Despite the ongoing catastrophe of nuclear reactor meltdowns following last spring's earthquake, the Japanese people remain largely supportive of nuclear energy. A major reason for that is what the New York Times called a "culture of nuclear dependency" that has developed over the years. The government has essentially bought the support, or acquiescence, of the public through jobs and subsidies for community projects, in what has been compared to drug addiction. Shuji Shimizu, professor of public finance at Fukushima University, says, "This structure of dependency makes it impossible for communities to speak out against the plants or nuclear power." In other words, the people of Japan have been bribed into support, despite the now-obvious danger.
Jim Wallis is the author of Rediscovering Values: A Guide for Economic and Moral Recovery, and CEO of Sojourners. He blogs at www.godspolitics.com. Follow Jim on Twitter @JimWallis.