Japan Citizens Favor Zero Nuclear in Debate Over Energy Options – Businessweek
Japan’s public wants the government to phase out nuclear power according to the results of town hall-like forums to give the public a say in the debate on the nation’s energy supply post-Fukushima.
The forums brought together 286 citizens for two days in early August in Tokyo from thousands surveyed by phone. They were broken into smaller groups to discuss and vote on three energy supply options the government proposed: Zero nuclear, 15 percent nuclear, and 20 percent to 25 percent nuclear.
A total 47 percent opted for zero nuclear, 16 percent favored the nuclear ratio at 15 percent, while 13 percent endorsed 20-25 percent, according to a report by Yasunori Sone, a professor of political science at Keio University and the head of the group that organized the survey for the government. The remainder chose more than one option, said Sone’s report.
The poll results “indicate Japanese citizens are prepared for a policy shift to green energy from nuclear power and consequent lifestyle changes and cost burdens,” according to the report.
The results of the poll will be used in deciding the country’s long-term energy policy, which may be drafted as early as the end of next week. Tens of thousands of Japanese citizens have held weekly demonstrations in Tokyo since March opposing nuclear power and the restart of reactors closed for safety checks after the Fukushima disaster.
The March 11 earthquake and tsunami last year caused reactor meltdowns and radiation leaks at Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501)’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant, forcing the evacuation of about 160,000 people and destroying fishery and farming industries.