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ECONOMY > Energy

Jiji Press Public Opinion Poll on Energy

  • June 21, 2018
  • , Jiji Press Public Opinion Poll Bulletin , [No. 1558] – pp. 1, 4–5
  • JMH Translation

Nuclear power plants that pass the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s safety standards, which were revised after the Great East Japan Earthquake, are being restarted. It is in this context that Jiji Press conducted a public opinion poll on energy. According to the poll, over half of respondents (55.6%) are opposed to restarts, up 1.3 percentage points from the 54.3% found in the previous poll conducted in July 2015. Those in favor of restarting nuclear power plants also increased by 1.2 points to 33.9%. For all age groups except 18–29, those opposed exceeded those in favor, revealing that an increasing number of people are cautious about nuclear power restarts.

 

Many new electricity companies have been established with the liberalization of the retail electricity market, but a total of only 23.5% said that they “are thinking about switching their electricity provider” or “have already switched.” This figure was easily exceeded by the 69.0% of respondents who said they “do not intend to switch.”

 

The survey was conducted over the four-day period of May 11–14 through individual interviews. For the survey, a total of 2,000 people were sampled from among men and women, aged 18 and over, across the nation. The valid response rate was 63.7%. (Abridged)

 

Questions & answers (%)

The previous Jiji Press Public Opinion Poll on Energy was conducted in July 2015 and the results published in the Aug. 11, 2015 bulletin. Figures in parentheses denote the results of the survey conducted in 2015 (middle column) and the survey conducted in 2014 (right column). All questions were asked of all respondents except for those questions indented and marked with a bullet, which are sub-questions.

 

Q: Nuclear power plants that pass the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s safety screening are being restarted. The government plans to continue to promote the restart of plants that meet the new regulatory standards set after the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. Are you in favor of or opposed to the restart of nuclear power plants?

 

 

2018

(2015)

(2014)

In favor

33.9

(32.7)

(41.3)

Opposed

55.6

(54.3)

(48.7)

Don’t know

10.5

(13.0)

(10.0)

 

  • Q: (Only for those who answered “in favor” to the first question) Why? Select all responses that apply from the following.

 

2018

(2015)

(2014)

Because it is necessary for stable energy supply

83.3

(86.6)

(76.4)

Because nuclear power is an environmentally friendly energy source that does not emit carbon dioxide

23.7

(20.8)

(12.7)

Because that means household budgets will not be strained by a rise in electricity prices

37.4

(39.0)

(36.1)

Because it has a positive impact on Japan’s economic activities

26.7

(37.6)

(35.0)

Because plants that pass the screening can be trusted to be safe

16.5

(19.1)

(22.3)

Other

0.5

(2.4)

(2.0)

Don’t know

0.7

(0.2)

(–)

 

  • Q: (Only for those who answered “opposed” to the first question) Why? Select all responses that apply from the following.

 

2018

(2015)

(2014)

Because energy can be secured without using nuclear power

35.2

(34.4)

(33.7)

Because using nuclear power would mean that renewable energy would no longer spread

26.3

(19.0)

(20.0)

Because the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s safety screening cannot be considered adequate

33.6

(34.0)

(34.1)

Because serious damage results in the event of an accident  

77.5

(77.5)

(80.7)

Because disposal of radioactive waste has not been worked out

56.5

(61.8)

(62.1)

Other

0.6

(0.3)

(0.2)

Don’t know

1.0

(0.6)

(0.6)

 

Q: What do you think should be done with the nuclear power plants in Japan going forward? Select the response closest to your thinking.

 

 

2018

(2015)

(2014)

All plants should be eliminated immediately

8.9

(7.8)

(10.3)

Nuclear power plants should be reduced in number as much as possible and eliminated as soon as possible

25.1

(26.9)

(24.7)

Nuclear power plants should gradually be reduced in number and then eliminated in the future

48.1

(49.1)

(49.3)

Nuclear power plants should continue to be used as a key power source

14.1

(12.8)

(12.7)

Other

0.3

(0.5)

(0.1)

Don’t know

3.6

(2.8)

(3.1)

 

Q: What kinds of energy are you optimistic about for use in power generation going forward? Select all responses that apply from the following.

 

 

2018

(2015)

(2014)

Oil

8.5

(9.9)

(8.8)

Natural gas

22.8

(27.2)

(32.6)

Coal

3.3

(6.2)

(5.5)

Nuclear power

8.5

(8.2)

(7.9)

Hydropower

37.5

(34.4)

(38.9)

Solar power

76.4

(77.5)

(79.4)

Wind power

55.4

(52.3)

(56.6)

Geothermal power

39.0

(40.0)

(39.7)

Biomass

30.8

(29.3)

(28.7)

Other

0.8

(0.9)

(0.8)

Don’t know

3.6

(3.0)

(3.7)

 

Q: With the full liberalization of the retail electricity market in April 2016, companies from various industries, including gas companies, entered the retail electricity market. Has your household ended its contract with an electricity provider and switched to a new company? Select one response from the following.

 

 

2018

 

 

Already switched

10.3

 

 

Thinking about switching

13.2

 

 

Do not intend to switch

69.0

 

 

Switched but went back to original provider

0.4

 

 

Other

0.8

 

 

Don’t know

6.4

 

 

 

Polling methodology (May 2018): The survey was conducted over the four-day period of May 11–14 through individual interviews. For the survey, a total of 2,000 people were sampled from among men and women, aged 18 and over, across the nation on a stratified two-stage random-sampling basis. Valid responses were received from 1,273 people for a valid response rate of 63.7%.

 

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