エネルギー選択 「意識調査」はあくまで参考に

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 27, 2012)
Don't take results of nuclear power surveys too seriously
エネルギー選択 「意識調査」はあくまで参考に(8月26日付・読売社説)

It is problematic to decide the nation's energy strategy, which affects the fate of Japan, through an approach that resembles a popularity contest.
 国の命運を左右するエネルギー戦略を、人気投票のような手法で決めるのは問題である。

Since the outbreak of the crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, a considerable number of people are demanding the nation break away from its dependence on nuclear energy.
 東京電力福島第一原子力発電所の事故を受け、「脱原発」を求める声は少なくない。

Securing the safety of nuclear power plants is of course important. However, factors such as economic efficiency and a stable energy supply are also important in deciding the nation's energy policy. As a country poor in natural resources, Japan needs to have various sources of electricity, including nuclear power plants, to ensure a stable power supply.
 だが、エネルギー政策では、原発の安全性に加えて、経済性や安定供給なども重要だ。資源小国の日本が電力を安定確保するには、原発を含む多様な電源が要る。

Thus the government should promote a realistic energy policy of utilizing nuclear power plants from a mid- and long-term standpoint.
 政府は、原発を中長期的に活用するという現実的なエネルギー政策を推進すべきである。

The government recently released the results of multiple surveys that asked the public to choose from three scenarios on the percentage of nuclear power generation in 2030: zero percent of all power generation, 15 percent, and 20 percent to 25 percent.
 2030年の電源に占める原子力発電の比率を「0%」「15%」「20~25%」とする三つの選択肢について、政府が行った複数の意識調査の結果がまとまった。

The government conducted 11 public hearings, solicited public comments and held a deliberative opinion poll. In all three methods, those who chose the zero percent scenario outnumbered those who selected the other two.
 11回の「意見聴取会」と「パブリックコメント(意見公募)」、新たな手法の「討論型世論調査」は、いずれの調査も「原発0%」の支持が最多だった。

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Avoid slipping into populism

However, it is too early to conclude that the results truly reflect public opinion on the nation's nuclear energy policy.
 ただし、この結果をもって原発政策に関する“世論”が示されたと考えるのは早計だろう。

Many people who participate in public hearings and submit comments are eager to express their opinions on the nuclear power plant issue. They tend to prefer a nuclear-free future.
 意見聴取会やパブリックコメントの参加者は、原発問題で積極的に意見を言いたい人が多いため、脱原発に偏る傾向がある。

A random telephone survey was conducted in the first stage of the deliberative opinion poll, and respondents were asked if they wished to participate in the following discussion stage. Only about 300 people participated in the second stage.
 討論型世論調査も、最初の電話調査は無作為抽出だが、その後の討論会は希望者参加で、人数も約300人と少なかった。

It is important for politicians to listen to the voices of the people. However, there is a risk that politicians may slip into populism, depending on how much they rely on public opinion.
 政治が国民の意見を聴くのは大切だが、受け止め方によっては、場当たり的な大衆迎合主義(ポピュリズム)に陥る恐れがある。

A member of an expert panel tasked with analyzing the results of the surveys said, "We don't need politics if opinion polls decide everything."
 調査結果を分析する政府の有識者会議では、「世論調査だけで物事が決まるなら、政治は不要だ」といった意見も出た。

The results of the surveys should be used as one element in discussing the nation's nuclear policy. The government should avoid having the results directly influence its energy policy.
 これらの調査結果はあくまで参考にとどめ、政策へのダイレクトな反映は避けるべきだろう。

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Risks of zero percent scenario

Meanwhile, the surveys also highlighted a problem the government has to tackle. In the deliberative opinion poll, 41 percent of respondents supported the zero percent scenario before the discussion, but the figure increased to 47 percent after the discussion.
 一方、政府にとっての課題も判明した。討論型世論調査で「原発0%」の支持は、討論前の41%から討論後は47%に上昇した。

At the same time, the percentage of people who gave top priority to "securing safety" in the nation's energy policy increased after the discussion to about 80 percent. This change seems to be the reason why the number of people who chose the zero percent scenario increased.
 エネルギー政策で、「安全の確保」を最重視する人が、討論前より増え、最終的に8割に達したことが影響したようだ。

However, everyone is highly concerned about the safety of the energy supply. We assume that was the reason only a low percentage of respondents chose "stable energy supply" and "prevention of global warming."
 ただ、誰しも「安全」への関心が高いため、「安定供給」や「地球温暖化防止」を選ぶ比率が低くなったのではないか。

If all nuclear power plants were abolished in the nation, it would slow down the economy, resulting in higher unemployment and poverty. Ordinary citizens would be hit hardest, but strangely, understanding of this fact has yet to spread among the public.
 原発ゼロでは、日本経済が失速し、失業増や貧困拡大を招く。最大の被害者は国民だが、なぜかこうした認識は浸透していない。

Along with beefing up its efforts to enhance the safety of nuclear power plants, the government must provide information to citizens that helps them choose appropriate scenarios for the nation's future energy policy.
 政府は原発の安全性向上に一層努めるとともに、的確なエネルギー選択に資する情報を、国民に提供することが求められる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 26, 2012)
(2012年8月26日01時28分 読売新聞)
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by kiyoshimat | 2012-08-28 05:31 | 英字新聞

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