• Kyodo

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A joint survey conducted by 17 newspapers has shown as much as 83.8 percent of readers joining it went to the polls in December’s Lower House election, far exceeding the official figure of 52.66 percent announced by the internal affairs ministry.

The result of the joint survey was released by individual newspapers as of Tuesday.

The survey was conducted online between Dec. 15 and 25, following the Lower House poll on Dec. 14, through the J-Monitor joint survey system that gauges the effectiveness of newspaper advertisement. A total of 5,193 eligible voters in their 20s to 60s residing in areas around Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka, as well as the prefectures of Hokkaido, Miyagi, Shizuoka, Hiroshima and Fukuoka, participated.

The results show 92.4 percent, the highest ratio, of respondents in their 60s voted in the December election. This was followed in order by those in their 50s and 40s, whose voter turnouts, respectively, reached 84.6 percent and 81.3 percent. Pollees in their 20s showed lowest figure, at 73.8 percent.

Asked about information sources used in their decision on who to vote for, 70.1 percent chose newspaper articles, followed in order by television programs excluding official programs featuring candidates speaking, official election bulletins, and official TV programs featuring candidates speaking, respectively representing 37.6 percent, 28.1 percent and 17.7 percent.

Although the election was the first after the ban on campaigns on the Internet was lifted, respondents who used online information sources represented small portions, with those who used websites of political parties or candidates representing 5.7 percent, while those using social media and social networking services totaled 4.0 percent.

In casting their ballots, most pollees attached importance to economic/growth policy, representing 40.4 percent, followed in order by nuclear power/energy policy, revisions in the consumption tax, and the pension system, respectively, at 38.0 percent, 35.5 percent and 32.5 percent.

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