The triple disaster that struck Japan in March 2011 began with the most powerful earthquake known to have hit Japan and led to tsunami up to 40 meters in height that devastated a wide area and caused thousands of deaths. The ensuing accident at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant was Japan's worst and only second to Chernobyl in its severity. But has this triple disaster also changed Japan? Has it led to a transformation of the country, a shift in how Japan functions? This book, with fresh perspectives on extraordinary events written by diplomats and policy experts at European embassies to Japan, explores subsequent shifts in Japanese politics and policy-making to see if profound changes have occurred or if instead these are limited. The book addresses those policy areas most likely to be affected by the tragedy - politics, economics, energy, climate, agriculture and food safety - describes how the sector has been affected and considers what the implications are for the future.
Dominic Al-Badri is a political analyst at the Delegation of the European Union to Japan. Prior to joining the EU in 2006 he worked as a Japan-based journalist covering politics, social issues, technology, travel and lifestyle. He has lived in Japan since 1992. Gijs Berends is an official with the European Commission who was posted to the EU Delegation to Japan from 2008 to 2012. His previous publications have appeared in the European Law Review, the Journal of World Trade, and the Food & Drug Law Journal.
Preface Note on Contributors Abbreviations 1. - Setting the scene: Japan as the 21st century began (Dominic Al-Badri and Gijs Berends) 2. - The unfolding of the triple disaster (Mari Koseki) 3. - Unity and fragmentation: Japanese politics post-Fukushima (Dominic Al-Badri) 4. - Has 11 March 2011 ushered in a new sense of fiscal responsibility? (Rene Duignan) 5. - Japan's energy crossroads: nuclear, renewables and the quest for a new energy mix (Richard Oppenheim) 6. - Cold shutdown and global warming: Did Fukushima change Japan's climate policy? (Gijs Berends) 7. - Rebuilding farming in Tohoku: A new frontier for Japanese agriculture? (Carla Boonstra) 8. - Safe to eat? Food safety policy and radioactivity in the market place (Gijs Berends) 9. - Conclusions (Dominic Al-Badri and Gijs Berends) Index