Awareness Survey of 18-Year-Olds – Local Legislative AssembliesResults of 55th installment announced – Low interest among young people in upcoming unified elections, with roughly half not knowing local assemblies’ roles
With local elections to take place across Japan in April, the 55th installment of the Awareness Survey of 18-Year-Olds, launched by The Nippon Foundation in October 2018, was carried out from February 22 to 27 on the subject of “Local Legislative Assemblies.” The survey found that, of young people aged 18 and older who are residents of prefectures or municipalities where elections are scheduled, roughly 15% were aware of the upcoming elections. Of those respondents, more than 80% intend to vote, but that still means that only roughly 12% of all young people will vote.
Almost half of all respondents did not know the roles of local legislative assemblies, and when asked whether prefectural or municipal assemblies were fulfilling their roles, close to half of respondents replied “Don’t know,” indicating low interest among young people. The top expectations of local assemblies were to “Create opportunities to hear the opinions and wishes of residents” and “Provide consultation to residents who are having problems,” and many replied that to increase the number of people willing to serve in assemblies, governments should encourage young people and women to run for office.
Note: “Nationwide local elections,” also referred to as “unified local elections,” refers to local elections for prefectural governors, city mayors, and prefectural and municipal legislative assemblies held every four years, in which prefectures and municipalities are encouraged to hold their elections on the same days to increase voter interest and reduce administrative costs. This year’s nationwide local elections are scheduled for April 9 and April 23.
Highlights of the 55th Awareness Survey of 18-Year-Olds – Local Legislative Assemblies
Awareness of upcoming elections in areas where an election is scheduled
(Covering only respondents aged 18 and older who are residents of prefectures or municipalities where elections are scheduled)
- Election will be held in my prefecture/municipality – 15.4%
- No election to be held in my prefecture/municipality – 3.2%
- Don’t know – 13.7%
- Not aware that local elections being held at all – 67.7%
- * Totals of “Did not know that election being held + Don’t know what a nationwide local election is.”
Intention to vote in local election
(Covering only respondents who were aware of election being held)
Will vote – 81.5%
- *Total of “Will vote” + “Probably will vote.”
Will not vote – 13.1%
- *Total of “Will not vote” + “Probably will not vote.”
- Haven’t decided / Don’t know – 5.4%
Knowledge of local assembly’s roles
- Local decision-making body – 32.2%
- Making proposals to governor / mayor – 28.8%
- Expressing opinions that reflect the consensus of residents – 28.4%
- Oversight of executive bodies – 20.2%
- Don’t know the roles of local assembly – 46.7%
Expectations of local assembly
- Create opportunities to hear the opinions and wishes of residents – 35.2%
- Provide consultation to residents who are having problems – 32.7%
- None in particular – 36.1%
Measures to increase the number of people willing to serve in local assemblies
(Covering only respondents who replied that the number should be increased)
- Encourage young people to run for office – 49.1%
- Encourage women to run for office – 37.2%
About the Awareness Survey of 18-Year-Olds
Revisions to Japan’s Civil Code lowering the age of adulthood to 18 for a range of activities, including voting, took effect in April 2022, making it even more important to understand and record the awareness of the 18-year-olds who represent Japan’s next generation. With this in mind, in October 2018 The Nippon Foundation launched the Awareness Survey of 18-Year-Olds, as an ongoing survey of 1,000 young men and women across Japan aged around 18, to survey their values, attitudes toward politics and elections, understanding of social issues, and other current themes on an ongoing basis.
- From the 13th survey, the number of respondents, comprising men and women aged 17 to 19, has been increased to 1,000 from 800.
- With the exception of the 20th and 46th installments, “Awareness Survey of Society and Country,” all surveys cover respondents in Japan only.
Public Relations Team
The Nippon Foundation
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org