In this paper, the authors analyze the formation of a network of Indonesian nuclear experts. Their investigation of Indonesia's major institutions of nuclear engineering—the National Nuclear Energy Agency (Badan Tenaga Nuklir Nasional, BATAN), the Nuclear Energy Regulatory Agency (Badan Pengawas Tenaga Nuklir, BAPETEN), and the Bandung Institute of Technology (Institute of Technology in Bandung, ITB)—reveals a visible Japanese influence in Indonesia. Through extensive interviews with Indonesian nuclear experts, the authors demonstrate the close ties between the Tokyo Institute of Technology and the ITB. This analysis illustrates the firm relationship between the two institutions in an academic nexus, resulting in the formation of the Japan-Indonesia nuclear network. Further, the collective biographies of Indonesian nuclear physicists, including Zaki Su'ud and his followers, show that the tightly woven academic complex between Japan and Indonesia has pushed the transfer of nuclear research from Japan to Indonesia. This collection of ties has led to the establishment of a so-called science community of nuclear engineering in Indonesia by the Tokyo Institute of Technology. The authors argue that this science community forms a subsidiary of Japan's “nuclear village,” which has expanded beyond its national boundaries. The authors’ research on Japan's technopolitical expansion through the establishment of a science community in Indonesia reveals the manner in which close ties between Japanese and Indonesian academia have been built. The authors suggest that this Japan-Indonesia network should be understood within the context of Japan as a United States techno-imperial sub-system, forming an extension of the US-centered international structure of nuclear engineering in the framework of models proposed by Togo Tsukahara.
Japan's “Nuclear Village” Beyond the Border: The Japan-Indonesia Network of Nuclear Engineering
Mutsumi Inuma was born in Osaka in 1991 and studied international cultural studies at Kobe University between 2010 and 2015. While at Kobe University, she studied the sociology of science at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Since April 2015, she has been associated with Kyodo News as a reporter. Her fields of interests include post-3/11 Japan, the Japanese export of nuclear engineering, the third world and Japan's ODA, and Indonesian technology.
Togo Tsukahara was born in Tokyo in 1961 and studied chemistry, earning a PhD from Leiden University in 1993. He has served as postdoctoral fellow at Needham Research Institute, Cambridge, United Kingdom; associate professor at Tokai University 東海大学 during 1994–98; and professor of the graduate school of Kobe University 神戸大学 since 1999. His fields of interests include HPS and STS, especially Japanese and Dutch history of science, history of chemistry and meteorology, non-Western Sciences and technology, and post-3/11 Japan.
Mutsumi Inuma, Togo Tsukahara; Japan's “Nuclear Village” Beyond the Border: The Japan-Indonesia Network of Nuclear Engineering. East Asian Science, Technology and Society 1 September 2015; 9 (3): 295–310. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/18752160-3144880
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