Monday, July 4, 2011

Japan poll 60% supports solar even with higher electric prices

More than 50 percent of people in Japan do not want nuclear reactors that have been taken out of operation to be restarted, a Mainichi poll suggests.

A total of 51 percent of respondents in a Mainichi Shimbun poll conducted over the weekend said they were opposed to restarting nuclear reactors that have been stopped for inspections, surpassing the 37 percent who said they wanted the reactors to be restarted.

Fearing a shortage of electricity this summer, the government has issued a nuclear power safety declaration and asked local officials in Saga Prefecture to restart the Genkai Nuclear Power Plant in the prefecture. However, it appears that the public has grown cautious about restarting reactors in the wake of the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant.

By gender, 41 percent of men opposed the restarting of reactors and 51 percent were in favor, but at the same time 58 percent of women were opposed and just 27 percent were in favor.

A total of 60 percent of respondents said they would accept an increase in electricity prices to support the increased use of natural energy such as solar and wind power. Another 31 percent said they could not accept a hike. Among those in favor of restarting nuclear reactors, 68 percent said they would accept an increase to support natural energy.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan has made the enactment of a bill on set-price purchasing of renewable energy in a move toward increased use of natural energy as one of the three conditions for his retirement from office. Economic quarters fear the possibility of rising costs associated with an increase in power fees, but the results of the poll suggest that regardless of whether nuclear power plants are restarted or not, people believe there is a need in the future to do away with nuclear power plants and switch to natural energy....

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