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Nation hit by A-bombs placed big bet on nuclear power via Asahi Japan Watch

August 20, 2011

By YUTAKA SHIOKURA / Staff Writer

The accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant has led to magazine articles and publications that are trying to unravel how two competing images of Japan emerged in modern history–the nation devastated by the atomic bombings in August 1945 going on to become one of the major users of nuclear power plants.

One aspect that has emerged in those discussions is the role played by the theory that Japan promoted nuclear energy “just because” it was the victim of an atomic bombing.

On the July 23 broadcast of a TV debate program, Italian journalist Pio D’Emilia asked, “Why did a nation that has the legacy of Hiroshima ever allow so easily the construction of nuclear power plants?”

A response was given by Michio Ishikawa, a supreme adviser at the Japan Nuclear Technology Institute who was born before August 1945 and who was involved in nuclear power development from the earliest stages after the end of World War II.

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