Background of “Individualized Meritocracy” Among Japanese Youth: Social Circulation Model of Postwar Japan and Its Collapse

  • Yuki HondaEmail author
Part of the Education in the Asia-Pacific Region: Issues, Concerns and Prospects book series (EDAP, volume 47)


Everybody is aware of what happened in the northeast of Japan on March 11, 2011. A huge earthquake that shook the ocean floor near the east coast of Japan caused gigantic tidal waves to roll inland, destroying a large number of towns on the coast and resulting in a huge loss of human life—around 19,000 people are dead, and about 2500 people are still missing to date. Waves also assaulted the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, inflicting severe damage on key areas of the plant that stored critical equipment. Since then, radioactive contamination has become a threat not only to the people living close to the damaged plant but also to the wider population living in Fukushima and neighboring prefectures. What made things worse was the electric power shortage caused by the destruction of the Fukushima Daiichi plant and the suspension of operations at other nuclear facilities on safety concerns. Thus, almost every industry located in the eastern half of Japan has been adversely impacted, leading to the unemployment of a large number of people; some estimate that unemployment and layoff figures caused by the 3.11 disaster could be well over 2,200,000 (Genda 2014, p. 104).


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of EducationThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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