(Tokyo Shimbun: February 25, 2016 – p. 6)
In the “Survey on the Actual Life Conditions of Students” conducted by the National Federation of University Co-operative Associations (NFUCA; Tokyo), 71.1% of university students indicated that they will vote in this summer’s House of Councillors elections. Moreover, 64.5% said that they are interested in politics, a rise of 2.9 percentage points from the previous survey (conducted in 2013).
The NFUCA said, “It seems that interest in politics is increasing with the lowering of the voting age to 18 and the activities of SEALDs (Students Emergency Action for Liberal Democracy).”
The survey was conducted in October and November 2015. A total of 9,741 students from 30 universities nationwide responded to the survey. A full 27.9% said they “will definitely go vote” in the Upper House elections while 43.2% said they “will make every effort to vote.”
Looking at the statistics by living situation, 64.7% of students living in dormitories said they would go vote, 13.8 points lower than the figure for those living with their parents. A full 10.5% of students living in dorms said that “they want to go [vote], but they cannot.” It is thought that this is principally because they have not transferred their certificates of residence [to their current places of residence].
Compared to students who have no interest in voting and politics, students who indicated interest also tended to see Japan’s future as “bright.”
Female students and science students showed comparatively low interest in politics in the previous survey, but this time more of such students said they “are interested.” NFUCA suggests, “This is probably because there have been many opportunities for young people to feel personally involved politics.”