Dn! In Depth

DN! Reports On Japan

President Obama visited Japan during the first stop in his four-country tour of Asia. This page highlights Democracy Now!’s recent reports when we broadcast from Tokyo, as well as our coverage of the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership. On his trip, Obama is set to discuss the secretive deal among Pacific Rim countries that would establish a free-trade zone encompassing nearly 40 percent of the global economy.

Top Stories

  • Naotokan-closeup
    Three years ago today a massive earthquake triggered a devastating tsunami that struck Japan’s northeast coast, resulting in an unprecedented nuclear crisis: a triple meltdown at the...
    Mar 11, 2014 | Story
  • Japan_tpp_protest3
    Japan has been a hotbed of protest against the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would establish a free-trade zone stretching from Japan to the United States to Chile, and encompass nearly...
    Jan 16, 2014 | Story
  • Shinzo_abe2
    Democracy Now! is broadcasting from Tokyo, Japan, today in the first of three special broadcasts. At a critical time for Japan and the region, we begin our coverage looking at the country’s...
    Jan 15, 2014 | Story
  • Pb-110325-reagan-wash-1p
    Three years after the triple meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, scores of U.S. sailors and marines are suing the plant’s operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, for allegedly misleading the Navy about the level of radioactive contamination. Many of the servicemembers who provided humanitarian relief during the disaster have experienced devastating health ailments since returning from Japan, ranging from leukemia to blindness...
    Mar 19, 2014 | Story
  • Chomsky_japan
    World-renowned political dissident, linguist, author and MIT Professor Noam Chomsky traveled to Japan last week ahead of the three-year anniversary of the Fukushima crisis. Chomsky, now 85 years old, met with Fukushima survivors, including families who evacuated the area after the meltdown. "[It’s] particularly horrifying that this is happening in Japan with its unique, horrendous experiences with the impact of nuclear explosions, which...
    Mar 11, 2014 | Story
  • Safecast2
    Safecast is a network of volunteers who came together to map radiation levels throughout Japan after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster in 2011. They soon realized radiation readings varied widely, with some areas close to the disaster facing light contamination, depending on wind and geography, while others much further away showed higher readings. Safecast volunteers use Geiger counters and open-source software to measure the...
    Jan 17, 2014 | Story
  • Anti-nuke_protest_2
    Recent moves by the Japanese government to restart the country’s nuclear power plant facilities have been met by growing protests. "I think this is a problem of the world, not just of Japan," Kato Keiko told Democracy Now! at a protest outside the prime minister’s private residence in Tokyo. She describes how there is increasing expectation that voters will decide which candidate to choose in the upcoming election based on their...
    Jan 17, 2014 | Story
  • Mayor_idogawa
    We speak with Katsutaka Idogawa, former mayor of the town of Futaba where part of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is located. The entire town was rendered uninhabitable by the nuclear disaster. We ask him what went through his mind after the earthquake and tsunami hit on March 11, 2011. "It was a huge surprise, and at the time I was just hoping nothing that had happened at the nuclear power plant. However, unfortunately there was...
    Jan 17, 2014 | Story
  • Yukiko_kameya
    On our final day of our special broadcast from Tokyo, we speak with a Japanese resident from the town that housed part of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant who is participating in weekly protests against the resumption of nuclear power in her country. "We couldn’t bring anything from our houses. We didn’t have a toothbrush. We didn’t have a blanket. We didn’t have towels. We had nothing. It was truly hell,...
    Jan 17, 2014 | Story
  • Peaceboat2
    In 1983, a group of Japanese students formed Peace Boat as a response to government censorship of history books regarding Japan’s past military aggression in the Asia Pacific. They chartered a ship to visit neighboring countries and build people-to-people exchanges. Three decades later, Peace Boat now operates a chartered passenger ship that travels the world on peace voyages. The group also organizes against the use of nuclear weapons,...
    Jan 16, 2014 | Story
  • Okinawaprotest3
    Nearly 70 years ago the United States took over the Japanese island of Okinawa after one of the bloodiest battles of World War II. More than 200,000 people died, mostly Japanese civilians. Today the United States operates 34 bases on the island and is planning to build a new state-of-the-art Marine base, despite mass protests. A multi-decade movement of Okinawa residents has pushed for ousting U.S. forces off the island, citing environmental concerns...
    Jan 16, 2014 | Story
  • Amys_column_default
    By Amy Goodman with Denis Moynihan

    TOKYO—“I write these facts as dispassionately as I can in the hope that they will act as a warning to the world,” wrote the journalist Wilfred Burchett from Hiroshima. His story, headlined, “The Atomic Plague” appeared in the London Daily Express on Sept. 5, 1945. Burchett violated the U.S. military blockade of Hiroshima, and was the first Western journalist to visit that devastated city. He wrote: “Hiroshima...

    Jan 16, 2014 | Columns & Articles
  • Nuclear_nation
    We continue to look at the fallout from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant crisis in 2011 with a documentary about the former residents of Futaba, where the facility is located. "Nuclear Nation: The Fukushima Refugees Story" follows them in the first year after the disaster as they live communally in an abandoned school near Tokyo. Many mourn the loss of family members and their homes, and worry about the impact of radiation exposure...
    Jan 15, 2014 | Story
  • Fukushima_plant_2
    Japan is getting ready to mark the third anniversary of one of the world’s worst atomic disasters. It was March 11, 2011, when a massive 9.0-magnitude earthquake triggered a devastating tsunami that struck Japan’s northeast coast. The twin disasters triggered a meltdown at the Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station. The radiation that spewed from the plant stranded more than 315,000 evacuees. In...
    Jan 15, 2014 | Story
  • Nafta-protest
    The North American Free Trade Agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada went into effect 20 years ago this week on January 1, 1994. The massive trade pact was signed into law by President Bill Clinton amidst great promise that it would raise wages, create jobs and even improve health and environmental safety standards. Hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs have vanished as companies sought lower-wage workers in Mexico. Meanwhile, NAFTA...
    Jan 03, 2014 | Story
  • Wallach-watson2.jpg
    WikiLeaks has published the secret text to part of the biggest U.S. trade deal in history, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). For the past several years, the United States and 12 Pacific Rim nations have been negotiating behind closed doors on the sweeping agreement. A 95-page draft of a TPP chapter released by WikiLeaks on Wednesday details agreements relating to patents, copyright, trademarks and industrial design — showing their wide-reaching...
    Nov 14, 2013 | Story
  • Wallach
    As the federal government shutdown continues, Secretary of State John Kerry heads to Asia for secret talks on a sweeping new trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The TPP is often referred to by critics as "NAFTA on steroids," and would establish a free trade zone that would stretch from Vietnam to Chile, encompassing 800 million people — about a third of world trade and nearly 40 percent of the global economy. While the text...
    Oct 04, 2013 | Story
  • Amys_column_default
    By Amy Goodman with Denis Moynihan

    Welcome to the nuclear renaissance. Entergy Corp., one of the largest nuclear-power producers in the United States, issued a surprise press release Tuesday, saying it plans "to close and decommission its Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station in Vernon, Vt. While the press release came from the corporation, it was years of people’s protests and state legislative action that forced its closure. At the...

    Aug 29, 2013 | Columns & Articles
  • Fukushima-pacific1
    Japan’s nuclear regulator said today it has officially raised the severity rating of the latest radioactive water leak at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant to Level 3 on an international scale for radiological releases. The plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), said last week that 330 tons of highly radioactive water leaked from a storage tank at the facility. Crews of workers have been rushing to check for leaks in...
    Aug 28, 2013 | Story