66% of Japanese doubtful about PM's 'under control' comment on Fukushima plant: Mainichi survey
Sixty-six percent of people surveyed by the Mainichi Shimbun say they don't believe Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Sept. 7 claim before the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that the situation of radioactive water accumulating at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant is under control.
The poll conducted Sept. 14-15 showed ongoing public concern over the radioactively contaminated water leaking from the Fukushima No. 1 plant, despite the government's insistence on the legitimacy of Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga's claim that the toxic water and its impacts are being held "inside the plant's port."
Only 8 percent of respondents said they believe Abe's Sept. 7 comments that radioactive water is "completely blocked," while 24 percent answered they're not sure.
Even among those who support the Abe Cabinet, only 11 percent believe prime minister's remarks, while 58 percent said they don't think the situation at the Fukushima plant is under control.
On Sept. 13, a senior official of plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) admitted during a meeting with opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) lawmakers that the massive radioactive water buildup at the plant is "not under control." The DPJ's Acting Secretary-General Akira Nagatsuma criticized the prime minister in an NHK program on Sept. 15 for sending a false message to the world by saying the situation is under control.
Meanwhile, 86 percent of pollees said the government should take all actions necessary to contain the contaminated water, regardless of the cost.
Asked about the consumption tax hike from the current 5 percent to 8 percent scheduled for April 2014, 30 percent of respondents believe it should be raised as planned, while 25 percent want the hike phased in a point at a time, followed by 19 percent who believe the sales tax "should be raised, but the timing should be delayed." Some 22 percent were opposed to the sales tax hike, saying it should "remain at the current 5 percent."
Meanwhile, 72 percent favored a reduced tax rate on everyday necessities, up 3 percentage points from last month -- as against 23 percent who oppose such a move.
September 16, 2013(Mainichi Japan)