9 Mars 2017
March 9, 2017
THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
Less than one in five of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami victims expect the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics to benefit the recovery of areas impacted by the disasters, according to an Asahi Shimbun survey.
On the other hand, the survey found some evidence of growing optimism, as a higher proportion of respondents agreed with the statement “the events would be a good opportunity to raise affected areas’ profile to the world.”
The Asahi Shimbun in February mailed questionnaires to 906 people from the hardest-hit prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima in the northeastern Tohoku region. It received 564 responses.
Only 18 percent of respondents said holding the sporting events would enhance the reconstruction of affected areas, while 25 percent said it would negatively impact those efforts, and 24 percent said it would have no effect.
Answering a multiple-choice question about their impact on the stricken areas, 58 percent of respondents said the Olympics-related construction rush would delay reconstruction work in the affected areas, the most chosen answer. Forty-eight percent said memories of the disaster would fade away, while 54 percent of respondents in Fukushima Prefecture said damage caused by the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant accident would be forgotten.
The Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, caused the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, triggering massive leaks of radioactive material.
The survey also showed that 22 percent thought the Olympics and Paralympics would be a good opportunity to raise affected areas’ profile to the world, 9 percentage points up from the 2014 survey in which The Asahi Shimbun asked the same question.
Meanwhile, the Consumer Affairs Agency on March 8 released the results of the government’s latest poll on consumer consciousness and radiation in food that was conducted in February.
According to that survey, 15 percent of respondents said they were reluctant to purchase items produced in Fukushima Prefecture, a 4.4 point drop from the first survey that was conducted in 2013, and the lowest figure since then.
(This article was written by Ryota Goto and Naohito Honda.)
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Read other recent stories about the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami as well as the Fukushima nuclear disaster.