On Oct. 27, by-elections were held in seven districts throughout Japan for Diet seats that had been vacated by politicians forced to resign over scandals. If you weren’t aware of this, don’t feel bad. Not many people were. Average voter turnout was only about 33 percent. The media didn’t pay much attention either, since they were busy covering the returned abductees and their families.

A few enterprising journalists went out on the streets Monday and asked people if they had voted. People who said they didn’t vote gave various excuses, the most common being “there was no one on the ballot I liked.” And since the politicians weren’t popular among the populace, the media didn’t think it was in their interest to cover them.

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