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Stanford Event: Nuclear Safety And Security In Northeast Asia: A Panel Discussion [Report]

Nuclear Safety And Security In Northeast Asia: A Panel Discussion (October 19, 2016)
Sponsored by: Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center

Date/Time: October 19(W), 12:00-1:30pm
Venue: Bechtel Conference Center, Encina Hall, Stanford

Moderator:
Takeo Hoshi, Henri H. and Tomoye Takahashi Senior Fellow in Japanese Studies, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
Panelists:
Liyou Zha, Deputy Consul General of the People Public of China, San Francisco
Shouichi Nagayoshi, Deputy Consul General of Japan, San Francisco
Jimin Kim, Deputy Consul General of the Republic of Korea, San Francisco
Phillip Lipscy, TheThomas Rohlen Center Fellow, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Associate Professor of Political Science
Photo:
Prof. T. Hoshi, Mr. L. Zha, Mr. S. Nagayoshi, Mr. J. Kim and Prof. P. Lipscy
161019StanA15.jpg

Webpage: https://events.stanford.edu/events/628/62811/
"Northeast Asia is now a central arena to determine the future of nuclear safety and security. The Fukushima nuclear accident, and its ongoing aftermath, is at the forefront of the debate over the utility of nuclear energy in resolving global issues of climate change and energy security. And North Korea’s headlong rush towards acquisition of nuclear weapons and delivery systems has sparked talk of going nuclear in both South Korea and China and discussion over how to provide extended deterrence, including the role of missile defense."

Review:
When diplomats stationing in a local city like San Francisco talk about national and international issues such as nuclear safety and security, all you can expect is what may be called "diplomatic talks." It was no exception this time, as the three diplomats claimed that their governments were doing their best in achieving "nuclear safety and security" by cooperating among the three countries, even in dealing with the "trust deficit" issue about nuclear safety and the "North Korea" issue about nuclear security.
Whenever they had to mention some unresolved problems, the key word "challenge" was used to avoid admission of inabilities or even failures in addressing such problems.
It turned out to be so obviously "diplomatic," when the three deputy consuls responded to the question from the floor, asking how their governments are dealing with the public's strong opposition to nuclear power, that is, the problem of seemingly increasing trust deficit: the Korean deputy consul said something like "educating people," and the Japanese deputy consul emphasized "dialogue with the public," while the Chinese deputy consul somewhat surprisingly that "the government listens and can change its mind in building nuclear plants," although that could happen only in some neighborhoods, but certainly not for the nation as a whole, as the Chinese diplomat himself initially presented that there were 27 nuclear power plants currently in operation, and 25 more under construction, which looks like a very aggressive pro-nuclear power policy.
Prof. Lipscy raised an interesting point regarding the possible implications of changing political atmosphere and shifting public opinions in the US regarding nuclear proliferation in Asia, but unfortunately there was no response from any panelist or even from the floor. Probably, we need another round of panel discussion, preferably by specialists, on such an issue.
(T. Miyao)

References:
Stanford Colloquium:Japan's Great Earthquake & Nuclear Disaster: 5 Years Later" (March 10, 2016)
http://miyao-blog.blog.so-net.ne.jp/2016-03-11
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