JAPANESE

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From Asahi Shimbun

Japanese version

Towards a Nuclear-Free World
    From Japan:
         Thoughts from a Country Hit by Nuclear Bombs - 2013(No.2-5)

We Must Shape Politics Ourselves
By Miyuki Matsuda, Actress,Photographer   (June 6, 2013, The Asahi Shimbun Newspaper)

photo

After 3.11, I called for the formation of a group to discuss environmental problems. This group, "Society 69," is more commonly known as the "Rock Society." Its membership is drawn from the entertainment world and also includes artists and politicians. It is up to me to find the truth for myself and do what I can do. "Bringing people together" is what I thought I could do.

Many of the people - including me - who joined the Rock Society previously had no interest in politics; since I knew nothing, I was able to bring up a lot of questions from the vantage point of "not understanding." I think it's more embarrassing to pretend to understand things or to show no concern. Until 3.11 it never occurred to me that I had any connection to nuclear issues or the Iraq war, but after the Fukushima nuclear plant accident I started to get a sense of how distorted things are in our society.

I do want the economy to improve and live a life of plenty, but aside from that I cannot find anything positive about nuclear power. Even though Japan is the only country in the world to have suffered atomic bombings, we continue to sell nuclear reactors and build nuclear reactors, and refuse to change even after experiencing the nuclear plant accident. We have kept the nuclear dome (in Hiroshima) standing; yet we continue using our nuclear power plants. How can this be? It's because we have not paid our respect to the victims of the A-bombs and the Fukushima accident from the bottom of our hearts.

At first I was conflicted over whether I, as an actress, should make political statements - if I should take a side. But I felt more strongly as a mother than as an actress. We must pass on to future generations of children a place to live. This is our role as adults today.

What "3.11" made me realize is that politics is something we build and shape for ourselves. I want young people to embrace this view and pay greater attention to politics. Rather than accepting what other people believe is the truth, I want young people to cultivate their own views and develop their own values.

Lots of people cannot bring themselves to say they are against war or that they are against nuclear power, even though they hold these thoughts deep in their hearts. I believe we can change our society if more and more people raise their voices to express these thoughts.

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Ms. Miyuki Matsuda was born in Tokyo in 1961 and debuted as a movie actress in 1979. In addition to acting, she is active as a photographer and a movie producer. In recent years she has been engaged in environmental issues and assistance for orphans in developing countries.

(This was compiled through an interview by Sonoko Miyazaki.)