But does Hardt and Negri’s characterization of the 2011 movements apply to the situation in Japan?
According to Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt, “a large portion of the activists” in the 2011 movements such as Occupy Wall Street were “students, intellectual workers, and those working in urban service jobs, [in other words], the cognitive precariat.” 14 In post-industrial societies, where the majority of industrial jobs have been exported to developing countries, it is hardly surprising that many of the actors in movements such as OWS would be made up of such workers. In the autumn of 2013, I surveyed 55 of the main actors in the antinuclear movement after the Fukushima nuclear accident. By “main actors” I refer to people who are regularly involved in activism. I distinguish them from “ordinary participants” on this point. Activists were individually selected for this survey based on information from leading MCAN activists. Most of those I surveyed became active around this issue after the nuclear accident. 38 were from the Tokyo area and 17 were from other cities. I provided activists with a list of the topics and asked them to write a short essay on their life history and their experiences in the movement. I asked them to write freely about their social attributes, their home environment, their use of the internet and how they came to be involved in their current activism after the nuclear accident. Respondents did not necessarily address all of the topics suggested. 15
The survey revealed the following characteristics of the 55 individuals. Some participants appear under more than one point (see Table 1 for a summary).
In Japan, the number of people employed in manufacturing reached a peak in 1991
- The Cognitive Precariat. A large number of respondents (19) were employed in artistic or cognitive jobs such as music, IT, design, architecture, editing and translation. Other precarious workers were two administrators and one shopkeeper.
- Five respondents were healthcare workers such as hospital workers, pharmacists, nurses and medical graduates. A further two respondents indicated that their own or a family member’s experience of receiving radiation therapy had made them aware of the risks posed by radiation. One respondent indicated that he knew about the problem of radiation and its effects on child health because he ran a company that sold baby products.
- International Many respondents had connections or experiences overseas. Ten had been exchange students, had a non-Japanese partner, or had non-Japanese nationality. Three were working in foreign-owned companies in Japan or had done so previously.
- There were two contract university lecturers, two graduate students and one university student.
- Full Time Workers. There were six full-time employees with strict work schedules and little free time. Three of them worked for major corporations. Of these, two worked for foreign-owned companies and one was a pharmacist.
- Time-Rich.Many respondents had occupations or situations that gave them a significant degree of control over their spare time. Seven were self-employed, seven were full-time housewives, three were musicians and entertainers, and one was a pensioner. Of those who were self-employed, three were in the architecture, translation and design industries and four others were in food services, electrical goods retail, accessories retail and farming.
- Local Leaders. One respondent was the head of a local shopkeepers association and two were involved in the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) at their child’s school as president and class officer respectively.
The relative decline in the number of housewife activists and the fact that so many of the main actors were part of the “cognitive precariat” are both manifestations of deindustrialization and the growth of the precariat
The sample included 28 men and 27 women. Six respondents were in their 20s, 17 in their 30s, 24 in their 40s, two in their 50s and six in their 60s. 16 MCAN’s spokesperson, Misao Redwolf, is an illustrator in her 40s.
Let us compare the 2011 movement in Japan with that in other countries. The 19 respondents who worked in fields such as the arts, publishing and translation indicate that in Japan, too, many activists were part of the “cognitive precariat”. This illustrates the fact that the antinuclear movement in Japan was a post-industrial social movement, like movements that occurred around the world at that time. There were far fewer full-time housewives among the main actors than was the case in urban middle-class movements in Japan in the 1980s. This, too https://www.loansolution.com/title-loans-ga, is probably due to deindustrialization. This coincided with the peak of the antinuclear movement after the Chernobyl nuclear accident, in which housewives were the main actors. By contrast, research on the labour force undertaken by the Japanese government indicates that the number of manufacturing employees in 2013 was just two thirds of what it had been in 1991. Manufacturing had long provided stable employment to male workers and the strength of this industry in Japan made it possible for many women to be full-time housewives. Since the 1990s, as male industrial employment e more precarious with the increase in part-time and temporary work, the number of full-time housewives decreased.