Teenagers get 1st chance to vote in general election

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The Oct. 22 House of Representatives election will give Japanese voters aged 18 and 19 the first opportunity to cast ballots to select lawmakers in the all-important lower chamber of the Diet.

During the official election campaign period, which kicked off Tuesday, both ruling and opposition parties will likely try to win the teenage votes by highlighting policies designed to attract younger generations.

In the election for the House of Councillors in July last year, which was the first national election held after the country’s voting age was lowered from 20 to 18, there were some 2.4 million eligible teenage voters, accounting for slightly over 2 percent of the total electorate.

Compared with the overall voter turnout of 54.70 percent, the youth turnout stood lower at 46.78 percent, with 51.28 percent of 18-year-olds and 42.30 percent of 19-year-olds having gone to the polls.

To encourage more teenage voters to take part in the upcoming election, polling places will be set up at some universities and high schools.

According to exit polls by various news media in the upper house election, 18- and 19-year-olds tended to cast proportional representation votes for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party or its coalition partner, Komeito.Speech

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