Survey: Most Japanese think Fukushima nuclear accident not settled

July 18, 2013

By SHIGEKO SEGAWA / Staff Writer

The vast majority of Japanese, 94 percent, think the nuclear accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant triggered by the earthquake and tsunami two years ago has not been put under control, a survey showed.

A research team led by Hirotada Hirose, a professor emeritus of Tokyo Woman's Christian University, sent out questionnaires in March to 1,200 people across the nation ranging in age from 15 to 79.

According to the survey, 94 percent said that they thought the nuclear accident had not been settled. When asked for reasons, many responded that radioactive substances were still leaking from the stricken plant.

As far as who the respondents said they trust, 33 percent said disaster information disseminated from the central government and its ministries and agencies was the most untrustworthy, while 2 percent chose local governments as the most unreliable source of disaster information.

“An (effective) nuclear policy is impossible unless the central government wins the understanding and support of not only local residents living in areas that host nuclear power plants but also the support of all the people in Japan,” Hirose said.

Twenty-three percent of respondents said they believe it is only a matter of time before another accident will occur if nuclear plant operators resume operations at now-idle reactors, while 57 percent said they think a similar nuclear disaster will likely happen.

Thirty-one percent said nuclear power should be abandoned as soon as possible, whereas 54 percent said Japan should phase out nuclear power over time.

The research team presented the findings to a meeting of the Cabinet Office's Atomic Energy Commission on July 17.

By SHIGEKO SEGAWA / Staff Writer
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The No. 3 reactor building, front, and the No. 4 reactor building, back, at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant are seen here on June 11. (Pool)

The No. 3 reactor building, front, and the No. 4 reactor building, back, at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant are seen here on June 11. (Pool)

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  • The No. 3 reactor building, front, and the No. 4 reactor building, back, at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant are seen here on June 11. (Pool)

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