The lower house of the Diet on Thursday passed a bill to amend the Public Offices Election Law in order to lower the voting age in Japan from 20 to 18.
The bill will next go to the upper house where it is expected to be passed into law in mid-June. 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.
The move will bring Japan into line with other developed countries. Currently, 176 countries have the voting age at 18, while in only 14 countries, including Japan, it is 20.
Japan last changed its voting rules in the months after its 1945 surrender in World War II, altering the age at which citizens could cast their ballot from 25 to 20.© Japan Today/AFP