By a guest contributor, 24 June 2011
The propagation of nuclear technology in Japan was a direct consequence of US efforts—for military reasons— to wield influence over the country’s development immediately after the Second World War.
By a guest contributor, 23 June 2011
The propagation of nuclear technology in Japan was a direct consequence of US efforts—for military reasons—to wield influence over the country’s development immediately after the Second World War.
By Peter Symonds, 18 June 2011
The worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl has all but disappeared from the media amid a concerted effort to play down its implications and cover up the underlying causes.
By Peter Symonds, 13 June 2011
While TEPCO previously admitted that a meltdown had occurred in three of its Fukushima reactors, a government report said that a more serious “melt-through” might have occurred.
By John Chan, 4 June 2011
None of the issues that led to a rebellion against Kan inside the ruling party has been resolved.
By William Whitlow, 4 June 2011
A preliminary report by the International Atomic Energy Agency on the Fukushima nuclear disaster is a whitewash exonerating TEPCO and the Japanese government of blame.
By Mike Head, 25 May 2011
TEPCO’s announcement was made amid rising public distrust of the information that it and the government have provided.
By Peter Symonds, 24 May 2011
The central dilemma confronting the Japanese ruling elite is where to line up in the rivalry between its longstanding ally, the US, and its largest economic partner, China.
By Peter Symonds, 17 May 2011
Extensive damage at Fukushima plant compounds difficulties in stabilising crippled reactors.
By Peter Symonds, 13 May 2011
The discovery of a faulty water gauge highlights the fact that engineers working to stabilise reactors at the Fukushima plant still do not know the full extent of the damage.
By William Whitlow, 11 May 2011
The Japanese government has ordered the Chubu Electric Power Co. to close its Hamaoko Nuclear Power Plant, which has been at the centre of long-running protests and safety warnings from experts.
By Peter Symonds, 7 May 2011
Amid the devastation caused by the March 11 earthquake, the government is under pressure to impose the burden of reconstruction on working people.
By Peter Symonds, 3 May 2011
The resignation of a top nuclear safety adviser to Prime Minister Naoto Kan has compounded the political difficulties confronting the government.
By William Whitlow, 2 May 2011
As the twenty-fifth anniversary of Chernobyl passes, Fukushima looks set to overtake it as the world’s worst nuclear disaster.
By Peter Symonds, 26 April 2011
The Japanese government and TEPCO are attempting to reassure a sceptical public that the dangers at the Fukushima nuclear plant are receding.
By John Chan, 25 April 2011
Tens of thousands of residents forced to leave their homes in the evacuation zone around the Fukushima nuclear plant are unlikely to return for years.
By John Watanabe, 21 April 2011
The ongoing crisis at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant has produced rising public concern over the risks of nuclear power and indignation at the government’s response to the disaster.
By Peter Symonds, 20 April 2011
Criticism of the government’s handling of the disaster has come, not only from the opposition LDP, but, more significantly, from within its own ranks.
By Peter Symonds, 18 April 2011
TEPCO’s proposal for its Fukushima nuclear plant is a list of optimistic objectives designed to placate a hostile public.
By John Watanabe, 16 April 2011
While the ruling Democratic Party of Japan suffered a serious setback, the outcome reflected broad disenchantment with all the major parties.
By Peter Symonds, 15 April 2011
None of the economic assessments deals with the immense social cost of the disasters for the tens of thousands of people who have lost their homes, possessions and livelihoods.
By John Chan, 14 April 2011
At the Fukushima plant, owned by the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), 89 percent of the 10,303 workers were temporary contractors, subcontractors and sub-subcontractors.
By Peter Symonds, 13 April 2011
While the government and its nuclear agencies were at pains to explain that the Fukushima crisis was not as bad as the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, they had difficulty justifying the delay in lifting the ranking.
By Peter Symonds, 12 April 2011
From the outset, there has been a concerted effort to downplay the extent of the catastrophe at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant and its ongoing dangers.
By Joseph Santolan, 9 April 2011
Supposedly called to discuss ASEAN aid for Japan following the March 11 quake, the summit’s hidden agenda is to promote the Japanese nuclear industry.
By Peter Symonds, 9 April 2011
Three people died in the quake that left more than four million households without power, and disrupted gas and water supplies in Sendai and other urban areas.
