Kenzaburo Oe, Japan’s renown Nobel Prize-winning author, says that following World War II, the nation’s government and media worked together to promote a pro-nuclear agenda. The 77 year old Oe, who himself hold an anti-nuclear position, has stated that the media tycoon who owned one of Japan’s largest circulating newspapers, the Yomiuri Shimbun, worked with one-time Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone to publicize the benefits of nuclear power. Having already participated in public protests against the restart of the nuclear plant in Oi, Fukui Prefecture, Kenzaburo Oe says activists are preparing for another rally that will be the largest Japan has seen in decades.
Speaking to reporters in Tokyo, the award-winning author said Nakasone felt Japan needed a new source of energy, and nuclear power had already been invented in the U.S. Prior to becoming the prime minister in 1982, Nakasone pushed for the use of atomic energy throughout the 50s, and then went on to hold several ministerial positions. Oe says all the technology and know-how was offered by the U.S. to Japan for free, and Matsutaro Shoriki, the owner of the Yomiuri, jumped the opportunity and began to promote its benefits in the paper. It just so happens that Shoriki had worked as the leader of the government’s science and technology agency, before moving on to media. Oe ends his argument with the statement that Japan’s current structure was established at that time, and as no changes have been made, to was a contributing factor to the March 2011 disaster at Fukushima.
Oe also spoke to reporters about activists’ plans to hold Japan’s largest demonstration in the last two decades on this upcoming Monday in Tokyo, hoping to bring at least 100,000 people. Protests have been held on an almost weekly basis outside the offices of Prime Minister Noda ever since he gave the order to restart two of western Japan’s nuclear reactors.