80% in Japan 'support nuclear phase-out'
Eighty percent of Japanese want to phase out the country's reliance on nuclear power and eventually eliminate it, a poll said Sunday, a year after Japan was hit by a massive nuclear disaster.
The weekend survey conducted among 3,000 voters showed 80 percent support the idea of ending nuclear power while 16 percent are opposed to it, said the survey published by the Tokyo Shimbun.
But 53 percent would allow idled nuclear reactors to be restarted as far as electricity demand required as a realistic short-term approach, said the survey that was conducted by the Japan Association for Public Opinion Research comprising major Japanese newspapers and broadcasters.
Since last year's accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant the country's commercial nuclear power plants have been undergoing safety inspections with just two out of 54 reactors currently online.
Japanese business circles fear power shortages could slow an already limping economy, but residents near existing plants are against the early resumption of idled reactors, some filing lawsuits seeking injunctions to block the process.
Despite the government's declaration in December that the crippled Fukushima plant had been brought to a stable state, 92 percent are worried about it, the survey said.
Prime Minister Yoshiniko Noda's government is planning to draft Japan's overall energy policy later this year including the policy on nuclear power plants.
Noda has said Japan should seek to reduce its reliance on nuclear power, seen as a toned-down claim compared with his predecessor Naoto Kan's announcement that Japan must have the eventual goal of becoming nuclear-free.
(c) 2012 AFP