yet given a commendation.”

“Nice one white pig, do it some more.”

“As expected of an English gentleman!”

“They need to shut up. Just saying their name and ‘onegai shimasu’ over and over is just retarded isn’t it?”

“I’ll never vote for those idiots who lurk around a spot all day from 9AM doing this. So relax. And then die!”

“I wish they’d ban those bastard cars!”

“They are moronic – nobody is even listening to them.”

“I’ve shouted at those idiots myself. It makes me seethe when they do it on holidays all the time.”

“He sure acted as my representative – those idiots are too noisy!”

“The guys who sit outside apartments on weekends screaming are the worst, they are just crazy.”

“Nice one John Bull…”

“Why haven’t they been sued for doing this stuff?”

“It’s just spam, basically.”

“It’s a national disgrace. They really think they gain the support of the people with something like that.”

“I agree, but as a foreigner he should probably have thought twice about doing that.”

“No, it’s fine. Letting people get away with this sort of thing by just tolerating it quietly is a major vice of the Japanese.”

“Do they do this sort of thing in other countries? I get the feeling only the Japanese would have any truck with something so idiotically pointless.”

“The impression I have is that they would go to a public place to hear a speech…”

“So I work hard and want to sleep in on a weekend, and one of these guys turns up screaming at 8AM… I was seriously furious.”

“This man gets my vote.”

“Change the law already. Nobody thinks kindly of the election cars or posters.”

“Japan won’t change without foreign pressure, indeed…”

“The only time Japanese politicians do anything at all is on those elections.”

“Between politicians and those oversize garbage collection trucks I’m at my wit’s end.”

“I’d vote if only you could cast negative votes. If you vote for one of them you lose, if you don’t you still lose.”

“If you live near a station it’s the absolute worst. They were at it all the time in the square near me, so I screamed ‘Shut up!’ out of the window at them and they shouted back ‘Thank you for your cheers of support! We’ll do our best not to disappoint your expectations!’

At that point I think I understood why the voices of their constituents aren’t heeded.”


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    159 Comments
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    Avatar of Jeff Z
    Comment by Jeff Z
    12:16 24/04/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Reminds me of that futurama eps when Fry was getting advertisements in his dreams...

    They always say japan is ahead of the technology curve...

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:44 24/04/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    From the outside, Japan would look really advanced. Inside, complete opposite. Advanced in the most unnecessary places; a toilet seat with a million functions.

    Not only election trucks, fire engines and everything else are annoying. Having the siren on is noisy enough and yet, the fucking fire fighter has to shout in a megaphone to tell cars to gtfo of the way. Pretty fucking redundant.

    They advertising trucks circling a place for countless hours repeating the same shit over and over... Public speakers broadcasting the town anthem... Tofu trucks playing their stupid tune... Random group of people shouting crap alerting you that it is 8 in the evening...

    The way they speak takes forever to get to the point. God, so fucking annoying.

    Don't japs know how to stfu?

    Yet these mother fuckers complain straight away if their neighbour is a wee bit noisy.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:21 24/04/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    If you ever lived without toilets you would not say such things about the awesomeness of Japanese toilet technology.

    Avatar of Quack!
    Comment by Quack!
    02:49 25/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Japanese toilet technology is awesome. The best part is the way they reuse the water you wash your hands with into toilet water. So obvious when you think about it, yet nowhere else does it.

    Avatar of Arya
    Comment by Arya
    16:24 25/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I pray that some tofu merchant will someday go around in a modified white Trueno blasting Eurobeat jingles.

    170 kph and custom engine optional.

    Comment by Dark Mage
    02:34 25/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Houses in Japan also tend to be kinda on the primitive side by western standards they usually have no central HVAC system and little to no insulation.
    In the US even the lowly mobile home has up to R-11 walls and a heatpump based HVAC system.

    http://www.davidappleyard.com/japan/jp10.htm

    As cool as those toilets are I'd rather have an HVAC system and some fiber glass insulation in my walls.

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact
    13:45 27/04/2011 # ! Incandescent

    That is a pretty imbecilic article - Tokyo is on the same latitude as the Mediterranean or the southern states. Of course they wouldn't need central heating when it's only mildly cold for a few months a year and 30+ the rest of the time.

    How many northern European residences have AC to cope with the few months or weeks a year it can become uncomfortably hot?

    The heat is a far bigger problem and AC is consequently a given, whilst in Hokkaido where the winters are Siberian in character they do have heavy duty heating... the writer however seems to be under the delusion that AC is rare luxury few enjoy.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:36 25/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    wtf.. even my house in the 3rd world country built better than that :\

    Avatar of Shippoyasha
    Comment by Shippoyasha
    15:58 24/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Except is no fun. I've been blasted by the damn megaphones too many times in my early life by the damn campaigning.

    It'd be great if it's like in Macross Frontier or something with a lady/gentlmanly voice not blasting the sound.

    And I laughed at the 'it's worst around train stations' part. Too true. Those vans go STRAIGHT to population centers. Those things needs to be illegal.

    Avatar of Minru
    Comment by Minru
    16:44 24/04/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    They should be seen but not heard.

    They need to learn the protest vote in japan. Have some guy run for a seat in parlament who letterdrops his area stating his policy's and sit back and see how many votes he gets.

    point 1: no screaming of politicians name!
    point 2: no loadspeakers
    point 2: no campaign vans
    ect ect.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:16 24/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I would vote for you.

    Avatar of alidan
    Comment by alidan
    14:12 24/04/2011 # ! Neutral (-0.2)

    i would slit my thought if i was sleeping, having an epic adventure, and than in came a politician cocksucker.

    better yet, it would cause me to go and gut the motherfucker. and i wouldn't be alone. WE WOULD MOB HIM.

