As Japan’s newly enfranchised teen voters make up their minds ahead of the July 10 House of Councillors election, the country’s political parties are taking their online campaign videos beyond the mundane to appeal to the youth vote. Since internet campaigning was legalized in 2013, parties’ online election campaign videos have tended to be limited to footage of leaders’ public speeches or press conferences. But with approximately 2.4 million new voters aged 18 and 19 joining the electorate in time for the upper house race after the voting age was lowered from 20, the parties are exploring new territory as they vie to become a familiar presence on young people’s smartphones.
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party has turned its comic book aimed at teen voters into a short animation and uploaded it online. The video, which aims to get new voters more interested in elections, features a high school student who decides to vote in a bid to impress her crush. “(The message) should come across easily to young people, who watch a lot of videos,” an LDP member said.
A video series by the main opposition Democratic Party puts a pair of popular teen models in a classroom and has them talk to each other about the election against a ukulele backing track.
One tells the other she should go to the ballot box for the experience of it, urging her to post a commemorative picture to the photo-sharing network Instagram. The Democratic Party has also released a series of animated infographics on economic and social issues.