from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant crisis
October 20, 2014
Twenty-seven percent of voters in Fukushima Prefecture, home to the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, want Japan to immediately abolish nuclear energy, around double the national average, an Asahi Shimbun survey found.
About 55 percent of voters in the prefecture support a break away from nuclear power in the near future, according to the telephone survey conducted on Oct. 18-19.
The survey results showed anti-nuclear sentiment is higher in Fukushima Prefecture than in the rest of the country.
Thirteen percent of voters in Tokyo supported the immediate abolition of nuclear energy in a survey in February, while 15 percent expressed the same opinion in a nationwide survey in January.
In those earlier surveys, 61 percent of Tokyoites and 62 percent of respondents nationwide said Japan should break away from nuclear power in the near future.
The latest survey covered 1,701 voters in Fukushima Prefecture and received 1,091 valid responses.
Only 15 percent of Fukushima voters said Japan should continue relying on nuclear energy, compared with 22 percent in the survey in Tokyo and 19 percent nationwide.
The survey also revealed that 66 percent of Fukushima voters accept Governor Yuhei Sato’s decision to allow the construction of an interim facility to store radioactive waste from cleanup work in the prefecture.
Eighteen percent said they disagree with Sato’s decision.
In addition, 53 percent said they support the central government’s decision to end its policy of helping all evacuees from the nuclear disaster return to their homes and instead assist them in resettling elsewhere. Twenty-eight percent were against the decision.
Up to 56 percent of respondents said they highly evaluate the governor’s efforts to rebuild the prefecture from the damage caused by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster, compared with 25 percent who said otherwise.
Forty percent of Fukushima voters said they support Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet, matching the 40 percent who did not support the Cabinet.
Source: Asahi Fukushima
Eleven years ago, when he was vice principal of Tomioka Dai-ichi Junior High School, he was diagnosed with malignant lymphoma, a form of blood cancer, and decided to quit to concentrate on treatment.
Although he could not return to teaching, he gave lectures at schools and community centers to convey his thoughts on the importance of life.
In March 2011, the nuclear crisis forced Sanbonsugi to flee to several places in the prefecture, including the town of Furudono and the cities of Aizuwakamatsu and Koriyama, and even to Hokkaido.
Despite his hardships, he kept thinking about all the students he had taught. He was worried they might be in the throes of despair with their futures still unclear 3½ years into the nuclear crisis, or on the verge of giving up on returning to their hometowns.
“I want to support former students who are living as evacuees as much as I can,” said Sanbonsugi, who avidly updates his blog.
“Rather than grieving over what you cannot do, just simply do something you can do. Then, quietly wait for spring to come,” he recently wrote.
Hidefumi Sanpei, 35, one of his former students, works for the Tomioka Municipal Government, which ordered a full evacuation in light of the Fukushima No. 1 meltdowns. As an official in charge of residential support, he helps evacuees deal with their worries and sometimes gets a tongue-lashing in the process.
As an evacuee himself supporting a wife and two children in new surroundings, Sanpei often got fed up with the work and his longing for his hometown.
He said Sanbonsugi’s blog gives him the courage to move forward. One phrase he always keeps in mind is: “Under the same sky, each one of us is living life to the fullest.”
Natsumi Yoshida, 33, who was one of Sanbonsugi’s students at Katsurao Junior High School, now teaches at a special needs school attached to Fukushima University. When the village of Katsurao was forced to evacuate, her former classmates were scattered all over the country.
Yoshida said she hopes to convey to her students a message she read in Sanbonsugi’s blog: “Planting seeds of kindness on the hearts of each and every one of us.”
This section, appearing every third Monday, focuses on topics and issues covered by the Fukushima Minpo, the largest newspaper in Fukushima Prefecture. The original article was published on Oct. 4.
Source: Japan Times
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