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Peace building through restorative dialogue and consensus building after the TEPCO Fukushima 1st nuclear reactor disaster.

Ishihara, Akiko
June 4, 2015

Source: (2012) Eubios Journal of Asian and International Bioethics. 22(3):111-117.

Firstly, in the areas affected by the Earthquake and on 11 March 2011 and the following nuclear disaster, numerous conflicts and the destruction of many human relationships have taken place. Any large-scale natural disaster be it earthquake, tsunami, flood, volcanic eruption, tornado, drought, etc., harms people physically, mentally, and socially, leaving the survivors traumatized. Particularly, an environmental disaster coupled with some level of human caused factors – humanmade/technological disaster, makes the human relationships in the affected society to be prone severe damage regardless of the amount of compensation and accepted responsibilities. The destruction of human relationships aggravates and obstructs the process of recovery that is all too often left unsolved and passed on to the next generation. Secondly, peace is not only defined as the absence of direct violence (war/conflict, etc), but also defined as the absence of indirect and structural violence. Galtung (1969) defined this as a positive peace. In other words, peaceful society is one where the needs of all people in the society are filled and people can fully enjoy their potentiality. Following such a large-scale disaster, a society is inevitably confronted with grave decisions concerning the re-building and re-construction of a new society. Thus facilitating consensus building amongst diverse opinions in policy making in order to ensure a more “peaceful” future learning from the experience of disaster and even from conflict is a pivotal objective of conflict transformation and peace building. Although decision-making after a large-scale disaster is very important, the consensus building process usually becomes difficult because people are likely to have more conflicts (which will be elaborated in detail in the following section) due to the harm and trauma they experience as a result of the disaster. Therefore, in a traumatized society, a different consensus building approach than the one employed in a normal society is needed. (excerpt)


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