Murakami chides Japan for ignoring role in WWII, Fukushima disaster


Writer Haruki Murakami has chided his country for shirking responsibility for its World War II aggression as well as the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

In an interview published Monday in the Mainichi Shimbun, the 65-year-old author said: “No one has taken real responsibility for the 1945 war end or the 2011 Fukushima No. 1 nuclear accident. I feel so.

“After the war, it was eventually concluded that no one was wrong,” Murakami said of what he called the pervasive attitude in the country.

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

Murakami, who has repeatedly been tipped as a future winner of the Nobel Prize in literature, said that it is natural for China and the two Koreas to continue to feel resentment toward Japan for its wartime aggression.

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

The country’s alleged lack of repentance over its behavior in the first half of the 20th century continues to strain relations with regional neighbors.

Murakami also said Japan did not seriously pursue answers to who really was responsible for the 2011 nuclear crisis, 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,” he said.

Murakami’s latest novel, “Shikisai wo Motanai Tazaki Tsukuru to Kare no Junrei no Toshi” (“Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage”), was released in Europe and the United States this summer.

Against widespread predictions about Murakami’s win, this year’s Nobel Prize went to Patrick Modiano, a historical novelist who has written about France’s painful experience during the Nazi occupation.

  • rossdorn

    First time I like something that Murakami has written….

  • Paul Johnny Lynn

    Unlikely he’ll win any local literature prizes after this, no-one appreciates criticism of the emperor’s wardrobe.