A Pivotal Year: Japan in 1995

The year 1995 was a turning point for Japan in many ways. The Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake in western Japan and the Tokyo subway gas attack shocked the nation, while society was transformed by the release of Windows 95. The extremely high value of the yen, and the peaking in the working-age population were also significant events in this pivotal year.

The Birth and Evolution of the Internet in JapanMurai Jun

A leading figure of computer science, often called the father of Japan’s Internet, elucidates the development and spread of the Internet in Japan and discusses what the future might hold.

A Guilty Verdict for the Last Aum Defendant: What We’ve Learned About Mind Control Over the Past 20 YearsEgawa Shōko

Takahashi Katsuya was the last member of the murderous Aum Shinrikyō cult to face justice. The guilty verdict returned against him in April is a watershed in the legal proceedings that followed the cult’s sarin gas attack on Tokyo subways in 1995. This is thus an apt time to think anew about how Aum transformed formerly upright young people into criminals.

Japan’s Disastrous “Safety Myth”: Ignoring the Lessons of Minor Nuclear IncidentsSassa Atsuyuki

By denying the existence of risk, the myth of absolute safety, associated particularly with the nuclear power industry, has hampered much-needed improvements in crisis management. Yet over the years before the Fukushima crisis in 2011, there were a number of warnings in the form of minor incidents that should have been heeded. These included the farcical events associated with the launch of the Mutsu nuclear-powered ship in 1974 and a fire at the Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor in 1995.

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