Japan to lower voting age, report says

2015-02-07 13:15
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks at a meeting on Japanese hostages taken by the Islamic State group. (Shizuo Kambayashi, AFP)

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks at a meeting on Japanese hostages taken by the Islamic State group. (Shizuo Kambayashi, AFP)

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Tokyo - The Japanese parliament is expected to lower the voting age to 18 from 20 currently, a report said on Saturday, in the first such change to the law in seven decades.

Six ruling and opposition parties have agreed to submit the necessary legislation later this month, with the Diet (Japan's legislature) due to approve the change by early May, the Asahi Shimbun newspaper said.

If approved, the proposed change would add some 2.4 million new voters to the electorate, granting them the right to participate in elections as soon as the summer of 2016, when a vote for the Diet's upper house will be held.

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