Less than a quarter of eligible voters had cast ballots as of 2 p.m. on Sunday, reflecting an apparent lack of public interest in the snap Lower House election.

Voting stations opened across the country early Sunday morning, for an election that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe touted as a referendum on his "Abenomics" economic policies.

By 2 p.m., voter turnout had reached 22.66 percent — some 4.74 percentage points lower than in the previous Lower House election in December 2012 — the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry said.