SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Abstract

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. EVERYTHING CONTAMINATED
  4. THE CONSUMERIST AND MATERNALIST TURN OF THE ANTINUCLEAR MOVEMENT
  5. THE GOVERNMENT AND THE POLITICS OF RISK
  6. ASTRAY IN THE SEARCH FOR THE ENEMIES OF PEACE
  7. THE COLLAPSE OF GENSUIKYŌ
  8. CONCLUSION

This paper challenges the centrality of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in our understanding of Japan's antinuclear activism. Focusing on the social distribution and perception of the fallout d*anger, I reexamine the symbiotic dynamics of governmental diplomacy and the grassroots movement against nuclear tests from 1954 to 1963. I argue that radioactive pollution during the Bikini incident triggered a consumerist and materialist turn in the peace movement with housewives at the center. Initially resisting the citizens’ perception of risk, the conservative administration by 1957 came to embrace it and launched diplomacy against nuclear tests to steal people's support away from the grassroots movement. At this crucial moment, the grassroots movement's leadership switched its focus from fallout to the “war policy” in the West, which brought about a paradigm shift from the consumerist and materialist platform toward militant workerism for socialist peace. Now disparaging fallout as merely a “physical phenomenon,” the campaign leaders left the environmental angle exposed in 1961 when the Soviet Union unilaterally broke a test moratorium in effect since 1958. While the government's diplomacy, shrewdly stressing the fallout danger, applied a blow to the campaign, the group was split and paralyzed over a protest of Soviet fallout until it dissolved in 1963. The Japanese experience ultimately proved to be an abortive attempt to grasp the environmental legacy of the Bikini incident.

No more Hiroshimas, no more Nagasakis. Since the fateful summer of 1945, the names of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have been solemnly enshrined in the discourse of Japanese antinuclear activism, both at the level of diplomacy and that of social movements. It is rightly so. One might say that we, after over 60 years, are still struggling to grasp the lessons of the first nuclear war in history.

The atomic hell that broke loose in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, however, has blurred a thin line between myth and reality in our understanding of the origin and development of Japan's identity as an antinuclear nation. Research has shown that what launched the first organized grassroots movement as well as official diplomacy against the bomb in Japan was not the “prompt and utter destruction” in August 1945, but the silent and invisible shadow of radioactive fallout in March 1954.1 The so-called Bikini incident occurred when Shot Bravo, a thermonuclear weapon test the United States conducted at the Bikini atoll in the Pacific, accidentally poured a massive amount of radioactive dust onto Lucky Dragon No. 5, a Japanese tuna boat outside the danger zone.2 Since then, many Japanese have recalled the incident through the lens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and regarded the event as “the third case of Japan's atomic victimization.”

The Bikini incident, however, was much more than an event that comes in third place in Japan's national memory. Perhaps more importantly, it was the first global environmental crisis of the Cold War which laid bare a variety of risks, real and imagined, that nuclear tests posed upon air, water, foodstuffs, and human health.3 The current scholarship, however, has not yet fully investigated the environmental origin of Japan's antinuclear activism. The scholars of the postwar Japanese peace and nuclear disarmament movement have rarely examined the environment as a factor in the movement's crusade against injustice and insecurity. Their traditional concerns rather have evolved around labor unionism, gender, nationalism, hibakusha (atomic survivors), and domestic politics of the ideological partisanship between the conservatives and the leftists.4

The neglect has been reciprocated by the works on the environmental history of postwar Japan. Hardly noting the international context of the Cold War and its intimate relationship with the rise of environmental awareness, the historians have been riveted to the domestic costs of the nation's high economic growth. This schema has spared little space for the episode of nuclear weapons tests. Instead, industrial pollution, notably Minamata disease, an infamous case of organic mercury poisoning since the 1950s, has attracted attention as a test case of environmental justice and postwar democracy in Japan.5

In order to fill the historiographical gap between the environmental and peace histories of Japan, I will revisit the Japanese politics of atmospheric nuclear weapons tests. The article's time frame spans from the Bikini incident of 1954 through 1963, when the partial test ban treaty was concluded and the organizational unity of the Japanese antinuclear movement broke up. Informed by the sociological theory of “risk society,” my analytical focus will be on the social distribution and perception of environmental risks associated with radioactive contamination.6 I will argue that people's encounter with fallout through air, water, and foods, shaped by a set of historical contingencies, offered a political agenda and a humanitarian symbol for both the government and the grassroots movement to adopt. In this way, antinuclear diplomacy and the antinuclear movement constitutively emerged from the same root, mobilized the citizens’ anxiety, and culminated in the showdown over the “authentic” representation of such a concern.

The following discussion is divided into five sections. First, I will review how the unfortunate incident of one tuna fishing boat during the Bikini incident grew into a nationwide panic in Japan over radioactive pollution and weather changes. Second, I will explain how the commercial and cultural dimensions of the foodborne fallout contamination channeled people's compelling yet disorienting sense of danger into a consumerist and maternalist direction. This new orientation, crystallized in the social discourse of housewives, set the emerging antinuclear movement apart from the leftist–nationalist framing of the postwar peace movement. Third, in analyzing the government's responses to the movement, I will illuminate the “learning process” in which the government, initially trying to alter the citizens’ perception of risks, came to embrace it to win back the public trust and divert people's support from the movement. Fourth, I will examine how the grassroots movement, in attempts to outmaneuver the government, moved to place less emphasis on the universal fallout danger and more on atomic warfare preparation in the West. My argument is that this transition accompanied a paradigm shift from the consumerist and maternalist platform to militant workerism for socialist peace. Finally, I will discuss how this shift proved to be a fatal blow to the unity of the antinuclear movement after 1961, when the Soviet Union, the self-described champion of socialist peace, triggered a new fallout crisis.

EVERYTHING CONTAMINATED

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. EVERYTHING CONTAMINATED
  4. THE CONSUMERIST AND MATERNALIST TURN OF THE ANTINUCLEAR MOVEMENT
  5. THE GOVERNMENT AND THE POLITICS OF RISK
  6. ASTRAY IN THE SEARCH FOR THE ENEMIES OF PEACE
  7. THE COLLAPSE OF GENSUIKYŌ
  8. CONCLUSION

A panic often starts with breaking news, and the Bikini incident was no exception. On March 16, 1954, Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan's national daily newspaper, had the scoop on the return of the Lucky Dragon from Bikini to Yaizu, a major fishing port located about a hundred miles southwest of Tokyo. A media blitz followed, and the nation's attention was riveted to the “atomic disease” to which the crew allegedly succumbed. What turned the misfortune of a single tuna boat into a nationwide panic was, however, “radioactive tuna.” Rumor had it that the contaminated tuna from the Lucky Dragon was circulated in the market and ready to invade every home's dining table. A wave of terror soon crashed the tuna market in Tokyo, which came to a complete halt on March 19. Perhaps the best indicator of the mass psychosis was the price of tuna, which crumbled down to around 60 percent of its normal market value within a month after the incident.7

Alarmed by the magnitude of the panic, the Japanese government hastily installed a radioactive monitoring system and ordered the destruction of tuna if even part of the cargo registered radioactivity above 100 counts-per-minute (cpm), a value set by the Japan Scientific Council as a warning threshold. It was hoped that such a precaution would convince the public that the “radioactive tuna” was an unfortunate, but isolated, event limited to the Lucky Dragon. The port inspection, however, revealed an even more disturbing picture: as time passed, the volume of destroyed tuna increased, recording a peak in as late as October.8 Although the fish meat did not accumulate a substantial amount of radionuclides, the very presence of human-made radioisotopes in tuna fueled the public's terror. The consumers’ confidence and the producers’ price plummeted and never fully recovered throughout the year. A Japanese official reportedly lamented: “We would like to make a big appeal that it's alright to eat [tuna] as the inspection is strict. But customers won't follow us because the fact is that radioactive tuna continues to come in now and then.”9

As the inspection ironically sustained the panic, the Japanese government decided to organize an oceanographic survey to see the real extent of contamination in the Pacific. From May to July of 1954, oceanographers, marine biologists, meteorologists, food scientists, and radiation analysts embarked on a small mariner training ship and traversed the Pacific between Japan and Bikini.10 This survey, which became the world's first marine environmental radiation survey outside the nuclear test sites, cast doubt on the seemingly infinite power of the Pacific Ocean to dilute radioactive fallout to no trace. The findings showed an over 1,000 disintegration-per-minute-per-liter (d/m/l) measure, significantly higher than the Japan Scientific Council's warning threshold, in seawater as far as 2,000 km west–northwest of Bikini.11 The U.S. follow-up research in early 1955 confirmed this discovery, demonstrating that ocean currents carried a cluster of radionuclides from Bikini toward the Philippines, Taiwan, and Japan.12 Although no resultant contamination neared the maximum permissible concentration (MPC) of the time, the density of radioactive seawater in that part of the Pacific was expected to remain “high enough to attract the attention of Japanese scientists,” which was a contingency likely to entail “political as well as scientific significance.”13

Fallout surrounded Japan not only from the shore but also from the sky. In May 1954, a radiation research team at Kyoto University reported that it detected strong radioactivity in the rain, which reached 86,760 cpm-per-liter.14 Most reports on radioactive rains first came from the Pacific side of the archipelago, which confirmed the inflow of a polluted air mass from the south. By mid-September, however, “hot rains” started falling on the other side of Japan, which came on the heels of the Soviet announcement of its nuclear tests.15 Many regarded the new threat from the north during the winter as potentially even more troublesome. “Radioactive snows” would remain on the ground and expose people to radiation over a longer period than rainwater runoff.16

Unlike the Pacific seawater contamination, which could be a source of agitation against the United States, the atmospheric pollution established Japan's position as the “valley of ash of death” with fallout from Soviet as well as American tests. The Russians, who had boasted that they differed from the Americans in that all Soviet tests took place within its territory and thus never interfered with other nations, vehemently disputed the theory that fallout from the north was “made in the USSR.” When asked by a Japanese citizens’ group in Tokyo about the rumor, Nikita S. Khrushchev, then first secretary of the Communist Party, wrote a direct reply in February 1955, alleging that “those who spread this false rumor are those hostile to the Soviet Union.”17 A group of pro-Soviet scientists followed suit and fabricated a story that “a certain country” might have dumped radioactive ash from nuclear reactors or exploded a small-size atomic bomb over the Sea of Japan.18 Despite the propaganda barrage, the Soviet claim completely lost ground by the fall of 1955. Yasuo Miyake, a meteorologist at the Central Meteorological Observatory in Tokyo, successfully corroborated the Japanese monitoring data with the French findings, both of which invariably pointed to the same Russian source of fallout.19

