“Haruki Murakami says Japan ignoring WWII, Fukushima role”

TOKYO (AFP) – Japanese writer Haruki Murakami has chided his country for shirking responsibility for its World War II aggression and the Fukushima nuclear disaster in an interview published Monday.

Speaking to the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper, the 65-year-old author said: “No one has taken real responsibility for the 1945 war end or the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident. I feel so.” “After the war, it was eventually concluded that no one was wrong,” said Murakami of the pervasive attitude in Japan.

Japanese people have come to consider themselves as “victims” of the war, he added.

Murakami, one of Japan’s best known writers who has repeatedly been tipped as a future Nobel Literature laureate, said that it was natural for China and the Koreas to continue to feel resentment towards Japan for its wartime aggressions.

“Fundamentally, Japanese people tend not to have an idea that they were also assailants, and the tendency is getting clearer,” he said.

Japan’s lack of repentance over its behaviour in the first half of the 20th century continues to strain relations with regional neighbours.

Murakami also said Japan did not seriously pursue who was really responsible for the 2011 crisis at Fukushima – when powerful earthquake and tsunami caused a reactor meltdown and radiation leaks – choosing instead to blame the disaster on uncontrollable natural events.

“I’m afraid that it can be understood that the earthquake and tsunami were the biggest assailants and the rest of us were all victims. That’s my biggest concern.” Murakami’s latest novel “Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage” was released in Europe and the United States this summer.

He lost out on this year’s Nobel to Patrick Modiano, a historical novelist who writes about France’s painful experience of Nazi occupation.

Originally from Straits Times.

Fukushima, 11 March 2011, 2:46pm

The devastation
Was shocking.
Made disaster movies look
All the more unreal.

Is meant to be infinitely
More frightening and tragic.
But the wide angle
Helicopter view
Of the (un)natural quiet gentle onslaught
Looks like a child’s play puddle
Less CGed and more muddied
The brown mass rolls across
A miniature landscape.
People are puny ants.
Cars are tiny toys.
Unaware until the very last moment
Or aware but it is too late
Everyone, everything is swept away
Reluctantly with the front.
Are supposed to be
Over water
Not in.
Houses float down streets like boats
And boats will sit far inland like houses.
A Nuclear power station
Is not supposed to fail
And explode like a fire cracker.

Postmodern and simulating
The world is now seen
Through the colourbox
Like characters
In a soap opera
The quake, tsunami and accident
Seem to exist
Only in the images of our memories
Like some far away fictional place
Of the past or future,
And not of the suffering or joy
Of the here-and-now.

In memory of the 18,500 who died or are missing, and thoughts to the 35,000 who survived and are displaced.


What exactly does TEPCO have to hide?

Does submitting a three page document where only two lines are uncensored constitute a submission at all?

How feasible is green energy?

According to Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry the country’s energy from renewable sources accounted for only 1 percent of the total energy gneration in 2009. And that number has improved in much 2011 though efforts, verbally at least, have increased due to the Fukushima Incident.

Why is this so? Well, it takes area of 65 square kilometers of solar panels to generate the same amount power of one nuclear reactor. Now that is not efficient, is it? The same problem goes for wind power generation. And we have yet to talk about the cost here.

No, the aim for 20% of energy from renewable sources by 2020 in Japan just seems near impossible though an accident of the size we had in Fukushima may well change that. One has to ask why must we wait for such things to happen before we act.