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Pizziconi, Barbara (2015) 'Post-Fukushima discourses on nuclear power in Japan.' In: Calvetti, Paolo and Mariotti, Marcella, (eds.), Contemporary Japan - Challenges for a world economic power in transition. Venezia, Ca' Foscari University: Edizioni Ca’ Foscari - Digital Publishing, pp. 161-188.

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Abstract

The critical damage to the Fukushima nuclear plant, triggered by the unprecedented earthquake and tsunami of 11 March, caused radioactive contamination to a vast area and large-scale evacuation. Both its short- and long-term consequences are still relatively unclear. But together with nuclear debris, the explosions at Fukushima blew up a few myths: the myth of cleanness, that of safety, and the myth of cheapness, which decades of propaganda had successfully created and maintained. I offer a few observations on the nature of the response and the discursive positioning of various social actors in the weeks and months following the disaster, from the pro-nuclear camp of government and electricity companies to the anti-nuclear grass-root movements, intellectuals and artists, and the fora of the official news media and social media. On the one hand, I note how the (mis)handling of information in the wake of the Fukushima disaster through official or institutional channels shook the public consciousness and reignited big political issues such as the public 19s right to information, the question of authority over specialized (scientific) information, issues of accountability etc. (i.e. ultimately, issues of democracy); and on the other I ask whether new forms of communication such as the internet and the social media actually provide alternative instruments for challenging or even subverting the existing relations of power.

Item Type: Book Chapters
Additional Information: please contact the author (bp3@soas.ac.uk) before citing
Keywords: Japanese, nuclear discourse, Fukushima
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of the Languages and Cultures of Japan and Korea
ISBN: 9788897735991
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2013 10:15
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/14745
Related URLs: http://edizioni ... 9/97/JapStuds/3 (Publisher URL)

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