The Bikini incident revealed the borderless proliferation of radioactive contamination that suddenly trapped the Japanese from the south and the north through rainwater, seawater, and foods. Environmental radiation, however, was not the only factor that upset the Japanese. Another major concern was what would be later called a “nuclear winter” phenomenon. Although its full theoretical explanation awaited the 1980s, Japanese meteorologists warned in May 1954 that dust in the stratosphere from hydrogen bomb detonations might block solar radiation and push the temperature down, an effect similar to a massive volcano explosion.20 Soon, nature appeared as if it bore out this ominous prophecy. The summer of 1954 turned out to be the coldest one in Japan for the past quarter century with the longest rainy season since 1875.21 Fearing that “unfriendly elements” would exploit the specter of a poor rice harvest, the Japanese government and the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo jointly asked Washington for information to refute any connection between the cold summer and the nuclear tests. If there was no such evidence, there should be efforts to “link any weather effects to Soviet tests.”22 With the heavy media coverage in progress, the embassy became unusually nervous about any abnormal weather report. In September, when a powerful typhoon sunk a ferryboat near the Japanese coast, Ambassador John Allison could not but wonder if the American H-bomb tests in Bikini might be accused of having caused the disaster.23

By the end of 1954, many came to realize how the human-made atomic suns over the test sites interacted with the forces of nature. The fear of radioactive contamination and weather changes went far beyond the misfortune of one tuna boat. In an almost apocalyptical way, as the Asahi Shimbun newspaper observed, Japan became “another Lucky Dragon.”24 Many environmental disturbances alone, however, hardly gave a concrete sense of direction to people's burning anger. The crucial mechanism that translated the acute yet amorphous sense of danger into a sustained grassroots antinuclear movement lay in the fact that environmental radiation showed itself first and foremost through people's diets. Unlike air and water, foods carried with them a distinct imprint of commercial and cultural relations. It was this social dimension of the foodborne fallout that brought the antinuclear sentiment to critical mass.

THE CONSUMERIST AND MATERNALIST TURN OF THE ANTINUCLEAR MOVEMENT

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. EVERYTHING CONTAMINATED
  4. THE CONSUMERIST AND MATERNALIST TURN OF THE ANTINUCLEAR MOVEMENT
  5. THE GOVERNMENT AND THE POLITICS OF RISK
  6. ASTRAY IN THE SEARCH FOR THE ENEMIES OF PEACE
  7. THE COLLAPSE OF GENSUIKYŌ
  8. CONCLUSION

Given the direct economic blows, it was no wonder that the producers and distributors of the fishing industry stood up first against the nuclear tests. Major tuna ports and markets, including Yaizu, Misaki, Ishinomaki, as well as Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, unanimously adopted resolutions that called for compensation, safety measures, and the suspension of atomic tests.25 The sudden activism of otherwise conservative workers at sea was quite a surprise to Washington. Later in 1956, Ambassador Allison detailed the plight of the All-Japan Seamen's Union, a “friendly, strongly Anti-Communist group directly affected by tests.” According to the ambassador, the fear of the tests became a “political fact of life here” in Japan, which placed “our friends, such as [the] seamen's union, in [the] most difficult position.”26

Indeed, contrary to the sound of the word, the Bikini “incident” arose partly from Japan's postwar fisheries policy that had put many fishermen in harm's way. After the Pacific War, with the dire shortage of tendered lands and fertilizers for agriculture, Japan turned to the sea to feed nearly eighty million people with much-needed animal proteins. The fishing industry was also one of the few gainful sources of employment and business left to the war-torn nation. On the eve of independence, over five million people lived on fishing.27 Japan's offshore fishing grounds supporting this crucial industry, however, were being squeezed from all directions. Vengeful South Korea and Communist China, with no diplomatic relations with Japan, unleashed a “war” on the former enemy's fishing boats in the East China Sea. Soviet Russia, also staying clear of the peace treaty, forced the Japanese pollack and crab fishing out of the Sea of Okhotsk.28 Even Japan's postwar “allies” were no exception. Upon independence, Japan was obliged to enter a conservation treaty with Canada and the United States to regulate the salmon and halibut fisheries off the North American coast.29

In this postwar “containment” of the Japanese pelagic fisheries, the only room to breathe was in the tuna fisheries of the mid-Pacific. Aware of its client's plight, the American occupation authority in Japan won in 1950 the readmission of Japanese fishing boats to the water around Japan's former mandate islands, now under U.S. strategic trusteeship. The reopening of the tuna field was justified as a measure to prevent the overexploitation of inshore resources, reorient Japanese offshore fishing from the seas in dispute, relieve the food shortage at home, and lighten the U.S. taxpayers’ burden to feed Japan.30 More importantly, however, it was intended to enable Japan to export surplus tuna to the U.S. market, an economic tie which would furnish this new Pacific ally with necessary dollars for economic recovery and keep it from trading with the Soviet Union and Communist China.31 Under the slogan of “from inshore to offshore, from offshore to deep sea,” the Japanese government responded by enacting a special law in 1953 for fishermen to enlarge their vessels and convert them into oceangoing tuna boats.32 Tuna fishing in the mid-Pacific, in short, became a perfect tool to revive Japan from the ruins of the war and remake it into an anticommunist bulwark for the Cold War in Asia.

The Bikini incident therefore struck the fishing industry at the very moment when it was struggling to bail itself out through the “tuna boom,” which recorded an astonishing 12.4 percent annual increase of tuna exports to the United States from 1951 through 1954.33“Radioactive tuna” was no less than a nightmare for fishermen, who had a high stake in the tuna market. Their predicament continued after the incident when the enlarged danger zone, now encompassing water roughly equal to the size of Virginia, forced a detour to the rich tuna field behind the zone. For small and medium-sized boats, which operated with barely sufficient fuels and refrigeration capacities, even a slight delay amounted to a threat of practical exclusion from the harvest grounds.34 The tuna catchers’ anger was aptly expressed by a poem written by a fisherman in the port of Misaki:

Starfish and oil leaks making inshore fishermen to weep

Military gunnery fields putting the fishermen's life in danger

The Rhee Line and Arafura Sea closed [for the fishermen]

India growing nervous about the Japanese fishing in Indian Ocean

And now, A-bombs forcing captured fish to be damped

Alas, how can the Japanese fishermen survive at all?35

The question of radioactive contamination, however, forced the fishermen to walk a tightrope. As an industry with a vital interest in the sale of fish, the fishing groups simply could not afford to play up “radioactive tuna.” A fishing industry spokesman explained the dilemma: “It might be possible that they do not stop atomic tests if we do not clamor about the effects of radioactivity. But if we clamor about it too much, the fishmongers would be in trouble.…”36 Another dilemma was that the tuna fishing industry, most harmed by the Bikini incident, was one of the businesses whose prosperity was owed largely to growing exports to the United States. Any rumor about “radioactive tuna” would instantly ruin this “dollar box.”

For the sake of marketing in and out of Japan, therefore, the fishing industry had a primary interest in emphasizing radiation safety, not its danger. The fishing groups complained about the government's practice of destroying tuna, which allegedly fueled a popular fear that radiation-related disease might be contagious like those caused by bacteria and viruses.37 They also blamed sensationalism in the mass media, which seemed to overplay the fear of radioactive tuna to impress the public about the danger of nuclear weapons.38 A leaflet in Misaki after the Bikini incident was typical in seeking to counter the public scare by telling people about the presence of natural radiation everywhere—in rice, human bodies, and even hot springs—to “naturalize” the newly added radiation in tuna from fallout. It insisted that what people must watch out for was “ignorance rather than radioactivity.”39

The mixture of political and economic concerns kept the producers ambivalent about the danger of fallout. In contrast, the consumers at the receiving end of the foodborne contamination felt no such reservation. Radioactive tuna hit urban consumers particularly hard, who on average consumed fish 1.8 times as much as those in rural areas.40 This deep connection of city residents with the marine environment, mediated by the urban fish markets, made them unusually sensitive to disturbances caused by the nuclear tests far away from their dining tables. In April 1954, the Japan Consumers’ Co-operative Union (Nihon Seikatsu Kyōdō Kumiai Rengōkai) made an announcement, stating that further tests would “destroy our frugal livelihood by disrupting the nutrition source.”41 The consumers’ anger turned into a ban-the-bomb resolution in September, one of the first Japanese-sponsored initiatives at the International Co-operative Alliance.42 The relay of fallout through the market economy of foods triggered an unexpected “consumerist” turn in the growing antinuclear sentiment.

The rising tide of consumerism did not occur in a vacuum. Indeed, the core identity of the consumers was heavily gendered, reflecting the social norm of housewives as “good wives and wise mothers,” whose duty was to manage consumption and health at home for their children and husbands.43 To these homebound women, the fallout hazards appeared first and foremost as a threat to the peace of their kitchens. A woman in Tokyo, who promptly collected about 1,500 ban-the-bomb signatures with dozens of housewives, uttered the profound sense of encroaching terror: “Of course we don't say we are eating tuna all the time. But since this [Bikini] incident, we have been really in trouble to fix meals.”44 As fallout trespassed into the women's sphere of concern through foods, “the trouble of fishery people” was instantly transmitted to kitchens as “the trouble of housewives.”45

Despite their homebound orientation, housewives’ concerns hardly remained within the closed circuit of domesticity. The bitter memory of the Pacific War and the image of motherhood as a love-giver and moral redeemer had already attuned women to the question of peace in public.46 Fallout thus proved to be a spark to activate the established gender norm to identify women as “the bearer of the kitchen and that of peace.”47 A women's joint appeal in April 1954, which bore the names of the National Coordinating Council of Regional Women's Associations (Chifuren), the Housewives’ Association (Shufuren), and other groups, eloquently proclaimed their sacred duty to speak to the world: “We the Japanese women are firmly determined not to let our suffering happen again to any other country in the world and not to let the ‘ash of death’ fall in the sky worldwide any longer.”48

