After watching this, we’re not sure if they’re actually trying to encourage young people to go the ballot box, or give them a seizure.
If any of you fine people out there have been following the presidential nomination contests leading up to the next U.S. presidential election in November, you might be aware that young, first-time voters have been coming out in droves compared to past elections, and in record-breaking numbers.
Many of them have been inspired by Bernie Sanders, a senator from Vermont and the underdog in this year’s Democratic primary, attributed in part to the senator’s effective campaign tactics on popular social media networks like Facebook and Twitter.
Perhaps trying to replicate Sanders’ success, the city of Tokyo has come out with a new promotional video to encourage 18-year-olds to get out and rock their newly acquired vote, featuring popular model Peko and her boyfriend Ryucheru, one of the faces of Japan’s new androgynous, genderless-kei (genderless style) movement, and a slew of other strange characters.
In a little over a decade, youth voter turnout in Japan has dropped more than 20 percent, and as of 2012 there were even fewer young people voting in Japan than in the United States.
With over 10 percent of the country’s population concentrated in Tokyo, it makes sense that the government would want to focus on young adults living in the nation’s capital first.
Although the next House of Representatives election is still two years away, the House of Councillors election will take place this summer. Only time will tell if efforts like these will prove fruitful in enticing young adults to register and participate in upcoming elections, but once you watch the video it’s hard to un-see! The whole thing looks like something you’d find in a music video by J-pop star Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, while ballot box character TOHYO’s excitement rivals that of Funassyi.
The only thing the government seems to be missing now is a compelling new candidate, like Sanders has been in the U.S., to light a fire amongst Japanese youth.