18-year-old Voters?


Why 18-year-old people can vote?

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June 17, 2015, the revised bill of Public Offices Election Law was passed in the Upper House plenary session, and was established.

Points of the new law

  • The age that can have the voting right will become greater than or equal to 18 years of age from 20 years old or more.
  • The age that can electioneer will also become so.

These are two big points.

The age that people can vote was pulled down for the first time in 70 years.

Read more information in "Voting Rights' History"

Why the law was amended

Japan's system was a minority


The percentage of the countries in which the voting right is given to up to 18 years of age
(2014/2 National Diet Library examined)

As the graph above shows, 92% of the 192 countries in the world give the voting right to 18-year-old.

Read more information on "In the world

Young people's opinions wull be reflected more


Age group voter turnout in the 2014 fiscal year general election
(Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications examined)

As the graph above shows, voter turnout of 20's is the lowest in another age.

In Japan, the declining birthrate and aging population have advanced. it is important that opinions of young people play a large part in the future society. The 18-year-old and 19-year-old takes a halt to this situation by being given the voting right, are expected to improve awareness of the election.

Various opinions

We're going to introduce the various opinions that have been submitted to the new law.

<Abridged translation> 18 and 19-year-old people that will get right to vote anew are 240 million people in total. They're only to the two percent of the entire electorate. It will not realize "politics that reached the young voice" in only 18 years of age vote. It's only a breakthrough.
It is important for 18 and 19-year-old people who became the voters not to turn its back on the polling place. The elderly who think "young people are serious about the country" should increases if the turnout of young people is surprisingly high.

- 18歳投票を日本の政治変える突破口に 日本経済新聞

<Abridged translation> Among the countries that are doing the election, there is also data that 90% are admitted the voting right from the age of 18. In the world, it can be said that should determine which has the responsibility if 18 years of age.
I think exam study and extracurricular activities also hard. But it's important to look at what is happening in society little by little, even from now. At school, "sovereign education" that raise awareness to participate in politics begins in earnest.

- 18歳選挙権Q&A…有権者240万人増 YOMIURI ONLINE
*Dead link

<Abridged translation> To deepen the idea through discussion with respecting also differ opinion with theirs is also to learn the rules of democracy. These education was poor so far. I want them to utilize media such as newspaper a great deal. Social consensus building that allows view to discussing politics in education is important more than anything.
Political parties have also been questioned. In that population decline and ultra-aging population, planning and appeal of policies for an eye on the younger generation more than ever is required.
If political participation of youth has progressed, it becomes a major power to change way of the politics. It is not a small vote that 18 and 19-year-old young people, including high school students vote with examining the political parties and candidates. We want to take care of the first step.

- 社説:18歳選挙権 若者こそ政治に参加を 毎日新聞
*Dead link

<Abridged translation> The world's trend is already "18 or older". I hope to become the opportunity that young people responsible for the future think proactively the course of Japan and reflect their views on politics.

- 【社説】18歳選挙権 主権者教育の拡充進めよ 西日本新聞
*Dead link

Efforts of candidates

Election activities in the Internet

Many candidates are campaigning using the Internet. In particular, prone environment of information gathering has been appointed for the young because candidates have increased who are taking advantage of "Twitter" and "Facebook" which a lot of young people are using.


For net utilization of the 47th House of Representatives election candidates
(勝つ!政治家.com examined)

*Campaign using the Internet has been lifted in May 26, 2013.

Opinions of Diet members

We would like to know opinions of Diet members who participate in the deliberations about 18-year-old voting rights.

We received opinions from two Diet members elected from Miyagi prefecture.

Mr.Wada Masamune(WEBSITE )

<Abridged translation>That it became to be able to display the intention to your town and country's politics by voting in a wide range is a basic right, and I can evaluate obediently.It is also effective as a mean of young people's getting interested in politics. We politicians need to appeal actively that politics are familiar by divise a way of information dissemination and our planning of politics.

Mr.Kumagai Yutaka(WEBSITE

By voting rights are lowered to young people, some of changes will happen. For example,
- Opinions of young people is reflected in the political,
- Politicians come to think the policy for young people,
- future-oriented policies increase.
But on the one hand, to reflect the voting behavior of young people,
- Overall voter turnout falls,
- Movement of violation imitation are deployed in the election activities in the Internet
- Talent Diet members increase for proportional vote
- Popular politicians come to take control the atmosphere of the world
There is a voice to be concerned about the surface, such as.
If you look in a comprehensive manner, it is great that young people's voice is reflected in the politics. Young people, thought politics, policy, to select the politician, and consider deeply the relationship between themselves and society more than ever through that.
In addition, we politicians, in response from everyone, will study more. In order to respond sincerely to the requirements of young people with understanding and interest in politics, we act, and sweat to make the policy.



  1. the law was amended to adapt to the situation of the world, and to allow more reflect the opinion of younger people.
  2. There are various opinions.
  3. Candidates are also gearing up.


I've found that the age given the voting right was reduced because of various reasons.

We're going to have the voting right two years later. We thought that to be interested in politics is the most important. To do this, collecting information myself and having my own thoughts are necessary. We'd like to continue not to miss the opportunity that has been given in order to express ourselves.


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