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Minamata: Pollution and the Struggle for Democracy in Postwar Japan
Based on primary documents and interviews, this text describes three rounds of responses to a tragic case of mercury poisoning, focusing on the efforts of its victims and their supporters to secure redress.
Paperback, 416 pages
Published March 21st 2002 by Harvard University Press
(first published April 30th 2001)
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Oct 04, 2015 AskHistorians added it
Covers the political and social dimensions of the Shin Nihon Chisso Corporation's dumping of organic mercury in and around Minamata, leading to two decades of horrific human misery during Japan's postwar "economic miracle".
“In retrospect, these events are discouraging: too many scientists seem to have been in the service of money and power. Too many in the media saw it as their duty to be "neutral" by uncritically reporting every theory, rather than investigating who sponsored them and whether they were backed by solid evidence. Too many government officials seem to have been willing to sacrifice poor fisherfolk on the altar of high growth.”More quotes…