Does Fukushima show a split in philosophy between Asia and Europe?
Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The March 11 earthquake in Japan led to tens of thousands of people being killed and clearly the overwhelming majority of people died because of the tsunami. However, it is the nuclear energy issue which is still raging in Europe which appears to be of much greater importance despite nobody dying from radiation.
It is also factual that the long term effects of radiation will not be known until the future because cancer
clusters may or may not appear? Therefore, it is the unknown threat and the invisible nature of radiation which is the main cause of concern.
However, the response to the Fukushima radiation crisis is varied and while nations like Switzerland have announced that they will phase out their nuclear energy; other nations like China, India, and South Korea will continue to move forward and develop more nuclear power plants.
Therefore, is the Fukushima crisis about a split in philosophy between a pragmatic Asia and an over sensitive Europe? Of course, not all of Europe can be labeled together and nations like the Russian Federation will have a stronger mindset but in countries like Germany and Switzerland, to name a few, then clearly the fear of nuclear meltdown is causing major ripples.
In my article called Nuclear crisis in Japan but Uranium price to rebound on news from China and India; I highlight the fact that China and India will continue to develop nuclear energy. The same applies to South Korea because like China and India it is clear that the government in Seoul believes that nuclear energy is a must. Also, unlike fossil fuels then this energy is also environmentally friendly and all the above named nations believe that a diverse energy policy is essential in order to meet huge electricity demands.
I commented in my article that “Daily images of the stricken Daiichi nuclear plant alongside massive scaremongering meant that national governments which had future plans in the pipeline were coming under the microscope.”
“However, despite this, and uranium being just below 9 per cent down this year, it appears that the worse may be over for the price of uranium. This applies to China and India who will continue to forge ahead with their respective nuclear power projects.”
“Indeed, according to Bloomberg and other sources, it is reported that nuclear energy will grow by roughly 46 per cent by 2020 amongst the leading five nations which use nuclear energy.”
Therefore, why are Switzerland, Germany, and other nations in Europe, responding so differently? After all, even in Japan it would appear that nuclear energy will remain to be a powerful source of energy even if the current Japanese government introduces greater safety measures or focuses on alternative sources of energy.
Maybe the main difference is that environmentalists and the mass media are more motivated by green issues in Europe and they had a long term agenda whereby they could exploit an issue like Fukushima? Yes, radiation is a serious issue and clearly nations like Japan is hindered because of its earthquake and tsunami fault-line; which means that nuclear power stations are exposed to the ravages of nature from time to time.
However, while Switzerland does have the occasional earthquake; it is clear that China faces a greater threat and the same applies to other nations in Asia which will forge ahead with their nuclear power policies.
Therefore, the current split between Asia and Europe would appear to be based on political motives, the role of the green movement, the mass media which clearly over-hyped the crisis in Europe, and other factors. Also, maybe some European nations have become overtly self-centered?
After all, I find it rather strange for people to be marching about the nuclear issue when thousands of people are still missing in Fukushima, Iwate, and Miyagi. It is also noticeable that the demonstrations in Japan have mainly been tame or often based on economic factors when applied to local farmers and so forth in Fukushima.
The democratic factor could have been raised if it only applied to China but clearly India and South Korea are democratic nations. Also, Japan is democratic despite the frequency of political leaders to resign. Therefore, maybe it is all down to different philosophical thinking between Asia and Europe?
After all, political paternalism is much stronger in Asia and while you have major differences within different nations or within the same nation based on culture, religion, ethnicity, thought patterns, development stages, and so forth; it would appear that individualism and other factors within Europe are different on the whole.
Added to this, the green lobby is very potent in Europe and the mass media also showed the enormous gap in thinking between many nations.
What is clear is that major nations in Asia are forging ahead with nuclear power but in parts of Europe the opposite is happening and a lot of soul searching is going on.
Therefore, why is the gap between parts of Asia and Europe so huge when it comes to nuclear energy?
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