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«Murakami, the No-Nuclear Principles, Nuclear Power and the Bomb via Japan Focus

Roger Pulvers
Murakami Haruki’s brilliant speech on June 9 in Barcelona, Spain, delivered in acceptance of the International Catalunya Prize, has contributed to the resetting of the anti-nuclear agenda in Japan.
In January 2009, in his acceptance speech for the Jerusalem Prize in Israel, the author had used his podium time to deliver a keenly aimed attack on the Israeli occupation of Palestine. In Barcelona, by turning his sights to “peaceful uses” of atoms, he again gave voice to the Japanese conscience of our era.
“The recent earthquake came as a tremendous shock for almost all Japanese,” he told his audience in Barcelona. “Even we Japanese who are so accustomed to earthquakes were completely overwhelmed by the sheer scale of the damage. Gripped by a sense of powerlessness, we feel uncertainty about the future of our country.”
Murakami spoke of the depth and breadth of trauma caused by the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and the loss of life and damage to landscape and property caused by the tsunami and the nuclear accident that followed. He went on to criticize the government for having failed to strictly monitor the nuclear industry for safety.
But it was when he turned to Japan’s earlier experience with nuclear disaster — the U.S. attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki with atom bombs in August 1945 — that Murakami’s speech took a radical turn.
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