Tokyo (ANTARA) - A senior lawmaker appealed to more than 1.7 million registered voters living abroad, including those in Japan, to cast their votes instead of abstaining from voting in the 2024 General Elections.

The call for not abstaining from voting, or "Golput," was echoed by Kurniasih Mufidayati, a member of Indonesia's House of Representatives (DPR) while speaking at the Diaspora Festival in Tokyo on Sunday.

Voter participation is meaningful for enhancing the country's national development, Mufidayati, who is again running for a DPR seat with the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), stated.

Mufidayati also raised the protection issue for both migrant workers and members of the Indonesian diaspora in Japan at the event.

To protect the migrant workers' rights, a government-to-government agreement on comprehensive migrant worker protection is needed to ensure the fulfilment of their rights, she remarked.

The rights are stipulated in employment contracts, including those related to get prayer breaks during working hours and availability of halal food at the workplace, she remarked.

According to Mufidayati, the protection of migrant workers' rights in Japan has been "good enough" as marked by the availability of health insurance and pension schemes for them.

However, in several countries, such as Japan, Hongkong (China), and South Korea, the workers' rights to get prayer breaks and halal food at workplaces had still been ignored.

"We have raised this matter at our hearing session with the government," Mufidayati, who is currently a member of the House's Commission IX overseeing health and manpower, remarked.

Referring to data issued by the Japanese immigration authority, as of December 2022, the number of foreign nationals residing in Japan was recorded at 3.08 million, out of which some 59,820 were Indonesians.

Currently, the number of Indonesian citizens living and working in Japan has increased to almost 100 thousand, she stated.

With regard to the number of Indonesians whose names have been registered in the final voter list (DPT) for the 2024 General Elections, the Overseas Election Committee (PPLN)-Tokyo recorded 29,434 voters.

They comprise 18,334 women and 11,100 men. A total of 26,587 voters will cast their votes through postal services, while 2,847 voters will go to voting booths.

ANTARA reported earlier that around 1,750,474 voters living abroad will cast their votes during the 2024 General Elections, according to the General Elections Commission (KPU).

They will be served by 128 PPLNs and will cast their votes at 828 polling stations through 1,580 mobile voting boxes and 651 postal services.

The KPU also announced that the presidential and parliamentary elections will be held simultaneously across Indonesia on February 14.

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Translator: Juwita TR, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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