Back in 1959, director Alain Resnais released a film that has since become a classic. Called Hiroshima Mon Amour, it posited a love affair between a Japanese engineer and a French actress. As the title suggests, the relationship founders on the issue of a defining moment of modern history both western and eastern.
No debates, please, and the film is a masterpiece that chokes off debate anyway. In the real world, here comes a different defining moment:
The prime ministers of Japan and France said Friday they wanted to put global warming high on the agenda for the Group of Eight summit and hailed nuclear power as a way to reduce carbon emissions.
And here's some more:
In a joint statement, [French Prime Minister Francois] Fillon and [Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo] Fukuda said they "share the same vision of nuclear energy's paramount role for prosperity and sustainable development in the 21st century."
The two countries have chosen nuclear power "as a key component of their energy plans to ensure energy that is safe, competitive and without CO2 emissions," the statement said.
France is the only G8 member to rely on nuclear energy for most of its power and has actively promoted nuclear technology overseas.
Japan comes in second in the G8 with about one-third of its energy coming via nuclear plants, despite visible public opposition in the only nation that has been attacked with atomic bombs.
We're in no way competent to mediate the Japanese relationship with the atom, except to acknowledge that it is complex and goes to the heart of what must be remembered and what can be forgot.
Regardless, the way forward is as clear as the sky that surrounds a nuclear energy plant. France and Japan have advanced to a point where they demonstrate by example all the qualities the pro-nuclear crowd has touted all along. Clean, safe, affordable - arguments against it just wither away like a relationship grown cold.