Reconsidering the Nuclear System from the Viewpoint of Internal Radiation: Hiroshima, Iraq, and Fukushima

It is well known that the origin of “the peaceful use of nuclear energy” was part of “Atoms for Peace,” a policy that U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower launched at the U.N. General Assembly in late 1953. What the U.S. Government really aimed at through this policy was to contain the power of the Soviet Union, the nation which carried out its first hydrogen bomb test in August that year. “Atoms for Peace” was devised to subjugate Western nations to the U.S. government and American capitalism through the provision of nuclear fuel and technology. Japan was included in these targeted nations, as U.S. government officials thought it would be particularly beneficial to promote “the peaceful use of nuclear energy” in the nation that had been the victim of the world’s first atomic bombing. The lecture examines how Hiroshima was specifically targeted by the United States for the purpose of promoting nuclear technologies, and consequently how not only A-bomb survivors but also the majority of the Japanese people became heavily influenced by the “Atoms for Peace” propaganda. The lecture also examines the interrelationship between Japan’s nuclear energy program and its hidden but continuing interest in maintaining the capability to produce nuclear weapons.

The lecture will shed light on the risk of internal radiation, as a “wedge issue” related not only to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but also to the DU controversy and the Fukushima nuclear disaster, in order to invite students to reconsider our nuclear-dependent civilization from a new perspective.

Recommended Readings:
Kazashi, Nobuo, DU (Depleted Uranium) Problem as the Nuclear Shadow: Iraq War as Seen from Hiroshima, Hiroshima and Peace, edited by Carol Rinnert, Omar Frouk, Yasuhiro Inoue, Hiroshima: Keisuisha, July 2010, pp. 230-244.
Tashiro, Akira, Discounted Casualties: The Human Cost of the Depleted Uranium. Several Chapters. (Some other relevant articles and visual works may be used.
J. Catalinotto and S. Flounders, eds., Depleted Uranium: Metal of Dishonor, International Action Center, first edition in 1997: second revised edition in 1999


Present Post and Title: Professor, Graduate School of Humanities, Kobe University

Final Education: Ph. D. in philosophy, Yale University

Specialized Field: Contemporary Philosophy, Modern Japanese Thought, and Peace Studies

Recent Publications:
1) "Acting-Intuition and Pathos in Nishida and Miki: For the Invisible of the Post-Hiroshima Age, or Irradiated Bodies and Power," Japanese Philosophy Today, Diogenes: No.227(57-3), Sage, Dec. 2011, pp.89-102.
2) "The Passion for Philosophy in a Post-Hiroshima Age: Rethinking Nishida's Philosophy of History," Frontiers of Japanese Philosophy, vol. 6, Confluences and Cross-Currents, R. Bouso and J. Heisig, Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture, Nov. 2009, pp. 123-134.
3) co-ed., A World without Uranium Weapons: The ICBUW Challenge, Godo-shuppan, 2008 [in Japanese: an award from the Peace Cooperative Journalist Foundation]
4) "The Times of War and Pragmatism: Hegemony over Attention," in Risen, No. 75, Jissensha, 2003 [in Japanese].
5) 21st Century of Philosophy: A First Step from Hiroshima. Hiroshima: Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation, 2000. [in Japanese].
6) "Bodily Logos: James, Merleau-Ponty, and Nishida," included in Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Interiority and Exteriority, Psychic Life and the World. SUNY Press, 2000.

Living in Hiroshima for about 17 years, I have been engaged in various peace activities, but my commitment became intense after the 9.11 attack. As Director of NO DU (depleted uranium) Hiroshima Project and a board member of ICBUW (International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons), I have been involved in producing DU-related publications and documentary films such as a photo-booklet by Takashi Morizumi, Children of the Gulf War: A Different Nuclear War, 2002, and a documentary DVD by Naomi Toyoda and Hitoshi Shimizu, The Unknown Terror of DU: Iraqi Children Now, 2005.


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