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Japan’s Anti-Nuclear Activists Losing Ground Since Fukushima Disaster via The Daily Beast

Fukushima who? Only two years after the devastating nuclear meltdown, Japan is set to reopen idled reactors. Lennox Samuels on why nobody seems to mind.

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It’s not as if anyone has shrugged off “3/11.” The 2013 anniversary was marked by numerous remembrances of those killed in the catastrophe, and stories about the homelessness limbo many of the displaced still occupy. Anti-nuke activists, who include composer-musician Ryuichi Sakamoto (Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence), manga artist Yoshinori Kobayashi, and novelist Kenzaburo Oe, are still very committed. And they still have a sizable public following. But nowadays, the clamor for moving away from nuclear power has softened.

“After the Fukushima disaster, people worried much about nuclear power, but it was bound to happen that they gradually forget [the fear],” says Hiroaki Koide, assistant professor at Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute. “Furthermore, the Japanese government has been trying to make the people forget, and the media now don’t run reports as much as they used to do.”

And Japan’s limited energy alternatives are putting pressure on the country to restart the 50 or so reactors that it shut down two years ago. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s new Liberal Democratic Party government doesn’t share the reformist zeal of its predecessor, led by Yoshihiro Noda of the Democratic Party of Japan. If the Abe administration had its way, the reactors would likely be online in time for this summer’s peak demand.

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