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Visualizing the decline of public interest in the Great East Japan Earthquake and Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident by analyzing letters to the editor in Japanese newspapers

Authors
  • Hidaka, Tomoo
  • Endo, Shota
  • Kasuga, Hideaki
  • Masuishi, Yusuke
  • Kakamu, Takeyasu
  • Fukushima, Tetsuhito
Type
Published Article
Journal
Fukushima Journal of Medical Science
Publisher
The Fukushima Society of Medical Science
Publication Date
Feb 08, 2022
Volume
68
Issue
1
Pages
63–66
Identifiers
DOI: 10.5387/fms.2021-18
PMID: 35135907
PMCID: PMC9071356
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Brief Report
License
Unknown

Abstract

This study aimed to delineate the decline in public interest toward the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake (GEJE) and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (FNPP) accident in Japan over a ten-year period. In this longitudinal descriptive study, we searched for publications within a ten-year period in Letters to the Editor that mentioned the GEJE, the FNPP accident, or the January 1995 Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake (GHAE) that occurred in Japan, using the official databases of the three largest Japanese newspapers. The GEJE- and GHAE-related publications (4,809 and 2,092, respectively) are depicted as scatter plots. The results show a gradual decrease in the publications mentioning GEJE or GHAE. The impact of GEJE and FNPP on Japanese society was enormous, but the public interest waned over time. Communication strategies that maintain a high public interest in previous disasters may be necessary.

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