On Dec. 27, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) announced the results of a nationwide public opinion poll it conducted of 3,000 men and women aged 18–20 to probe their views on Japan’s voting age of 18, which was introduced at the Upper House election held in July. Some 52.5% of respondents said that they voted in the Upper House election. Of those, 93.7% said that they plan to vote in future elections as well.
The poll was conducted via the Internet. When asked for their reasons for voting (multiple responses permitted), some 39.3% said “because it is an obligation of citizens,” making this the most frequent response. Of those who said that they did not vote in the Upper House election, some 66.3% said they planned to vote in the future. When asked why they did not vote (multiple responses permitted), 21.7% said “because I could not vote in the municipality where I currently live.” Of 18- and 19-year-olds giving this response, the results for 19-year-olds were about 12 percentage points higher than those for 18-year-olds. This is thought to suggest that those who did not transfer their certificates of residence when they moved for university study or employment refrained from absentee voting, which requires registration.