The same urgent sense of a mission to rescue the kitchens and peace inspired a local movement as well. In the Suginami-ward of Tokyo, a small group of citizens gathered in May 1954 and launched a ban-the-bomb petition drive. Once the petition campaign started rolling, a local member of Chifuren reported that “there has been no movement like this to collect [signatures for the petition] with such ease. [...] There was a strong interest, like we cannot eat fish, we cannot eat vegetables. Even children were quite cooperative.”49 Within a month, the petition drive collected over 260,000 signatures in the ward of 400,000 citizens. The main force behind the success was housewives: with Chifuren's local branch at the core, the women alone gathered 170,000 signatures, or 65 percent of the total.50

When the Suginami movement spread throughout the nation, however, its successful consumerist and maternalist formula met a formidable challenge. The national peace movement had been long dominated by labor unions and professional left-wing activists. As the child of postwar democracy, their attention was riveted to the legacy of World War II, the subsequent occupation, and Japan's independence in 1952. At home, the chief agenda was to defend the Peace Constitution against the government's “reverse course” policy, which appeared to roll back the process of democratization and demilitarization. Internationally, the movement called for “independence” from the Western military bloc, especially the “yoke” of the San Francisco Peace Treaty and the Japan–U.S. Mutual Security Treaty, which put Okinawa under U.S. control, kept American military bases in Japan proper, and separated Japan from mainland China and the Soviet Union.51

The fixation on postwar democracy and nationalism almost derailed the first ban-the-bomb petition drive in Japan. When the procommunist World Peace Committee (WPC) issued the Stockholm Appeal in 1950, the Japanese campaigners, busy in organizing actions against the San Francisco Peace Treaty, failed to act on it. Only after being twice urged by the WPC did the Japanese affiliate grudgingly launch the petition drive.52 In such a strong leftist–nationalist culture of peace movements in postwar Japan, the Suginami campaign, stepping into the national scene, needed to carve out its space by asserting a different campaign identity and political agenda.

In place of the old peace agendas, the Suginami movement introduced three simple but carefully worded slogans: “Let every citizen sign to ban the H-bomb”; “Let us appeal to governments and peoples around the world”; and “Let us save the lives and happiness of humanity.”53 While the first and second slogans projected a nonpartisan image both in Japan and in the international arena, the third slogan articulated a principle that underpinned nonpartisanship: humanism.54 The import of humanism, in turn, was shaped by the nationwide crisis of radioactive contamination. The campaign's pamphlet in January 1955 recalled a national experience of facing radioactive tuna, rain, rice, drinking water, vegetables, as well as weather changes. “The first reason” to account for the petition's success was “the fact that it is rooted in the most immediate demand of citizens’ livelihoods and lives.” It was “why we call this ... ‘the movement to protect lives and happiness.’”55

The radioactive pollution of the environment was thus effectively translated into a subject of humanitarian concern via the consumerist awareness and discourse of motherhood. This philosophy stood in stark contrast to the leftist–nationalist framework of the existing peace movements. The Suginami campaign, however, simply asked to “put aside” the traditional agendas of peace, not displace them altogether.56 By incorporating citizens of all political persuasions, the campaign internalized rather than resolved a tension between the old and new peace campaigns. Nevertheless, the campaign's successful adaptation to the consumerist and maternalist turn enabled the grassroots movement to absorb people's anger and anxiety in face of radioactive contamination. In September 1955, on the basis of over 20 million signatures, the Suginami campaign turned into the Japan Council against A- and H-Bombs (Gensuibaku Kinshi Nihon Kyōgikai, or Gensuikyō), the first mass-based nuclear disarmament advocacy group in Japan. Allying itself with the people's perception of risk, the grassroots movement grew rapidly. The Japanese government, however, needed more time to learn how to appropriate the popular sense of danger.

THE GOVERNMENT AND THE POLITICS OF RISK

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. EVERYTHING CONTAMINATED
  4. THE CONSUMERIST AND MATERNALIST TURN OF THE ANTINUCLEAR MOVEMENT
  5. THE GOVERNMENT AND THE POLITICS OF RISK
  6. ASTRAY IN THE SEARCH FOR THE ENEMIES OF PEACE
  7. THE COLLAPSE OF GENSUIKYŌ
  8. CONCLUSION

While Gensuikyō emerged as a leading group to speak for the citizens’ fear of fallout, the government lost the public's trust in its judgment of risk. Although Tokyo and Washington agreed in January 1955 to compensate the loss during the Bikini incident,57 this measure hardly resolved the fundamental question. A month after the agreement, an intelligence report of the U.S. State Department pessimistically concluded that the event of 1954 had “imbued the average Japanese with a sense of personal danger.” The Japanese government, unable to show any leadership in the face of radioactive pollution, stood powerless in face of its citizens’ demand for safety. “The individual Japanese is no longer willing to leave to his public leaders the responsibility for resolving the complex problems of individual and national security in an era of ‘atomic plenty.’”58 This was particularly ominous when the United States announced Operation Redwing in January 1956, a new series of nuclear tests scheduled in the summer. Without the people's trust, the Japanese government could hardly be expected to contain the looming specter of another radioactive panic.

Caught between its foreign ally's underestimation of fallout hazards and its citizens’ overestimation of them at home, the Japanese government was desperate to change the latter's sensitivity to the risk. The quickest way to do so was a revision of the radiation safety standards. Since the Bikini incident, however, the scientific consultation between the Japanese and American authorities had failed to reach a uniform interpretation of the MPC for food contamination. Unlike the scientists, however, the diplomats in Washington knew too well what should be the philosophy for a new radiation safety guideline. “Because of the economic implication of establishing too low standards,” the Japanese Embassy and the State Department agreed in February 1956, “it would be well to determine practical and economic standards as soon as possible.”59

Back in Tokyo, the Fisheries Agency and the fishing industry were still adamantly opposed to any further tests in the Pacific. The Ministry of Health and Welfare, however, championed the policy of modifying the popular sense of danger through the revised radiation safety standards.60 The guideline, which barely made it out on the first day of the test series, successfully fulfilled its intended task in two ways. First, while the inspection standards during the Bikini incident were designed to warn about a measurement above the natural background radiation, the new principles, explicitly based on the MPC, subscribed to the concept of a biomedical tolerance threshold.61 This shift not only revised the warning value upward,62 but in effect “normalized” the presence of human-made radionuclides in foods below the threshold as “safe.” Second, a warning was to be issued only when a value above the threshold was sustained for two to three successive months. In this way, sporadically excessive fallout readings in rains and foods, which had fueled mass media's sensational coverage in 1954, would be flattened from the point of view of radiation's lifelong biomedical effects. In light of the new guideline, all “radioactive tuna,” identified as such during the Bikini incident, became just another tuna once again.63

The successful “magic” of the safety standards was followed by the government's decision to organize an oceanographic survey. According to the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, the program was born out of a “desire to avoid the public hysteria incident to port checks of tuna and other such checks of radioactive contamination within Japan.”64 The mariner training ship used in 1954 was once again commissioned, and the expedition traversed the Pacific from mid-May to late June. The findings were mixed. The degree of contamination in the seawater was much less than in 1954. Fallout in the air, however, was found in some spots to reach an unusually high level (95,231 d/m/l at maximum) and also to “stray out” of the danger zone for hundreds of kilometers to the west.65 But the government never changed its public position that the port inspection was unnecessary. In holding to the policy, the officials in Tokyo were haunted by a nightmare scenario that Washington, yielding to the American fishing interests, might betray the Japanese at any time and secretly install a special port check on the other side of the Pacific Ocean.66

Tokyo's attempts to contain a seed of panic were successful, but only because there was no newsworthy incident in the 1956 test series. Apart from the technicality of the radiation safety standards, the conservative administration was entirely on the defensive in face of the citizens’ mounting cry against nuclear tests. This passivity disappointed Washington, which insisted that “the Japanese Government should educate the Japanese people” about the need of nuclear tests for deterrence.67 It was clear to all, however, that the government completely failed to persuade its citizens to see the communist threat as more menacing than the risks of nuclear warfare and fallout. Reading an opinion poll taken in Japan, a U.S. foreign officer lamented: “the Japanese really don't trust anybody in this, to them, super-sensitive field.”68

The cold warriors in Washington, however, were not the only people who were alerted to the Japanese government's lukewarm approach. Some conservative politicians in Japan, notably Nobusuke Kishi, strongly disagreed with the government's low-key policy. When Kishi became foreign minister in January 1957 and took the premiership two months later, he decided to change the tone of diplomacy. The direction of change, however, seemed to drift even further away from what Washington had hoped. Upon hearing the British announcement of a test series in the Pacific, Kishi openly protested, sent a highly publicized message of opposition, and even decided in March to dispatch Masatoshi Matsushita, a Christian and president of St. Paul University in Tokyo, to London as his personal envoy. Deeply annoyed by this sudden activism, a British foreign officer in Washington called the Kishi administration “completely spineless” in the face of boiling public opinion.69

Kishi's public diplomacy against the nuclear tests, however, was anything but a spineless capitulation to the antinuclear movement from below. On the contrary, as a Japanese foreign officer confided to his American counterparts, the administration acted out of a “sincere motive” to “try to take the initiative away from the leftists on the nuclear test issue and thereby prevent the leftists controlling the whole movement.”70 By swimming alongside the public, Kishi intended to saddle its “excess,” prevent the leftists’“abuse” of it, and channel the antinuclear sentiment into “the right path.”71 The prime minister knew a paradox well: in order to control the antinuclear sentiment, the government needed to sponsor it through diplomacy and win back people's trust. Only in this way, he believed, could the conservatives divert the popular support away from what they believed was the “leftist” grassroots movement.

In this hidden war on the antinuclear campaign, the administration found the question of radioactive contamination a valuable ground on which to base its diplomacy. In April 1957, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs decided to place an emphasis on fallout in its antitest diplomacy. By highlighting the tests’“genetic, long-term damage to mankind,” the government aimed to decouple the issue from the context of disarmament and hence “separate” it from the burning question of nuclear deterrence.72 In this way, the ministry believed that Japan could go along with its citizens’ concerns without compromising the nuclear deterrent force for the security of the Free World.

