The editorial “War memories must live on in Reiwa Era” in the Aug. 16 edition led me to ponder on war and peace.

I fully support the concluding remark of the editorial that “we must continue to tell the stories of the war.” However, it isn’t so easy to maintain a peaceful world without continuous peacemaking efforts at the same time as continuing to remember and talk about the war.

The remark that “the devastation of war should not be repeated” must also continue to be expressed and supported with practical action.

Every leader today faces a very tough political situation. If they choose war in today’s nuclear age, there is great danger of mutual destruction. Does any leader desire mutual destruction? They should make the ultimate decision to coexist under any circumstance. This might be called their historical mission for today and tomorrow.

The editorial says “83 percent of the (Japanese) population was born after the war.” They are not responsible for what happened over 74 years ago, yet they are expected to form a peaceful world with neighboring countries and countries around the world, understanding their own country’s historical circumstances.

The editorial concludes by saying we must “pass on the important lessons to future generations.” What are the important lessons? I remember the famous speech by German President Richard von Weizsacker on May 8, 1985, in which he said that “anyone who closes his eyes to the past is blind to the present. Whoever refuses to remember the inhumanity is prone to new risks of infection.”


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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