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30% of young Japanese say Diet not helping people's lives

This undated file photo shows Japan's Diet building in Tokyo. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Thirty percent of Japanese in their upper teens who responded to a recent online survey said they believe the Diet is not helping to improve people's lives, a Japanese nonprofit organization said Wednesday.

    The opinion poll, held in February targeting 800 people aged 17 to 19, showed the percentage of respondents disapproving of parliament outnumbered the 20.9 percent of people who considered it useful.

    It also showed that 49.1 percent of respondents said they do not know whether parliament is playing a helpful role or not. The Nippon Foundation, which conducted the survey, said the results "reflect young people's lack of interest in national politics."

    The organization has been conducting a series of surveys targeting youngsters on such topics as work, marriage and politics with the aim of discerning the minds of young voters after the county lowered the voting age to 18 from the previous 20 in 2016.

    The latest survey showed only 5.0 percent thought the Diet was serving as a place for meaningful policy debates, while 54.8 percent said they did not think so.

    Of those who responded negatively, 57.3 percent said lawmakers argue at cross purposes and 50.2 percent said there are too many discussions not related to policies.

    Asked what is needed to improve the functions of the Diet, 31.3 percent called for more female lawmakers, followed by 28.5 percent who sought a review on how to manage parliament and 27.0 percent who proposed setting a cap on the number of times a Diet member can be re-elected and bringing in younger lawmakers.

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