East Asia

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 313–336

The Impact of 3/11 on Japan


DOI: 10.1007/s12140-012-9182-3

Cite this article as:
Arase, D.M. East Asia (2012) 29: 313. doi:10.1007/s12140-012-9182-3


The question posed in this paper is whether the triple disaster of 3/11 constitutes a “critical juncture” in Japan. We can point to minor discontinuities in Japanese policies, institutions, and identity caused by the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear plant meltdown that eventuated on March 11, 2011, but in the year following the event there was no evidence of a critical change. The disaster and post-disaster situation in Japan are summarized, and an explanation for the lack of critical change in nuclear policy—an area where change might have been expected in view of the fact that European countries reacted to 3/11 with critical changes in nuclear energy policy—is sought by comparing the ability of mainstream theories of Japanese politics to explain the situation.


Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plantAnti-nuclear power movementJapanese politicsNuclear power debate3/11 earthquake

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Johns Hopkins University-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American StudiesNanjingChina