Friday, May 12, 2017

3.11: Disaster and Change in Japan by Richard J. Samuels

Call this history right after it happens. 3.11: Disaster and Change in Japan attempts to dissect what's happened in Japan after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011.

Written at a distance of two years, Author Richard Samuels looks at three broad areas - the role of the military, energy policy (especially nuclear), and how local government operates.

In each of these he charts out the debate about change, some of the steps that have been taken, and where Japan stands two years later. It seems that one of the greatest disasters in modern times wasn't large enough to drive wholesale change across the country, but it set off smaller changes that may - or may not - have major impacts. At writing it was just too soon to tell. Maybe so even now four years later.

It's also fascinating to see that no matter the country, the history, or the challenge, that politics tends to be the same at its core.

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