Through an analysis of the post-1945 nuclear entanglements between the United States and Japan, this essay proposes that the nuclear age brings with it a new set of ethical, legal, scientific, ecological, and aesthetic questions about complicity and entanglement. The first part of the essay analyses how the Atoms for Peace program, through which the United States brought nuclear power to Japan, was both motivated and structured by the desire to avoid complicity: bringing nuclear energy to Japan was imagined as a solution to the feeling of being complicit in the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The second part of the essay turns to Ruth Ozeki's 2013 novel A Tale for the Time Being as a text that writes back against the United States’ impossible and destructive denial of nuclear complicity. Ozeki's quantum narrative form, I argue, offers a counter-theorization of what it means to be complicit or entangled in the nuclear age. In a quantum world where the observer is a part of the ongoing event, as long as we are paying attention, the event has not ceased. To be complicit, entangled, is to be part of the ongoing event—and to have, always, the capacity to change it.

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