Pictures at an Election: How to Get Votes in Japan

A documentary film by Axel Klein

Film screening followed by a Q&A

"Pictures at an Election" is a 78min. documentary film, showcasing Japan's electoral machinery in full steam, and focusing on the question of how Japanese candidates try to appeal to voters. The film takes us behind the scenes of and beyond the ubiquitous loudspeaker vans. Filmed during the 17 days of electoral campaigning in July 2007, "Pictures at an Election" follows the major candidates on their campaign trails from Kita Senju in the northeast to Futako Tamagawa in the Southwest of Tokyo, capturing their daily activities and interactions with the public. The documentary illuminates their strategies and techniques, and presents a lively picture of political culture in Japan (with English subtitles).

Axel Klein, PhD, is a political scientist and senior research fellow with the German Institute for Japanese Studies (DIJ) in Tokyo. He has been studying Japan's political system for over 20 years and written two books on the topic. He is also engaged in the DIJ's project "Demographic Change in Japan" and studies political responses to low fertility and social stratification. Previously he taught at the University of Bonn (Germany) and held visiting appointments at Sophia and Waseda University (Tokyo).