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Teen voter turnout falls 17 points below national rate to 31% in Japanese election

In this Oct. 20, 2017 file photo, voting-age high school students cast ballots at an advance polling station at their school, in Minamiawaji, Hyogo Prefecture. (Mainichi)

TOKYO -- Voter turnout among 18- and 19-year-old youths in the July 21 House of Councillors election stood at 31.33% for constituencies (preliminary figure), down 17.47 points from the overall voting rate at 48.8%, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications announced on July 23.

This was 15.45 percentage points lower than teen participation in the 2016 upper house poll, the first national election since the legal voting age was reduced from 20 to 18, which stood at 46.78% and highlights a lack of interest in politics among young voters. In the latest election, some 30.02% of 18- and 19-year-old males voted, while that for such females was 32.75%.

By age, some 34.68% of 18 year olds voted, with males marking 33.38% and women at 36.07%, while the total turnout for 19-year-olds stood at 28.05%, with males at 26.79% and females at 29.43%.

The survey for the recent election was conducted on 188 of 47,044 polling venues across Japan. Though the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications carried out a survey at all polling stations in the 2016 House of Councillors election, it does not plan to do the same this time.

(Japanese original by Hironori Takechi, Political News Department)

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