Photo/IllutrationThe Asahi Shimbun

Half of teenage voters cast their ballots for the ruling parties, the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito, in the proportional representation portion of the July 10 Upper House election, according to exit polls conducted by The Asahi Shimbun.

The nation's 18- and 19-year-olds, who were enfranchised for the first time in Japan’s history, responded that they placed more importance on issues that are relevant to them now and in the near future: the economy, employment and the consumption tax.

The LDP and Komeito jointly accounted for half the proportional representation votes from the teenage and 20s age groups. In other age groups, the parties fell just short of gaining half the voting share.

By age group, younger people voted proportionately more for the ruling parties, and older people tended to lean more toward the opposing parties. The 20s age group delivered the largest proportion of votes for the ruling parties, at 52 percent all together, followed by the underage group, at 50 percent.

Of the teenagers, 40 percent voted for the LDP, 10 percent for Komeito, 17 percent for the main opposition Democratic Party, 8 percent for Initiatives from Osaka, and 8 percent for the Japanese Communist Party (JCP).

Forty-five percent of males and 35 percent of females aged 18 to 19 voted for the LDP.

In terms of issues, 28 percent of young people chose the economy and employment as their top concern, the most common choice, followed by social security at 15 percent, the Constitution at 14 percent, child support at 13 percent, the consumption tax at 11 percent, and foreign affairs and national security at 8 percent.

In comparison to the other age groups, the teenagers accounted for the highest percentage of respondents choosing the consumption tax as their top concern.

The exit polls were conducted at 3,660 polling stations around Japan, and 182,646 valid responses were received.