More than a third of residents of Fukushima Prefecture would move to avoid radiation if they could, according to a survey by The Asahi Shimbun and TV Asahi Corp.-affiliated stations.
In a telephone poll, 941 people in Fukushima were asked: "If possible, would you like to live in places inside and outside the prefecture where radiation levels are low in order to avoid damage caused by radioactivity?"
Thirty-four percent of respondents said they would move, while 62 percent said they would not.
Fifty-five percent of respondents from households with children up to junior high school age wanted to move. Twenty-five percent of respondents with no children said they wanted to relocate.
Of the people who wanted to move, 37 percent said finding a job and 25 percent said moving away from a familiar environment were major obstacles.
Among those who did not want to go, 59 percent said leaving their home community was a key factor. About 18 percent said they were not particularly concerned about radiation risks.
Forty-eight percent of respondents said they were making efforts to minimize their exposure to radiation in their daily lives, with that figure rising to 71 percent among people with children.
The polling of the Fukushima residents was part of a wider survey of 2,787 people in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima Prefectures in early September.
Sixty-six percent of respondents in Fukushima Prefecture, 47 percent in Iwate Prefecture and 53 percent in Miyagi Prefecture said the damage from the disaster could have been reduced by better disaster-prevention planning by central and municipal governments.
Respondents in the three prefectures were asked whether they thought people in their prefectures would be able to return to their pre-quake normality "within three years," "in more than five years," "within 10 years" or "in more than 10 years."
Sixty-eight percent of Fukushima respondents said it would take longer than 10 years to get back to normal. In Iwate and Miyagi prefectures, 40 percent of respondents thought it would take longer than 10 years and another 40 percent chose the "within 10 years" option.
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