Word ‘peace’ raises a red flag

I agree with most of the points raised in the Oct. 17 editorial “Policy speech overlooks key issues.” But allow me to comment on the prime minister’s use of the expression “proactive pacifism” during his speech at the opening of the extraordinary Diet session.

Maybe Shinzo Abe is too young to know or to remember a line in the lyrics of a famous militaristic song that the Japanese government liked us to sing in the 1930s and early ’40s.

As I am an octogenarian, the lyrics occasionally come back nostalgically and they’re dangerous: “… how can we begrudge our lives if they are for the peace of Asia? …”

When this song was popular, the boots of Japanese armed forces were trampling on Chinese soil. The use of the word “peace” is very tricky. Politicians must be careful about uttering it.

takeru toki
nishinomiya, hyogo

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.