The Past, Present, and Future of the Fukushima Nuclear Crisis
WASHINGTON, DC (March 1, 2012) – Over the past fifty years, Japan has developed one of the most advanced commercial nuclear power programs in the world, largely due to the Japanese government’s broad repertoire of policy instruments that have helped further its nuclear power goals. By the 1990s, however, this carefully cultivated public support was beginning to break apart. Following the earthquake and tsunami of March 2011 and resulting nuclear crisis in the Fukushima nuclear complex, the political and social landscape for energy in Japan has been dramatically altered. A civil society that for decades has appeared weak and nonparticipatory has awakened and citizens are carrying out bottom-up responses to the accident, effecting change with grassroots science and activism. As the one year anniversary of the March 2011 disasters nears, Dr. Daniel Aldrich discussed these developments and his view on the prospective legacy of the Fukushima nuclear crisis, drawing on his recently published study in the East West Center’s Asia-Pacific Issues series, “Post-Crisis Japanese Nuclear Policy: From Top-Down Directives to Bottom-Up Activism.”
Daniel Aldrich is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Purdue University, currently on leave for academic year 2011-2012 as an American Association for the Advancement of Science fellow at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). He has been a Visiting Scholar at the Law Faculty at University of Tokyo, an Advanced Research Fellow at Harvard University’s Program on US-Japan Relations, a Visiting Researcher at Centre Américain at Sciences Po in Paris, and a Visiting Professor at the Tata Institute for Disaster Management in Mumbai, India. Dr. Aldrich has authored two books (Site Fights from Cornell University Press, and Building Resistance from the University of Chicago Press), and more than forty peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, reviews, and Op-Eds. He is a board member of the journals Asian Politics and Policy, and Risk Hazards and Crisis in Public Policy, as well as a Mansfield-CGP Fellow.