August 31, 2012


70% of Global Survey Respondents Support the No Nuclear Policy Scenario by 2030

August 31, 2012
Japan for Sustainability (JFS)

Japan for Sustainability (JFS)--a non-governmental organization (NGO) that provides environmental information from Japan to 188 countries -- announced the findings of its international web survey of opinions from around the world regarding Japan's soon-to-be-decided direction on energy policy to 2030.

The aim of the survey was to see what people in other countries think about Japan's energy policy direction in order to provide input into debate in Japan. Using mainly its overseas network, JFS invited responses to an online survey conducted from July 26 through August 14, 2012. A total of 322 responses were received from 53 countries.

The survey results showed that, among three options of nuclear power ratio scenarios, 70% of the respondents supported the Zero Scenario, with the ratio of dependence on nuclear power dropping to zero as soon as possible before 2030. The breakdown was as follows:

  • Zero Scenario (zero nuclear power by 2030) 70% (224 responses)
  • 15% Scenario (15% by 2030)    15% (47 responses)
  • 20-25% Scenario (20 to 25% by 2030)    10% (34 responses)
  • Other                4% (13 responses)
  • Don't Know            1% (4 responses)

As for the reasons, of the respondents who chose the Zero Scenario, 53% pointed out risks of nuclear power generation and nuclear waste, saying "Nuclear power plants bring a huge risk of accidents" (36% of the Zero Scenario respondents), and "Human beings can never manage nuclear waste disposal" (17%). Meanwhile, others pointed out expectations for renewable energy and the need for review of energy consumption, saying "I hope Japan will take international initiatives" (10%), "The Zero Scenario is possible if renewable energy will have much more share" (8%), and "The Zero Scenario is possible by the efforts for energy saving and efficient energy use" (5%).

Of the respondents who chose the 15% Scenario, 30% answered "Nuclear power plants should have adequate safety measures," and another 30% answered "It is important to promote development and utilization of renewable energy." Of the respondents who chose the 20 - 25% Scenario, 44% stated the need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions as the reason. See more details including trends in the answers from the following link. (URL will be provided later)

JFS is a Japanese NGO whose major initiative is to deliver information of noteworthy domestic efforts pursuing environmental and sustainable activities to the world via the Internet after translating the information into English. The JFS English newsletter has 7,700 readers in 188 countries, including mainly government officials, environmental opinion leaders, specialists and media around the world. The JFS's activity is supported by about 50 eco-minded corporate members including companies, municipalities, universities and NGOs, and about 200 individual supporters along with about 700 volunteers.

Junko Edahiro is the chief executive of JFS and the president of the Institute for Studies in Happiness, Economy and Society, and is also a member of the Fundamental Issues Subcommittee created under the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. Commenting on the results of the opinion poll, she said, "The survey results revealed that many people in the world have the same opinion as many Japanese, hoping for Japan to choose a zero nuclear power scenario. Japan is expected to shift energy resources from nuclear power and change its direction to be a leading nation in the field of renewable energy and energy-saving technologies. We should stop increasing the risk of accidents causing irreparable damage to people as well as the burden of nuclear wastes that will be passed on to future generations. Instead, we should work on utilizing local renewable energy resources and show the world that a shift to a more resilient and sustainable society is desirable and possible economically."

By bringing together the world's opinions and publishing them on its website, JFS intends to present international viewpoints in the discussions focusing on Japan's future energy policy and to give others in the world the opportunity to think about their own energy policies.

[Survey Method & Data of Responses]

Period: July 26 - August 14, 2012

Method: JFS conducted the survey via its website, with the response page open until the deadline of August 14, 2012.

Total Responses: 322

Total Responding Countries: 53

[Survey Questions]

  1. Which option do you think Japan should adopt for its energy policy for 2030?
    (Multiple Choice Options - Zero Scenario, 15% Scenario, 20-25% Scenario, Other, Don't Know)
  2. Please explain in your own words the reason/s for your answer to Question 1.
  3. Please let us know in your own words what you think about the accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant and about Japan's energy policy in general.
  4. Country and affiliation


[Survey Result]

Which option do you think Japan should adopt for its energy policy for 2030? (Number of responses)

Zero Scenario ... 224
15% Scenario ... 47
20-25% Scenario ... 34
Other ... 13
Don't know ... 4


[Respondents' Affiliation]

NGO ... 35
Government ... 19
Industry ... 37
Media ... 16
Research institute/University ... 103
Other ... 112

[Top 15 Responding Countries Out of the Total (53)]

United States of America ... 61
Japan ... 43
UK ... 32
Germany ... 21
Australia ... 15
Finland ... 13
Malaysia ... 12
Canada ... 11
France ... 11
India ... 9
Italy ... 7
Netherlands ... 7
Sweden ... 7
China ... 5
Switzerland ... 5


Q The reasons for the answer to Question 1.

