Junior Research Programs

Special Lecture: Risk Communication and Safe Food in Post-Fukushima Japan


As radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster hit food production nationwide, the Japanese government rushed to lower the safety standards for radiation, while the public feared contamination of the entire domestic food supply. This paper examines the government's attempts to re-establish a concept of 'safe food' in post-Fukushima Japan and considers its implications for Japan's food governance system. Specifically, it analyses the risk communication policies enacted by the government, focusing on the changing standards for radiation maximums in food, and on the 'Radiation Risk Communicator' program. We demonstrate that the state's attempts to reconstruct 'safe food' has in fact intensified public confusion and uncertainty, and eroded institutional trust in the food governance system. These implications for the food governance system in Japan attest to the inherently ungovernable nature of the 'new' manufactured risks in today's 'risk society'.

*The event will be held in English. No registration is required to attend the lecture.

Date and Time

Febuary 7, 2018 14:40 – 16:10


School of Law, Graduate School of Law, Kawauchi Campus, Tohoku University (Seminar Room1, 2F)【Access


Paul O’Shea (Lund University)


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Sebastian Maslow (Tohoku University / Kobe University)
E-mail: maslow* (change * to @)