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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'(5)

Let Kindness Make the World Go Round
By Masafumi Goto, Musician   (February 2, 2013, The Asahi Shimbun Newspaper)



Everything was blown away with blinding heat.

The sky looks like

My blues which could fill a deep bucket that is cast away "

This is a verse from "No. 9," the name of a song I wrote in which I described the feelings I had in Hiroshima.

Whenever a tour takes me to Hiroshima, I visit the Peace Memorial Park and put my hands together to pray. I believe that dropping the atomic bomb was mass murder, so I still feel angry. When I invite along any foreign musicians, they are shocked. "We won't be able to perform live after going there," they say, but, thankfully, they make their way over to the Memorial anyway.

In Korea, I visited the War Memorial. I felt ashamed when I saw an exhibition on Japanese acts of violence. I then had a conversation with a couple at a Korean restaurant. However, as soon as we started talking about the war, they seemed to shut their minds. I feel the war that my country committed is not over yet.

My generation hasn't experienced war directly. It is very difficult to discover the reasons why countries wage war and people kill each other. However, it is very strange that everybody somehow takes part in war without noticing it. I think it would be good if everybody could simply say , "Why are we making war?"

I don't sing for the purpose of making a contribution to world peace. If somebody asked me what I am doing to put an end to nuclear weapons, I would be at a loss. However, we know that plutonium produced at nuclear power plants is a material used in the manufacture of nuclear weapons. Therefore we should, at least, learn that the techniques used for producing energy contribute to the production of nuclear power weapons in no small way. Japan is a country that has experienced the tragedy of nuclear weapons used against human beings. I think we should not forget that.

It may be an idealistic argument, but we should start thinking of contributing a little bit of kindness to the world. For example, if even a convenience store clerk becomes friendly, we have better feeling about the town. If it were not money, but kindness that made the world go round, we would not need nuclear weapons.


Masafumi Goto was born in Shimada-city, Shizuoka, in 1976. He is the vocalist of a rock band, Asian Kung-fu Generation. He also writes songs and publishes advertising newspapers mainly to report on the situation of the area stricken by the Great East Japan Earthquake. More than 200,000 now follow him on Twitter.

(This was compiled through an interview by Ryo Kiyomiya.)