Japanese public become increasingly opposed to nuclear

21 March 2013

Nearly three quarters of Japanese citizens surveyed by a newspaper in March, have called for the share of nuclear power in Japan to be decreased or phased out in future.

One fifth of the 1500 residents polled by The Yomiuri Shimbun voted for nuclear power to be abolished, according to data published by the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum (JAIF). Just over half (53%) voted for Japan to decrease its share of nuclear power, with 18% calling for the status quo to be maintained and a mere 4% for the nuclear share to increase.

The figures indicate that the Japanese public are becoming increasingly opposed to nuclear, which supplied around 30% of Japan's electricity prior to the Fukushima accident in March 2011. In an April 2011poll conducted by the same newspaper, the majority (56%) of residents voted for Japan to increase or maintain its nuclear share (see table below).


Public opinion surveys in Yomiuri Shimbun: "What should be the future of nuclear power in Japan?"
ResponseApril 2011March 2013
Decrease share2953
Increase share104

(Source: http://www.jaif.or.jp/english/news_images/pdf/ENGNEWS02_1363676511P.pdf )

The March survey also revealed that many people are concerned about radioactivity resulting from the Fukushima accident. Just under 30% said they are "very worried" about radioactivity affecting their heath or the health of their family. Almost a quarter said that they are "very worried" about the economic effects of the prolonged shutdown of Japanese nuclear power plants.

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