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Japan ‘Nuclear Energy Village’ website pulled after critics say it plumbed ‘new level of insensitive’ via The Japan Times

A website created by the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum to educate the next generation on nuclear energy was taken down Friday after drawing criticism on social media, with some Twitter users calling the effort “inappropriate” given that the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear disaster happened “just several years ago.”

The website, published Monday by JAIF, which is a nuclear energy lobby group, was called “Atsumare! Genshiryoku Mura,” which roughly translates to “Come gather! Nuclear Energy Village” and its homepage was adorned with warlords, ghosts and clowns along with a slew of colorful characters and other comical touches.

The site came down on Friday, to be replaced by an apology message from JAIF saying the site had been pulled due to “inappropriate language.” The lobby group added, “We apologize for any inconvenience or unpleasantness you may have experienced.”

The page featured pop-ups that read “Excuse me, what village?” and an image of a pirate ship being steered by foreign nationals that linked users to interviews with employees from overseas that were taking part in the project.

“We understand that various opinions are being expressed,” said a JAIF representative before the site was pulled, adding that the purpose of the website was to “provide support for young people involving themselves in nuclear energy in spite of adversity, and to respond to students who have questions and concerns about it.”

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Before the website was published, the JAIF posted on Twitter that people “should look at the website before criticizing it.”

“By just being polite, we’re not reaching our target audience,” the representative said.

In October, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. roiled the Twittersphere when it posted a picture of the inside of No. 4 reactor at the Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant with a controversial caption. At the time, a flood of users criticized the company, saying it hadn’t taken responsibility for its role in the March 2011 nuclear disaster.

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