Japan, Democracy, and the Globalization of Nuclear Power (Part 1 of “Japanʻs Nuclear Nightmare”)

March 18, 2011 

In “Japan, Democracy, and the Globalization of Nuclear Power,” Tim Shorrock, an independent journalist and blogger on Asian Pacific issues gives an excellent and critical account of the origins and rise of Japanʻs nuclear industry:

The nuclear industry was born a deformed monster in Japan when the U.S. warplane Enola Gay dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

As a journalist covering Japanese nuclear issues in the early 1980s, he witnessed and wrote about the community struggles against nuclear power.   The catastrophe unfolding at the Fukushima nuclear power plant was to be expected as an outcome of the corrupt and anti-democratic processes driving their proliferation.  He describes several ʻbig holesʻ in the public rationale for nuclear power in Japan:

I’m speaking of the industry’s and government’s tendency to play up the positives of nuclear power and ignore its many downsides; the undemocratic nature of the siting and building process, which has historically excluded citizens’ groups and made it very hard to oppose – let alone block – the construction of new plants; and the two-tiered labor system, which has created an underclass of contract workers – “nuclear gypsies” – who do the dirty work at the plants and suffer the most from radiation and other industrial diseases.

This is the first part a series Japan’s Nuclear Nightmare READ THE FULL ARTICLE The second part deals with “nuclear gypsies”.

Check out Tim Shorrockʻs blog for many other articles related to the National Security Agency and intelligence matters, North East Asia issues, globalization and global justice movements.