Reasons to Choose Zero Scenario (224 Respondents out of the Total 322).


Reasons to Choose 15% Scenario (47 Respondents out of the Total 322).


Reasons to Choose 20-25% Scenario (34 Respondents out of the Total 322).


Free Answers by Respondents
(Country , affiliation , chosen options)

  • The eyes of the world are on Japan to see how they will address the energy situation. Japan can provide a model for others to follow, especially since they have had to deal with the Dai-ichi plant. Japan is a leader in solar energy, and is well situated for wind energy development The measures the country uses to conserve energy will be noted by all countries. The accident at the Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant clearly showcases the problems with nuclear power. Many people unrealistically think that humans can control nature, but the accident showed the fallacy in this line of thinking. Japan, because of its history and its technological expertise, is at the forefront of addressing energy production; the rest of the world is watching. We need leadership, particularly in conservation and disciplined measured to reduce CO2. (United States of America , Other , Zero Scenario )
  • Renewable Energies are much more cost efficient by that time, especially wind, solar and geothermal and an ambitious plan in this respect will create a level playing field for investors to invest sustainably in future technologies instead of nuclear power, which is not economical (today if full cost are accounted, tomorrow, when LNG and renewables reduce energy prices even at market rates). Japan's energy policy concerning nuclear energy seems to ignore facts and has failed to recognize that the Fukushima desaster is evidence of technical, human and governance failures that are deeply embodied in the way nuclear industry/energy works. If the government is serious about decentralization, economic development and growth in all regions and cost effectiveness, nuclear is no option for the future of Japan. Renewable energy will create growth, equality, safety and jobs. (Switzerland , Research institute/University , Zero Scenario)
  • "First of all, for ethical reasons and for reasons of inter-generational equity (waste treatment) atomic energy should be banned. Three strategic alternatives should be pursued: (a)reducing energy consumption (sufficiency principle), (b) increasing energy efficiency, (c) switching towards a bunch of renewable energies. Such a strategic ""energy turn"" can, under optimal conditions, lead to a sustainable economy and society. " The Dai-ichi triple accident was a mix of natural and man-made disasters. Japan's energy policy, to my mind, was "stucturally handicapped": (a) in focussing on continous energy expansion instead of systemic savings, (b) being dominated by short-sighted economic and political interests instead of democratic principles and peoples' participation, (c) being concentrated on high risk, high cost technology instead on the use of abounding local technical capabilities and resources, like sun, wind, waves, biomass, thermal power. (Germany , Research institute/University , Zero Scenario)
  • Japan can use this opportunity to show the world how a tragedy can be turned into leadership which would drive innovations and examples in energy pricing and saving to save the planet. Japan solar and energy efficiency is already a leader, but with further support reallocated from nuclear to renewable & energy efficiency, Japan will show the world how policy leadership can drive the new society the world needs. Unfortunately Dai-ichi was an accident waiting to happen. One reason I never moved to live in Japan despite loving the country and nihongo study is my fear that one day a Dai-ichi would happen. Japan has a chance to learn from this and Kaizen. Safety laws, monitoring and enforcement can increase, reallocation of government support to renewable and energy efficiency (end Pachinko parlours!) , and Japan can show that a previously corrupt "old-boys" policy system ignored by the public can transform into a safe, clean, innovative driving industry for all citizens and dispersed small business benefit rather than merely the few wealthy heads concentrated at the head of old nuclear. (New Zealand , Industry , Zero Scenario)
  • "I do not think that the zero scenario will be met. That is exactly why that goal SHOULD be adopted. Japan's population is getting more and more critical about nuclear power. That is why scenario 20-25% would be to expensive in terms of money wasted on opinion building and maintaining the already obsolete nuclear power plant infrastructure. In my opinion, advances in renewable energy technology, shaping of staffs' attitude towards sustainable business practices and health/environment-oriented regulations will not be as big as often predicted by environmental activists. That does not mean however that engagement and activities in those fields will not bear fruits (increasing citizens' awareness, provide framework for innovations,...) and provide energy needed to advance from the current state into a sustainable human-built ecosystem." "Governement and Tepco were incompetent in handling the accident. Experts and scientist should have been consulted on a much broader basis and their opinions and suggestions should be made public in mass media. Japan is a very mountainous country and does not have the geothermal potential of e.g. Island. So it is only logical to use the most compact energy production available. On the other hand Japan is on the fore-front of environmental thinking after the accidents in the 1970s. That is why I wonder why so few private companies are exploring and switching to new green tech like offshore turbines, wind turbines, solar etc. This might have to do with the centralization of power production (as far as I know there are not that many private companies offering electricity or gas). If the energy market in Japan looked like the transit system in Tokyo customers could switch more easily from one provider to another and would therefore probably be a more important actor in shaping the energy market." (Austria , Industry , Zero Scenario)
