Most Japanese think that the Fukushima nuclear disaster, caused by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that hit the northeastern part of the country, is still not under control, this according to the result of a survey. A research team sent out questionnaires in March to people across the nation for their opinions regarding Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO)’s handling of the decommissioning of the Fukushima reactors, and the vast majority responded that they think the accident has not been settled.
The team, headed by Hirotada Hirose, a professor emeritus of Tokyo Woman’s Christian University, sent the survey to 1,200 people all across Japan, with ages ranging from 15 to 79. According to the data from the survey, 94 percent of the respondents said that it was in their opinion that the Fukushima nuclear disaster has not been controlled effectively. Their primary reasons for thinking this way was that according to them, radioactive substances were still leaking from the disaster-stricken plant. As far as trust ratings went, 33 percent of all people surveyed said that disaster information from the central government and its ministries and agencies were the “most untrustworthy”. The local governments were the least affected by the trust questions, with only 2 percent choosing them as unreliable sources of disaster information.
When the data from the survey is analyzed, Hirose said that the government’s nuclear policies need to take the general public’s perception into consideration. “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. Also included in this survey, 31 percent said nuclear power should be abandoned as soon as possible, while 54 percent are of the opinion that Japan should phase out nuclear power over time.