Drawing a Line between Peaceful and Military Uses of Nuclear Power: The Japanese Press, 1945 - 1955

TAKEKAWA, Shunichi
September 2012
Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus;9/10/2012, Issue 37, p2
Why did Japan, the victim of the atomic bomb, early and whole-heartedly opt for nuclear power? From 1945 to 1955, indeed, from the immediate aftermath of Japan's surrender, the Asahi, Mainichi and Yomiuri, the big three newspapers, unanimously and without controversy, endorsed the peaceful uses of nuclear power, distinguishing it from nuclear weapons. This article reconsiders a literature that has focused on the decisive role of the Yomiuri newspaper, and Eisenhower's 1953 Atoms for Peace program, which led the Japanese to accept nuclear power in the mid-1950s. Instead, it shows a broad media consensus in support of nuclear power from the 1940s, envisaged as the heart of the next industrial revolution.


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