  • Japan can afford generating renewable energy even after abondoning nuclear power. Japan should take this sad disaster as an opportunity to take bold steps toward safe and low carbon future for future generations. Japan can and should become a leader toward such future. (Philippines , Other , Zero Scenario)
  • The sad incident on Fukushima Daiichi brought to Japan and their honorable people many diseases caused by the radioactivity. No need for so sad diseases and destructive pain. I am sad about these facts. Japan will remain in troubles, as all the world for many years. Perhaps, forever. (Brazil , Research institute/University , Zero Scenario)
  • I think Zero is the ideal scenario. Having said that, however, I noticed that there is some value that is lost with the Zero Scenario because there would be direct disposal and no fuel recycling & shutdown of some plants before their end-of-life. That could be "mottainai." So, I think 15% Scenario is OK, with the condition that the remaining nuclear plants are VERY safe. Nuclear power is inherently dangerous due to its genetic effects and long-term impact. Although other forms of power also have environmental & health effects, they are not as intrusive of our DNA - the core of our identity. An accident was bound to happen somewhere, sometime due to unlucky circumstances and the fact that humans are not perfect. It happened to be in Japan. Although it was a terrible tragedy, it is also a great opportunity for change. The world is facing many crises, not only climate change, but also decreases in biodiversity and reduction in nitrogen in the atmosphere (Planetary Boundaries, Nature, 2009). Japan has to lead the way in finding ways to live sustainably. This accident must be used to propel major change in how humans live on this earth. If it doesn't, then what will, when? (Canada , Research institute/University , 15% Scenario)
  • I support reduction of nuclear reliance to 15% by 2030. Though there is a popular anti- nuclear sentiment riding Japan at the moment particularly with the restart of the Oi reactors by KEPCO, it is unrealistic to expect alternative sources of energy to replace the entire nuclear fleet immediately. however, sustained effort should be made by the government to promote clean and safe energy alternatives, rising above the interlocking interests of the nuclear village. having said that, government also has the enormous challenge of putting the economy back in shape. The offline reactors, energy supply-demand deficit, increasing import fuel bills, rising GHG emission are biggest challenges that Noda has to battle. Japan will do good if she reduces nuclear dependence to 15% by 2030 and simultaneously facilitate the development of alternative energy so that she can gradually move to a zero nuclear scenario in the long term. (India , Research institute/University , 15% Scenario)
  • I think the zero scenario is too idealistic. Japan faces huge problems with its debt and strong competition from other countries in Asia, the financial burden implied by 0% nuclear energy doesn't sound realistic. I think 15% would be a good compromise. Japan could keep its nuclear power plants in areas with 0 possibility of tsunami and with no record of high magnitude earthquake in the past. Nuclear remains today a cheap and efficient way to produce energy. The problem with Daiichi powerplant was that it was built in front of the sea on the west coast where risks of tsunami are high. However, it doesn't mean that nuclear energy itself is bad, the design and the location of the powerplant actually was. That said, I still remain convinced that it is important to develop renewable sources of energy in parallel. Japan has a lot of imagination, great scientists and always excelled in innovation, I am convinced that they will be able to find great ways to produce energy in a clean and sustainable way. (France , Industry , 15% Scenario)
  • Keepig in view high emissions from fossil fuels and high cost of renewables scenario 20-25% seems appropriate.Extra Safety measures will be required for nuclear power in the light of March 2011 incident. Although it happend due to natural desaster but there should be extra safety measures. For example immediately after the incident system was shut down and sea water (highly saline) used for cooling as no fresh water available. Sea water was not a propper option. The high salt created problems and salt was deposited in the system. Japan energy policy has good intiatives for GHGs emission reduction through promotion of renewables and and energy conservation.It is proposed that Japan being high tech country may consider to focus on hydrogen and fuel cells technologies as a longterm and sustainable option. Like nuclear energy hydogen will have zero emssions of CO2. (Pakistan , Research institute/University , 20-25% Scenario)
  • I assume you mean Question 3. The required reduction in CO2 release requires a far greater reduction than 25% by 2030. Without a greater proportion of nuclear power it is difficult to see how Japan can achieve such a reduction. The accident was a great blow nationally and, for those most affected, a deep personal tragedy. However, damage from tsunamis can be prevented by the construction of better defences and, for any new plant, choosing its location so that tsunami floods are not a risk. I would rather see nuclear power stations operated by the Japanese than many other nations where safety standards are lower. (UK , Research institute/University , Other)
