Japanese voters went to the polls on Sunday (7 July) to elect a new House of Councillor - the politicians who have the power of veto in the country's two-tiered Parliament.
SV PAN Crowds waving flags.
GV ZOOM IN Miyata speaking at rally.
GV Miyata speaking and crowd. (3 shots)
GV PAN FROM CROWD TO Miyata speaking.
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Background: Japanese voters went to the polls on Sunday (7 July) to elect a new House of Councillor - the politicians who have the power of veto in the country's two-tiered Parliament. However, the final stage of the campaign featured not the politicians, but the Tarentos - "talent candidates". They are the singers, actors, newscasters and other television personalities. They were nominated, hoping to catch votes simply because of their following by the nation's massive television audience.
There were at least a dozen "talent candidates" and most had little or no political experience. The "talent candidate" with the most chance of success was expected to be 52-year-old Teru Miyata, until recently the host of a prime-time television music programme. Miyata ran for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) of Premier Tanaka.
However, the fielding of these talent candidates was opposed by many Japanese, who feared that because of their inexperience they could become "yes-men" for the LDP leadership.
Even more concern was voiced against the LDP's decision to field sponsored candidates. Japan's major corporations not only contributed to their chosen candidate's campaign funds, but also urged their employees to vote for the candidate. (The Miyata campaign, for instance, was financed by the giant Toyota corporation.)
As a counter-measure, the opposition parties put forward their own "left-wing talent" candidates - mainly former union leaders, familiar figures among working class voters. However, the Opposition was considered unlikely to break the LDP's control of the House of Councillors.
SYNOPSIS: The final stage of the campaign for Sunday's House of Councillors election in Japan was marked by the appearance of the "talent candidates".
These candidate's aren't professional politicians. Like fifty-two-year-old Teru Miyata, they're all personalities - mainly singers, actors, newscasters and other television stars. About a dozen "talent candidates" were fielded and most had little political experience. They hoped simply to take advantage of their massive television audience.
Some of these candidates were also sponsored by the giant Japanese corporations who financed the campaigns and advised employees to vote for their candidates. Mr. Miyata, for instance -- who stood for the Liberal Democratic Party of Premier Tanaka -- was sponsored by the Toyota organisation. Opposition parties attacked both practices and countered with popular trade union figures as candidates.
However, observers felt that Mr. Tanaka's party would be victorious. And as for Mr. Miyata -- until recently the host of a television music programme -- he was given more chance of being elected than most of the talent candidates.