The nuclear accident in Fukushima in March 2011 triggered a new wave of social movement activism in Japan. The protests every Friday evening in front of the Prime Minister‘s residence (kantei) can be counted as one of the most visible activities of this movement. The movement, however, cannot be reduced to street demonstrations. Less visible collective actions take place frequently, in the form of conferences, lectures, study groups, or parliamentarian briefings on energy and radiation related issues.
Literature on social movements (i.e. Gerhards/Rucht 1992) indicates that the meso-organizational level plays a decisive role in creating a common frame of meaning and in processes of coordinating such collective action. This presentation examines networks of old and new social movement organizations since 3.11. Based on extensive field work with mainly Tokyo-based groups, I apply qualitative network analysis to grasp the emergence and the dynamics of such networks as well as their relation to the actors’ strategic choices.
Anna Wiemann, PhD candidate at Hamburg University is currently a scholarship fellow at the German Institute for Japanese Studies (DIJ). She holds a master’s degree in Peace and Conflict Studies and a bachelor’s degree in Japanese Linguistics.