18-year-old Voters?



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With this law amendment, in Japan over the age of 18 men and women get the voting right.

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Nowadays discrimination is not by revenue, the voting right has been given equally, but it does not mean had been given from the beginning to everyone.

We summarized what has changed in how the target given the voting right and the circumstances in which the voting right has been established in Japan.

Before the establishment of an electional system in Japan

The voting right to National election was given to citizens in 1889 for the first time.

Meiji Constitution was made by legislators who won the election and organized the Diet. And it was promulgated in that year.

The House of Representatives shall be composed of members elected by the people, according to the provisions of the Law of Election.

- The Constitution of the Empire of Japan・Article 35

Constitution promulgation scheme (Chikanobu Yoshu image)

Transition plans

At that time, the voting right was not given to all citizens.

It was restricted by the amount they pay taxes. And the restriction by age was more severe. We summarized the change of the restriction below.

All men and women who are
1889Meiji Contitutionmore than 25-year-old men who payed
Direct national tax ¥ 15 or more
1900 more than 25-year-old men who payed
Direct national tax ¥ 10 or more
1914World War I
1919Suffrage movementmore than 25-year-old men who payed
Direct national tax ¥ 3 or more
1920New Women's Association formed  
1925Ordinary election law promulgatedmore than 25-year-old men
Elimination of tax conditions
1945Potsdam Declarationmore than 20-year-old 48%


Scope to be given the voting right was expanded through a long time and a lot of difficulties. These are results of activities aimed to the national election right acquisition.

How to exercise a given voting right is the challenge that was given to us.


Let's review about this page.

Challenge Quiz


This page's reference materials can be read here.

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