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information about Fukushima published in English in Japanese media info publiée en anglais dans la presse japonaise



February 28, 2019


Survey: 52% in Fukushima see progress toward recovery




The Asahi Shimbun


For the first time, more than half of residents in Fukushima Prefecture feel that progress has been made toward recovery from the 2011 triple disaster, a survey showed.

But the majority believe that at least two decades will be needed for the prefecture to return to conditions before the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, caused the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, according to the telephone survey conducted by The Asahi Shimbun and Fukushima Broadcasting Co. on Feb. 23-24.

A combined 52 percent of respondents said either some or much progress had been made toward recovery in the prefecture. In contrast, only 7 percent gave those responses in the 2012 survey while the figure rose to 36 percent in the 2016 survey.

A combined 44 percent said little or no progress had been made toward recovery, according to the latest survey, the ninth one conducted.

Asked when they think their lives will return to pre-disaster conditions, 56 percent said “beyond 20 years.” Half of the residents who said some or much progress had been made toward recovery gave this response.

Eighteen percent said “about 20 years,” while 15 percent said “about 10 years” and 4 percent said “about five years.”

A combined 60 percent of respondents said they were very much or somewhat concerned about the effects of radioactive materials released by the triple meltdown.

Seventy-eight percent of respondents said they felt the general public’s interest over victims of the nuclear disaster was weakening.

There was also strong opposition to some measures dealing with the fallout from the nuclear accident.

Sixty-one percent of respondents were against the government’s plan to use contaminated soil with low levels of radiation for public works projects in Fukushima Prefecture. Only 27 percent of respondents supported that move.

Seventy-three percent of female respondents opposed the use of the contaminated soil, compared with 49 percent of men.

The growing volume of water containing radioactive tritium that is difficult to remove is a pressing problem for workers at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.

Asked about a plan to dilute the contaminated water and release it into the ocean, 65 percent of respondents were opposed, a slight decrease from the 67 percent who objected in last year’s survey.

Only 19 percent supported the release of diluted water to the ocean, unchanged from last year’s survey.

A combined 87 percent of respondents said they were greatly or somewhat concerned that the release of the diluted water would create negative publicity for Fukushima seafood and produce.

The survey also showed that Fukushima residents are more opposed to the resumption of nuclear reactor operations than the national average.

Only 13 percent of the respondents favored reactor restarts while 68 percent were opposed.

A nationwide survey conducted in February found 32 percent in favor of resuming reactor operations while 56 percent were opposed.

Moreover, 65 percent of Fukushima respondents said lessons from the nuclear disaster have not been reflected in the central government's nuclear energy policy. Only 16 percent said the lessons were being used effectively in nuclear policy.

For the survey, randomly selected landline phone numbers were called, and valid responses were received from 998 residents.







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