The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus Newsletter
Newsletter No. 37. 2012   

September 10, 2012   
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The Asia-Pacific Journal needs your financial support to take the next step in expanding our work and outreach Thanks to the many respondents. We need to hear from many more. As we approach our first decade of publication, and as we continue to sustain a pace that comes close to that of a quarterly journal with each week's issue, we need to place the journal on a sustainable foundation. This will require hiring of a part-time managing editor. As you know, we have no institutional backing and no angel. But we do have 6,000 loyal regular readers and many more who consult our work periodically. In the weeks ahead we will outline more of our plans. Here I will mention only one. Under the editorship of Laura Hein, we will shortly launch the first of ten course readers drawing on the most important APJ articles on themes ranging from war and historical memory to women and Japan's political economy, to environmental history, popular culture, Okinawa, and cross-cultural globalization. With this we hope to extend our reach more fully into the classroom.This special issue on nuclear power and Japan's post-3.11 crisis well illustrates the best that APJ produces. 
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Our home page has two important features. One is a regularly updated guide to the more than 100 articles we have published on the 3.11 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power meltdown which is transforming Japanese politics and society, and is reshaping issues of nuclear power and energy policy in that nation and globally. Articles are arranged topically. In addition, we have added a guide to some of the most important, and liveliest, online and print sources on 3.11 including blogs and websites.  Second, the list of articles now indicates all those available in Japanese translation or original, as well as other languages.

Many widely read articles appear in What's hot and they bring a diversity of sources and reports from Ground Zero in Tohoku and Tokyo. "What's hot" offers breaking stories and provides information beyond the headlines, to cast them in broader perspective. What's hot is regularly updated and we invite you to consult it and contribute to it. Find it at the top of the homepage.


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Jeff Kingston, Japan's Nuclear Village
The "nuclear village" is the term commonly used in Japan to refer to the institutional and individual pro-nuclear advocates who comprise the utilities, nuclear vendors, bureaucracy, Diet (Japan's parliament), financial sector, media and academia. This is a village without boundaries or residence cards, an imagined collective bound by solidarity over promoting nuclear energy. If it had a coat of arms the motto would be "Safe, Cheap and Reliable". There is considerable overlap with the so-called 'Iron Triangle' of big business, the bureaucracy and Liberal Democratic Party that called the shots in Japan from the mid-1950s, and the evocative moniker 'Japan, Inc.', a reference to cooperative ties between the government and private sector. The nuclear village is convenient shorthand to describe a powerful interest group with a specific agenda, one that it has effectively and profitably promoted since the 1950s.  
On the eve of March 11, 2011 Japan had 54 nuclear reactors generating nearly one-third of its total electricity supply, evidence of just how influential this interest group was in promoting its agenda. Japan thus ranked third in the world after France and the United States. Over the years, as Japan's nuclear sector grew, so did the nuclear village's power and influence. (Hymans 2011) There has been a proliferation of vested interests in nuclear power that benefit from its expansion ranging from the companies directly involved to lenders and investors in nuclear energy-related firms and extending down to grant-seeking academic researchers. This article assesses the power and consequences of Japan's nuclear village and its opponents in the wake of the 3.11 earthquake-tsunami-nuclear power meltdown and Japan's alternatives.   

Jeff Kingston, Director of Asian Studies, Temple University Japan. Editor of Natural Disaster and Nuclear Crisis in Japan (Routledge 2011) and author of Contemporary Japan (2nd edition Wiley Blackwell, 2012). 

Recommended Citation: Jeff Kingston, "Japan's Nuclear Village," The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 10, Issue 37, No. 1, September 10, 2012.


Read More. . . 
Shunichi TAKEKAWA, Drawing a Line between Peaceful and Military Uses of Nuclear Power: The Japanese Press, 1945 - 1955


Why did Japan, the victim of the atomic bomb, early and whole-heartedly opt for nuclear power? From 1945 to 1955, indeed, from the immediate aftermath of Japan's surrender, the Asahi, Mainichi and Yomiuri, the big three newspapers, unanimously and without controversy, endorsed the peaceful uses of nuclear power, distinguishing it from nuclear weapons. This article reconsiders a literature that has focused on the decisive role of the Yomiuri newspaper, and Eisenhower's 1953 Atoms for Peace program, which led the Japanese to accept nuclear power in the mid-1950s. Instead, it shows a broad media and societal consensus in support of nuclear power from the 1940s, envisaged as the heart of the next industrial revolution and Japan's future.



Shunichi Takekawa is an associate professor at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (Beppu, Oita, Japan). His research focuses on the press, politics, and nationalism in postwar Japan. He is the author of "Forging Nationalism from Pacifism and Internationalism: An Analysis of New Year's Day Editorials in Asahi and Yomiuri, 1953-2005" in Social Science Japan Journal, Vol.10, No.1, April 2007.


