JSIS PhD student Joshua Williams traveled to Japan in September 2014 to conduct initial fieldwork for his dissertation. His research looks at the effects of the Internet on politics in Japan, and this fieldwork specifically focused on the causes and effects of a major legal change in 2013 which largely freed political candidates to use the Internet during election campaign periods. He also looked into digital campaign strategies of politicians and political candidates at the national and local levels. Williams conducted interviews and meetings with: five current members of the Japanese Diet and one staff member, one former member of the Diet, three individuals connected with regional politics, two election campaign managers, one youth political and Internet activist, and five academic specialists in Japanese politics—including Hironori Sasada (a UW alumni who is currently an associate professor at Hokkaido University), Steven Reed (who was a visiting professor at UW in 1989), and Michiya Mori (who was a visiting foreign scholar at the UW in 2013-14). A personal highlight during his trip was being mentioned in a tweet by senior LDP member Ichiro Aisawa and in a Facebook post by LDP member Gaku Hashimoto (son of former Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto).
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