Absentee voters get chance to cast ballots

Japanese voters living abroad were given a chance to cast their ballot Wednesday for the Sept. 11 House of Representatives election, with special offices opening in Sydney, Seoul, Beijing and other major cities.

Some voters appeared anxious when the election office opened at 9:30 a.m. at the Japanese Consulate General in Sydney.

“I have realized that it won’t solve any problems if I sit back and do nothing just because I’m living away from Japan,” said Yosuke Motai, 72, who has permanent resident status in Australia. “My biggest concern is the pension issue.”

A 37-year-old man who voted in Beijing said: “Nowadays, Japan’s relations with other countries have deepened. So the election’s outcome will directly affect Japan’s foreign policy, which will eventually affect our lives, too.”

The embassy in Seoul received a number of inquiries about the voting procedure prior to the opening of the election office.