This paper looks at new social decision making processes in Japanese local community in dealing with nuclear power plant siting and draws lessons for future processes, but not intended to analyze nuclear policy itself. The paper analyzes two cases; one is Maki-machi (in Niigata prefecture) in which nuclear project was cancelled, and the other is Hokkaido prefecture in which siting of new plant was allowed. Our major findings can be summarized into three points as follows. First, these cases confirmed the importance of broader look at social decision making process, incorporating both “formal” and “informal” one. Second, these cases suggest three basic functions of “intermediate” process (the process between the agenda setting and the final decision), that is, Assessment of Options, Renewal of Agenda, and Social Learning. Thirdly, the issues of how to and who design the “arena” of such decision making process are very important. Finally, We would recommend some points for design and management of better decision making process.

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Social decision making process for siting of nuclear power plants in Japan

Kohta Juraku   Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies, University of Tokyo, Japan

Yuichiro Okawa   Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Tokyo, Japan

Tatsujiro Suzuki   Socio-economic Research Center, Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry (CRIEPI), Japan

Osamu Sakura   Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies, University of Tokyo, Japan

This paper looks at new social decision making processes in Japanese local community in dealing with nuclear power plant siting and draws lessons for future processes, but not intended to analyze nuclear policy itself. The paper analyzes two cases; one is Maki-machi (in Niigata prefecture) in which nuclear project was cancelled, and the other is Hokkaido prefecture in which siting of new plant was allowed. Our major findings can be summarized into three points as follows. First, these cases confirmed the importance of broader look at social decision making process, incorporating both “formal” and “informal” one. Second, these cases suggest three basic functions of “intermediate” process (the process between the agenda setting and the final decision), that is, Assessment of Options, Renewal of Agenda, and Social Learning. Thirdly, the issues of how to and who design the “arena” of such decision making process are very important. Finally, We would recommend some points for design and management of better decision making process.

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