7 Public opinion on the restart of nuclear reactors

Public opinion in Japan is strongly against the restart of nuclear plants.

In Japanese public opinion polls since 2011 by various newspapers on the restart of nuclear power plants, people opposed have ranged from 50% to 60% overall, significantly more than and those in favor, who ranged from 20% to 40%. 

For about a year after 2011, some polls showed higher ratings in favor of restarting nuclear power plants compared to those who were opposed. 

Polls conducted in Fukushima Prefecture by the Asahi Shimbun newspaper since 2016 found that the ratio of respondents opposed to the restart of nuclear plants was high, at around 70% to 80%. Opposition to the restart tends to be higher in Fukushima than in other areas. These results show that the public remains skeptical about the restart of nuclear plants, and that there is a gap between public opinion and the government’s policy of aiming to increase the proportion of nuclear in the power mix to at least 20% by 2030.