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.