Matcha Ice Cream Is Being Used to Entice Japanese Teens to Vote

Who in the hell needs free will when you have glorious soft serve to awaken your taste buds and newfound sense of patriotism?

by Alex Swerdloff
Jun 29 2016, 7:00pm

Politicians try all sorts of things to entice uncertain voters to cast ballots in their favor during an election, including the following: lubricating kisses aimed at the perilously dry heads of unsuspecting toddlers; limited edition T-shirts with just enough tensile strength to silently suffocate one's conservative neighbor in style; and New Jack City-esque turkeys that may or may not have been purchased with the cash from a thousand drug deals. These are just a few of the methods of luring voters that immediately pop into our minds upon hearing about what is being handed out this election season in Japan.

No matter our political leanings, we can all agree that there's truly no greater motivational tool on this bright, blue marble than some delightfully refreshing ice cream. Just think about how many cold-blooded despots would be made more palatable to the electorate if they were only seen walking around with a cone or two of rocky road.

This is a truth that Tsujiri, a 156-year-old Japanese tea company, is well aware of. That's why the company is offering Japanese teens heavily discounted matcha soft-serve in return for casting a vote during the Upper House election early next month.

As reported by RocketNews24, Tsujiri will be offering matcha soft serve for the discounted price of $0.98 to all who bring a proof-of-voting form to their Kyomachi, Uomachi, and Colette locations throughout Fukuoka Prefecture.

The move is part of a larger push to attract Japanese teens to vote, after a bill that lowered the voting age from 20 to 18 took effect earlier this month. Most nations worldwide have set their voting ages to 18. Earlier this year, Japan joined the consensus. The law was passed in an effort to engage a generation known for its political apathy and cynicism.

The discounted matcha promotion is part of a larger initiative known as "Senkyo Wari" or "Election Discount." Organized by the Japanese Youth Corporation, the program offers teen voters discounts on a number of different products and services, including food, beauty treatments, and tire services. Tsujiri is hoping that discounted matcha is the key to getting Japanese teens into the polls.

Who in the hell needs free will when you have glorious soft serve to awaken your taste buds and newfound sense of patriotism?