Monthly Archives: May 2011

The Shock Doctrine of Japanese Type – Neoliberalism and the Shadow of America


The Shock Doctrine of Japanese Type – Neoliberalism and the Shadow of America

Chigaya Kinoshita

Approximately two and a half months have passed since 3/11. Since then we have been discussing politics and society of the present Japan in view of a series of the unprecedented crises: earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident. Meanwhile two demonstrations took place on 4/10 and 5/7, mobilizing more than 15,000 participants, a corresponding upswing of the public opinion against nuclear power forced the most dangerous Hamaoka Nuclear plant into suspension of operation, and the mass literacy concerning nuclear issues has been steadily in improvement. At present the axis of political oppositionality is centered on the nuke issue, which however is defined by the power relations inherent in entire politics and society. In fact Japan’s ruing class is seeking at once to reinforce neoliberal reforms and subordination to the US, as their long-cherished objectives as they have been, by employing the current crises as springboard. The task of the present article is to investigate the strategies of Japan’s ruling class confronting the conjuncture after 3/11, by way of referring back a political process that was initiated in the change of government in 2009. Continue reading

A Direct Appeal

Editor’s note:
“A Direct Appeal” by Committee for De-Nuke Domestic Strike is now deleted from the J-fissures, due to the author’s wish to further develop the grounds for this argument.
July 1, 2011

Save the Children 2 – Were the dead 62 in Chernobyl?


Save the Children 2 – Were the dead 62 in Chernobyl?

Yoshihiko Ikegami

The late April 26th was the 25th anniversary of Chernobyl nuclear disaster. After 3/11, however, in Japan as well as the world over, the name has come to be recalled as an event provoking a feeling totally distinct from the past. Every single day, we compare the atrocious event of Fukushima with that of Chernobyl, associating the past victims with our own today. Continue reading

Iwaki City, Fukushima: Report from the Stricken Area


Iwaki City, Fukushima: Report from the Stricken Area
(Translation by Umi Hagitani)

I visited Iwaki City, Fukushima on April 16th. I hadn’t been there since the earthquake. I went there to play a gig. “We don’t want our show to be a part of the Stay Strong Fukushima campaign. We want nuclear power plant to be the theme of the event,” K, who organized the show, said to me. I too was personally irritated that Tokyo doesn’t listen to what Fukushima really has to say. In Iwaki, the coastal area has been devastated by tsunamis, and the northern part, close to the nuclear power plant, is designated as a zone where people are required to take shelter and stay indoor. I wanted to feel and see with my own eyes what folks from this area think about nuclear plant. With these thoughts in mind, I headed to Fukushima. Continue reading

Save the Children!

Save the Children!
Yoshihiko Ikegami

There is a blog <> which is probably run by someone living in Fukushima. The name in English is something like “Don’t be Negligent! This is a Warzone.” The blog is constantly recording the amount of radiation reported across Fukushima prefecture, and reading the data thoroughly. With little opinion of the blogger, it persists in data analyses: i.e., extrapolating the numbers to annual measure and comparing them with the numbers in other regions. Spectacles and feelings expected from the title “warzone” are totally omitted, while the message “don’t be negligent” flows out from between the lines. Continue reading

Leaving Tokyo


Leaving Tokyo
Shiro Yabu
(Translation by Max Black)

After the rain I go to a city park with my elementary-school age daughter. She jumps onto the chin-up bar. I notice that it is dripping wet. Lazily swinging back and forth on the bar, she starts to lick the rainwater off the bar. When I scold her, ‘don’t do that!’ she says, ‘but it’s yummy.’ She gets tired of licking the chin-up bar and now she picks a little flower out of the weeds and pretends to suck the nectar out of it. When I say, “I don’t think that kind of flower has nectar in it,’ she says, ‘yes it does.’ She gets tired of picking flowers and now she picks up the twigs around her and starts drawing a line on the ground. She draws train tracks on the ground and pretends to ride the train. The moment I look away, she puts the mud-stained four fingers of her drawing hand in her mouth. I say, ‘that’s dirty,’ but she isn’t listening. She is busy thinking of other ways to play. This one instance is enough to show everything: a girl or girls will pick things up and eat them even if they’ve fallen on the ground and are covered with dust. And the moment that adults look away, they will drop things, pick them up, and put them in their mouth. Continue reading

Repose 5/9-5/17

J-fissures will be taking a short break. Please check back around May 17th.

Thank you for reading.

