Nearly 60% of Fukushima people feel public forgetting nuclear disaster

Almost 60% of respondents to a recent opinion poll in Fukushima Prefecture said they feel that the 2011 nuclear disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Daiichi power plant is fading from public consciousness, up more than 7 percentage points from a similar survey two and a half years earlier. The latest poll was conducted jointly by Fukushima-Minpo Co., the publisher of the namesake newspaper, and Fukushima Television Broadcasting Co. on residents in the prefecture. It is the ninth in a series of surveys taken since the disaster. Of the valid responses, 59.3% felt public consciousness with regard to the nuclear disaster is wearing thin with time, which was 7.1 points higher than in the third survey conducted in October 2012. The results reflect the need for the authorities to step up efforts to make the current conditions in Fukushima, which continues to be affected by the nuclear disaster, known to the rest of the nation. As for perceived misunderstandings about the threat of radiation, 61.3% did not feel any sign of them subsiding. The survey also asked the respondents whether they felt Fukushima Prefecture’s current situation was being correctly understood by the Japanese public, with 71.6% saying no, much more than the 5.8% who replied positively. In particular, 82.3% of respondents who felt the nuclear disaster is fading from public awareness and 81.9% of those who saw no sign of an end to misplaced concerns about radiation said Fukushima’s conditions are not being understood by the rest of Japan.