‘Community power’: Renewable energy policy and production in post-Fukushima Japan
EditorOgawa, A; Seaton, P
Source TitleNew frontiers in Japanese studies
PublisherRoutledge - Taylor & Francis
University of Melbourne Author/sOgawa, Akihiro
CitationsOgawa, A. (2020). ‘Community power’: Renewable energy policy and production in post-Fukushima Japan. Ogawa, A (Ed.). Seaton, P (Ed.). New frontiers in Japanese studies, (1), pp.221-232. Routledge - Taylor & Francis.
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Japan has assumed a central position within global discourses on energy since the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami in 2011 that caused radiation leakage from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. This disaster singlehandedly destabilised energy policymaking and production practices in Japan. Before this disaster, many people in Japan, including myself, never gave much thought about energy, and only individuals with some reason to be worried about energy issues engaged in discussion about energy. However, people from a broader cross section of society joined the conversation after the disaster. They started learning about how the electricity system works – how electricity is generated and how it is consumed. Before the 11 March disaster, if and when the general public discussed electricity, it was mostly within the context of global climate change; in other words, how to reduce carbon emissions. Unlike coal and natural gas plants, nuclear energy does not involve carbon emissions during the generation of electricity. Such energy generation reflected an ideal pursuit of development and growth, which dominated our lifestyle over the post-Second World War period. However, the post-disaster landscape reshaped our values and ways of living at the grassroots level. People began to engage in more insightful political debates.
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