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BY-NC-ND 3.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Mouton June 30, 2015

The nuclear power debate after Fukushima: a text-mining analysis of Japanese newspapers

  • Yuki Abe EMAIL logo
From the journal Contemporary Japan

Abstract

This paper analyzes the debate on nuclear power after the Fukushima accident by using a text-mining approach. Texts are taken from the editorial articles of five major Japanese newspapers, Asahi Shinbun, Mainichi Shinbun, Nikkei Shinbun, Sankei Shinbun and Yomiuri Shinbun. After elucidating their different views on nuclear power policy, including general issues such as radiation risks, renewable energy and lessons from the meltdown, the paper reveals two main strands of arguments. Newspapers in favor of denuclearization appeal to “democratic values.” They advocate public participation in decisions on future energy policy and criticize the closed-off administration of nuclear energy. Meanwhile, pro-nuclear newspapers adopt a “technological nationalistic” stance, claiming that denuclearization will weaken Japan’s superiority in the field of nuclear power technology. In other words, the debate about the nuclear power is not merely about energy supply, but also about the choices facing Japanese society over visions for the future after the events of Fukushima.

Abstract

福島第一原発事故後、原子力エネルギーの問題は日本でいかに議論されてきたのか。本稿では『朝日新聞』、『毎日新聞』、『日本経済新聞』、『産経新聞』、『読売新聞』の社説を取り上げ、テキスト・マイニングの手法を用いてこの問題を考察する。その分析結果からは放射能、再生可能エネルギー、原発事故の教訓といった一般的な議論のほか、原発の存否に関する新たな議論を見ることができる。まず、原発廃止を唱える新聞ではこれまでの原発政策の閉鎖的な運営体制が批判され、将来のエネルギー政策は国民の参加によって決められるべきであるという「民主主義的価値」が主張されている。他方、原発存続を支持する新聞では日本の原発技術の高さが強調され、脱原発によりその優位が失われることを危惧する「技術ナショナリズム」に根ざした議論が展開されている。すなわち、原発をめぐる議論は福島での事故を契機に単なるエネルギー供給のあり方に留まらず、より広い観点から日本の将来像を問う問題として認識されていることが分かる。 キーワード:原子力エネルギー、福島第一原発事故、日本の新聞、テキスト・マイニング

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Published Online: 2015-6-30
Published in Print: 2015-7-1

© 2015

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License.

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