Susanna Marino and Stefano Vecchia wrote a book on the topic that was released recently. The “atomic bombs dropped 75 years ago are a ghost that haunts above all the minds of the Japanese, but also of all humanity”. The crisis associated with the Fukushima nuclear disaster has revealed the limits of technology, raising questions about the use of nuclear energy.
Milan (AsiaNews) – Japan, the only nation to have suffered from the effects of an atomic bomb, has since developed an ambivalent relationship to nuclear power, split between the need to preserve the memory of the past and the wish – backed by geo-political and economic considerations – to exploit atomic energy, but with tragic consequences, as the Fukushima accident can attest.
This is the question tackled in Da Hiroshima a Fukushima. Il Giappone e l’incubo nucleare (From Hiroshima to Fukushima. Japan and the nuclear nightmare), Milan: Edizioni Stilnovo, 2020, p. 228, by Susanna Marino, professor of Japanese language and culture at the Milano-Bicocca University, and Stefano Vecchia, a journalist, writer, and Asia specialist.
The book looks at the past and present of nuclear power in Japan with its weighty legacy that still conditions the future choices the country has to make.
In both cases, past and present, the book highlights the fate of the hundreds of thousands Hibakusha, the people affected by the bomb, as well as those displaced by the radioactive fallout. In doing so, it highlights the persistence of marginalised areas, as well as blind spots in Japanese society.
Both writers highlight the uphill struggle that the environmental and pacifist movements still face today in a country tendentially geared towards productivity, conformity and social peace.