The decision could not have come at a better moment. By then, the public was more aware of a far-reaching consequence of radioactive pollution. Douglas MacArthur II, who succeeded Allison as ambassador to Tokyo, observed that the Japanese concern had shifted from local fallout and radioactive tuna to long-life residual radioisotopes and their genetic effects.73 An opinion poll underlined this, showing that people's concern about fallout had reached an all-time high. Out of 88 percent who opposed nuclear tests, 50 percent cited the terror of radioactivity as their reason for opposition. In contrast, 16 percent saw the issue as part of disarmament, and only 7 percent opposed the tests on grounds of Japan's unique history of atomic victimization in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Bikini.74 Noting the magnitude of the fallout terror, MacArthur concluded derisively that the Japanese now “consider health hazards from continuation of tests greater than risks involved in reliance upon Soviet promises to adhere to [an] agreement on test prohibition.”75

The Kishi administration was determined to exploit the profound public anxiety for the government's own political goals. The antitest diplomacy based on “humanitarian” concerns now aimed not at the Pacific tests alone but at all nuclear experiments anywhere in the world. The government played on the risk of radioactive contamination, stretching it so far that it became contradictory to the government's own scientific judgment. In May 1957, when the Japanese foreign ministry protested the U.S. Nevada tests in progress “in view of danger to human body of radiation,” it candidly admitted to its U.S. counterpart that the statement was “not in accord with scientific findings submitted by Japan to UN Scientific Committee.” But, as a foreign officer confided, the protest expressed the government's desire to “go along with public.”76

What the Kishi administration did, however, was not from ignorance and distortion. Rather, the official assessment of risk strongly resonated with the popular sense of danger, which was strongly informed by the national memory of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The fishing industry had already noted this peculiar mode of judging radiation hazards during the Bikini incident. When asked by the U.S. Embassy to provide a scientific “explanation” of the danger of radioactive tuna, the industry's representative vehemently retorted, invoking the names of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and asking for “the proof of harmlessness, not that of harm.”77 A protest by the Japanese government in September 1957 reflected this view, asserting that “all nuclear tests should be suspended at the present stage where there is as yet no scientific assurance [...] that the hazard to mankind from repeated nuclear tests will not increase.”78 While the U.S. government insisted on the continuation of nuclear tests until the risk was proven to exist, the Japanese, impressed by the terrifying image of the A-bombings in 1945, argued that the risk sufficed to be a reason to suspend the tests until it was proven not to exist.

Shrewdly sensing the popular view of radiation hazards, Kishi successfully shaped diplomacy in a way to win the citizens’ trust back to the government. Designed to confront the grassroots antinuclear movement on its own turf, Kishi's “antitest” diplomacy waged hidden war on Gensuikyō. In this chess play on the checkerboard of people's risk perception, Gensuikyō's next move proved crucial in determining the outcome.

ASTRAY IN THE SEARCH FOR THE ENEMIES OF PEACE

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. EVERYTHING CONTAMINATED
  4. THE CONSUMERIST AND MATERNALIST TURN OF THE ANTINUCLEAR MOVEMENT
  5. THE GOVERNMENT AND THE POLITICS OF RISK
  6. ASTRAY IN THE SEARCH FOR THE ENEMIES OF PEACE
  7. THE COLLAPSE OF GENSUIKYŌ
  8. CONCLUSION

At the very moment the government decided to “go along with public,” Gensuikyō started steering itself away from the fallout issue. As we have seen, Gensuikyō internalized a tension between the humanitarian concern of fallout and the leftist–nationalist peace agendas against the San Francisco Treaty system. The latter's reassertion required a framework of reinterpreting the old agendas in light of the nuclear danger. Such a framework had been readily furnished in January 1955 when Kaoru Yasui, a professor of international law at Hōsei University who headed the Suginami campaign, was invited by the procommunist WPC to its executive meeting in Vienna.

At home, Yasui had carefully urged his fellow campaigners to put aside the conventional framing of the peace movements and instead to focus on the most immediate livelihoods and happiness of the people. In Vienna, however, he was caught completely off guard. Extolling the Japanese experience of the petition campaign, the WPC decided to launch a worldwide campaign for its own petition called the Vienna Appeal. The appeal, however, resembled anything but the Suginami petition. It simply brought back the leftist perspective of peace forces vs. warmongers, the latter now equipped with atomic weapons and ready to unleash them against the “peace-loving” communist nations.79 In his report to Japan, however, Yasui hardly noted the difference between the two appeals. Rather, regarding the Vienna Appeal as an extension of the spirit of Suginami, he urged his fellow campaigners to make the Vienna Appeal a “truly world movement” on both sides of the Iron Curtain.80

The Vienna Appeal opened up a Pandora's box when the Suginami campaign turned into Gensuikyō, whose national reach now contained a heterogeneous assortment of peace activists and groups. It was particularly ominous, considering the significant demographic presence of industrial workers, unionized teachers, and radical students, all still active in the traditional peace movement. Mobilized by their respective national organizations, these members made up over one-third of the participants at Gensuikyō's first three annual conferences.81 Fewer but equally vocal peace activists also took the floor to air their grievances against military bases, U.S. control of Okinawa, and Japan's isolation from China, North Korea, and the Soviet Union. Hearing these discontents from the floor of Gensuikyō's 1956 conference, Yasui welcomed their call for “independence” from the San Francisco Treaty system, an overdue problem newly reinterpreted in light of the Vienna Appeal as part of the gigantic “atomic warfare system” against the East. According to him, cooperation between Gensuikyō and the traditional peace movement became “all the more urgent” in order to rally “the peace forces” against “the warmongers.”82

Gensuikyō's leaders threw more weight behind the Vienna Appeal in the spring of 1957 as Prime Minister Kishi started protesting nuclear tests on “humanitarian” grounds. Alarmed by Kishi's policy of separating the tests from nuclear armaments and deeming the latter for the purpose of self-defense as constitutional, Yasui and other campaign leaders were prompted to wonder if fallout and humanism might have distracted people's attention too much. According to them, radioactive pollution and its damage to human lives and health had become “already clearer albeit by intuition.” On the other hand, “the view that the danger of an atomic war has increased and threatened world peace has been not yet fully highlighted in our movement.”83 In order to set the priority straight, Yasui proposed the movement's graduation from the Suginami Appeal. In his keynote speech for Gensuikyō's 1957 conference in August, the director-general extolled “the keen insight” of the Vienna Appeal and declared: “The ban-the-bomb movement, which started from a petition drive under the slogan ‘Let's save the lives and happiness of humanity,’ is now entering the stage of confrontation in the political field.”84

Despite Yasui's declaration, not all were ready to leave the fallout question behind. If any, the housewives in the movement deepened their concerns about radiation hazards more than ever before. At the same conference where Yasui urged a political confrontation, Iku Nakamura, representing Chifuren, reemphasized the fallout danger “with motherly love.”85 Her consistently maternalist rhetoric went so far as to breach the gender barrier regarding childrearing itself. In a roundtable discussion for Gensuikyō's newsletter, Nakamura spoke for men's serious efforts on radiation hazards because, she explained with a laugh, “not women alone but also men are responsible for giving birth to children.”86 In other words, she insisted that the defense of children's welfare from radiation, a mission originally assigned to mothers, should be a priority for all regardless of sex.

The sense of alarm about fallout also continued to spread along the commercial line, in which the foodborne contamination flowed back and forth among the producers, distributors, and consumers. The fear of radioactive tuna was now joined by many reports about radioactive brown rice, a major Japanese staple, which was found to contain up to ten times as much radiostrontium (Sr90) per gram of calcium as milk, a chief source of Sr90 intake for the Westerners.87 A farmer from Niigata Prefecture, Japan's rice basket north of Tokyo, complained that his fellow peasants working in wet rice paddies suffered from “a sort of radioactive nerve-breakdown.”88 The scare was instantly transmitted to grain traders, who rushed to prop up signboards against nuclear tests in front of their retail stores across the nation.89 Faced with the specter of a wholesale contamination of diets, many municipal officials, typically aloof from the peace movement, also joined Gensuikyō to “protect rice, fish, vegetables, and others from the danger of radioactivity.”90 Although active membership in the movement among farmers, businesspeople, and local officials increased only slowly, their merger with housewives attested to the unprecedented situation in which the foodborne fallout triggered a chain reaction of antinuclear activism that brought together rural producers and urban consumers regardless of partisanship, class, and gender.

The unstoppable nuclear tests also reinvigorated the protesting voice of fishermen, some of whom discarded their previous hesitation and skepticism about the fallout danger. In March 1957, fishermen from Kōchi Prefecture urged Gensuikyō's executive council to “orchestrate a propaganda campaign to inform people nationwide about the threat of Sr90.”91 Their anger was such that, a month later, they pushed for a “protest fleet” to be sent straight into the danger zone.92 This unprecedented call for direct action struck not only housewives but even labor unionists and unionized teachers, known for their militant radicalism, as “too dangerous.”93 The plan did not materialize in face of the strong opposition, but it underscored the fact that radicalism could rise out of “humanitarian” concerns about people's livelihood dependent on the integrity of air, water, and foods.

A cry for unity bound by the shared risk of environmental radiation hazards, however, eventually gave way to the leaders of Gensuikyō's decision to damp fallout out of its platform. The crucial transition took place in March 1958 when the Soviet Union announced a unilateral suspension of further testing. With a test ban in sight, the time seemed ripe for the movement to leave the fallout question behind and confront the atomic warfare system in the West. At Gensuikyō's conference of 1958, Yoshitarō Hirano, chairman of the WPC-affiliated Japan Peace Committee (Nihon Heiwa Iinkai), explained the campaign's previous concerns about radioactivity “in view of humanitarianism,” but now, he declared, “we need to emphasize the threat of atomic warfare [...][and] the crossroads of the human destiny from the political and strategic vantage point.” Noting a “contradiction” in which both Japan and West Germany supported a test ban but embraced U.S. nuclear weapons, Hirano called for a “confrontation” with “war policy” in the West.94

The new campaign featured a new symbol of humanitarianism. The image of compassionate motherhood was now replaced by the hibakusha's angry voice against Japan's road to nuclear armaments. At her speech preceding Hirano's, Chieko Watanabe, a woman who survived the atomic attack in Nagasaki, called upon her audience not to let postwar Japan, reborn as the only atomic victim, be an imperial aggressor on Asian neighbors once again: “If Japan goes nuclear, it means that Japan would turn from an atomic victim into a victimizer. [...] Perhaps these nuclear armaments would be directed against China.”95 Invoking people's bitter memory and remorse about the war and their yearning for peace rooted in the nation's atomic crucifixion, Watanabe's remark quickly became a powerful slogan in Gensuikyō's struggle to disarm the atomic warfare system against the East.

