Former head of Japan’s #1 newspaper worked with CIA to promote nuclear power

Published: May 31st, 2012 at 10:11 pm ET
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Japan’s Nuclear Industry: The CIA Link
Wall St. Journal – Japan Real Time
By Eleanor Warnock
June 1, 2012, 10:18 AM JST

[...]

Rewind almost 60 years and the government had a similar problem: how to persuade the public to support its ambition to become a nuclear nation only nine years after the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

According to one Japanese university professor, that ambition was achieved with help from an unlikely source: the CIA.

Tetsuo Arima, a researcher at Waseda University in Tokyo, told JRT he discovered in the U.S. National Archives a trove of declassified CIA files that showed how one man, Matsutaro Shoriki, was instrumental in jumpstarting Japan’s nascent nuclear industry.

Mr. Shoriki was many things: a Class A war criminal, the head of the Yomiuri Shimbun (Japan’s biggest-selling and most influential newspaper) and the founder of both the country’s first commercial broadcaster and the Tokyo Giants baseball team. Less well known, according to Mr. Arima, was that the media mogul worked with the CIA to promote nuclear power.

[...]

Mr. Shoriki, backed by the CIA, used his influence to publish articles in the Yomiuri that extolled the virtues of nuclear power, according to the documents found by Mr. Arima. Keen on remilitarizing Japan, Mr. Shoriki endorsed nuclear power in hopes its development would one day arm the country with the ability to make its own nuclear weapons, according to Mr. Arima. Mr. Shoriki’s behind-the-scenes push created a chain reaction in other media that eventually changed public opinion.

[...]

Published: May 31st, 2012 at 10:11 pm ET
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