    Comment by Dark Mage
    12:33 24/04/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    So this is how they do politics in Japan no wonder they keep getting people like Ishihara voted in.
    That man is a hero for shutting one of those vans up.

    Avatar of Powerpuff Loli
    Comment by Powerpuff Loli
    12:39 24/04/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    So this type of campaigning is like writing in All Caps!?

    Avatar of Yoshii-kun
    Comment by Yoshii-kun
    13:34 24/04/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    At least writing in caps still has some cruise control.
    Screaming a candidate's name repeatedly has no steering.

    Avatar of John Lennon's Ghost
    Comment by John Lennon's Ghost
    14:28 24/04/2011 # ! Drivel (-1.0)

    oohhh, dat british teacher must pay! PAAAAAAAAAAYYYY!!!!

    Avatar of uber phallas
    Comment by uber phallas
    12:13 24/04/2011 # ! Quality (+0.9)

    British Guy: "Will you Bloody shut up and Sod off! I don't bloody give a damn about about whose going into the parliament and gets his arse kicked out in a few months until you people deal with that Ishihara bugger whose been censoring my Anime! God save the Queen, Rule Britannia and Shut your face!"

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:02 24/04/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    All Hail Britannia!

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:25 24/04/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    all hail britannia!!!

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:07 25/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Would happen if the country still had teeth.

    Avatar of Darkrockslizer
    Comment by Darkrockslizer
    16:52 24/04/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    White man GJ

    Avatar of Anonymous RAW GM
    Comment by Anonymous RAW GM
    22:13 24/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    What a great way to make UK happy as the Royal Wedding is approaching.

    Comment by Anonymous
    Comment by Anonymous
    20:44 24/04/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    I'm from England and found this a particularly accurate representation of our method of shouting.

    Bloody good show sir.

    Avatar of Megidola
    Comment by Megidola
    23:09 24/04/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    The guy was Basil Fawlty?

    Avatar of Sado-Sensei
    Comment by Sado-Sensei
    01:44 26/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    "Whatever you do, don't mention the war!"

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:11 26/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Really, it's all just Manuel's fault.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:25 24/04/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Give it a REST SHUDDUP!!!
    Thank you for Your Support!

    Avatar of FreeHopper
    Comment by FreeHopper
    19:08 26/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Done in the voice of Bakura from YGOTAS.

    Avatar of Rakshasa
    Comment by Rakshasa
    18:32 24/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Some guy with a megaphone thing (with standalone speakers for max effect) put up shop in the Koenji station square, talking about the blight of poor children who didn't have food.

    Damn loud fucker ruined my drinking mood, so I went over and told him to lower the volume. He did, but 15 minutes later he was blasting at full volume again.

    Seriously, these people have no concept of noise pollution.

    Avatar of Mizushima 水島
    Comment by Mizushima 水島
    01:50 25/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    its just as bad as the ppl that call the phones they both never shut up. im sleeping sometimes here they call... i change my vioce tone and sound crazy or like an old lady

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:11 24/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Haha, I'm sure you meant 'plight' but yes, poor children ARE a blight!

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:14 24/04/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Another hero~~

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:16 24/04/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Yea that's right, elections aren't about seeing who can shout their names the loudest

    Avatar of Holy One
    Comment by Holy One
    20:22 24/04/2011 # ! Quality (+0.8)

    ... It's not? ('_')

    XD

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:05 24/04/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    indeed , elections are about who can smear most dirt and kiss most arse

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:31 24/04/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    True. In Japan elections are about bloodlines, connections with the big business and appealing to the ancient population.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:12 24/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    How is that different anywhere else?

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:03 24/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    How do you think did the nazis rise in germany? Because it's different in europe. The question if thats always a good thing is something else.

    Avatar of Yoshii-kun
    Comment by Yoshii-kun
    13:40 24/04/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Its a good form of brainwashing tho.

    Screwing up the voter's mind into remembering the only name that's been repeatedly at bleeding 9AM on a daily basis.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:36 30/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'll remember not to vote for them then.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:17 24/04/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    I think even the government people agree, just that they can't voice their opinions in public

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:31 24/04/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    That British guy should be elected.

    Avatar of Yoshii-kun
    Comment by Yoshii-kun
    13:35 24/04/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    Where the heck is their "self-restraint"?

    Avatar of Shizu's Waki Obsessor: MaidNiac
    19:29 24/04/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    That only applies on the good stuff.. not annoying stuff.

    Avatar of KingFisher
    Comment by KingFisher
    22:16 24/04/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    Yeah this is pretty annoying. My cousin's husband is Japanese and they live in Japan. He gets pissed off during election times as well. He works the late night shift so hearing those loud vans aren't all that pleasant. When he came to visit us I had to listen to his complaints. ROFL. Apparently like other people have said, you really can't do much to put down the politician's loud noise or you end up in jail or lose your job. Apparently in Japan, you cause a scene in the political world, it puts a bad face on the company you work for, so they'll fire you outright to save face.

    So the lesson that can be learned. Corruption at its highest.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:23 25/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I lived in japan in the 80's, and three of these trucks drove through the neighborhood. I went out to see what it was, and thinking it was some kind of special event, smiled and waved at them, like they were on parade.

    I mean, they had suits and sashes and banners. All they needed was a marching band and some shriners on scooters.

    Avatar of Stephen "America" Colbert
    12:08 24/04/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    ahh... nothing like some politics to arouse my

    spirit

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:21 24/04/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    All politicians are liars who need to be told to shut up once in a while, they love the sound of their own voices I swear.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:25 24/04/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Best "news" story I've seen on Sankaku in ages.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Seconded. I can't remember the last time there was anything newsworthy here. But this one is different.






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