The transition in campaign agenda and symbolism accompanied the corresponding change in movement culture as well. With the political battle ahead, both male activists and female leaders started putting the innocent, homebound image of housewives on its head. Now they suddenly appeared as “totally ignorant,”“backward,” and “narrow-sighted,” lacking intelligence to understand the world outside kitchens.96 Many women, trapped by their own stereotypical identity of domesticity, endorsed such a judgment and uttered “self-criticisms.” Nakamura confessed a sense of “shame” about the fact that her Chifuren could work with the antinuclear movement only as part of ethical reforms, an impulse akin to antiprostitution.97

With the housewives in disarray, industrial laborers, unionized teachers, and radical students started flexing their muscles from within the movement. In late 1958 and early 1959, when the Kishi administration pushed for a series of bills in the Diet to curtail the power of unionized teachers and strengthen the police force, many of the peace fighters in the movement regarded these measures as an all-out savage assault on the working class, or “the energy source of the peace movement.”98 Regarding workers as the sole vanguard of peace against capitalist warmongers, the believers in socialist peace deployed the language of class, urging to “clarify the enemy” and asking “the working class to stand up.”99 The result was the injection of militant workerism into Gensuikyō, replacing the mothers’ solemn protest with the workers’ brave battle cry. Gensuikyō's 1958 conference was “almost like a labor union convention,” where a storm of “angry roars, hisses, and boos” from workers and students silenced many other participants.100 Noticing only a small number of women in attendance, some foreign guests felt “bewildered,” wondering if the movement had been initiated by women at all.101

The paradigm shift from the consumerist and maternalist platform toward militant workerism took place at the moment when fallout, having buttressed the unusual activism of housewives, fishermen, farmers, and others, seemed to have exhausted itself. As an American Embassy officer reported in September 1958, the Japanese opposition to nuclear tests—still potent—was nevertheless “no longer characterized by fears of immediate sickness resulting from radioactive fish, rain, or other fallout.”102 As the perception of risk changed, a calmer attitude appeared among the people. Feeling the prevalent apathy, a hibakusha lamented: “Are we, living in radioactive contamination from repeated nuclear tests, getting chronic and indifferent to the radioactive danger?”103

With fallout fading from people's minds, it was no wonder that Gensuikyō could easily relegate radioactive pollution to merely a nuisance. In October 1958, over half a year after it announced the unilateral suspension of nuclear tests, Moscow suddenly resumed its test series. It was a desperate action to catch up with the Anglo-American side, which continued its tests, before a moratorium came in to effect in November. Faced with this unexpected last-minute action by the socialist homeland, Gensuikyō's executive council was split wide over whether the group should protest Moscow at all. At last, Gensuikyō's leadership devised a compromise, in which the group protested fallout from the Soviet tests “as a physical phenomenon,” but appreciated the Soviet “peace-loving posture toward war and peace.”104 The fact that the Soviet Union stopped the tests first and upheld the “peace policy” against the West's “war policy” appeared to be a sufficient reason to exonerate the Soviets for their radioactive by-products.

Not all in Gensuikyō, however, accepted the striking demotion of fallout from a “humanitarian concern” to a “physical phenomenon” in deference to the Soviet Union. The leading advocates for the somber re-evaluation of the fallout danger from an emotional terror to a rational principle for a nuclear-free world were survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In their incessant pursuit of an inclusive identity, the danger of radiation emerged as a common denominator that transcended the binaries of hibakusha and non-hibakusha, war and peace, and Japan and the world. In as early as 1957, the director-general of the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyō) demanded that all people suffering from atomic bombings, nuclear tests, and peaceful uses of atomic energy deserved the same due compensation and humane treatment across the world.105 Two years later, Hiroshima City Gensuikyō revisited the same theme and proposed a worldwide survey of radiation hazards to promote the “feeling of solidarity” between hibakusha in Japan and those abroad exposed to fallout from nuclear tests. In the survivors’ eyes, radioactivity was much more than a topic of humanism whose utility expired with the test moratorium. Rather, “the problem of radioactive damages must be a foundation for the ban-the-bomb movement.”106

The critical reexamination of fallout's implications was also inspired by scientists across the world. Convened at the Pugwash Conference and the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, they forcefully endorsed the view that even a minute amount of radiation far below the MPC entailed a proportional genetic damage for future generations. Echoing the warning, Japanese scientists tried to redirect people's attention to environmental radiation once again, declaring that “polluting the earth further with the continuation of A- and H-bomb tests is a serious crime against humanity.”107 As the risk of radioactive contamination was reaffirmed by scientific authority, philosophers and religious leaders captured it as solid ground on which to place a new “ethical, moral, and religious norm” in counterpoint to the existing “political, economic, and social” theory of peace with the working class alone at the center.108 At Gensuikyō's 1958 conference, these thinkers declared that the health risks of radioactivity should be regarded as a wedge to bind humankind together as a community of fate. In the manifesto, fallout was cited as an exquisite example to show how one's own actions “affect people afar, people invisible, and people who will live decades, hundreds years later.”109 In other words, the chain of humankind held everyone ethically accountable, no matter how much fallout would dissipate in the environment and become invisible and anonymous.

The moral declaration was, however, ridiculed by those who believed in the “political, economic, and social” theory of peace. Commenting on the proposed ethics code, an executive member of Gensuikyō insisted that one should first fight “atomic fascism” in the West before pondering about the moral duty.110 The enemy of peace was not faceless radiation hazards, but Prime Minister Kishi. His “reactionary” nature appeared to be crystal clear when his administration entered diplomatic negotiations with the United States in October 1958 to revise the Security Treaty, a pillar of the San Francisco Treaty system, in order to forge a more perfect alliance.111 Judging it as a final step to unleash an atomic war, Gensuikyō's leadership took decisive action. In January 1959, during his visit to Beijing, Yasui proudly declared that the socialists were a peace force and vowed to crash the Security Treaty.112

Leaving the Suginami Appeal, fallout, and motherhood behind, Gensuikyō embraced the vision of socialist peace and marched into a showdown with the Kishi administration over the Security Treaty. As the movement's leaders strove to “rationally” identify the enemies of peace and “bravely” fight them, the fallout danger, associated with the image of mass panics and tearful motherly appeals, was no more than a distraction from the right course. Gensuikyō's decision to demote the fallout danger to a “physical phenomenon,” however, would soon prove to be fatal to the campaign.

THE COLLAPSE OF GENSUIKYŌ

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. EVERYTHING CONTAMINATED
  4. THE CONSUMERIST AND MATERNALIST TURN OF THE ANTINUCLEAR MOVEMENT
  5. THE GOVERNMENT AND THE POLITICS OF RISK
  6. ASTRAY IN THE SEARCH FOR THE ENEMIES OF PEACE
  7. THE COLLAPSE OF GENSUIKYŌ
  8. CONCLUSION

With all bets on the “peace-loving” nature of the Soviet Union, Gensuikyō proved to be extremely vulnerable when Moscow unilaterally abandoned the moratorium and resumed atmospheric nuclear testing in September 1961. Only a month before, Yasui had solemnly declared at Gensuikyō's annual conference: “Should any country resume testing first, that must be accused as the enemy of peace, the enemy of humanitarianism, which stamps on people's efforts for peace.”113 Asked by the press about his remark after the Soviet resumption, Yasui frankly regretted it as a “mistake.”114

The “mistake,” however, was not an isolated incident. Even before the Soviet resumption, there had already emerged an internal tension within Gensuikyō between pro-Soviet communists on one hand, and neutrality-oriented socialists, students, and conservative women on the other. In August 1961, the General Council of Trade Unions of Japan (Sōhyō), Japan Socialist Party, Japan Council of Youth Associations, and Chifuren publicly denounced Gensuikyō's tendency to include “peace” agendas of many sorts under its catch-all platform against “atomic warfare preparation” in the West.115 Despite the criticism from inside, Gensuikyō's leadership refused to back off from its faith in socialist peace. When the group's executive council issued a statement on the resumed Soviet tests, it expressed a “regret” but firmly defended Moscow's decision. A series of anti-Soviet plots, Gensuikyō concluded, “forced the Soviet government to decide the resumption of nuclear tests.”116

Moscow repaid Gensuikyō's favor by cornering the group further against the wall. On October 17, Premier Khrushchev boasted to the world that his country would test a supermegaton bomb. This so-called fifty-megaton experiment, which threatened to scatter fallout throughout the world, let loose a specter of ecocide. In face of this madness, Gensuikyō's representatives rushed to the Soviet Embassy and frantically begged it to “announce, based on scientific grounds, the preventive measures on fallout, as the Soviet Union had stated.”117

Few citizens on the street, however, had the illusion that Soviet fallout was cleaner than American. Commenting on the fifty-megaton test, an essayist wrote: “There are those [among intellectuals] everywhere who believe the absolute superiority of socialism to capitalism. [...] But if it is known that the 50-megaton nuclear test has made milk harmful, even these people would be hardly brave enough to drink it with made-in-USSR radioactivity.”118 One thing was clear: Gensuikyō's leadership became completely out of touch with the people's perception of risk. Having deemed fallout as a “physical phenomenon” compared to the supremacy of socialist peace, the campaign leaders had to face the consequences of their “political, economic, and social” judgment about the enemy of peace.

The damages from Gensuikyō's neglect of fallout were fatally amplified by the conservative government, which unleashed its version of “antitest” diplomacy against the Soviet Union—and Gensuikyō by association—with full strength. Prime Minister Hayato Ikeda, who had succeeded Kishi in July 1960 on the heels of the Security Treaty revision, followed his predecessor's policy in “going along with public.” With Soviet fallout in the air, such a strategy was one stone for three birds: the government helped the United States in Cold War propaganda while discrediting the leftists at home and the Soviet Union abroad.

Confiding to the Americans his hope to reduce “the ratio of ‘un-Japanese’ from the present roughly one-third [the number of the socialist and communist seats in Diet combined] to one-fourth or one-fifth,” Ikeda always looked for the moment to strike his archrivals.119 Naturally, he never missed a window of opportunity opened by Soviet fallout, which proved to be a God-given litmus test to expose the “Reds.” In November, an activist of the taxation office's labor union reported a complaint to Sōhyō's convention: “all sorts of ministries and agencies are mobilizing the office organization and asking their officers, ‘how do you think of the Soviet nuclear tests?’”120 To be sure, we cannot judge by this report alone whether the action was systematic and ordered from above. However, the Soviet tests were undoubtedly a boon for the conservative administration to crucify the pro-Soviet force on a cross of made-in-USSR fallout.

