This post, by Tom Noir, is radical and I cannot say I agree with all of it. Nonetheless, it is worth a read, excerpt:
The shock to Japan’s society, economy and infrastructure will be huge…
Whether or not the Tokyo Electric Power Co. is able to ultimately prevent a nuclear disaster on a level with Cherynobyl, these events will leave a deep impression in the national psyche. The Japanese have the dubious distinction of being the only nation ever to have nuclear weapons used against them. They have an understandable horror of nuclear power: their society’s so-called ‘nuclear allergy’. Now they truly face the sum of all their fears.
This time it is not an external threat being imposed by a foreign enemy. This is a nuclear disaster of their own making. Japan is going to have deal with a cultural identity crisis in the wake of this disaster.
Japan now faces simultaneous threats to its infrastructure, its economy and its society. We have to ask seriously if Japan, as a nation, has the reserves of will necessary to weather this crisis…
The Japanese economy flatlined in 1991 and has never recovered. In the face of these doldrums they have financed their standard of living by taking on massive quantities of debt. Their total debt was set to climb to 228% of their national GDP this year without taking into account this disaster.
This disaster will do one of two things for Japan. On the one hand, it could be the wake-up call that that country needs to galvanize it into real change. But it could also be the real beginning of the end, the collapse of the entire elaborately constructed house of cards. Either way, Japan post-tsunami will not be the same as Japan before. Change is coming.