On Oct. 24, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) announced the turnout rate for 18- and 19-year-olds at the recent Lower House election (constituency vote). According to MIC’s sampling survey, the turnout rate for the two ages was 41.51%, with the turnout rate among 18- and 19-year-olds at 50.74% and 32.34%, respectively. This is 12.17 percentage points below the overall turnout rate of 53.68%, which was the second lowest rate in the postwar period. The turnout rate among teenagers in the Lower House election was even lower than the 46.78% rate in the July 2016 Upper House election (constituency vote), when those age 18 cast their ballots in a national election for the first time ever.
This was the first nationwide Lower House election since the lowering of the voting age to 18. MIC surveyed the turnout rate for those aged 18 and 19 by sampling four election districts in each of Japan’s 47 prefectures.
The turnout rate for the two ages in last year’s Upper House election was 46.78%, with the turnout rate among 18- and 19-year-olds at 51.28% and 42.30%, respectively. In the recent Lower House election, there was an 18.4 point difference between the turnout rates of the two groups. This clearly shows that the turnout rate tends to be higher among 18-year-olds, who have many opportunities in high school to be educated on the rights and responsibilities of voters, than among 19-year-olds, many of whom are university students or members of the labor force.