nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Tokyo Olympics Undermining democratic values

Bad for Fukushima, bad for democracy’, Play the Game, By Andreas Singler, 7 Aug 19″…….Undermining democratic values
Japanologist and literary scholar Donald Keene, who passed away earlier this year aged 96 and who became a Japanese citizen after ‘March 11’ in solidarity with the suffering country, sharply criticised the media for their Olympic coverage of Rio de Janeiro in his Tokyo Shimbun column. Keene mentioned – “as if living in a totalitarian state” – mass media’s nationalistic approach and lack of journalistic distance. “From the very beginning, I was opposed to Tokyo Olympics,” Keene wrote. He was, according to Satoshi Ukai, one of the few public figures in Japan who could still be allowed such a clear-cut opinion. Keene, by birth a US citizen, was a legend among international Japanologists as an annalist, translator and intimate connoisseur of Japan’s golden generation of post-war writers.

“The longer one reflects about Olympics, the bigger the problems appear,” says Ukai. The fact that big celebrations and major disasters both can fuel nationalism and undermine the democratic culture of a country is one of the issues touched upon by US political scientist Jules Boykoff in his lecture on ‘Celebration Capitalism’ during a symposium at Waseda University in Tokyo on 21 July. His theoretical approach that refers on Naomi Klein’s term ‘disaster capitalism’ and covers Olympics in general appears like a blueprint on the conditions in ‘post-Fukushima’ Japan, where there are only a few years between catastrophe and festival event.

A larger number of laws have been adopted in recent years, partly as so-called anti-terrorism measures in the name of Olympic security. Critics call it an attack on the freedom of press, of expression, and of assembly. Those laws, one by one, caused mass protests driven by various social movements. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights, Joseph Cannataci, criticised an Anti-Conspiracy Act of 2017 in an open letter to Prime Minister Abe. And in a report to the UN Human Rights Committee, Special Rapporteur David Kaye sounded the alarm over the country’s eroding freedom of the press. It is hardly possible to report freely about sensitive issues of Japanese history such as Japan’s role in World War II, the ‘comfort women’ issue or, yet, about the real situation in Fukushima, Kaye reported. In just a few years, Japan dropped from number 11 in 2010 to 72 in 2018 and 67 in the current ranking of ‘Reporters Without Borders’.

Andreas Singler is a German freelance journalist, Japanologist and sports scientist (PhD). In 2018 he published his book ‘Sayonara Nuclear Power. Protests in Japan after ‘Fukushima’’, a portrait of Japan’s anti-nuclear movement. In September 2019, his book ‘Tokyo 2020: Olympics and the arguments of the opponents’ will be published (both in German). Website: https://www.andreas-singler.de  https://www.playthegame.org/news/news-articles/2019/0586_bad-for-fukushima,-bad-for-democracy/

Advertisements

August 10, 2019 - Posted by | Japan, politics

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: