There has been a lot of polling regarding the recent decision by the Tsai administration to remove the ban on food imports from Fukushima. While it may not be as high as the DPP wishes it was, it has certainly come a long way since just a few years ago.

A TVBS poll from earlier this month showed a quite a large jump in the favorability of the move to open up. According to that poll up to 44 percent now favor the policy where as only 45 percent oppose it. This is well within the +/-3.2 margin of error for the poll. A more in depth breakdown of the TVBS poll can be read here. However, even more recent polling will similarly improved numbers for the ruling party has come out.

The Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation has also released its most recent polling on the Taiwanese voting population’s opinion on the issue. The polling was conducted from February 14th to 15th this year and was conducted via telephone. It was a national poll and contains 1079 valid samples from individuals 20 years of age and older. The margin of error for the poll was +/-2.98, with a 95 percent confidence level.

The biggest shift in any single data point was that of those that were most against the importation of food stuffs from Fukushima. That number dropped nearly 10 points from 37.1 to 28.5 percent. The next biggest shift was those most in favor of the policy change, jumping up from 12.3 percent to 16.6.

After that the only other change that was close to the margin of error was those that had no opinion at all, this number increased from 4.2 to 7.6 percent. Those mildly in favor moved from 26.5 to 26.7 a statistical tie. As with those mildy opposeed which increased from 17.5 to 18.2 percent. The over all totals of those in favor and opposed for this poll were just outside of the margin of error.

Those overall in favor of the policy shift were 43.3 percent of the total whereas those overall opposed were 46.7 percent, a difference of only 3.3 which is quite small but still larger than the difference seen in the TVBS polling. A more stark trend can be seen when looking the change in data over time.

Table from Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation’s February polling (

The data on the import of Fukushima foods dating back to 2016 is much more stark. In that year, only 5 years after the horrific nuclear disaster there, public opinion was decidedly against opening up. Only a mere 19.2 were in favor of importing food from the area and a massive 76.3 were opposed. However, over the years this number has steadily declined until now where we have nearly a dead heat. The question now is will the trend continue or will they settle around the middle where they are?

Table from Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation’s February polling (

While it will be interesting to see how the numbers shape out over the next few months before the local elections, it is unlikely that the issue of importing food from Fukushima and surrounding areas will be much of an issue, unless it is a step in getting Taiwan into CPTPP. ln terms of elections there are a multitude of others just as likely to swing voters that can be swung. Electorally speaking there is still a lot of time left for other issues to pop up, heck, many of the candidates haven’t even been selected for many seats yet.