On the international stage, the Japanese diplomats were instructed to exploit the fear of radioactive dust as far as possible. With the Soviet atmospheric tests in progress, Japanese foreign officials collaborated with their Canadian counterparts and cosponsored a resolution at the UN General Assembly. Calling for an early completion of a special report on the effects of radiation on the environment and on humans, the resolution was clearly a Soviet-baiting one. While even India, an antitest neutralist, hesitated to endorse this “Cold War resolution,” Japan successfully pushed it through the UN Political Committee in late October under the rubrics of “humanitarian concerns” and “scientific objectivity.”121 For Tokyo, it was an unusual triumph. Edwin O. Reischauer, who succeeded Ambassador MacArthur in 1961, characterized Japan's performance as “unprecedented in Japanese diplomatic history.”122

At home, Gensuikyō was on the verge of collapse. The question of whether the group should protest the Soviet Union brought the organization to a complete halt. On one hand, the Japan Communist Party issued an appeal to Gensuikyō not to protest. The Communists admitted that “there is little difference about which country did nuclear tests in terms of their physical phenomenon that created radioactive damage.” From the point of view of “protecting true peace,” however, “we must distinguish the nuclear tests of socialist nations from those of imperialist nations.”123 Many socialists, moderates, and women, however, strongly disagreed. The four national groups that had rebelled against Gensuikyō's leadership in August 1961 decided to make another public denouncement. In February 1962, they issued a statement demanding that the campaign should officially protest the Russian tests to set the record straight.124

The crisis of Gensuikyō disoriented its rank-and-file campaigners altogether. The group's annual conference in 1962 saw an eruption of complaints from grassroots activists. A participant from Osaka insisted: “on the nuclear tests, we must eliminate the ash of death first before clarifying the enemies.”125 Another adamantly defended the Soviet Union, calling its test a “penicillin” for peace.126 As the floor discussion was quickly thrown into chaos, one member screamed hard against “the way of thinking like, it is a peace force, and it is socialism.” He continued: “We should absolutely not neglect the fear for the ash of death. The ban-the-bomb movement must have started from the prayer of ‘enough with nuclear wars,’‘enough with tests.’”127

With the benefit of hindsight, we cannot but wonder why Gensuikyō's leaders so completely failed to listen to the voices from the floor and reemphasize the peril of radioactive contamination as a pillar of the movement. Their mind-set, however, was not ready to have a fresh look. In their eyes, the question of fallout still remained the same—a sentimental, primitive one as opposed to the rational, higher understanding of “the enemy of peace.” In March 1962, when the executive council discussed the widespread terror of radiation hazards, it acknowledged a need to highlight such a problem but only because the group needed to “respect this sentiment, no matter how high the quality of the movement has become.”128

This sharp dichotomy between emotion and rationality in the leaders’ minds underlined an ultimate failure to transcend an earlier characterization of radioactive contamination as a humanitarian problem reserved for terror-stricken housewives, fishermen, and peasants. Undaunted, some campaigners still groped for a new meaning of fallout to shore up the paralyzed antinuclear movement. Recognizing a need of such efforts, Gensuikyō belatedly set up a special task force on radiation hazards. At its first meeting in December 1962, it decided to widen the scope of investigation to include nuclear warfare and peaceful use of atomic energy.129 Gensuikyō, however, could no longer afford to wait for the study's completion. Consumed by the inner battle over the Soviet tests, Gensuikyō as a national movement collapsed in August 1963, dissolving into the socialist and communist lines.

CONCLUSION

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. EVERYTHING CONTAMINATED
  4. THE CONSUMERIST AND MATERNALIST TURN OF THE ANTINUCLEAR MOVEMENT
  5. THE GOVERNMENT AND THE POLITICS OF RISK
  6. ASTRAY IN THE SEARCH FOR THE ENEMIES OF PEACE
  7. THE COLLAPSE OF GENSUIKYŌ
  8. CONCLUSION

The Bikini incident and the following fallout panic shook the Japanese citizens’ trust in their government's risk assessment, prompting the people to ask for the proof of harmlessness instead of that of harm. The profound anxiety about the most immediate necessities—air, water, and foods—galvanized into the image of housewives. The resulting consumerist and maternalist turn, set apart from the leftist–nationalist tradition of the postwar peace movement, shaped the contour of “humanism” for the grassroots antinuclear movement at the time of its successful launching.

Refusing to reconcile itself with the popular sense of danger, the government first sought to change it through the revision of radiation safety standards. Prime Minister Kishi, however, decided to “go along with public.” Adroitly focusing on the health and genetic effects of radioactive contamination, his administration attempted to win back people's support while stealing the spotlight from Gensuikyō and diverting attention from the question of nuclear deterrence, on which Japan's security was believed to depend. At this critical moment, Gensuikyō turned away from the fallout question. Declaring the passing of the “humanism” phase, the campaign leaders upheld the Vienna Appeal and marched into a political confrontation with the “war policy” in the West. The consumerist and maternalist turn was reversed by the revival of militant workerism in favor of socialist peace. A critical re-examination of fallout's meaning, attempted by hibakusha, scientists, philosophers, and others, went unnoticed in the shadow of the showdown between the government and the movement over the Security Treaty.

By the time the Soviet Union resumed testing and Gensuikyō faced the result of its own neglect, it was too late for the group to “regress” back to the fallout question. Never doubting the priority of socialist peace over fallout, Gensuikyō's leaders became out of touch with people's perception, in which the risk of radioactive contamination, magnified through the historical lenses of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Bikini, still overwhelmed any ideological concern. The government's diplomacy, shrewdly sticking to the “humanitarian” line, applied an additional blow to Gensuikyō. Split and paralyzed over a protest of Soviet fallout, the group simply disintegrated in 1963, ironically when the partial test ban treaty finally removed most fallout from the air.

Perhaps a single-minded focus on nuclear tests, with a heavy emphasis on fallout, might not have rescued Gensuikyō after 1963. What Gensuikyō could have done to save its unity and yet preserve its momentum beyond the era of atmospheric nuclear tests, however, would have been to nurture a new ban-the-bomb philosophy out of environmental radiation hazards, which could potentially transcend partisan, class, gender, and national boundaries and be applicable to both peaceful and military uses of atomic energy. The tragedy of Gensuikyō was less that the movement “forgot” its humanitarian roots than that it uncritically shared an assumption with the conservative government that fallout could hardly be more than a short-lived humanitarian concern limited to nuclear weapons tests. Later in the 1980s, the “nuclear winter” controversy finally gave a concrete shape to an environmental ground for the ban-the-bomb movement. With environmental protagonists yet to appear, the Japanese experience through the early 1960s ultimately proved to be an abortive attempt to grasp the environmental legacy of the Bikini incident.

NOTES
  • I wish to thank the two anonymous referees of Peace and Change, editor Robbie Lieberman, Akira Kurosaki, and Lawrence S. Wittner for their insightful comments and warm encouragement.

  • 1

    . Osamu Fujiwara, Gensuibaku kinshi undō no seiritsu: Sengo Nihon heiwa undō no genzō[The Formation of the Ban-the-Bomb Movement: The Origin of Postwar Japanese Peace Movement] (Yokohama, Japan: Meiji Gakuin Kokusai Heiwa Kenkyūjyo, 1991); Lawrence S. Wittner, The Struggle against the Bomb: A History of the World Nuclear Disarmament Movement, 1954–1970 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1997), vol. 2, 41–42.

  • 2

    . For the full description of the incident, see Ralph E. Lapp, The Voyage of the Lucky Dragon (New York: Harper, 1958).

  • 3

    . John McCormack, Reclaiming Paradise: The Global Environmental Movement (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1989), 51.

  • 4

    . For labor and women, see Hiroko Storm, “Japanese Women and the Peace Movement in the 1950s: Opposition to Nuclear Testing,” Asian Profile (Hong Kong) 26/1 (1998): 1728; Chiharu Takenaka, “Peace, Democracy and Women in Postwar Japan,” Peace & Change 12/3–4 (1987): 6977; Mari Yamamoto, Grassroots Pacifism in Post-War Japan: The Rebirth of a Nation (London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2004). For postwar Japanese nationalism, see James Joseph Orr, The Victim as Hero: Ideologies of Peace and National Identity in Postwar Japan (Honolulu, HI: University of Hawai’i Press, 2001). For hibakusha, see Seiitsu Tachibana, “The Quest for a Peace Culture: The A-Bomb Survivors’ Long Struggle and the New Movement for Redressing Foreign Victims of Japan's War,” in Michael J. Hogan ed., Hiroshima in History and Memory (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1996), 168–186; Satoru Ubuki, “Nihon ni okeru gensuibaku kinshi undō no shuppatsu: 1954 nen no shomei undō wo chōshin ni” [The Take-Off of the Ban-the-Bomb Movement in Japan: On the Petition Movement in 1954], Hiroshima heiwa kagaku 5 (1982): 199223. For the domestic partisanship, see Seiji Imahori, Gensuibaku jidai: Gendaishi no shōgen [The Era of A- and H-Bombs: A Witness to the Contemporary History] (Tokyo: San’ichi Shobō, 1960), vol. 2; idem, Gensuibaku kinshi undō[The Ban-the-Bomb Movement] (Tokyo: Ushio Shuppan, 1974); Hiroyasu Kumakura, Sengo heiwa undō shi [A History of the Postwar Peace Movement] (Tokyo: Ōtsuki Shoten, 1959); P. A. Narasimha, “The Japanese Left and the Anti-Nuclear Movement,” International Studies (India) 5/3 (1964): 281295; George Totten and Tamio Kawakami, “Gensuikyō and the Peace Movement in Japan,” Asian Survey 4/5 (1964): 833841.

  • 5

    . Timothy S. George, Minamata: Pollution and the Struggle for Democracy in Postwar Japan (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001); Koichi Hasegawa, Constructing Civil Society in Japan: Voices of Environmental Movements (Melbourne, Vic: Trans Pacific Press, 2004); Shigeto Tsuru, The Political Economy of the Environment: The Case of Japan (London: Athlone, 1999); Kenneth E. Wilkening, Acid Rain Science and Politics in Japan: A History of Knowledge and Action toward Sustainability (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2004). Interestingly, contrary to the recent works, some of the pioneering environmental studies in Japan have treated the fallout problem seriously, albeit in a summarizing manner. See, for instance, Hideyuki Kawana, Dokyumento Nihon no kōgai [Documents: Pollution in Japan] (Tokyo: Ryokufū Shuppan, 1989), vol. 4, 303–435; Jun Ui, Kōgai Genron [The Principles of Pollution Studies] (Tokyo: Aki Shobō, 1971), vol. 1, 66.

