We may not be able to vote, but . . .

Japanese election law does not discriminate on nationality when it comes to election activities

According to Japanese election law, there are only three things that a non-citizen cannot do:


2) run in an election as a candidate;

3) donate political funds.

Other than these three points, a non-Japanese has exactly the same rights as a Japanese citizen when it comes to political and election activities. You are well within your rights to campaign for the party or candidate of your choice.

What can a non-citizen do in an election campaign?

Just like citizens, we can put up posters, give out handbills, ask for votes, and even drive a campaign car (assuming you have a driver's license, of course). But keep in mind that if you choose to participate in election activities, you must adhere to all relevant election rules, just as any Japanese citizen would. Breaking one of those rules; such as, for example, asking someone for a vote prior to the start of an election; could get you into serious trouble.

How can I learn what the rules are?

Click the following link to download the official government translation of its election rules and regulations:


If you are considering participating in any political or election activities, we recommend at the very least that you read pages 33 - 43 (Election Campaigns).