Lecture / Reading

One Year After Japan's 3/11 Disaster: Reforming Japan's Energy Sector, Governance, and Economy

Sponsored by Japan Studies Program, Shorenstein APARC and the Center for East Asian Studies


Monday, February 27, 2012
8:30 am –
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Event Details:

Special Japan Studies Program and CEAS Series: Winter-Spring 2011-12
Looking Back, Looking Forward: Japan's March 11 Disasters One Year Later


In the year following Japan’s 3/11 triple disaster of the Tohoku earthquake, tsunami, and Fukushima nuclear incident, fundamental issues in Japan’s political economy are being debated. Potentially major restructuring of Japan’s corporate and political institutional landscape are on the horizon.

Japan’s electricity industry is on the brink of sweeping reform. Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), one of the country’s largest firms, faces potential insolvency from the decommissioning of nuclear reactors and reparations. The deregulation and creation of a new regulatory framework for Japan’s electricity markets can potentially stimulate innovation, economic growth, and entrepreneurship. Investment into smart-grids and rebuilding of the Tohoku region provide opportunities as well as risks.

Political institutions are also being reexamined. On the government side, the clear failure of governance structures is fueling a debate for restructuring administration of the power industry. The ineffective political leadership during the crisis is causing a re-examination of how politicians, bureaucrats, and firms deal with contingencies. More broadly, the 3/11 crisis has influenced political dynamics, as criticism of Prime Minister Kan’s government fueled its downfall, and the specter of this disaster will loom over political debates.

This conference brings together leading scholars, influential experts, many of whom hold key positions in the reform process, and highly informed observers of Japan’s post-3/11 adjustments.

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Special Japan Studies Program and CEAS Series: Winter-Spring 2011-12
Looking Back, Looking Forward: Japan's March 11 Disasters One Year Later

The earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster that hit Japan in March 2011 had both immediate catastrophic consequences and long term repercussions.  Fundamental areas of Japan’s environment, economy, society, and collective national psyche were deeply affected, giving rise to a broad range of urgent issues. These include economic debates about how to meet the country’s energy demands with nuclear power plants offline, and what path to take for the country’s energy future; political crises, including criticism of the government’s disaster response; the psychological challenges of coping with trauma and grief; a daunting environmental clean-up; and social developments, including a new wave of civil society activism. This series brings together scholars and activists from a wide range of specialties to take stock of how the Japanese have been affected by the disasters, and to assess the efforts of residents, volunteers, and policy makers to recover and move forward.

Admission Info

RSVP required by February 22 via APARC event websit http://aparc.stanford.edu/events/