Nuclear Propaganda in Select Regional Newspapers in Japan: A Snapshot Analysis of 1986 and 2010

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Given the devastation of suffering two nuclear attacks in its history, how has Japan become so comfortable and invested at a social level with nuclear energy? How has this manifested at a local level, outside of the urban center of such a centralized nation? Historically, the media and private energy industry have a long history of interconnectivity and, throughout the latter half of the 20th century, efforts were made to leverage nuclear energy as a nation-building socio-technological tool. Working within the framework of scholarship in Science, Technology and Society (STS) studies and Japanese scholarship, this thesis investigates pro-nuclear advertisements in regional newspapers in Japan in order to understand how public opinion towards nuclear energy was influenced at a local level. By accessing a unique data set of regional newspapers in 1986 and 2010, the qualitative analysis explores how advertising strategy and local characteristics shifted and evolved over the course of the years. This kind of investigation can shed light on the historical strategies used by the private energy industry in local regions, so that these tactics can be recognized in the future as Japan’s energy policy continues to evolve.


Type of resource text
Date created June 2018


Author Ashforth, Tom
Degree granting institution Stanford University, Stanford Global Studies, Center for East Asian Studies
Primary advisor Sato, Kyoko


Subject Stanford Global Studies
Subject East Asian Studies
Subject Japan
Subject Nuclear Energy
Subject STS
Subject Media and Industry
Genre Thesis

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Ashforth, Tom. (2018). Nuclear Propaganda in Select Regional Newspapers in Japan: A Snapshot Analysis of 1986 and 2010. Stanford Digital Repository. Available at:


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