Definitely In My Back Yard: nuclear power and hometown identity in late-twentieth century Japan

Date: 17th January 2011, 6.45pm
Venue: The Garden Room, The Oriental Club, Stratford House, 11 Stratford Place, London W1C 1ES
Email:
events@japansociety.org.uk
Tel: 020 7828 6330.
Web:
http://www.japansociety.org.uk/events/ 

Nuclear power stations are widely acknowledged to be among the worst of the so-called ‘public bads’—including airports, dams, and incinerators—that central governments impose on local citizens. Indeed, the planned sites of such ‘bads’ are often the focus of Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY) protests. Why, then, did a small Japanese town vote, in 1984, to invite the construction of a nuclear power station in its back yard—a plant that, if built, will be the closest nuclear facility to Hiroshima? This paper explores the reasons for such a decision, and the reasons that construction of the power station has still not begun, even in 2011. It will argue that the whole episode reveals a profound crisis of rural identity in post-war Japan—a crisis that offers important new insights to our understanding of modern Japanese history.

Dr Martin Dusinberre graduated with a DPhil in History from the University of Oxford. Currently a Lecturer in Modern Japanese History at Newcastle University, he is also Director of the MA in East Asian History there. His first book, ‘Hard Times in the Hometown: a microhistory of modern Japan’ will be published by the University of Hawai’i Press in 2011.

To reserve your place, please call the Japan Society office on 020 7828 6330 or email events@japansociety.org.uk .

 

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