The Macksey Journal


After the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima, Japan, in March 2011, anti-nuclear movements and discourse in response to the risks of nuclear energy reached their height. Despite the 2011 nuclear meltdown and the following anti-nuclear movements, the Japanese government ruled by the conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) decided to resume operations of 9 nuclear power plants in 2015. Therefore, I am interested in the weaknesses and limitations of anti-nuclear discourses in Japan that cannot counter the government's energy policy. Through a critical analysis of discourses of Japanese leftist thinkers, such as SEALDs (a student activist organization against LDP-ruled government) and former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi who argue against the use of nuclear energy, this presentation claims that anti-nuclear discourses in Japan repeat the same rhetoric and logical structures that the pro-nuclear discourse uses. These rhetoric and logical structures include fideism and dependency on "life without a gift." After looking at the limitations of Japanese anti-nuclear discourses, the presentation applies contemporary thoughts of Japanese philosophers on fideism and post-truth (Masaya Chiba), and desire for a "life without gift" (Shinichi Nakazawa and Koichiro Kokubun) to reconstruct anti-nuclear discourse. Thus, this presentation does not stay in a Foucault-like discourse analysis that reveals the power relations between pro-nuclear and anti-nuclear narratives, but it uses the power relations to halt the reproduction of the same type of discourses and rethink of an alternative.