At his recent press conference on the need for Japan to legalize its use of collective self-defense, how many times did Prime Minister Shinzo Abe say “… protecting the property and lives of the people and ensuring the security of the country as prime minister”? He occasionally mentioned the lives of our children and grandchildren as if trying to appeal to the affection of family members. Most of his words made us wonder.

Unfortunately for him, over half the population opposes legalizing the use of collective self-defense, according to the May 17 front-page article “Opinion against defense revamp.”

Ever since he regained the prime ministershhip, he has been making unnecessarily provocative remarks, beginning with words of doubt about the correct definition of “aggression” and culminating with his rightist image of visiting Yasukuni Shrine — despite U.S. leaders advising against the visit.

Abe likes to harp on the phrase “proactive peace,” but he was not born when Japan was completely defeated after devastating air raids and the A-bomb attacks.

Doesn’t he realize that Japan was reborn as a completely peace-loving nation with the sacrifice of the lives of millions of people who had innocently trusted the words of warmongers who made us sing war songs that went like “Who would begrudge their lives if it’s for the peace of Asia? …”

A prime minister does not protect the lives and property of the people by sowing animus against neighboring nations. The only way to protect the lives and property of the people and to ensure the security of the nation is by building up genuine friendship with all nations based on constant introspection of Japan’s conduct during the 20th century.

In the 21st century, arms no longer will protect people or nations. I’m afraid Abe does not realize that.

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.

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