Fifty percent of respondents in an online questionnaire released by the Mainichi Shimbun ahead of the July 10 House of Councillors election say that they are in favor of abolishing nuclear power plants in the future.
As of July 6, a total of 432,635 people had answered the questionnaire, which also lets people see how closely they are aligned with political candidates and parties.
When asked whether Japan needs nuclear power, 50 percent selected the answer, "It's necessary for the time being but should be abolished in the future." Another 31 percent picked "It's not necessary" while 16 percent said "it's necessary."
At the end of the survey, respondents are asked to select three issues that interest them the most. Twenty-one percent selected "nuclear power." The topics "constitutional revision," "revision of Article 9 (of the Constitution)," and "increasing the consumption tax" were also of high interest among users. Among those who picked nuclear power as a topic of interest, 58 percent said that nuclear power was not necessary, 30 percent said it should be abolished in the future, and 11 percent said it was necessary.
In a survey of candidates conducted by the Mainichi Shimbun, 52 percent of those standing for the Liberal Democratic Party answered that nuclear power was necessary, 62 percent standing for the Democratic Party and all those standing for Komeito said it should be abolished in the future, and all candidates for the Japanese Communist Party and Social Democratic Party said it was not necessary.
As those who say it should be abolished in the future permit the reactivation of reactors for the time being, it is therefore hard to say that nuclear power is becoming a major point of contention in the election.
Separately, 67 percent of respondents said Japan should never arm itself with nuclear weapons, while 21 percent said the issue should be considered in light of the international situation and 6 percent said Japan should start to consider the issue. Another 3 percent said Japan should possess nuclear weapons.
The questionnaire (in Japanese) can be found online at http://vote.mainichi.jp