By John Chan, 8 April 2011
In response to the earthquake and tsunami disaster, the Japanese political establishment is seeking to contain the popular anger that lies just beneath the surface of daily life.
By Peter Symonds, 7 April 2011
The US nuclear regulator has confidentially identified risks at the Fukushima plant far beyond those mentioned by TEPCO and Japanese nuclear authorities.
By Mike Head, 6 April 2011
With the Japanese government’s approval, TEPCO is pumping 11,500 metric tonnes of “low-level” contaminated water into the ocean from the Fukushima plant.
By John Chan, 5 April 2011
For tens of thousands of people in northeastern Japan, who have lost homes, jobs and loved ones, the disaster is far from over.
By Patrick O’Connor, 4 April 2011
Authorities are only now beginning to learn of the full extent of the damage inflicted by the March 11 tsunami and subsequent multiple hydrogen explosions at the facility.
By Mike Head, 2 April 2011
Three weeks after the disaster struck, serious doubts continue to surround the precise state of the nuclear plant and the levels of contamination in the surrounding areas.
By Chris Talbot, 1 April 2011
Engineers are now suggesting it may take 30 years to make the Fukushima site safe.
By Chris Talbot, 31 March 2011
The Fukushima nuclear plants are emitting ever-increasing amounts of radioactive isotopes.
By Patrick O’Connor, 30 March 2011
The Fukushima plant owner, TEPCO, has reportedly admitted for the first time that core pressure containers may be damaged.
By Peter Symonds, 29 March 2011
Highly radioactive water is seriously impeding efforts to bring the situation at the plant under control and threatening to further contaminate the surrounding environment.
By Chris Talbot, 28 March 2011
Workers were once again evacuated from the Fukushima nuclear power plant as radiation rose to extraordinarily high levels on Sunday.
By Barry Grey, 26 March 2011
There is mounting evidence that the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is emitting radioactivity more widely and at more toxic levels than acknowledged by the Japanese government.
By Mike Head, 25 March 2011
Radioactive contamination is spreading from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, adding to the huge damage bill caused by its breakdown.
By Chris Talbot, 24 March 2011
The events at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant are slipping off the front pages, but the situation in is still not under control.
By John Chan, 23 March 2011
The government’s appeal for “national unity” is designed to block any public criticism amid growing anger over the official response to the earthquake.
By Mike Head, 22 March 2011
Anger is emerging over the Democratic Party government’s failure to provide basic services to the nearly half a million people rendered homeless.
By Mike Head, 21 March 2011
As food and water contamination spreads to Tokyo, there is mounting evidence that government and company cover-ups have continued throughout the unfolding crisis.
By Chris Talbot and Patrick O’Connor, 19 March 2011
Radiation from Fukushima has now been detected as far away as California as Japan’s nuclear safety agency raised its assessment of the crisis from 4 to 5 on the 7-point scale.
By John Chan, 18 March 2011
An unprecedented speech delivered by Japanese Emperor Akihito on Wednesday underscores the severity of the crisis facing the ruling Democratic Party government and the entire political establishment.
By Nick Beams, 18 March 2011
The Japanese earthquake disaster could well be the catalyst that sets off a new stage in the global financial breakdown that began with the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008.
By Patrick O’Connor, 18 March 2011
TEPCO remains in charge of the emergency response, despite bearing primary responsibility for what is shaping up as the greatest corporate crime of the twenty-first century.
By Chris Talbot, 17 March 2011
Neither the Japanese government nor the utility company TEPCO are giving trustworthy accounts of the dimensions of the crisis.
By Mike Head, 17 March 2011
The Tokyo Electric Power Company has a long, documented record of serious safety breaches, systemic cover-ups of potentially fatal disasters, and suppression of popular opposition.
By Patrick O’Connor, 17 March 2011
Six days after the natural disaster struck, the survivors are suffering extremely difficult conditions.
By Patrick O’Connor, 16 March 2011
Several nuclear reactors in the Fukushima facility remain at risk of total meltdown, following a series of explosions and fires.
By Nick Beams, 16 March 2011
Japanese equity markets have experienced their worst fall since the global share market crash of October 1987 in the wake of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster that struck last Friday.
