Nuclear Power in the US and Japan


  • Many things to say: source of labor ...
  • How political environment affects policy


  • President Obama is very positive toward redeveloping the industry because of global warmings

  • He promises green, safe nuclear energy

  • This is a great chance for Japanese companies in the industry - Developing countries associate nuclear power with military

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    • America is the largest user of nuclear power plants, and has many tie-ups with Japanese companies in the industry


  • Joint administration has divided attitudes toward nuclear power
  • All parties are more or less favorable to reducing global warming
  • Worries about the ambitious "25% reduction by 2020" goal
  • The Social Democratic Party opposes nuclear power

Why These Differences?

  • Related to political science

  • American President has great personal power (presidential system) - Great legitimacy: all American voters acknowledge they had a say - Formal power: directs the bureaucracy and veto power - Evolutionary pressure leads to Presidents with great charisma

  • Japanese Prime Minister (especially Hatoyama) has little power (parliamentary system) - Leader of his party = low legitimacy with supporters of the

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    opposition, and even with coalition partners

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    • (Japan only) Bureaucracy mostly independent of the government, opposition party boycotts are effective, habatsu politics constrain the Prime Minister
    • Charisma problems?

Power differential

  • Clearly, American President has much more power to set policy than the Japanese Prime Minister
  • Canbe good, can be bad

Social aspects

  • Population density
  • Safe locations tend to be populated

The Tweet is Mightier ...

What's new about the 'net?

  • Isn't the Internet just a new way to communicate? People have always talked: for fun, for business, for fraud
  • Social science point of view: how does the 'net change the way people communicate - Or is it just "cost reduction"?

Economic analysis

  • Important, but not informative about the innovation itself
  • With M. Yoshida, "home labor" and "labor saving innovation" - Result: labor saving innovation decreases multiplier effect

Why Twitter?

  • Evolution of cellphone -- qualitatively won't change
  • Cellphones: bandwidth & time constraints
  • "Social networking" -- connecting to people, not pages

"Gaming" the system

  • Eg, "Twitter clubs" at university
  • Compare with Google "page rank" consultants