Recommended Citation: Shunichi Takekawa, "Drawing a Line between Peaceful and Military Uses of Nuclear Power: The Japanese Press, 1945 - 1955," The Asia- Pacific Journal, Vol 10, Issue 37, No. 2, September 10, 2012.
Read More. . .
Kimura Satoru, Japanese Nuclear Power Generation Comes to a Vietnamese Village 

While the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power accident remains unresolved and its causes not yet clarified, Japan is planning to export nuclear power to Vietnam. The author interviews Vietnamese villagers at the site of the projected plant, discusses their visit to Tokyo and reveals the failure of both the Japanese and Vietnamese governments to provide the most basic information about nuclear power.

Kimura Satoru is a photojournalist. His publications include Production of Seasonings (Sashisuseso no shigoto) and Travellers of a Millenium (Sennen no tabi no tami).


Recommended Citation: Kimura Satoru, "Japanese Nuclear Power Generation Comes to a Vietnamese Village," The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 10, Issue 37, No. 3, September 10, 2012.


Antony Froggatt and Joy Tuffield, Chinese Nuclear Power Development at Home and Abroad

The Chinese energy sector is dominated by coal, which provides nearly 70% of the country's energy compared to a global average of 27%. Furthermore, with energy demand rapidly increasing, so is coal production which was 3.5 billion tonnes in 2011, more than doubling its 2002 level. The International Energy Agency's current policy scenario predicts that total coal demand in China will increase by 1000 Million tons of oil equivalent (Mtoe) by 2035, up from 2500 Mtoe in 2009. This projected increase is around double the current total consumption levels in the US and would increase CO2 emissions from approximately 4751 Mt to 10000 Mt in 2035, equal to nearly one quarter of the world's projected total at that time. This article assesses China's attempts to reduce emissions via the construction of nuclear power plants and, secondarily, through what may be the world's most ambitious renewable energy program.

Antony Froggatt is an independent consultant on international energy issues and a senior research fellow at Chatham House (also known as the Royal Institute for International Affairs). He is co-author of The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2012: ( Joy Tuffield is a recent graduate of Oxford University. She has worked in oil and gas corporate finance and has been working in the EER summer programme at Chatham House.


Recommended citation: Antony Froggatt and Joy Tuffield, "Chinese Nuclear Power Development at Home and Abroad," The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol 10, Issue 37, No. 5, September 10, 2012.


Richard J. Smethurst, Japan, the United States, and the Road to World War II in the Pacific


Why did Japan begin World War II by invading China in 1937 and then widen it by attacking the British and Americans in 1941? Were these attacks the outgrowth of a Japanese state with a uniquely intense nationalism, or of a particularly coercive social order, or of economic and social inequalities, or had Japan by the late 1930s entered a stage of late capitalist development that naturally segued into fascism? Was there a direct causal connection between the West's forced intrusion into Japan in the 1850s and subsequent Western pressure on Japan and its neighbors and the launching of Japan's World War II in Asia in 1937? Various wartime and postwar Western and Japanese writers have advanced all of these views in discussing Japan's involvement in World War II. This article assesses the reasons why Japan embarked on a war that it could not win and would bring misfortune to Japan and Asia with reference both to patterns of global conflict and to internal dynamics in Japanese society. 


Richard J. Smethurst is a research professor at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of From Footsoldier to Finance Minister: Takahashi Korekiyo, Japan's Keynes and A Social Basis for Prewar Japanese Militarism: The Army and the Rural Community.


Recommended citation: Richard J. Smethurst, "Japan, the United States, and the Road to World War II in the Pacific," The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol 10, Issue 37, No. 4, September 10, 2012.

Read More. . .  

Mark McLelland, Sex and Censorship During the Occupation of Japan


This article draws on a chapter in Mark McLelland's Love, Sex and Democracy in Japan during the American Occupation (Palgrave MacMillan 2012). It examines the radical changes that took place in Japanese ideas about sex, romance and male-female relations in the wake of Japan's defeat and occupation by Allied forces at the end of the Second World War. It shows that the US-led Occupation provided an enabling context for new developments in Japanese-Japanese sex and gender relations



Mark McLelland is Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Wollongong, Australia, and is author or editor of books on Japanese popular culture, new media and gender studies including Love, Sex and Democracy in Japan during the American Occupation, and Queer Japan from the Pacific War to the Internet Age.


Recommended citation: Mark McLelland, "Sex and Censorship During the Occupation of Japan," The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol 10, Issue 37, No. 6, September 10, 2012.

Read More. . .