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CJS Thursday Noon Lecture Series | The Themepark of Nuclear: An Exhaustive Survey on Nuclear Power Plant Visitor Centers in Post-Fukushima Japan

Hajime Hasegawa, Professor of Media Studies, Meiji Gakuin University; Visiting Scholar, Center for Japanese Studies, University of Michigan
Thursday, October 12, 2023
12:00-1:30 PM
Room 110 Weiser Hall Map
Attend in person or via Zoom. Zoom registration at

This presentation will focus specifically on nuclear power plant visitor centers (NPP-VCs) rather than simply nuclear power plants.

Since the tragic “3.11” disaster in 2011, much has been said in Japan about nuclear power generation, but nuclear power plant visitor centers have not been talked about as much. An NPP-VC is a facility, run by the electric industry, for fostering public relations promoting nuclear power generation. In other words, the NPP-VC is a discourse apparatus of nuclear “enlightenment.” Today, there are more than 30 NPP-VCs in Japan, an even higher number than that of nuclear power plants that serve merely as power plants.

Having done fieldwork on every NPP-VC operating in Japan since 2012, Prof. Hasegawa will now reveal the actual conditions of such facilities, which are reminiscent in some way of Tokyo Disneyland, with attractive architecture and many entertainment-related exhibits but, in spite of this, few visitors. To attempt an international comparison, Prof. Hasegawa has also visited NPP-VCs in Taiwan, Europe, and the U.S.

In this lecture, Prof. Hasegawa will share an aspect of the present status of NPP-VCs in Japan. Some NPP-VCs are located at unexpected places in unexpected (and occasionally stealthy) forms. How do they function in the discourse structure on nuclear power in Japan and symbolize it?

Hajime Hasegawa is Professor of Media Studies at Meiji Gakuin University in Tokyo, Japan. His major was media studies and cultural sociology. He graduated and received his Ph.D. from the Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies at the University of Tokyo. He has committed to many projects and publications, including monographs such as Media Studies for Publishing and Knowledge: A History and Regeneration of Editorship (Misuzu Shobo, 2003), Everyday Life as Attraction: Dancing Machinery with Body (Kawade Shobo Shinsha, 2009), and How We Can Hope in the Disneylandizing Society: Games of Technology and Body (Keio University Press, 2014). He stayed at CJS as a visiting scholar from 2017 to 2018 and is now visiting again.

This lecture is made possible with the generous support of the U.S. Department of Education Title VI grant.

If there is anything we can do to make this event accessible to you, please contact us at Please be aware that advance notice is necessary as some accommodations may require more time for the university to arrange.
Building: Weiser Hall
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: Asia, japan, Media
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Center for Japanese Studies, International Institute, Asian Languages and Cultures