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Friday, 27th January 2012
In General Japan News,

Government to discuss allowing 18-year-olds to vote

The government in Japan is set to initiate talks concerning cutting the voting age from 20 as it currently stands to 18, Osamu Fujimura, the chief cabinet secretary, announced yesterday (January 26th).

While a move to include 18-year-olds in the democratic process have been ongoing for some time, official talks will begin in February for the first time since April 2010, the Japan Times reported.

A panel lead by a deputy chief cabinet secretary will consider the issue, though Mr Fujimura conceded it is improbable that a bill will be presented during the current Diet session.

"It is a very, very difficult issue and needs to be thoroughly and carefully discussed," the news provider quoted him as saying.

"I think it would be extremely difficult to submit it to the current Diet session."

Were the government to decide to amend the constitution to give 18-year-olds the right to vote it would have consequences for around 250 other laws, such as the legal age of drinking and smoking.

At the recent coming of age ceremony in Japan there were fewer youngsters present than ever before due to the country's declining birth rate.

Written by Kimberley Homer

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