The voting age in Japan is set to be lowered from 20 to 18 in the current Diet session, the first such revision to the election law in 70 years. The two ruling coalition parties and four opposition entities agreed to the measure Feb. 6. As all six parties occupy a majority in the Diet, it is certain to be passed. The policy change will almost certainly be first applied to the next Upper House election, scheduled to be held in summer 2016. The voting age was last lowered in 1945, from 25 to 20. Officials noted that the change will bring Japan into the international norm. According to the National Diet Library, people aged 18 or older have voting rights in about 90 percent of approximately 190 countries or regions in the world whose data is available. In some countries, the voting age is as low as 16.
The six parties that agreed to the change are: the Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner Komeito; the opposition Democratic Party of Japan; Japan Innovation Party; Party for Future Generations; and New Renaissance Party.
A group of lawmakers submitted the revisions to the Public Offices Election Law to the extraordinary Diet session in 2014, but they were scrapped as the Lower House was dissolved for a snap election.