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LDP eyes minimum voter age of 18 for constitutional referendums

Kyodo

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party will try to lower the voting age for national referendums on constitutional amendments from 20 to 18, party lawmakers said Tuesday.

The LDP panel on constitutional revision is proposing that the minimum age to vote remain at 20 years old for four years and then be lowered to 18 afterward.

The proposed change would not lower the minimum voting age from 20 for any other type of election.

The panel’s proposal includes submitting a bill to the Diet in mid-February.

The lawmakers said the proposal drew no dissent when it was put before the LDP’s decision-making General Council.

The panel, headed by Lower House member Kosuke Hori, sought last fall to file a bill setting the minimum age at 18 with no transition period, but opposition from within the party forced it to change tack and delay the change by four years.

The LDP and its junior coalition partner, New Komeito, agreed in December on the new strategy. They will seek opposition support, the lawmakers said.