  • 6

    . For the theory of risk society, see Ulrich Beck, Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity (London: Sage Publications, 1992); Anthony Giddens, The Consequences of Modernity (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1990).

  • 7

    . Yasuo Kondō ed. Suibaku jikken to Nihon gyogyō[H-Bomb Tests and Japan's Fisheries] (Tokyo: Tokyo Daigaku Shuppankai, 1958), 33.

  • 8

    . Ibid., 25, Tables 1–10.

  • 9

    . Asahi Shimbun, May 16, 1954, evening edition.

  • 10

    . Nishi-Nihon Shimbun, July 5, 1954.

  • 11

    . Yoshio Hiyama, “Bikini jiken kara Nichi-bei hōshanō kaigi made” [From the Bikini Incident to the US–Japan Radiation Conference], Gakujyutsu geppō 7/10 (1955): 601.

  • 12

    . USAEC New York Operations Office, Operation Troll, page 10, fldr: Troll, 1955–1956, Box 425, Lot 57 D 688, RG 59 (State Department), National Archives II (hereafter NAII), College Park, Maryland.

  • 13

    . K. D. Nichols to R. B. Carney, January 31, 1955, fldr: Troll, 1955–1956, Box 425, Lot 57 D 688, RG 59, NAII.

  • 14

    . Asahi Shimbun, May 26, 1954. For the panic of radioactive rain, see Mitsuo Taketani ed., Shi no hai [Ash of Death] (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1954), 13, 140–147.

  • 15

    . Yasuo Miyake, Nihon no ame [Rain in Japan] (Tokyo: Hōsei Daigaku Shuppankai, 1956), 20–24.

  • 16

    . Ibid., 24–25, 59–62.

  • 17

    . Tōru Kobayashi ed., Gensuibaku kinshi undō shiryōshū[The Collection of Materials on the Ban-the-Bomb Movement] (hereafter GKUS) (Tokyo: Ryokuin Shobō, 1995), vol. 2, 81.

  • 18

    . Miyake, Nihon no ame, 56.

  • 19

    . Yasuo Miyake, Kaere Bikini e [Return to Bikini] (Tokyo: Suiyōsha, 1984), 102.

  • 20

    . “Suibaku jikken kinshi ni kansuru seimeisho”[A Statement for a Ban on H-Bomb Tests], Tenki 1/2 (1954): 2 (front-cover page).

  • 21

    . Yoshinobu Masuda and Toshio Fujita, “Kon’natsu no ijyō kikō to suibaku no eikyō” [This Summer's Abnormal Weather and the Influence of H-Bombs], Tenki 1/4 (1954): 25; Asahi Shimbun, June 21, 1954; Ibid., July 29, 1954.

  • 22

    . Tokyo to Washington, no. 267, August 3, 1954, 711.5611/8-354, RG 59, NAII.

  • 23

    . Tokyo to Washington, no. 744, September 28, 1954, 711.5611/9-2854, RG 59, NAII.

  • 24

    . Asahi Shimbun, August 9, 1955.

  • 25

    . GKUS, vol. 1, 47, 69–70; Miura-shi ed., Bikini jiken Miura no kiroku [The Bikini Incident: The Records of Miura] (Miura: Miura-shi, 1996), 32, 54.

  • 26

    . Tokyo to Washington, no. 2140, March 12, 1956, fldr: Moratorium on Nuclear Weapons Tests—1956 (2), Box 5, Office of the Special Assistant for Disarmament Records (hereafter OSADR), White House Office (WHO), Dwight D. Eisenhower Library (DDEL), Abilene, Kansas.

  • 27

    . GHQ SCAP Natural Resources Section Report No. 152, Fisheries Programs in Japan, 1945–1951 (Tokyo, 1951), 6. Also see Hisao Iwasaki, Nihon gyogyō no tenkai katei: Sengo 50 nen gaishi [The Development of the Japanese Fisheries: A Sketch of the Postwar 50-Year History] (Tokyo: Kaji-sha, 1997), 32–40.

  • 28

    . Shigeru Oda, International Control of Sea Resources (Leyden: AW Sythoff, 1962), 25–35.

  • 29

    . Harry N. Scheiber, Inter-Allied Conflicts and Ocean Law, 1945–1953: The Occupation Command's Revival of Japanese Whaling and Marine Fisheries (Taipei, Taiwan: Academica Sinica, 2001).

  • 30

    . Memo, “US Policy for Japanese Fishing and Other Aquatic Industries,” n.d.; Memo, “Extension of Authorized Fishing Area to the East and South Pacific,” January 9, 1948; Memo for the Chief of Staff, n.d., all in fldr: Area Correspondence, Fisheries Division 1948, Box 8866, Natural Resources Section Fisheries Division Records, RG 331 (GHQ SCAP), NAII.

  • 31

    . Tuna Imports: Hearings Before the United States House Committee on Ways and Means, Subcommittee on Tuna Imports, 82nd Congress, 1st Session, October 8, 1951 (Washington, DC: USGPO, 1951), 45–46.

  • 32

    . Iwasaki, Nihon gyogyō, 82–84.

  • 33

    . Memorandum of Conversation, June 21, 1955, 894.245/6-2155, RG 59, NAII. This rapid growth of tuna exports to the United States triggered one of the first postwar trade conflicts between the two nations. See Sayuri Shimizu, Creating People of Plenty: The United States and Japan's Economic Alternatives, 1950–1960 (Kent, OH: Kent State University Press, 2001), 102–109.

  • 34

    . Kondō, Suibaku jikken, 39–41.

  • 35

    . Shigeharu Asai, “‘Genbaku maguro’ sōsō kōkai”[The Funeral Voyage of “A-Bomb Tuna”], in Dai go Fukuryū-maru heiwa kyōkai ed. Bikini suibaku hisai shiryōshū (Tokyo: Tokyo Daigaku Shuppankai, 1976), 237.

  • 36

    . Gyoson [Fishing Villages] (May 1954): 30.

  • 37

    . Ibid., 25; Nihon katsuo-maguro gyogyō kyōdō kumiai rengōkai ed., Nikkatsuren shi [The History of Nikkatsuren] (Tokyo: Nihon Katsuo-Maguro Gyogyō Kyōdō Kumiai Rengōkai, 1966), vol. 1, 433.

  • 38

    . Ibid., 432.

  • 39

    . Miura-shi, Bikini jiken, 241.

  • 40

    . Kondō, Suibaku jikken, 63.

  • 41

    . Nisseikyō sōritsu 50 shūnen kinen rekishi hensan iinkai ed. Gendai Nihon seikyō undō shi: Shiryōshū[The History of the Contemporary Japanese Co-operative Movement: The Collection of Materials] (Tokyo: Nihon Seikatsu Kyōdō Kumiai Rengōkai, 2001), vol. 1, 326.

  • 42

    . Nisseikyō sōritsu 50 shūnen kinen rekishi hensan iinkai ed. Gendai Nihon seikyō undō shi [The History of the Contemporary Japanese Co-operative Movement] (Tokyo: Nihon Seikatsu Kyōdō Kumiai Rengōkai, 2002), vol. 1, 203.

  • 43

    . For the connection of motherhood and women's postwar social activism, see Kathleen S. Uno, “The Death of ‘Good Wife, Wise Mother’?” in Andrew Gordon ed., Postwar Japan as History (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1993), 308–309. For the consumerism's empowerment of women in interwar Japan, see Barbara Sato, The New Japanese Women: Modernity, Media, and Women in Interwar Japan (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2003).

  • 44

    . Asahi Shimbun, May 20, 1954, evening edition.

  • 45

    . GKUS, vol. 3, 73.

  • 46

    . See Yamamoto, Grassroots Pacifism, 131–137.

  • 47

    . GKUS, vol. 3, 73. The strikingly similar consumerist-maternalist discourse emerged later in the United States as well, where women, as concerned mothers, organized Women Strike for Peace out of a spontaneous protest against the radioactive contamination of milk in November 1961. See Amy G. Swerdlow, Women Strike for Peace: Traditional Motherhood and Radical Politics in the 1960s (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993).

  • 48

    . GKUS, vol. 1, 409.

  • 49

    . Ibid., vol. 1, 132.

  • 50

    . Ibid., vol. 1, 131.

  • 51

    . John W. Dower, “Peace and Democracy in Two Systems: External Policy and Internal Conflict,” in Postwar Japan as History, 7–14. For the review of the pre-Bikini Japanese peace movement, see Kumakura, Sengo heiwa undō shi, 35–46, 50–70; Nihon Heiwa Iinkai ed., Heiwa undō 20 nen undō shi [The 20-Year History of the Peace Movement] (Tokyo: Ōtsuki Shoten, 1969), 29–30, 37–45, 51–77.

  • 52

    . Heiwa undō 20 nen undō shi, 43–44.

  • 53

    . GKUS, vol. 1, 117.

  • 54

    . Ibid., vol. 3, 347–349.

  • 55

    . Ibid., vol. 2, 5–11, quotes from page 11.

  • 56

    . Ibid., vol. 1, 120.

  • 57

    . For the diplomatic process of the compensation agreement, see Roger Dingman, “Alliance in Crisis,” in Warren Cohen and Akira Iriye eds., The Great Powers in East Asia (New York: Columbia University Press, 1990), 187–214; Kazuya Sakamoto, “Kakuheiki to Nichi-Bei kankei”[Nuclear Weapons and Japan–U.S. Relations], Nenpō kindai Nihon kenkyū 16 (Tokyo: Yamakawa Shuppansha, 1994); John Swenson-Wright, Unequal Allies? United States Security and Alliance Policy Toward Japan, 1945–1960 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2005), 150–186.

  • 58

    . Intelligence Estimate no. 72, February 16, 1955, fldr: Moratorium on Nuclear Weapons Tests—1955 (1), Box 5, OSADR, WHO, DDEL.

