The neglect for safety has contributed to the severity of the accident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant after the 3.11 2011 quake and tsunami and made Fukushima a social disaster. Nuclear energy programs are a massive state project, and the security responsibility to protect its citizens and property is arguably of the highest order in peacetime.
Yet, Japan’s nuclear energy regime created under the previously long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party focused only on commercial gains while propagating the myth that Japan’s nuclear plants were operated under high-level security precautions.
After Fukushima, public trust in the state, not just the nuclear power regime, has virtually collapsed, just as public trust in the political process is also critically low after years of ineffective and increasingly corrupt LDP rule.
The ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) faces the task to restore that public trust in the political process in order to resume operation in existing nuclear power plants, a task that crucially includes laying down a new social contract underwritten by drastically stronger measures to ensure the safety.