Japan’s parliamentary election campaign kicked off on Wednesday in the first nationwide balloting after the voting age was lowered to 18 from 20.
Up for grabs in the July 10 vote are 121 seats, or half of the seats in Parliament’s less powerful upper house.
The pro-business ruling party is hoping for a show of support for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s “Abenomics” program to revive the economy, while the opposition is criticizing his efforts to have Japan play a bigger global security role.
- Malaysia’s PM Najib Razak to face toughest election yet on Wednesday
- Japan, Cambodia sign $90 million aid agreement
- Japan ruling coalition appears headed to clear election win
- Japan: Economy, security key issues in coming upper house elections
- Japan Elections: Polling started early Sunday
- Japan gears up for decisive election
Old-style loyalties have generally been critical in Japanese elections, so the addition of 2 million younger voters will be closely watched to see if there is any change to that.
Abe’s ruling coalition holds a two-thirds majority in the more powerful lower house.
The splintered opposition sorely disappointed the public over what was widely seen as its fumbling response to the 2011 quake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in northeastern Japan when it was in power.