Japanese Culture and Its Effects on the Post-Fukushima Anti-Nuclear Movement
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The purpose of my study is to assess through cultural analysis the level of political participation surrounding the anti-nuclear movement in Japan since the Fukushima Daiichi meltdown in 2011. To date, much of the discussion surrounding the anti-nuclear movement has taken a top-down approach or placed blame for the ultimate lack of results on an apathetic public without deeper analysis of Japanese culture and politics. I propose that, generally, any form of direct political opposition, especially life-disrupting protests, runs counter the overarching culture of cooperation and mutual support within Japan. The anti-nuclear movement while notable was an exception to the rule brought on by high emotions rather than an indicator of revolution. To gather data for my claim, I distributed a questionnaire inquiring about participants’ attitudes on nuclear power, their rankings of top political issues, and their political participation (other than voting). Questions were divided into different time frames in order to show a progression of opinion and political activism from 2011 to today. The purpose of this questionnaire is to demonstrate a disjunction between public opinion and public action in Japan. Through research on the macro-level progression of the anti-nuclear movement I will also demonstrate that, although political activism was briefly stronger in Japan, even at its height the anti-nuclear movement lacked the momentum to sustain long-term opposition. Using cultural analysis, I argue that this lack of participation can be accounted for by cultural norms rather than a lack of knowledge or opinion in the general public.
Senior Thesis written partially in English and partially in Japanese in 2015 by Victoria Dillinger called "Japanese Culture and Its Effects on the Post-Fukushima Anti-Nuclear Movement"
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