January 24, 2012


When Should Japan Quit Nuclear Power? Survey Finds 36% Say "Immediately," 65% Say "By 2050"

Before Low Cost, Citizens Want Peace of Mind, Safety, Consideration of Future Generations

January 24, 2012
Institute for Studies in Happiness, Economy and Society / Japan for Sustainability

The Institute for Studies in Happiness, Economy and Society and non-profit organization Japan for Sustainability jointly announced the results of a public opinion survey on attitudes toward energy, on January 24, 2012.

The survey by online research company Macromill Inc. asked respondents to indicate their opinions on energy and nuclear power. Conducted from January 12 to 14, 2012, the survey was completed by 524 persons registered with the company as monitors. They were aged twenty and over, and the ratios of age group, sex, and domicile (city/town/rural) were in proportion with Japan's total population.

One of the survey questions was about the future of nuclear power. One-third of respondents said that nuclear power should be completely abolished "immediately." Two-thirds said "by 2050," about forty years from now (Fig. 1).

(Fig. 1) Breakdown of public responses regarding nuclear power generation
(click to view large image)

A combined total of 92 percent of respondents felt that nuclear power should be reduced within the next three years, by indicating that it "should be reduced to zero," "should be reduced compared to the pre-March 11 level, even though it is not possible to close all plants," or "should be reduced compared to the pre-March 11 level, but we should keep some plants operating." In effect, the findings suggest that over 90 percent of the public thinks the amount of nuclear power generation should be reduced immediately.

Regarding public perceptions about energy, the survey results suggest that many people put a higher value on security, safety and future generations than on the economic cost. Survey questions posed eight statements to be considered and asked respondents to rank them one to five, from "not important at all" to "extremely important." Statements graded as "extremely important" were as follows: "Should not cause tremendous damage in the case of an accident" (64% of respondents), "Should not emit substances dangerous or harmful to human health and ecosystems, such as waste, radiation, and so on" (69%), and "Should not have a negative impact on future generations" (52%). These all surpassed the statement, "Should be cheap in cost or price"(33%) (Fig. 2).

(Fig. 2) Breakdown of responses regarding statements on energy supply (five grades)
(click to view large image)

The statement "Should be cheap in cost or price" is also a factor to be seriously considered, as a combined total 89% of respondents said it was either "extremely important" or "important," but the survey results put a greater emphasis on safety, security and protection of future generations.

Contact: Institute for Studies in Happiness, Economy and Society c/o e's Inc.
3rd Floor, Sanko Bldg., 1-11-12 Funabashi, Setagaya Ward, Tokyo 156-0055 Japan
Tel: +81-3-5426-1128 Fax: +81-3-6413-3762
(9:00 to 17:00 except weekends and national holidays)
Email: info[at]es-inc.jp

See PDF file.

This information is provided with a grant from Artists Project Earth.


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