Details of the Initiative

I have studied the relationship between environmental destruction caused by nuclear development in the United States and disparities in racial discrimination, colonialism, and political economy. Potential sites for uranium development, production and testing of nuclear weapons, and disposal of radioactive waste include land deemed “discardable” for national security in a military and economic superpower and people living there.
In particular, I have learned a lot from the hardships that indigenous people face after being driven to the “frontier,” which has long been regarded as the site of nuclear development, the struggles for survival, and their stories.
My book “‘Gisei Kuiki’ no Amerika: Kaku Kaihatsu to Senju-minzoku” (America as ‘Sacrifice Zones’ – Nuclear Development and Indigenous Peoples) Iwanami Shoten, 2020 won the 9th Kawai Hayao Prize for social sciences and humanities. In the evaluation comment, it was pointed out that the described situations are often similar to those in Japan.
In order to realize a sustainable society, it is necessary to start with the creation of a system that enables the vulnerable to participate in the decision-making process of environmental policies. As a geographer, I would like to continue my work with students and colleagues based at Meiji University, while clarifying the spatial structure and historical context of discrimination and disparities.

The plutonium used in the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki was produced at the Hanford Site in Washington State, one of the sites of the Manhattan Project. Nuclear contamination spread through the nearby Columbia River. This beautiful river is the source of all lives for the local indigenous peoples.
I visited the B Reactor site in Hanford, now part of National Historical Park. I remember the ruined nuclear facilities that stood in the desert, the Stars and Stripes, the blue sky, and the dry wind.
The Skull Valley Goshute Indian Reservation in Utah considered accepting a temporary storage for high-level radioactive waste during the 1990s and 2000s. Socio-geographically isolated tribes sought to explore local development possibilities with federal research funds, land rents paid by utilities, and employment opportunities.