The Sankei news service reports that a 34-year-old Englishman, resident in Tokyo, grabbed the microphone off someone campaigning for public office in nearby Tokorozawa City. The man was arrested for his pains.
Local elections are taking place in Japan at the moment. No daylight hour or location is safe from the cacophony of campaign vehicles trundling slowly around the streets, decked with speakers that blast the campaign message to the world.
The messages thus blasted are often almost incomprehensible because of background noise - including the noise of rival campaigners - and the fact that only a few moments of it are clearly audible because the vehicle is moving.
Equally annoying as speeches being made by such means are the often juvenile jingles that accompany them, delivered in saccharine, nasal, kindergarten-teacher tones.
Busy intersections and railway stations are favorite targets of campaigners, where they stop and deliver speeches at an offensive volume.
Apparently the actions of the rash Brit have been receiving considerable sympathetic feedback from Japanese. If only they would deliver it the same way the street politicians do: out loud to their faces. Yet, the typical Japanese response is a resigned shouganai: "What can you do about it?"
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