The Plan to Rebuild Japan: April 2011

4. April 2011

The Plan to Rebuild Japan:   When You Can't Go Back, You Move Forward.   Outline of an Environmental Sound Energy Policy

Kaneko Masaru

Japan seems on the verge of a second defeat. The March 11 magnitude 9.0 East Japan earthquake shoved the entire country 2 metres and brought even more mayhem in a tsunami that wrecked whole communities and snatched away the lives of thousands. Now we see 100,000 troops from the Self-Defense forces dispatched to rescue operations amidst the pall rising from massively damaged nuclear reactors. Radioactivity is drifting out to sea and over the surrounding prefectures, poisoning farm produce and forcing restrictions on their shipment and sale. The crisis has extended even to drinking water in the capital of Tokyo. The scale of disasters evokes embedded memories of the cusp of postwar reconstruction, the moment when rebuilding economy and society was about to harness prodigious resources and time.

So it is urgent, right now, to confront the question of how Japan should be rebuilt, and in whose interests. TEPCO, METI, the nuclear regulators, and their allies strewn through academe insist even now, in the face of the facts, that "nuclear power is safe." They seek to sidestep responsibility for this incident by declaring it "unforeseeable." But was it actually "unforeseeable"?

The author presents a vision for a new environmentally sound, non-nuclear powered future for Japan.

Kaneko Masaru is Professor, Keio University, Department of Economics and a leading public intellectual and prolific author whose work has focused on political economy and public finance.

Recommended citation: Kaneko Masaru, The Plan to Rebuild Japan: When You Can't Go Back, You Move Forward. Outline of an Environmental Sound Energy Policy, The Asia-Pacific Journal Vol 9, Issue 14 No 2, April 4, 2011.

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