The Mansfield Foundation’s U.S.-Japan Nuclear Working Group


I participated in the Mansfield Foundation’s U.S.-Japan Nuclear Working Group convention in Osaka.

This group recently published a report detailing the strategic priorities regarding nuclear power in Japan and the U.S, and these conventions were part of their campaign. Although similar events were held in Fukuoka and Tokyo, I was only able to participate in the Osaka Convention.

The recommendations refer to the increased cooperative relations that are expected in the coming years, and most of them are very reasonable. One of the members of the committee, Charles Ferguson, was the chairperson during my NAIIC Capitol Hill Briefing that was organized by the Japan-U.S Council last October. He played no small part in ensuring that my briefing got the attention that it deserved by highlighting its importance.

At the Osaka convention, the panelist discussion was followed up by comments made by me and Professor Shunya Hoshino of Osaka University.

Because each of the panelists was well-versed in nuclear energy, the talk did not go into technical details, but rather focused on the larger issues, such as the significance of the NAIIC, the dangers of groupthink, as well as other problems that arose specifically because the accident occurred in Japan.

One such Japan-specific problem was the composition of the audience. Barring the two female simultaneous interpreters, there were only three or four women in the audience of more than two hundred. Talk about strange. I believe that this can occur only in Japan.

Among the four panelists, there was one woman, Sharon Squassoni(Director and Senior Fellow, Proliferation Prevention Program, CSIS).

After the convention ended, the members of the working group headed to Fukushima, while I headed to Kansai Airport, from where I would be flying to Okinawa in order to attend the meeting of the board of governors at the OIST.