Japan marked the 12th anniversary of the deadly tsunami that triggered the Fukushima disaster with tearful prayers, but public support for nuclear power is growing as memories of the meltdown fade.
A 9.0-magnitude quake triggered a tsunami that left 18,500 people dead or missing and overwhelmed cooling systems at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, leading to the worst nuclear catastrophe since Chornobyl. All of Japan’s nuclear reactors were taken offline after the disaster and the majority remain out of action today. However, the global energy crisis sparked by the war in Ukraine has caused electricity bills to soar in Japan, inspiring a government pushes to reboot reactors as polls show that public views on nuclear power are softening. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has called for seven reactors approved by Japan’s nuclear safety watchdog to resume operations and for the nation to consider building “next-generation” reactors with new safety mechanisms.