  • Japan as a country without domestic fosil resources should not reduce its nuclear programme. At present nuclear energy is the only option giving chance to all people around the world to cover their energy needs in a long term. Japan should continue to be a "promoter" of this option and push the development of nuclear industry to its higher and safer standards. Fukushima accident was an unfortunate and very unlikely combination of many factors - extreme natural disaster, the oldest NPP, not sufficient protection against tsunami, etc. Anyway, history shows that there are from time to time such catastrophes in different industries, but did not stop the further progress. People have to learn from them. Among general root causes of the Fukushima accident there is something what has been called in nuclear community since the Chernobyl accident the ""safety culture"" - attitudes of all organizations and individuals from the top (Nuclear Safety Commission, MITI, NISA, TEPCO...) down to ordinary people to basic safety principles and requirements. There was to much self-complacency in this respect in Japan and ignorance of one basic rule - independent and strong regulator. This must be changed! (Czech Republic , Research institute/University , Other)
  • The descriptions of the options do not provide sufficient information about the economic costs of transitioning from nuclear power generation to renewables/thermal in the timeframe specified, or indeed the costs of operating, maintaining and securing the different power sources over their lifetime. In the absence of information on costs, the zero scenario is of course the preferred option - to reduce the risk of further catastrophic nuclear accidents that may damage the quality of life of Japanese citizens for generations. I still do not have words to describe or fathom the extent of the nuclear disaster. By relying on the sun and the earth's thermal energy, Japan can avoid such tragedies in the future. (Australia , Government , Zero Scenario)
  • We have seen how problematic nuclear power is. It would be wonderful if Japan would be totally non nuclear power state. It totally crashed my trust to nuclear power and their ability to take care of catastrophes. I don´t think that government of Japan has been truthful either. (Finland , Media , Zero Scenario)
  • I voted for this scenario because it has the lowest greenhouse gas emissions. Many countries will need to reduce their emissions by more than 25% by 2030 if we are to avoid 2 degrees or more of warming, so I would like to see a scenario with more emissions reductions. However, if any nuclear plants operate, this should only happen if they are absolutely safe. A accident like this much never happen again. Among other things, there needs to be sound governance and regulation of nuclear power. (Australia , Research institute/University , 20-25% Scenario)
  • Nuclear power plants are, and have been, just a transitional bridge between the oil period and the renewable energy period. Nuclear energy will not solve the world famine of energy, and there is the big problem of treating the wastes, problem still unresolved in every nation. In my opinion, every country in the world should speed up the transition towards new renewable energies. The transition can be immediate towards already existing technologies, as well as it is necessary to increase research funding on new ideas, as well as it is necessary to dramatically reduce energy waste and abuse. New society must transit from an energivory life-habitude to an environmental-friendly life habitude. Every day we lost in discussing about these questions will make more expensive the transition. Japan is one of the most developed nations in the world. However, also there the final report about the accident, distributed few days ago, has evidenced several human errors. I do not want to think how many additional errors or underestimations, due to any reason (for instance, balance cutting due to economical crisis, such as the one actually struggling Europe), could exist in nations less developed or economically less rich. Normally every nation invests a lot of resources during the construction of new power plants, but then reduces progressively the investment in resources for the maintenance. For nuclear power plants, budget cuttings for maintenance should not exist... (Italy , Research institute/University , Zero Scenario)
  • Japan is now at 26% dependency and the government position is to achieve reduced dependency. Targeting 15% dependency means that Japan will not need to renovate or construct new plants but could gradually reduce use of existing plants and close defective ones. This is a reasonalble approach because shift to use of less harmful energy sources will take some time. Also, over the passage of time, other renewable energy sources may be discovered, become more widespread and accepted and less costly to produce along with fossil fuels. The accident at Tokyo Electrical power company was very unfortunate and points to the danger or risk associated with nuclear build up even for peaceful/development purposes. Japan's creative and innovative accomplishments in the energy field are admirable and underscore its general energy policy. The combined use of types of energy sources is a sound policy but citizens would have to be sensitised and educated about the benefits and disadvantages for thier sustainable development and welfare as Japan decides to reduce nuclear dependence.The risk of nuclear harmful effects on mankind and the environment should not be taken until the day when faultproof prevention methods and measures are discovered. (Trinidad and Tobago , Research institute/University , 15% Scenario)

For inquiries:
Japan for Sustainability
1-11-12 Funabashi Setagaya-ku, Tokyo, Japan
E-mail: info[at]
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