The Yomiuri Shimbun conducted a (mail-in) opinion poll of 18- and 19-year olds nationwide following the July Upper House election, the first national election where the voting age was 18. Some 61% of pollees said that their interest in politics “grew” with the House of Councillors election. The figure was significantly higher than the 36% who said their interest in politics “did not grow.” The percentage of respondents who said they “feel connected” to politics after the election also stood at 61%.
The survey was conducted from immediately after the Upper House election through mid-August of 2,000 people aged 18 or 19 (the age of the respondents is as of April 30). The people surveyed were the same as those targeted in the pre-election poll (conducted from March through May), except for five who only responded to the post-election survey. Respondents who said it was good that the voting age was lowered to 18 accounted for 69%, up from 57% in the poll conducted before the election. It seems that many realized the significance of voting as newly eligible voters.
On the other hand, the figure for people who said they would definitely vote in the next election stood at only 32%.
Regarding lowering the age at which people are eligible to run for public office, 66% said they are “opposed,” while 31% said they are “in favor.”
[Polling methodology: The survey was implemented on a mail-in basis of the 2,000 men and women aged 18 or 19 (as of April 30, 2016) who were randomly selected nationwide from the basic register of residents (from 250 locations on a stratified two-stage random-sampling basis) for the pre-Upper House election poll conducted March through May 2016 and to whom questionnaires for that pre-Upper House election poll were sent. (Some [Five] pollees responded to the post-Upper House election poll only.) Written questionnaires for the post-election poll were sent out on July 11, and a total of 908 questionnaires were completed and sent back by August 12. Valid answers were received from 893 persons (valid response rate: 45%), excluding answer sheets filled out by those not subject to the survey. Composition of respondents: male – 47%; female – 53%.]