Japanese voters head to the polls in a national
election on Sunday. The election for the upper house of parliament,
the House of Councilors, is looking rather one-sided.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party appears set to win a level of parliamentary
dominance never before seen in post-war Japan. If the L-D-P and its allies return a two-thirds
majority in the house, they would have enough votes to amend the country’s pacifist constitution.
Despite the stakes, some analysts expect the election to record the lowest voter turnout
in Japan’s history. Even with the voting age lowered from 20 down
to 18 for the first time in a national election,… the first test of the new system — a local
mayoral election in southwestern Japan — had a voter turnout of only 38-point-4 percent
for voters aged 18 and 19… compared to overall turnout of more than 56 percent.