Japan lowers minimum voting age to 18

Japan makes minimum voting age 18 years adding almost 2.4 million people to country's increasingly aging electorate

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Japan passed a legislation on Wednesday, lowering the voting age from 20  to 18, consequently bringing it in line with fellow developed countries.

These teenagers will be able to cast their first vote in the upcoming 2016 upper house elections.

The Japanese government says the law intends to encourage more youth to help shape the nation’s politics, including those concerning national security costs.

Accordingly, the government’s chief spokesman Yoshihide Suga asserted that the new regulation will “allow for more young people's voices to be reflected in politics.”

Japan currently has the world’s fastest aging population, with over 26 percent being 65 and over, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. The rapidly aging population has resulted in a nation run by old people primarily for the welfare of old people.

Ryohei Takahashi, academic at Chuo University in Tokyo says; “In Japan, politics has excessively reflected elderly people's voices, which we call silver democracy."

17-year-old high school student Shiori Toshima says; "I'd be happy to see my opinion affect politics, even just a little," and added that she will “definitely go to vote.”

Previously, in 1945, following World War II, the minimum voting age was lowered to 20 from 25 in Japan.

TRTWorld and agencies