In an effort to get young adults engaged in the vote for the next Tokyo governor on Dec 16, election committee officials have recruited J-pop idol group AKB48 to publicize the election.
About 100,000 posters and digital splash screens featuring AKB48 members are to be displayed around the city in the run-up to the vote. Campaigning begins on Nov 29.
Minami Takahashi, 21, Tomomi Itano, 21, and Yui Yokoyama, 19, will all feature on the posters, next to the slogan , “I choose the next Tokyo governor.”
A dedicated webpage and Facebook page, a first for a Tokyo gubernatorial election, are also scheduled for launch on Nov 26 to raise awareness of the election among young people.
AKB48 was also recruited to help get people to the polling booths in April 2011, but the sudden resignation of longtime Gov Shintaro Ishihara last month has resulted in a second AKB48 drive sooner than expected.
The percentage of Tokyoites over 20 years of age who voted following AKB48’s campaign in 2011 was reportedly 57.8%, a 3.45% increase on 2007. Among 20-40 year-olds, the increase is thought to have been as much as 6%.