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Tokyo requests YouTube delete candidates' speeches

A picture is shown of the YouTube homepage in March 2007. Tokyos election commission Thursday asked the popular video sharing website YouTube to take off clips of candidates for the local governors race saying it gave some of them unfair advantages.  ...
A picture is shown of the YouTube homepage in March 2007. Tokyo's election commission Thursday asked the popular video sharing website YouTube to take off clips of candidates for the local governor's race, saying it gave some of them unfair advantages.

Tokyo's election commission Thursday asked the popular video sharing website YouTube to take off clips of candidates for the local governor's race, saying it gave some of them unfair advantages.
The election commission said it wanted to "ensure fairness" among candidates ahead of Sunday's election in the world's largest metropolis.

"We made the requests via e-mail and fax to the YouTube office in the United States," said commission official Hiroyoshi Yone.

"The site has allowed only certain candidates' speeches to be viewed freely on the site, with which we cannot ensure the fairness of the election," he said.

But the commission has not received any reply from the operator of the US website, he said.

Japanese election law limits the broadcasting of speeches, which are aired only on public broadcaster NHK.

Soon after the race kicked off last month, the speech by one fringe candidate, street musician Koichi Toyama, 36, has become a popular attraction on YouTube due to his eccentric, confrontational approach.

YouTube, which was bought in November by Google, has faced trouble in Japan before.

In February, it agreed to post a copyright infringement warning in Japanese under pressure from media and copyright protection bodies.

This week Thailand's military-installed government banned YouTube entirely after it failed to block a video considered insulting to King Bhumibol Adulyadej, a revered figure in the country.

© 2007 AFP
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