Comedy-Based Workshops for Young Voters Spreading in Japan


Tokyo, July 17 (Jiji Press)--Workshops at schools that utilize comedy or games to encourage young people to become involved in politics are spreading in Japan ahead of Sunday's House of Councillors election, the third national poll to be conducted after the lowering of the voting age to 18 from 20.

Lecturers at such workshops incorporate such entertainment elements to allow students to easily understand political issues, hoping to persuade them to go to the polls.

According to the internal affairs ministry, the voter turnout for people in their teens stood at 46.78 pct in the 2016 election of the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of Japan's parliament, in which 18- and 19-year-olds cast their votes for the first time ever. But the young voters' turnout fell to 40.49 pct in the 2017 election of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber.

Nana Takamatsu, 26, a comedian and a board director at Shokasonjuku, a Tokyo-based company that raises questions about social issues through comedy, has been giving workshops at high schools across Japan jointly with other comedians, aiming to convince the students that they can change politics through their ballots.

The number of students who have participated in the company's workshops has surpassed 10,000.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press