Growing anti-nuclear sentiments in east asia


Across the Sea of Japan, a weekend survey conducted in the country has shown that 80 percent of people want Japan to phase out nuclear power.

The nuclear summit in Seoul will be the largest international event that South Korea will be hosting to date according to media reports. Activists in the Seoul’s central district were seen with placards today condemning the Nuclear Security Summit’s plans to develop more nuclear power plants. The protestors held cards that read "No more Fukushima" and "A nuclear free world for children". The upcoming summit in Seoul is expected to bring together approximately 50 world leaders, including US President Barack Obama and Chinese Premier Hu Jintao.

Meanwhile in Japan, a weekend survey was conducted to assess the support for the complete elimination of nuclear power production. 80 percent supported the idea while 16 percent opposed it. The survey which was published by Tokyo Shimbun showed that 53 percent were also content with allowing idled nuclear reactors to be restarted as long as the demand for electricity calls for it in the short term. Only two of the 54 reactors in Japan are currently online after the Fukushima Daiichi incident last year.

The survey also highlighted that Japanese business circles fear that power shortages may slow down the already crawling economy but many residents who live near existing nuclear reactors are against the resumption of idled reactors. Some are even seeking legal advice to block such resumptions. The survey also showed that despite the government’s declaration that Fukushima has achieved a stable status, 92 percent remain worried about it.

The Japanese government will be drafting Japan’s overall energy policy later this year and Yoshiniko Noda’s government will also seek to reduce its reliance on nuclear power. Noda has been noted to take a more toned-down approach compared to his predecessor Naoto Kan who called for a complete elimination of nuclear power.