The voter turnout as of 2PM was 27.4%, says Yomiuri Shinbun, 7.79% lower than in the 2009 election.
People on Twitter are reporting a huge turnout, despite the media report. I asked my parents how crowded the polling station was. They both said it was very crowded.
We'll see soon enough.
Kyodo News is reporting that the number of voters who have cast their votes as of 11AM on December 16 is running lower than the previous Lower House election in 2009, when the Democratic Party of Japan won in landslide.
From Kyodo News (12/16/2012; part):
Voting for the 46th election of the Lower House started at the stations all over the country at 7AM on December 16. The voter turnout as of 11AM is 14.03% (national average), 7.34 points lower than the last election's 21.37%.
The so-called "third pole" parties have failed to make their cases to the voters, including Boy-wonder's party (Japan Restoration Party) and Ms. Yukiko Kada's Japan Future Party. They were all caught flat-footed when on November 14 Prime Minister Noda announced the dissolution of the Lower House and called the election in December 16, (at least) several months earlier than they had anticipated.
Ms. Kada's party which many net citizens continue to have high hopes for its stance on nuclear power disappointed me for the lack of specificity on its "graduating from nuclear" platform and extremely weak policies on just about everything else (see my posts, here and here).
I recently learned that Ms. Kada as the governor of Shiga Prefecture, which sits right next to Fukui Prefecture with "Nuclear Ginza Boulevard", ditched the fixed monitoring stations for radioactive materials and replaced them with one mobile monitoring vehicle, 6 months before the Fukushima accident. Her reason? "Why waste money?" The single monitoring car has been monitoring locations in Shiga Prefecture ever since the nuclear accident.
Well she can keep the money. I hope she won't come to the national politics.