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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Brit held in campaign noise protest


Staff writer

Police arrested a British man Saturday for allegedly obstructing the campaigning efforts of a candidate for the Tokorozawa Municipal Assembly in Saitama Prefecture due to excessive noise.

Edward Jones, 34, who told police he is an English teacher, was arrested in the act of grabbing a microphone the candidate was holding, turning it to his mouth and yelling "Japanese elections are noisy" on a street near the JR Higashi-Tokorozawa Station, a Tokorozawa police officer said.

Police did not reveal the name of the candidate or whether the candidate prevailed in Sunday's election.

People working for the candidate held Jones and took him to a police box near the station, the officer said.

He faces charges of violating the Public Offices Election Act. Article 225 of the act stipulates that infringing the freedom of elections by obstructing speeches is punishable by up to four years in prison or a fine of up to ¥1 million.

"We would arrest a Japanese person doing the same thing," the officer said, adding the Saitama police sent Jones to prosecutors Monday.



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The Japan Times

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