Although technology has greatly decreased the empire of fatality, its newly manufactured uncertainty may bring about a big scale of catastrophe. In order to control the nature, the human ironically may create a hybrid monster of nature and science-technology, which the human cannot control. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster was one convergent consequence of a triple disaster: a magnitude 9.0 earthquake, following 14-meter tsunami and the subsequent full meltdown. More than three hundred thousands people were forced to leave their home due to high degree of radiation caused by the collapse of a nuclear reactor system. These internally displaced persons (IDPs) blame the Japanese government and Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) for permitting the big scale of radioactive contamination at their homeland. Before Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, IDPs had seemed to be a word describing persons suffering from the humanitarian crisis far away from Japan. But the realities of IDPs suddenly fell down upon the people who had lived in a 20 km evacuation zone next to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant due to nuclear radiation leaks. TEPCO tries to defend itself by proclaiming that the company has no responsibility for this disaster because it was beyond the realm of regular expectations. According to TEPCO, this disaster was an extremely unlikely black-swan event and just a misfortune.
However it is quite difficult to describe this disaster just as a misfortune. Even before the happening of this disaster, some scientists and anti-nuclear activists had continued to alarm by saying that nuclear power would bring about un-controllable disaster due to unpredictable causes including a series of human errors and natural disasters such as earthquakes and that these types of disaster would reach a catastrophic level to such an extent that the original natural environment cannot be restored. It involves very high risks to build nuclear power stations on the Japanese archipelago that is situated on the edge of the Pacific Ring of Fire known for earthquakes and tsunamis. Based on the speculated worst scenario, they claim that the nuclear power stations should be stopped to avoid a catastrophe. Despite these warnings and lessons from previous catastrophe such as Chernobyl, the Japanese government had continued to build up nuclear power stations year by year, which total number reached 54 at the time of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. If this was not a misfortune, who are to be blamed for this disaster? This paper scrutinizes the politics of a boundary between misfortune and injustice as well as the politics of risk perceptions between probabilism and the possibilism in the case of nuclear technology.
- 事故、契約、放射能汚染された身体: 福島原発事故の時代における地球規模での核の秩序
Nuclear accidents are a nightmare for the formation of power and the safeguarding of a global nuclear order. Today, and in the face of nuclear accidents, global ethico-bio-economies have become a vital ground of contestation of global nuclear power. In the name of providing for the victims, a “global defense” contract economy is deployed. This paper looks at the dominant nuclear epistemologies and methods of this economy by exploring the transnational politics of technology and science with a focus on the radiated bodies of Fukushima. It traces the political questions of the present, violence and resuscitation, by pointing to the tensions of regenerating a ‘global body’ in the unfolding of colonization, neoliberal politics, and nuclear accidents. I analyze the activating discourses regarding the body, and its body parts, and engage with the tensions in the humanitarian security protection of the corporeal and the discourses by biotech companies to treat short- and long-term accident effects. This paper draws on the discourses of bio-tech companies and also the interim and final report of the investigation committee on the accident at the Fukushima Nuclear Power States of Tokyo Electric Power Company and articulates a postcolonial framework of techno-scientific understandings of the human body and its security by problematizing major theoretical divides in human security discourses: human and non-human, security and (dis) order. From this vantage point, I rethink the modern scientific-technologies and processes, especially the articulation of their value and meaning in “science cultures” of modernity and its effects on different gendered and racialised bodies and sites. Specifically, I point to the implications for human security IR research and practice and its obsession with the immanent critique of the present, including its critique of the major agents of politics (i.e., the state and the market). I conclude by showing that questions about the suffering and the security of the “radiated” body lie at the heart of today’s shifts and formations of the global nuclear order that require thinking otherwise humans, security and globalization.
Japan has been one of the biggest proponents of the human security approach, but until March 11, 2011, there was an underlying assumption that was something only relevant for ‘others’. Human security was a development issue; there seemed little need for it in domestic policy. The fallacy of this assumption became abundantly clear as a result of the 2011 Tﾅ紘oku earthquake and tsunami, however. In this context, the purpose of this paper is to reflect on this disaster through a human security lens. It will be proposed that human security can offer a valuable perspective, if the limitations of the approach are acknowledged. Focusing specifically on the disaster at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, the paper will identify serious vulnerabilities 窶・at the individual and societal levels 窶・that were pre-existing before the disaster, and how these were amplified as a result of the way the Dai-ichi meltdown was handled. More than 1.5 years after the disaster commenced (and it is far from being over), Japan’s nuclear village 窶・the informal coalition of politicians, bureaucrats, and private industry that uses its power to promote nuclear power 窶・has proven to be remarkably consistent, and persistent, in prioritising its own interests ahead of those people affected. In this context, the basic move that human security makes 窶・that the most severe threats and vulnerabilities that people face should drive our decision-making 窶・represents an important, perhaps even radical, critique of the prevailing situation.