Sound trucks in Japan

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Small yellow van with speakers attached to the top.
Sound truck, operated by the Japanese Communist Party, seen in Aichi, Japan
(video) A Liberal Democratic Party sound truck in Shinjuku, during an election campaign in 2016.

Sound trucks in Japan (gaisensha, 街宣車) are sound trucks, trucks equipped with public address systems, used by political parties and candidates to express their views. Vendors also use sound trucks for the purpose of selling goods, collecting recyclable materials, and other purposes. The trucks have one or more loudspeakers which play a recorded message or recorded music as the truck tours through neighborhoods.

Many right-wing political groups drive around city streets in sound trucks, play nationalistic music at high volume and communicate their political views to the citizenry.[1] They sometimes station themselves on a street, while one of the group's members addresses the public.

Many Japanese people are annoyed with these displays by the right wing groups; however, few Japanese openly challenge or complain to those who operate the trucks.[2] The Japanese police tend to ignore them or allow them to operate freely, in the interest of free speech.

The right-wing sound trucks in Japan often disregard stop signs and stoplights, even on busy streets, and can have a negative effect on businesses when they regularly pass or station themselves in front. Many of the right wing groups who operate the sound trucks are assumed to have Yakuza connections.[3][4]

To a lesser extent, the Japanese Communist Party also uses sound trucks.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Brasor, Philip. "Rightwingers who scream the loudest allowed to win in Japan," The Japan Times, February 28, 2008
  2. ^ Shibuichi, Daiki. "The 'Uyoku Rōnin Dō': Assessing the Lifestyles and Values of Japan's Contemporary Right Wing Radical Activists," electronic journal of contemporary japanese studies, November 28, 2007
  3. ^ Bremner, Brian. "The Sounds of Japan's Silence," Businessweek, April 24, 2000
  4. ^ Berman, Roy. "Japanese right wing sound truck," flickr, by Mutantfrog, April 28, 2004