Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Japan's Bomb in the Basement and the Road to Nuclear Extinction

Shaun Bernie and Frank Barnaby have an interesting essay about Japan's "bomb in the basement":
Shaun Bernie and Frank Barnaby (2107, September 22). Japan's bomb in the basement: Under the guise of a civil nuclear program, Japan has become a de-facto nuclear weapons state without so far having to take that next fateful step. Asia Times, http://www.atimes.com/article/japans-plutonium-proliferation-energy/

Japan's "hawks" must be rejoicing at the absurd theatre taking place between North Korea and the US. What a pretext for eliminating that troublesome Article 9 of Japan's pacifist post-war constitution:
LDP to use Abe’s revision plan for Article 9 as a campaign pledge. The Asahi Shimbun, September 20, 2017 at 15:15, Available http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201709200035.html
The ruling party will turn Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s plan to revise war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution into a campaign pledge for the next Lower House election, despite lingering opposition to the amendment....  In May, Abe, who is also LDP president, proposed adding a paragraph to Article 9 to spell out the legal existence of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces. But the proposal would also retain the two existing paragraphs, which renounce war and prohibit Japan from maintaining land, sea and air forces.
The Asahi article cited above explains that Abe will likely dissolve Japan's lower governmental house and call for an election October 22.

You can learn more about the politics of nuclear sovereignty in Japan (or at least, my opinions on the matter) here:


Additionally, below find an excerpt from my current work on nuclear governmentality (here) describing the LDP's and nuclear village's Hobbesian view of nuclear sovereignty:
Japan’s post-WW nuclear apparatus, described as the nuclear village,[i] illustrates the Hobbesian view of nuclear sovereignty that informs Japanese energy and defense policies.
The LDP commitment to the national security doctrine is reflected in their efforts to revise Article 9 of Japan’s post-World War II constitution to allow more active military participation with allies and in the party’s strategic ambiguity about Japan’s nuclear weapons capabilities, coded in popular vernacular as the bomb in the basement theory.[ii]
Accordingly, political theorist Giorgio Shani has eloquently argued that Japan’s LDP party remains committed to a realist view of national security that conflates “state” and “nation” while prioritizing the state’s role in protecting the population from external threats thought within a Hobbesian framework.[iii]
Sovereignty is however operative at other levels as well. Foucault argued that sovereignty evolved under liberalism as the ancient right to kill was substituted by the modern sovereign’s capacity to let die. Analysis of the representations and government of radiation risk in post-World War II and post-3/11 Japan illustrate sovereign biopolitics at play in the politics of radiation protection after the Fukushima Daiichi disaster....
The outrageousness of North Korean rhetoric and policy are legitimizing this view of nuclear sovereignty, a view that will most certainly expedite our extinction (see my discussion here: https://sputniknews.com/voiceofrussia/2014_03_10/3-years-since-Fukushima-nuclear-power-road-to-our-extinction-expert-3829/)


[i] Funabashi Harutoshi (2012) Why the Fukushima nuclear disaster is a man-made calamity. The International Journal of Japanese Sociology 21: 65–75. Also see Valentine Scott and Sovacool Benjamin (2010) The socio-political economy of nuclear power development in Japan and South Korea. Energy Policy 38: 7971-7979, p. 7974.

[ii] Windrem Robert (11 March 2014) Japan has nuclear 'bomb in the basement,' and China isn't happy. NBC News. Available at http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/fukushima-anniversary/japan-has-nuclear-bomb-basement-china-isnt-happy-n48976 (accessed 11 March 2014).

[iii] Shani Giorgio (2013) From National to Human Security? Reflections on Post 3.11 Japan. The Journal of Social Science 76: 5-24, p. 5.

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