With the conflict in Ukraine extending into a fourth month, the knock-on effects of an international embargo on Russian energy exports are being felt across the globe. In Japan, where energy security is of increasing concern, one such effect is a shifting of the sands surrounding the nation’s nuclear power debate.
The public has been largely opposed to nuclear power since March 2011, when a devastating earthquake and tsunami off Japan’s northeast coast led to one of the worst nuclear disasters the world has seen. However, recent polls suggest that public attitudes may be changing as the global energy crunch pushes consumer prices skyward.
One poll conducted by the Mainichi Shimbun on Saturday found that 47% of respondents supported the restart of dormant nuclear reactors, with 30% against the move. Those figures contrast with a similar Mainichi poll carried out in February 2018 when 32% of respondents supported a restart, with 48% against it.