The lamentably hostile language and conduct of the North Korean government remind us of the Japan that stood against the whole world in the 1930s and early ’40s. Withdrawing from the League of Nations, invading China and other Asian nations, and then attacking Pearl Harbor, Japan’s leaders told us we were engaged in bringing the U.S. and British devils to justice.
“We will not stop until eventual victory,” they made us say day and night. I was a 10-year-old, but quite a few adults seemed to believe the words coming from the military headquarters.
We didn’t win and Japan was crushed miserably. But with the help of our erstwhile “enemies” and by our own desperate efforts, the nation got up again to become a peace-loving country.
Put simply, antagonizing the world does not help any people, no matter what their leaders keep telling them.
Today, another “Pearl Harbor” would surely invite worldwide devastation — of friend and foe alike. Arms will not help anymore. Only dialogue will save our species, although it will take time and patience.
I sincerely hope that the leaders of North Korea will realize this and that the world will develop stronger patience. Japan’s leaders must keep this in mind and act with wisdom.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.