Ishiba's Plan to Campaign in Nintendo Game Put on Hold

Politics

Tokyo, Sept. 7 (Jiji Press)--Shigeru Ishiba, a candidate in the leadership race for Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party, has suspended his plan to conduct campaign activities on Nintendo Co.'s <7974> popular online game "Animal Crossing: New Horizons," his camp said.

The camp for Ishiba, former secretary-general of the LDP, said Sunday he will start the campaign activities on the game on Tuesday, when the party race will officially kicks off. But it said later in the day that the plan was put on hold amid concerns that it may violate the game maker's terms of use regarding political activity for the game.

In the game, which has become a hit due to many people staying home amid the novel coronavirus epidemic, players live on an island which they can design themselves, and users can visit each other's islands.

In the campaign, Ishiba-chan, a character modeled after Ishiba, was slated to visit the islands of players who cooperated in putting up posters of his portrait. The island of "Jiminto," which is homophonic with the abbreviation of the official Japanese name for the LDP, was also slated to appear in the campaign using the game.

The election to choose the LDP's next president, who will effectively succeed outgoing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, will take place on Sept. 14. Ishiba, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga and LDP Policy Research Council Chairman Fumio Kishida will vie for the top party post.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press