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80% of children say they would vote after turning 18: survey

  • October 20, 2017
  • , Kyodo News , 2:27 p. m.
  • English Press

TOKYO — Some 80 percent of students polled in Japan say they would cast a ballot in elections after turning 18, the minimum voting age, according to a private think-tank survey.


The survey, which collected answers by mail from some 11,000 children ranging from fourth graders to high school students in the summer of 2016, also showed that those with parents who were enthusiastic about voting tended to say they would vote.


Japan’s 18- and 19-year-olds will get their first chance to vote in a House of Representatives election on Sunday after a revised electoral law was implemented last year to lower the minimum voting age to 18 from the previous 20.


Some 79.7 percent of students in fourth to sixth grades, 84.0 percent of junior high school students and 84.1 percent of high school students said they will or probably will vote after turning 18, according to the survey conducted by Benesse Educational Research and Development Institute and the Institute of Social Science at the University of Tokyo.


Around 88.7 percent of high school students whose parents said they would vote in the next election said they will also go to polling stations. But among students whose parents said they would not cast a ballot in the next election, only 56.8 percent said they will vote.


“Children are influenced by the parents’ interests in politics,” a Benesse institute official said, proposing discussions about politics at home when watching news programs.


The research also showed that more students as they grow older believe they cannot change the society even if they make efforts. Such students tend to be unenthusiastic about going to polling stations, it said.

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