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Title: Japan's nuclear bargain: the making of a nuclear hedging posture
Authors: Romei, Sayuri Maria Valentina
Advisor: Nuti, Leopoldo
Keywords: JAPAN
Issue Date: 26-Oct-2018
Publisher: Università degli studi Roma Tre
Abstract: Japan is clearly a candidate for nuclear proliferation, because of its reprocessing and enrichment capabilities. However, the political intent that would accompany its status of nuclear latency has been proved to be very difficult to assess. The present work examines Japan’s nuclear hedging posture through the analysis of four elements included in the country’s nuclear policy: Japan’s rejection of nuclear weapons and construction of postwar pacifism; the introduction of nuclear energy in Japan; the creation of a nuclear culture; and lastly the evolution of Japanese political rhetoric on the nuclear option. This dissertation shows that the first and second elements compose Japan’s Nuclear Bargain, which took place in the early-to-mid-1950s. The first part of such a Bargain reveals how Japan’s postwar pacifist identity played a role in leading up to the national non-nuclear policy in the late 1960s, and how the Japanese government has tried to juggle the issues of pacifism and security, disarmament and deterrence. The second element, or the other part of the Bargain, analyzes the timing of the beginning of Japan’s civil nuclear program. The status of hibakukoku (nuclear victim), which is an important part of the country’s postwar pacifism, is linked to this second part of the bargain as well. The introduction of nuclear energy also engendered a nuclear energy culture (genpatsu bunka) while creating nuclear latency. The creation of a nuclear energy culture during the Bargain thus perpetuated the enthusiasm for nuclear energy into the present time by creating a complex system that encompasses beliefs, symbols, and myths associated with nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. The analysis of this third element also introduces the idea that the Fukushima nuclear accident might be changing these dynamics and the public perception of nuclear energy. Finally, the fourth element that this work examines is the evolution of nuclear rhetoric in politics. It argues that although there is a renaissance in the nuclear debate, the rhetoric that has fed regional nuclear suspicions has always been present since the time of the Bargain. The analysis demonstrates that through political rhetoric, Japan’s nuclear policy has started moving towards reconciling all the items studied in this work: the pacifist identity, the anti-nuclear sentiment, the hibakusha status, the pursuit of nuclear energy, disarmament ideals, and security concerns.
Access Rights: info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
Appears in Collections:Dipartimento di Scienze Politiche
T - Tesi di dottorato

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