- マス・コミュニケーション研究 (ISSN:13411306)
- no.79, pp.153-170, 2011-07-31
This paper analyzes articles about nuclear energy in three science magazines, Kagaku Asahi (Asahi Science), Shizen (Nature), and Kagaku (Science), which were published in Japan in the 1950s. The analytical methodology used in the study is a combination of quantitative analysis and theory concerned with the agenda-setting function of the media. The study aims to reveal the relationship between the discourse found in the articles and Japanese opinions concerning nuclear energy development and radioactive substances, and to explore the qualitative changes in the discourse of the articles and the reasons underlying such changes. One conclusion that emerges from the quantitative analysis is that the number of discourses concerning nuclear energy increased between 1954 and 1955, and following this started to steadily decrease. Generally speaking, the Lucky Dragon 5 incident in 1954, in which the crew of a Japanese fishing vessel was exposed to nuclear fallout from US nuclear testing on Bikini Atoll, is considered to have started the anti-nuclear movement in Japan. At this time, in the science magazines, there was an increase in specialist discourses concerning topics such as nuclear reactors and methods of measuring nuclear fallout. In reality, almost all the scientists involved in nuclear energy research and development thought that they had no connection to the anti-nuclear movement. Based on a purely dualistic conception of good and bad, they continued to position nuclear energy as something to be used for good. From this perspective, it can be seen that in the Japanese science magazines of the 1950s, the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and its effects were understood only in a very limited sense.