By Patrick Martin, 16 March 2011
Over the past 40 years there have been repeated warnings of the danger of nuclear technology, as well as a series of incidents—Windscale, Fermi I, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl—that demonstrated the real-life consequences for millions of people.
By Mike Head, 15 March 2011
The tremendous shock to the Japanese economy has profound international implications.
By Mike Head, 15 March 2011
Japan’s nuclear power plant crisis worsened today, even as the full horror of the death and destruction left by Friday’s earthquake and tsunami continued to emerge.
By Patrick O'Connor, 14 March 2011
Entire towns on the country’s north-east coast were wiped out by the 10-metre high wall of water.
By Chris Talbot and Patrick Martin, 14 March 2011
The World Socialist Web Site expresses its deepest sympathy to the families of those who have died, to those who have been injured, and to those who have lost their homes and whose livelihoods have been swept away in this cataclysm.
12 March 2011
A WSWS reader in Japan sent a report overnight on the earthquake’s impact in Tokyo and northern prefectures.
By Mike Head, 12 March 2011
The people of Japan have been struck by the largest quake in the country’s history, followed by tsunamis that have washed away thousands of homes.
By Oliver Campbell, 18 February 2011
The cables, from 2006 and 2008, underscore the growth of tensions in the Asia-Pacific region, and point to Washington’s attempts to undermine Chinese influence, in concert with its allies.
By John Chan, 17 February 2011
Talks between the Japanese and Russian foreign ministers broke down last week—another indication of sharp tensions in North East Asia.
By Joe Lopez, 2 February 2011
Despite widespread public opposition, the Japanese government is determined to double the unpopular consumption tax.
By John Chan, 13 January 2011
The US is pushing its allies, Japan and South Korea, into closer defence relations as part of its broader efforts to counter Chinese influence in the region.
By John Chan, 15 December 2010
The focus on strengthening Japan’s naval power is in line with US strategic efforts to maintain naval dominance in North East Asia and thus the potential to cut off China’s vital shipping routes.
By Andrea Peters, 5 November 2010
Diplomatic tensions have erupted between Russia and Japan, following a high-profile visit by Russian President Dmitri Medvedev to the South Kuril Islands.
By John Chan, 29 October 2010
None of the issues that erupted between Japan and China last month during a sharp dispute over the arrest of a Chinese trawler captain by Japanese authorities in waters near the contested Diaoyu/ Senkaku islands has been resolved.
By John Chan, 11 October 2010
Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao agreed last week to restore high-level talks between the two countries, but addressed none of the underlying issues.
By John Chan, 29 September 2010
Tensions between Japan and China are continuing, amid new claims and counterclaims, despite Tokyo’s release of a Chinese trawler captain.
By John Chan, 25 September 2010
The rapid escalation of a minor incident into a major confrontation between the world’s second and third largest economic powers has underlined the extreme tensions between the major powers.
By John Chan, 21 September 2010
Japan and China are both taking a hard-line stance in the diplomatic row that has erupted over Japan’s detention of a Chinese trawler captain in disputed waters in the East China Sea.
By Barry Grey, 18 September 2010
Two events this week have highlighted the growth of global economic tensions and the slide toward international trade and currency wars.
By John Chan, 16 September 2010
None of the conflicts behind the Democratic Party’s leadership contest on Tuesday has been resolved after Naoto Kan’s victory over Ichiro Ozawa.
By John Chan, 14 September 2010
Sharp diplomatic exchanges have erupted between Japan and China after two Japanese Coast Guard vessels reportedly collided with a Chinese fishing trawler in the waters off the disputed Diaoyu Islands last week.
By John Chan, 11 September 2010
Next week’s ballot for the leadership of Japan’s ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and the post of prime minister has brought to the surface deep divisions not only within the party but within the political establishment as a whole.
By Peter Symonds, 4 September 2010
If Ichiro Ozawa wins the top job in the Democratic Party of Japan, he will become the country’s third prime minister in just over a year, reflecting deep-seated political instability fuelled by economic stagnation, a worsening social crisis and growing global antagonisms.
By Peter Symonds, 28 August 2010
Japan is heading for new political turmoil after key powerbroker Ichiro Ozawa announced a bid on Thursday to oust Naoto Kan as prime minister.
By John Chan, 17 July 2010
Japan’s ruling Democratic Party lost its majority in the upper house of the Diet in last Sunday’s elections, amid mounting public hostility to the government’s proposed austerity measures.
