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Special Section Fall 2013: Asian Environments, Guest Edited by Darrin Magee

Mobilizing Mothers: The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Catastrophe and Environmental Activism in Japan

Author:

Nicole Freiner

Bryant University, US
About Nicole

Nicole L. Freiner is an assistant professor of Political Science specializing in the politics and culture of Japan at Bryant University in Rhode Island, where she teaches courses on Asian Politics, Comparative Politics and Global Politics. She received her PhD from Colorado State University. Her research interests include Confucianism, gender, nationalism, and the role of democratic institutions for citizen participation.

 


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Abstract

The citizens’ and environmental movements of the 1960s and 70s hadgreat political success in Japan, culminating in the Special Session of the Diet in1970 that enacted 14 anti-pollution laws. These activist groups fought denials ofresponsibility on the part of industry and unresponsiveness on the part of localgovernments. Women were at the forefront of this type of activism during the 1960sand 70s, and led many of the citizens’ environmental movements during this time.More recently, during the environmental catastrophe caused by the meltdown of theFukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, women and mothers have been vocal protesters.Environmental movements have particular political salience because of the successwomen have achieved in this area both in policy change and also roles in formalpolitics. Women have consistently achieved these successes at the same time as theyperformed their roles as mothers and home managers; these roles have been usedstrategically to mobilize women with great effect, and also were central to the valueswith which the citizens’ movements defined themselves politically.

DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/ane.37
How to Cite: Freiner, N., (2014). Mobilizing Mothers: The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Catastrophe and Environmental Activism in Japan. ASIANetwork Exchange: A Journal for Asian Studies in the Liberal Arts. 21(1), pp.27–41. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/ane.37
Published on 24 Feb 2014.
Peer Reviewed

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