Japan Studies Seminar: Nuclear Tidings: the mysterious self-contaminating effects of the neoliberal consensus on Fukushima Daiichi

Nuclear Tidings: the mysterious self-contaminating effects of the neoliberal consensus on Fukushima Daiichi

Please note, this talk will begin slightly earlier at 11:45 owing to a CHL School Forum meeting at 13:00.


Every crisis offers rich lessons to officials, related industry and academic experts, interest groups and society in general. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster is no exception. Responses to this event across several layers have demonstrated, however, that even if there was comprehensive transparency on the effects of radiation released from the destroyed nuclear power station, this would likely not be sufficient to significantly alter pre-established policy. Even though it may not be immediately apparent, this crisis exposes how the methods and priorities of state-corporate power in an advanced capitalist nation-state as part of a broader transnational industrial and political sector are often implemented at the expense of ‘disposable populations’. It poses fundamental questions to society and underscores the need to address deeper systemic problems beyond engineering, regulation, remediation or rehabilitation. In short, the crisis at Fukushima Daiichi is symptomatic of the accelerating momentum towards the permanent discontinuation of habituated life practices based on the exploitation of uncommodified nature. In this paper I suggest how such large-scale crises are proving the non-viability of standard operations and demand the re-thinking and re-centering of core human principles.


Dr Adam Broinowski is a postdoctoral research fellow (DECRA) at the School of Culture, History and Language in the College for Asia and the Pacific, ANU.

About the Japan Studies Seminar Series

The ANU Japan Studies Seminar Series is a monthly forum for Japan specialists to present their research and opinions on important issues in Japan. Speakers are invited from across various sectors such as academia, business, government, and non-governmental organisations operating both in and outside of Australia. The seminar series aims to introduce audiences to a diverse and fascinating range of debates and issues concerning Japan and its place in the region and the world.  

For the schedule of future seminars please visit Japan Institute website:



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