YouTube livestreamer enters politics, aims to get votes with eye-catching campaign poster.

Tokyo is now entering election season, and as candidates in the city begin to campaign for the upcoming gubernatorial election on 5 July, a by-election to elect a new assembly member for Tokyo’s Kita Ward is also due to be held on the same day.

Running in this by-election are five women, and one of them is attempting to make her mark on the minds of voters in a memorable way: by posing for her campaign poster naked, save for a couple of masks covering her breasts.

▼ The candidate poses for photos in a sash emblazoned with her name while holding the official campaign poster in her hands.

Kana Shindou is the woman behind the masks, which aren’t just any ordinary face masks, by the way. These are the controversial masks sent out by Prime Minister Abe to every household in the nation, and Shindou is essentially giving him and his policies the finger with her provocative pose.

▼ “Is this photo ok for the campaign poster? Abe Mask Bra.”

Shindou isn’t the first woman in Japan to pose in a homemade Abe Mask Bra, as fellow YouTuber Sari Kato shared this photo of herself with the masks covering her breasts back in April.

While Shindou appears to be the first woman from the political sphere to publicly pose in the makeshift bra, she and the party she runs for are not shy about courting controversy. After all, 27-year-old Shindou is actually a livestreamer who’s been uploading videos to her YouTube channel “Princess Yuzuka” for the past three years.

▼ This video shows Shindou livestreaming in Ahri cosplay, peppering her Japanese with well-spoken English, from the Twitch booth at Tokyo Game Show 2017.

Around five months ago, Shindou began sharing videos with a more political bent, starting with a clip streamed live from a lunch meeting of N-Koku, a political party founded in 2013 that’s also known as The Party to Protect the People from NHK.

However, the party Shindou is currently representing in the upcoming by-election is the N-Koku-endorsed Horiemon New Party. This political party was founded by 47-year-old Takafumi Horie, a Japanese entrepreneur who created the popular Livedoor website and was imprisoned for two-and-a-half years following his arrest for securities fraud in 2006.

Against this background, the new campaign poster has sparked debate amongst people in Japan. While some people couldn’t care less about what goes on in politics, others found the poster to be in bad taste, especially as it’s being displayed in a public place, alongside posters from other candidates on a display board, as is the norm for these types of campaign posters in Japan.

However, Shindou says she wore the masks as a bra to make a political statement. In a short interview, she said she wants people to look beyond the surface and understand that she’s taking a stand against what she believes to be wasteful spending by the Abe administration, citing the high costs involved in sending out masks to every househould in the country.

▼ This image shared by Shindou on her official Twitter account says “If I win, the Abe masks will just happen to slip off!!

Shindou’s stance against the Abe administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic is in line with her mission statement, also printed on her publicly displayed campaign poster, which says “Crush coronavirus restrictions!” Statements like these, calling for an end to coronavirus countermeasures, are proving to be just as controversial as her photos, and it won’t be long until we find out if her campaign turns out to be successful come 5 July.

Until then, you might like to enjoy the stylings of this Tokyo gubernatorial candidate, who stripped naked in a wild and crazy campaign speech broadcast on national TV.

Sources: Twitter/@himeyuzkYahoo News
Featured image: Twitter/@himeyuzk 
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