The issue to be addressed with this project, was that not many young people in Japan are interested in politics in general. For example, voter turnout among 18- and 19-year-olds in the national election of 2019 stood at 31.33%. Several surveys show, that much less of Japanese youth Japan believe that they can change their society or their country, compared to other G7 countries. Senior Fellow Eiko Oguchi believes that such low sense of self-efficacy in the society is connected to a low sense of self-esteem. An issue she really wanted to change.
In order to raise awareness of the importance of political participation, and how our lives are connected to politics, Eiko, in collaboration with Development Education Association and Resource Center, organised a five-day online workshop for high school students in Japan. She invited a young Japanese activist as a guest, discussed how to lobby, and held a mock election.
The student filled out psychological questionnaires before and after the workshop, which showed a large improve in the perspectives of self-efficacy or interests in politics.
“This is the first time I know that young people also can involve in politics even when they are too young to vote or even if they don’t have a great amount of knowledge about that”
“Now I would love to participate in solving social issues. In Japan, many people might hesitate to say ‘We create this society’, but I would like to be the one who can say that. “