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The Brookings Cafeteria

Mar 5, 2021

March 2021 marks ten years since an earthquake off Japan’s Pacific Coast and the tsunami it caused led to reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to melt down, releasing radiation and forcing the government to evacuate over 100,000 residents in surrounding areas.

As the author of a new book from the Brookings Institution Press writes, failures at all levels of Japan’s government and private sector worsened the human and economic impact of the disaster and ensured that its consequences would endure for years to come.

On this episode of the Brookings Cafeteria, Brookings Press Director Bill Finan interviews Yoichi Funabashi, author of “Meltdown: Inside the Fukushima Nuclear Crisis.” Funabashi, an award-winning Japanese journalist, columnist, and author, and now chairman of Asia Pacific Initiative, interviewed more than 300 government officials, power plant operators, and military personnel to provide a meticulous recounting and analysis of the struggle at all levels to contain the disaster.

Also on this episode, Senior Fellow Sarah Binder explains what’s been happening in Congress in the eight weeks since the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. She examines how Congress is working so fast, what unified party control means for Democrats, and asks, will it last?

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The Brookings Cafeteria is part of the Brookings Podcast Network.