Sunday, September 11, 2011

11/09 78% of people worry about future big quake

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Nearly 80 percent of Japanese worry that a major earthquake could occur in the area they live--the highest figure since 2002--and only 3 percent believe the Diet has done a good job handling the March 11 disaster, according to a Yomiuri Shimbun survey.

Sixty-eight percent of respondents said they are concerned radioactive substances that leaked from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant could harm the health of themselves and their families, according to the survey, which was conducted Sept. 3 and 4.

The proportion of people worried about radioactive materials harming their health was highest in the Tohoku and Kanto regions at 76 percent. The figure was 51 percent in the Chugoku region and Shikoku, and 59 percent in Kyushu.

Although 82 percent of respondents said the Self-Defense Forces had performed well in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake, just 6 percent felt the government had done a good job--and only 3 percent said the Diet had done so.

This suggests the public was unhappy with the confrontation between ruling and opposition parties that hindered government efforts to provide assistance and start rebuilding after the disaster.

Seventy-three percent were impressed with the efforts of volunteers, 52 percent with firefighters, 42 percent with local governments in devastated areas, and 40 percent with the police. Multiple answers were allowed to this question.

When asked what worried them most about the earthquake and the nuclear accident, 68 percent of respondents said "the spread of radioactive material," followed by "a downturn in the economy" at 51 percent, "the deteriorating employment situation" at 34 percent and "electricity shortages" at 33 percent.

The survey also revealed that many people have reaffirmed the importance of ties with close relatives and friends since the disaster. This tendency was especially evident among women.

Fifty-six percent of respondents said they increasingly valued their relationships with their families. The figure was 61 percent for women and 50 percent for men.

The survey was conducted on 3,000 eligible voters randomly chosen nationwide, with 1,673, or 56 percent, giving valid responses.

(Sep. 11, 2011)

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