Dalle piazze a Twitter contro l’egemonia di Abe: La strategia comunicativa del Partito democratico costituzionale alle elezioni del 2017

  • Marco Zappa Ca' Foscari University of Venice


Japan ranks second in the world in terms of the number of Twitter users. Since 2009, under the Democratic Party’s 3-year permanence in power, politicians and administrators have turned to Twitter massively to build a direct communication with their constituency. It was, however, only in 2017 that Twitter has become a propaganda tool and a locus of political debate among Japanese politicians and netizens. The Constitutional Democratic Party (CDP) is an exemplary case of this transition. Born a few weeks before the vote of 22 October 2017, it managed to get attention and consensus, also thanks to a massive use of social networks, and, finally, to confirm itself as the first opposition party. A year after its foundation, however, it has failed to broaden its electoral base and consolidate itself locally. However, the article aims to identify the factors behind its swift success: on the one hand the role of the leader Edano Yukio and on the other the construction of a "counterhegemonic” narrative (though short-lived) capable of obtaining consensus in the immediacy of the election. This analysis intends to use the textual material available online (for example: tweets more relevant from a political-programmatic point of view) to identify the narrative framing of the political campaign, regularities and innovations within it to enlarge the CDP’s chances to gain at the ballot. In addition, the article intends to assess the role of social networks such as Twitter for politicians even in a seemingly neutral web space such as Japan’s.


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Author Biography

Marco Zappa, Ca' Foscari University of Venice

Marco Zappa is Assistant Professor at the Department of Asian and North African Studies, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice where he teaches Japanese Language, History and International Relations. His research focuses on Japanese international assistance to developing Asia in the fields of human resource development and energy.  He can be reached at marco.zappa@unive.it