Photo/IllutrationA voter casts a ballot at a polling station in Tokyo’s Chuo Ward shortly after noon on July 21. (Kazutaka Eguchi)

Instead of casting her ballot in the July 21 Upper House election, Azusa Hikasa of Osaka Prefecture chose to take a weekend trip to Tokyo.

“Even if I vote, nothing will change,” said Hikasa, 47, who was walking near Shinbashi Station in Tokyo's Minato Ward.

Hikasa was like many voters who decided to sit the Upper House election out.

Turnout was the second lowest of Japan’s postwar Upper House elections, 48.8 percent, meaning more than half of voters did not go to the polls.

Hikasa said she feels politics are disconnected from the lives of average people and that she has given up hope of ever receiving a pension.

“It's up to me to look after my future on my own,” she added.

A 52-year-old company employee who lives in Funabashi, Chiba Prefecture, said he was worried about Japan's falling population and whether the county's pension system will be able to support him when he retires.

But despite expressing displeasure with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration, he wasn't moved to vote for an opposition party or cast a ballot at all.

“I can't see them offering any concrete policies. They're only criticizing (the ruling parties),” he said.

A 66-year-old unemployed resident of Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture, said he saw no reason to vote.

“The election was only conducted because it was time to hold one," he said. "I can't figure out what it was for."

The man said political parties seem to have little interest in vulnerable members of society like the disabled, poor and needy, who he said should be supported.

“I want (politicians) to deal with more grass-roots issues instead of discussing things like constitutional revision,” he said.