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Japan Teenagers to Vote in General Election for First Time (News)

Tokyo, Oct. 10 (Jiji Press)—The October 22 House of Representatives election will give Japanese voters aged 18 and 19 the first opportunity to cast ballots to select lawmakers in the all-important lower chamber of the country's Diet. During the official election campaign period, which kicked off Tuesday, both ruling and opposition parties will likely try to win the teenage votes by highlighting…
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Niigata Voters Elect Antinuclear Governor in Blow to Abe’s Energy Policy

Antinuclear candidate Yoneyama Ryūichi won the Niigata gubernatorial contest on October 16, 2016, in a setback to the government’s efforts to restart Tokyo Electric Power’s largest nuclear plant, Kashiwazaki-Kariwa, located in the prefecture. Yoneyama, a doctor seeking office for the first time as an independent, ran on a platform of opposition to a restart and won the backing of the Japanese Comm…
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Teen Voters and Politics in JapanSatō Shin

This July, in the first national election since the lowering of the voting age, young people seemed to endorse the status quo. But voting is not the only form of political activity. Adult voters should reconsider their own approach to politics.
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Will Lowering the Voting Age Change Japanese Politics?Sugawara Taku

In June 2015, an amendment to the Public Offices Election Act lowering the voting age from 20 to 18 was enacted by the Diet. Starting with next year’s House of Councillors contest, over 2 million new voters will be able to take part in elections. Political commentator Sugawara Taku examines the potential impact of the new voting age on the Japanese political landscape.
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Timeline for March 2015

The nation remembers the Great East Japan Earthquake, German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits Tokyo, and the Hokuriku Shinkansen service goes into operation. These are the major Japanese stories of March 2015.
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Online Media in Japan: Can the Huffington Approach Succeed?Ōtani Kōta

My previous article looked at how election campaigns in Japan have entered the Internet age, and concluded by emphasizing the key role of online media in conveying the messages of politicians to voters. The Internet provides a constant stream of information, most of which is instantly buried and goes unnoticed. Voters have a hard time picking up relevant information, so the media needs to help wit…
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The Value of a Vote: Addressing the Disparities in Japan’s Electoral SystemMizushima Asaho

For more than 50 years Japan has seen lawsuits against disparities in the value of voters’ ballots, with sparsely populated districts punching above their weight compared to crowded urban ones. The courts now appear to be moving to address this unconstitutional status. Is change afoot?
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Election Campaigns Finally Enter the Internet AgeŌtani Kōta

There is considerable interest in Japan at present in the revision of the Public Offices Election Law to lift the ban on the use of the Internet for election campaigns. On April 12 a bill to revise the law was unanimously approved at a House of Representatives (lower house) plenary session. The bill is expected to be approved by the House of Councillors (upper house) as well, paving the way for t…
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The Changing Face of Decentralization MovesHitora Tadashi

With the Liberal Democratic Party’s emphatic victory in the December 2012 lower house election, it looks as though there will be substantial changes to the way that administrative reform to decentralize power in Japan is implemented from here on out. There is a good chance that the discussion will pivot away from talk of expanding the powers of the current prefectures and municipalities, turnin…
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An Uncertain Year Ahead Following the Leadership ElectionsMasuzoe Yōichi

Leadership elections for Japan’s two largest political parties took place in September 2012. While Prime Minister Noda Yoshihiko easily retained control of the governing Democratic Party of Japan, the contest was considerably more eventful for the opposition Liberal Democratic Party. The incumbent president, Tanigaki Sadakazu, withdrew from the competition, leaving a battle between five contenders…
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