The Fukushima nuclear accident and Japan’s civil society: Context, reactions, and policy impacts

Koichi Hasegawa

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    18 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The Fukushima nuclear accident raised important questions concerning Japan’s civil society: first, what was the role of civil society prior to the accident; second, what were civil society’s reactions to the accident; third, what impact has civil society had on Japan’s nuclear policies following the accident. Focusing on societal, organizational, and local community-level activities, this article explores these questions analyzing documents and news clippings pertinent to the accident, participant observations of protest activities, and a comparative analysis of Japan’s nuclear policies with Germany’s policy shift. The relative weakness of civil society provided the context for the accident. After the accident, however, energetic citizen protests became frequent. The structures around which protests and public demonstrations were organized changed substantially over time. Civil society has begun to influence public policy, and is fostering a deeper public discourse, while advancing policy proposals.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)283-301
    Number of pages19
    JournalInternational Sociology
    Volume29
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jul 1

    Keywords

    • Antinuclear activities
    • Japan and Germany
    • civil society
    • nuclear accident
    • social movement

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Sociology and Political Science

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