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Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012
Nuclear power most common topic in Twitter messages on election
A check of messages on Twitter over the three weeks through Sunday found that nuclear power was the most commented-on topic among seven selected campaign issues.
Among tweets containing words related to major campaign issues during the period from Nov. 16, when the Lower House was dissolved, 1.12 million messages mentioned nuclear power, 37 percent of the total, followed by the economy at 806,000 and foreign policy at 268,000, the Kyodo check showed.
The latest Kyodo opinion poll found that people were placing greater emphasis on the economy and employment, and social security, than on nuclear power when deciding how they will vote in this Sunday's general election.
The Twitter survey was conducted by entering keywords in Yahoo Japan's search function and tallying up the comments. Messages on nuclear power were selected by typing in such keywords as nuclear plants, resumption of reactor operations, radioactivity, and exposure to radiation.
Among messages on other campaign issues, 244,000 comments referred to reconstruction after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and 215,000 messages mentioned the Constitution. There were 214,000 comments about the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade talks and 156,000 about the consumption tax.
Of roughly 2.37 million tweets containing names of political parties or party leaders, the Democratic Party of Japan was mentioned in the most at 697,000, followed by the Liberal Democratic Party at 690,000.
The number of messages referring to Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) was 459,000, compared with 184,000 for Nippon Mirai no To (Tomorrow Party of Japan) and 107,000 for Japanese Communist Party.
There were 81,000 messages about New Komeito, 62,000 about the Social Democratic Party and 47,000 about Your Party.
The figures are no indication of support as they include messages both backing and opposing the parties. Abusive comments were not counted.