The July 21 Upper House election was the first election in which the use of the Internet was allowed for campaign purposes. Apparently it did not help to increase voter turnout. But it did make more information available to voters in making a decision. Parties and candidates should improve their use of the Internet to deepen their dialogue with voters.

According to Kyodo News exit polls, 10.2 percent of the voters said that they used information from the Internet in making their voting decisions. But 86.1 percent said that they did not use such information. The older the voter, the less likely he or she was to use the Internet. Of voters in their 20s, 23.9 percent said that they used information from the Internet — the biggest percentage — followed by 17.9 percent of voters in their 30s.

Voter turnout was 52.61 percent — 5.31 percentage points lower than in the July 2010 Upper House election — for the third lowest in the postwar years. There were many important election issues and the focus of the campaign became blurred.