National / Politics

30% of Japanese in late teens say Diet isn't improving people's lives, while 50% don't know either way

Kyodo

Thirty percent of Japanese in their upper teens who responded to a recent online survey said they believe the Diet is not helping to improve people’s lives, a nonprofit organization said Wednesday.

The opinion poll, held in February and targeting 800 people aged 17 to 19, showed the percentage of respondents disapproving of the Diet outnumbered the 20.9 percent of people who considered it useful.

It also showed that 49.1 percent of respondents said they do not know whether the Diet is playing a helpful role or not. The Nippon Foundation, which conducted the survey, said the results “reflect young people’s lack of interest in national politics.”

The organization has been conducting a series of surveys targeting youngsters on topics such as work, marriage and politics, with the aim of offering insight into the minds of young voters after the county lowered the voting age to 18 from the previous 20 in 2016.

The latest survey showed only 5.0 percent thought the Diet was serving as a place for meaningful policy debates, while 54.8 percent said they did not think that was the case.

Of those who responded negatively, 57.3 percent said lawmakers argue for conflicting goals and 50.2 percent said there are too many discussions not related to policies.

Asked what is needed to improve the functions of the Diet, 31.3 percent called for more female lawmakers, followed by 28.5 percent who sought a review on how to manage the Diet and 27.0 percent who proposed bringing in younger lawmakers and setting a cap on the number of times a Diet member can be re-elected.