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For town, city and prefectural government offices around Japan, the key issue in next month’s Upper House election is not constitutional revision or the economy. It’s persuading 18-year-olds to go to the polls.

While political pundits pointedly pontificate about the 2.4 million new youth votes, local election commissions are making efforts to explain to 18- and 19-year-olds why casting a ballot is critical to Japan’s future, especially now that some candidates are as old as their grandparents and taking up unfamiliar topics.

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