Tourism

EXCLUSIVE More than 80% of Japanese companies support the restart of the nuclear power plant and the resumption of tourism

Visitors wearing protective masks take a selfie on Nakamise Street leading to Senso-ji Temple in Asakusa District, a popular tourist destination amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Tokyo, Japan, June 10, 2022. REUTERS/Issei Kato

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  • Firms welcome resumption of tourist entry as growth driver – poll
  • They want the number of tourists to be at pre-COVID levels in 2023.
  • Many firms expect moderate or strong economic growth this fiscal year.
  • Most are looking for another stimulus package
  • Most companies support restarting nuclear power if safety is guaranteed

TOKYO, June 16 (Reuters). A vast majority of Japanese companies support both the restart of dormant nuclear reactors and the resumption of foreign tourism this month, a Reuters poll showed, highlighting widespread approval of two measures thought to ease the strain on the economy.

The results of Reuters’ monthly corporate poll are some of the strongest signs that Japan Inc supports a return to nuclear power as higher global energy prices and a falling yen push up production costs for manufacturers and put pressure on households.

Nuclear power remains a sensitive issue in Japan after the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami that damaged the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and caused the world’s worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl. But the rise in energy prices due to the Ukrainian crisis seems to have changed public opinion on the issue.

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“Until we get new sources of energy like hydrogen, economic activity will not develop without restarting nuclear reactors,” the pulp and paper company manager wrote.

Japan has been idle most of its nuclear reactors – more than 40 – since the Fukushima accident, and now it has about 10 operating.

Overall, 85% of firms are in favor of safely restarting nuclear reactors, according to a survey of 500 large and medium-sized non-financial companies conducted June 1-10 by Nikkei Research for Reuters. About 240 firms responded.

Their comments showed that economic issues play a prominent role when considering nuclear power.

“Structural power shortages are having a big impact on the economy, making it necessary to restart nuclear power,” the wholesaler’s manager wrote.

The results are comparable to those of an April poll in which nearly 60% of firms said the government should start restarting reactors “quickly”. However, the latest survey did not ask about the timing of the restart, so a direct comparison is difficult.

An opinion poll by the Nikkei newspaper in March showed that 53% of voters thought the government should restart the reactors.

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Similarly, the survey found that 89% of firms welcome the government’s decision to once again allow limited inbound foreign tourism. Many firms expected the move to help with the recovery from the pandemic, although it was speculated they didn’t want border restrictions to be completely eased before 2023.

From June 10, the government allowed limited…

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