In May 2011, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry promoted the idea of "Cool Japan," presenting Japanese culture as a product amid the confusing circumstances after the Great East Japan Earthquake. As Japan continues to suffer a declining population and weak economy, it was a government attempt to create a branding strategy for recovery.
Most people didn't take much notice of the "cool" policy, but Art Tower Mito curator Mizuki Takahashi was infuriated by it, seeing the makeover policy as out of touch with reality, oblivious to the fact that Japan could not easily return to the economic strength of past decades. Amid the heat of the nation's nuclear radiation situation, she saw the construction of a "Cool Japan" as an ironic effort.
Takahashi began a dialogue with artist Tadasu Takamine as part of an effort to have visitors reflect on the strong impact the March 11 disasters had, and is still having, on Japanese society. The location of Art Tower Mito in Ibaraki Prefecture, which is close to Fukushima, as well as Mito's proximity to the site of two previous nuclear accidents in Tokaimura (in 1997 and 1999), gives a chilling context for thinking about the downside of nuclear energy.