By Peter Symonds, 21 June 2010
Last week newly installed Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan unveiled new concessions to the corporate elite, even as he foreshadowed a doubling of the country highly unpopular sales tax.
By Peter Symonds, 8 June 2010
Naoto Kan faces the task of trying to revive the government’s fortunes before next month’s upper house elections, but confronts the same basic dilemma as his predecessor—how to implement policies that are widely unpopular.
By Peter Symonds, 3 June 2010
The resignation follow a disastrous slump in the government’s poll ratings amid opposition to its decision to retain a major US military base on Okinawa, as well as growing economic uncertainty and rising social tensions.
By John Chan, 29 April 2010
A rally of 90,000 people in Okinawa on Sunday against the continued presence of a US Marine air base has heightened the political crisis facing the Japanese government over the issue.
By Alex Messenger, 25 March 2010
Recent economic statistics appear to show Japan is shaking off the worst of the global economic crisis, but the headline figures say nothing about the most critical issues, chronic deflation and public debt.
By John Chan, 24 March 2010
The Japanese government has revealed the existence of a five-decades-old secret arrangement with the US, allowing the American military to bring nuclear weapons into the country.
By Alex Messenger, 12 February 2010
Toyota’s recall of eight million cars worldwide, and the protectionist response of the US government, media and unions, underscore the ongoing fallout in the international auto industry from the global financial crash.
By John Chan, 19 January 2010
The resignation of Hirohisa Fujii as Japan’s finance minister is the first clear sign of crisis in the country’s Democrat-led government.
By John Chan, 11 December 2009
The Japanese government has announced an emergency stimulus package worth 7.2 trillion yen for the first quarter of 2010 in a bid to stave off what officials warn could be a “double-dip recession”.
By John Chan, 12 November 2009
The government of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama is facing growing demands from big business to ditch its election promises, slash social spending and rein in mushrooming public debt.
By John Chan, 4 November 2009
In the lead-up to US President Barack Obama’s first visit to Japan, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has signalled that his government is wanting to readjust the country’s longstanding alliance with the US.
By Peter Symonds, 17 September 2009
The Hatoyama government is the end product of a lengthy process that followed the break-up of the post-war relationships in the 1970s and 1980s. Powerful sections of the establishment concluded that a new instrument was required to aggressively prosecute its interests at home and abroad. That is precisely what the new administration will now be under enormous pressure to do.
By Peter Symonds, 11 September 2009
Even before it is sworn into office, the Hatoyama government is preparing to make deep cuts to the previous government’s stimulus spending.
By Peter Symonds, 9 September 2009
The ignominious electoral collapse of the LDP amid the greatest global economic crisis since the 1930s is another sign that politics, not only in Japan but internationally, is entering uncharted and stormy waters.
By John Chan, 7 September 2009
The Democratic Party of Japan won a landslide victory in the country’s general elections on August 30. Yet despite its control of both houses of parliament, the next government will not be in a strong position.
By John Chan, 2 September 2009
The gulf between the limited election pledges of the Democrats and the social realities facing broad layers of working people will quickly become evident.
By Peter Symonds, 31 August 2009
The opposition Democratic Party of Japan routed the Liberal Democratic Party in lower house elections yesterday, ending more than 50 years of almost continuous rule.
By Peter Symonds, 29 August 2009
Japan is poised on the eve of a political sea change. All the opinion polling points to a landslide defeat in tomorrow’s election for the Liberal Democratic Party, which has held power almost continuously since its formation in 1955.
By Peter Symonds, 28 August 2009
At a critical turning point in Japanese politics, the Communist Party is positioning itself as a safety valve for the political establishment.
By John Chan, 25 August 2009
The Japanese economy officially grew by 0.9 percent in the second quarter. The news, however, is unlikely to affect the outcome of Sunday’s general elections.
By Peter Symonds, 23 July 2009
The ruling LDP heads into a general election trailing behind the opposition DPJ in all the polls and facing an end to its virtually unbroken 53-year rule.
By Mike Head, 16 July 2009
Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso has called an early election for August 30, even though his LDP-led coalition seems almost certain to lose.
By John Chan, 9 July 2009
Japanese prime minister Taro Aso appointed two new cabinet ministers in the latest move to shore up his government.