J-fissures Editorial

Introducing Post-war History in the Nuclear Accident Debate


Introducing Post-war History in the Nuclear Accident Debate

Yoshihiko Ikegami

There is a documentary film that is rapidly spreading among us now. It is entitled “Scenario of the Introduction of Atomic Energy — Nuclear Strategy vis-à-vis Japan during the Cold War,” produced by NHK TV in 1994. As the main title suggests, the film follows the process of how the postwar Japan introduced nuclear power plants as a state project. And as the sub-title suggests, it was done along the line of the US Cold War strategy. Continue reading

Dystopia of Civil Society — Part 2


Dystopia of Civil Society — Part 2

Chigaya Kinoshita
(Trainslation by Max Black)

Silvia Federici and George Caffentzis’s “Must we Rebuilt their Anthill?” is very rich in suggestions, and includes indicators to Japan’s present and future as well as showing an important direction for the re-posing of the question of the relationship between Japanese capitalism and society. Until a little while ago I had planned to write a response to their suggestions. But at present, there is an urgent need to talk about the ugly aspects of Japanese civil society that are rapidly spreading before our eyes.
Continue reading

To our friends and comrades in Japan – A Letter by an Affinity Group

(Original text in English below)

日本の友人と同志たちへ ——あるアフィニティ・グループからの手紙

うまく言葉を見つけられずにいます。多くの喪失、 破壊を経験し、そして恐怖に面しているみなさんを思い、わたしたちは悲観に暮れています。そして原発の存在がこの自然災害の恐怖にさらに油を注いだこと、情報の統制により状況が悪化させられたことについて、激しい怒りを覚えます。しかし私たちは、これまで何度となく起こり、これからも起こり続けるであろう多くの悲劇の合間で光をさす、勇敢な行動や相互扶助の様子に心を打たれています。

3年ほど前、私たちは日本を訪れ、そこでみなさんと共に闘う機会に恵まれました。北海道の高原を私たちはともに歩き、G8サミットを、粗暴な権力と利己主義のみに基づいて行われる 非公式の支配を終えよ、と声を上げました。大阪で訪れた野宿者テント村では、コミュニティーのみなさんが食事や安全の共有を通して行政による退去令から身を守っていることについて語ってくれました。東京でも野宿者のコミュニティーを訪れました。そこでは私営のナイキ・パークとして侵略されようとしている公園を保持しようとする運動が行われていました。そしてインフォ・ショップ、コミュニティーセンター、そしてみなさんの家など——激しい創造と抵抗の在処を訪れることができました。京都、大阪、東京、北海道にいる同志たちーーあなたたちは、資本主義と行政の猛襲からコモンを擁護することを共に教えてくれました。そして食の共有、笑い、音楽を通じて友情を築くことを教えてくれた。ありがとう。

私たちはみな、日本で過ごした時間に強く影響を受けました。そして津波やその後の様子を映像で見ながら、恐怖に震えています。その中でも、原発による被害 は、あなたたちの社会に大きな破壊をうみ出してしまった。みなさんの社会が面しているあらゆる喪失に、嘆き、悲しんでいます。この苦難の状況の中、 生き抜くための努力、互いを助け合う心、そして安全、健康、正義を勝ち取るための力の下で奮闘しているみなさんに、わたしたちは連帯します。言葉では不十分ですが、わたしたちの気持ちをこのような言葉にして差し伸べたいと思います。わたしたちに何が出来るか、教えてください。みなさんはわたしたちの心の中にいます。





To our friends and comrades in Japan – A Letter by an Affinity Group

We struggle to find the words to tell you that we are sorry for the loss, devastation, and fear you no doubt face. We are enraged by the role that nuclear power has played in exacerbating the horrors of this natural disaster, as well as the withholding of information about the extent of the harm that has been done. And we are moved by the acts of courage and mutual aid that shine through the multiple tragedies that have occurred and continue to unfold.

We had the opportunity to travel and struggle alongside you in Japan almost three years ago. We marched with you through the hills of Hokkaido calling for an end to G8 meetings and systems of informal governance based on brute power and self-interest. We visited your homeless encampments in Osaka, where community members told us of sharing meals and security, working together to defend homes against government evictions. We visited homeless communities in Tokyo, where organizers told us of efforts to preserve public space against the encroachment of the privatized Nike Park. We visited your infoshops, your community centers, and your houses – sites of fierce creativity and resistance. Friends and comrades in Kyoto, Osaka, Tokyo, and Hokkaido, thank you for all you taught us about defending the commons in the face of capitalist and government onslaught, about building friendship, sharing meals, laughter, and music.

We have all been deeply impacted by the time we spent with you in Japan, and we have watched in horror as the tsunami and aftermath, including nuclear disaster, has wreaked havoc on your country. We mourn for the losses your society faces. We stand in solidarity with your efforts to survive, help each other, and achieve safety, well-being, and justice in a profoundly difficult situation. These words are not enough, but we extend them to you. Please let us know what we can do. You are in our hearts.

We are with you.
In Solidarity