  • 59

    . Memorandum of Conversation, February 29, 1956, fldr: Weapons—Testing Redwing (Pacific and Japan Test) Jan–June 1956 (hereafter Redwing), Box 345, Lot 57 D 688, RG 59, NAII.

  • 60

    . Memo, “Eniwetokku gensuibaku jikken ni kansuru kankei kakushō taisaku uchiawase no ken”[On the Policy Meeting of Concerned Ministries Regarding Nuclear Tests in Eniwetok], March 7, 1956, C’4.2.1 1-1-1, Diplomatic Record Office (hereafter DRO), Tokyo, Japan.

  • 61

    . Asahi Shimbun, May 5, 1956.

  • 62

    . It changed from 100 cpm per liter to 222 disintegrations per minute (dpm) per liter. One microcurie is equal to 2,220,000 dpm. The conversion of dpm into cpm depends on the efficiency of Geiger-Muller survey meters, which affects the accuracy of readings.

  • 63

    . Asahi Shimbun, May 5, 1956.

  • 64

    . Tokyo to Washington, no. 1072, May 24, 1956, 711.5611/5-2456, RG 59, NAII.

  • 65

    . Yasuo Miyake, Shi no hai to tatakau kagakusha [Scientists Who Fight the Ash of Death] (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1972), 83–84; Asahi Shimbun, July 13, 1956.

  • 66

    . Parsons to Hemmedinger, March 30, 1956; Hemmedinger to Parsons, April 17, 1956, both in fldr: Redwing, Box 345, Lot 57 D 688, RG 59, NAII.

  • 67

    . Memorandum of Conversation, May 4, 1956, fldr: Redwing, Box 345, Lot 57 D 688, RG 59, NAII.

  • 68

    . Report, “Japanese Public Opinion on International Issues,” April 25, 1956, fldr: Japan 1953–1956 (2), Box 33, International Series, Ann Whitman File, DDEL.

  • 69

    . Memorandum of Conversation, June 4, 1957, fldr: UK Position on Bomb Testing, Box 9, Lot 61 D 68, RG 59, NAII.

  • 70

    . Memorandum of Conversation, March 30, 1957, attached to Tokyo to Washington, no. 1066, April 8, 1957, fldr: Nuclear Weapons Tests April–May 1957, Box 6, OSADR, WHO, DDEL.

  • 71

    . Tokyo to London, no. 161, March 6, 1957, C’4.2.1.1-2-2, DRO.

  • 72

    . Memo, “Dai nijyukkai kanjikai (April 3) kiroku”[Records on the Twentieth Meeting of Directors (April 3)], n.d., C’4.2.1 2, DRO.

  • 73

    . Tokyo to Washington, no. 2493, May 2, 1957, 711.5611/5-257, RG 59, NAII.

  • 74

    . Asahi Shimbun, July 26, 1957. This trend was also clear to American observers. See Tokyo to Washington, no. 982, February 25, 1958, 711.5611/2-2558, RG 59, NAII.

  • 75

    . Tokyo to Washington, no. 2493, May 2, 1957.

  • 76

    . Tokyo to Washington, no. 2799, May 29, 1957, 711.5611/5-2957, RG 59, NAII.

  • 77

    . Nikkatsuren shi, vol. 1, 454.

  • 78

    . Tokyo to Washington, no. 824, September 17, 1957, 711.5611/9-1757, RG 59, NAII.

  • 79

    . GKUS, vol. 2, 59.

  • 80

    . Ibid., vol. 2, 138.

  • 81

    . For the number of the participants in 1955–1957, see Ibid., vol. 2, 370–371; vol. 3, 244; vol. 4, 400.

  • 82

    . Ibid., vol. 3, 252–253.

  • 83

    . Memo, “Dai jyūyonkai jyōnin rijikai giji narabini kettei jikō”[The Agendas and Decisions of the Fourteenth Standing Executive Committee], June 11, 1957, fldr: Gensuikyō 1: 8–11, 1957, Supplement, The Ōhara Institute for Social Research (hereafter OISR): Hōsei University, Tokyo, Japan.

  • 84

    . GKUS, vol. 4, 195.

  • 85

    . Ibid., vol. 4, 217.

  • 86

    . Ibid., vol. 5, 6.

  • 87

    . Asahi Shimbun, August 4, 1957.

  • 88

    . GKUS, vol. 4, 340.

  • 89

    . Ibid., vol. 4, 315.

  • 90

    . Ibid., vol. 4, 372

  • 91

    . Memo, “Dai ikkai zenkoku rijikai giji oyobi kettei jikō, March 2–3, 1957”[The Agendas and Decisions of the First National Executive Meeting], fldr: Gensuikyō 1: 8–11, 1957, Supplement, OISR.

  • 92

    . GKUS, vol. 4, 77–78.

  • 93

    . Ibid., vol. 4, 80–81, 87

  • 94

    . Proposal, Yoshitarō Hirano, “Kakuheiki jikken teishi no yōkyū wa kakubusō kinshi e no yōkyū ni hatten suru”[The Demand for the Suspension of Nuclear Weapons Testing Shall Develop into a Demand for the Ban of Nuclear Armaments], fldr: Gensuikyō 0-GK01: Dai yon kai gensuibaku kinshi sekai taikai (hereafter 0-GK01), OISR.

  • 95

    . GKUS, vol. 5, 202.

  • 96

    . Ibid., vol. 5, 234; vol. 6, 270, 286.

  • 97

    . Ibid., vol. 5, 7; vol. 6, 228.

  • 98

    . Ibid., vol. 5, 470.

  • 99

    . Ibid., vol. 5, 230.

  • 100

    . Note, “Dai kyūkai zenkoku rijikai shiryō, September 26–27, 1958”[Materials for the Ninth National Executive Council], fldr: Gensuibaku kinsi undō 1958 0-GK03, OISR.

  • 101

    . Ibid.

  • 102

    . Tokyo to Washington, no. 340, September 17, 1958, 711.5611/9-1758, RG 59, NAII.

  • 103

    . Shibuya hibakusha no kai, Meiyū, no. 3, fldr: 0-GK01, OISR.

  • 104

    . GKUS, vol. 5, 457.

  • 105

    . Ibid., vol. 4, 60.

  • 106

    . Ibid., vol. 6, 225.

  • 107

    . Ibid., vol. 5, 197

  • 108

    . Ibid., vol. 5, 235.

  • 109

    . Proposal, “Gensiryoku jidai no dōtoku hōten”[The Moral Code of the Atomic Age], no. 7, August 17, 1958, fldr: 0-GK01, OISR.

  • 110

    . GKUS, vol. 5, 368.

  • 111

    . For the Security Treaty revision, see George R. Packard III, Protest in Tokyo: The Security Treaty Crisis of 1960 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1966); Kazuya Sakamoto, Nichi-Bei dōmei no kizuna: Anpo jyōyaku to sōgosei no mosaku [The Bond of the Japan–U.S. Alliance: The Security Treaty and the Search for Mutuality] (Tokyo: Yūhikaku, 2000).

  • 112

    . GKUS, vol. 6, 43.

  • 113

    . Address, “Gunbi zenpai sokushin dai nana kai gensuibaku kinshi sekai taikai kichō hōkoku”[The Keynote Speech at the Seventh World Conference against A- and H-Bombs to Promote the Renouncement of All Armaments], page 6, Pouch no. 7: Dai nana kai gensuikin sekai taikai shiryō (hereafter Pouch no. 7), Shigemitsu Hirota Collection (hereafter SHC): Kanagawa-ken Kōbunsyokan (hereafter KK), Yokohama, Japan.

  • 114

    . Asahi Shimbun, September 2, 1961, morning and evening editions.

  • 115

    . Memo, “Yon dantai kyōdō seimei”[A Public Statement by Four Groups], August 14, 1961, Pouch no. 7, SHC, KK.

  • 116

    . Nihon Heiwa Iinkai ed., Heiwa undō 20 nen shiryōshū[The Collection of Materials on the 20-Year Peace Movement] (Tokyo: Ōtsuki Shoten, 1969), 391–392.

  • 117

    . Asahi Shimbun, November 1, 1961.

  • 118

    . Ibid., October 31, 1961.

  • 119

    . Foreign Relations of the United States, 1961–1963 (Washington, DC: USGPO, 1996), vol. XXII, 711.

  • 120

    . Sōhyō kyōsen-bu ed. “Sōhyō dai jyūhakkai rinji taikai sokkiroku dai ichi nichi”[The Verbatim Transcript of Sōhyō's Eighteenth Special Convention, Day One]: 58, Sōhyō Collection, Rōdō Seisaku Kenkyū– Kenshū Kikō, Tokyo, Japan.

  • 121

    . Asahi Shimbun, October 21, 1961, evening edition.

  • 122

    . Tokyo to Washington, no.1389, November 1, 1961, fldr: Japan General 1961, Box 123A, Countries, Japan—General, National Security Files, John F. Kennedy Library, Boston.

  • 123

    . Pamphlet, “Dai kyūkai gensuikin sekai taikai to Nihon kyōsantō no taido”[The Ninth World Conference against A- and H-Bombs and the Position of the Japan Communist Party], page 12, fldr: Gensuikyō 0-GK26: 9 taikai shiryō, OISR.

  • 124

    . Memo, “Nihon Gensuikyō rijichō jinnin ni tsuite no seimei”[A Public Statement Regarding the Resignation of the Director-General of Japan Gensuikyō], March 7, 1962, Pouch no. 18: Nihon Gensuikyō jyōnin rijikai shiryō 2, SHC, KK.

  • 125

    . Minute, “Dai hachikai gensuibaku sekai taikai giji yōroku (2),”[The Minutes of the Eighth World Conference against A- and H-bombs (2)], page 50, Pouch no. 8: Dai hachi kai gensuikin sekai taikai shiryō, SHC, KK.

  • 126

    . Ibid., 52.

  • 127

    . Ibid., 56.

  • 128

    . Memo, “Dai nijyukkai zenkoku rijikai ketteishū”[The Compilation of the Decisions of the Twentieth National Executive Council], March 6, 1962, page 16, Pouch no. 5–3: Nihon gensuikyō zenkoku rijikai shiryō, SHC, KK.

  • 129

    . Memo, “Hōshanōgai kenkyū gurūpu kaigi hōkoku (1)”[The Report of the Session of the Radiological Hazards Study Group (1)], n.d, fldr: Gensuikyō 1962 0-GK22, OISR.