This book explores social movements and political activism in contemporary Japan, arguing that the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident marks a decisive moment, which has led to an unprecedented resurgence in social and protest movements and inaugurated a new era of civic engagement. Offering fresh perspectives on both older and more current forms of activism in Japan, together with studies of specific movements that developed after Fukushima, this volume tackles questions of emerging and persistent structural challenges that activists face in contemporary Japan. With attention to the question of where the new sense of contention in Japan has emerged from and how the newly developing movements have been shaped by the neo-conservative policies of the Japanese government, the authors ask how the Japanese experience adds to our understanding of how social movements work, and whether it might challenge prevailing theoretical frameworks.

chapter 1|23 pages

Towards a new protest cycle in contemporary Japan?

The resurgence of social movements and confrontational political activism in historical perspective 1
ByDavid Chiavacci, Julia Obinger

part I|88 pages

Fresh perspectives on social movements and political activism

chapter 2|24 pages

The uneven path of social movements in Japan

ByPatricia G. Steinhoff

chapter 3|20 pages

Asia and the development of civic activism in post-war Japan

BySimon Avenell

chapter 4|22 pages

Political protest from the periphery

Social movements and global citizenship in Okinawa
ByGabriele Vogt

chapter 5|20 pages

Activism for harmony?

Immigrant rights activism and xenophobic activism
ByApichai W. Shipper

part II|85 pages

Fukushima and beyond – towards new political culture and action repertoires?

chapter 8|21 pages

Civil society advocacy after Fukushima

The case of the Nuclear Disaster Victims’ Support Law
ByAyaka Löschke

chapter 9|21 pages

Mass media representations of youth social movements in Japan

ByRobin O’Day, David H. Slater, Satsuki Uno