Keeping Silent After Fukushima is Barbaric: Ryuichi Sakamoto

Ryuichi Sakamoto
Ryuichi SakamotoRyuichi Sakamoto is one of the most famous Japanese music composers and pianist. He formed Yellow Magic Orchestra from 1978 and won an Oscar in 1988 for best original score for the music in “The Last Emperor”. In 2009, he was awarded the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from France’s Ministry of Culture for his musical contributions. In 2010, he received the Minister of Education Award for Fine Arts in Japan.

We had recently started a signature campaign recently in support of the people in Japan struggling against the nuclear re-start in Oi .

We have received a note of thanks and solidarity from Sakamoto Ryuichi, one of the best and most famous music composers in Japan. He has been actively involved in various projects to provide assistance to survivors of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Earlier on, we had re-published his essay on Fukushima and the struggle for a nuclear-free world: Our raised voice, our music is the way to move beyond Fukushima

We are grateful to our friend Ayako Oishi for communicating Indian people’s solidarity to Mr. Sakamoto, in response to which he has sent this message.

Please read below Ryuichi Sakamoto’s message to India, in English and Japanese:

東北地方に起きた大きな地震と津波が 、チェルノブイリ事故以来となる
「安らかに眠って下さい 過ちは繰返しませぬから」と刻まれていますが、

Dear Friends in India,

First of all, I would like to personally thank all of you for your sympathies and supports for victims of Japan’s 311 disaster.

As you may remember, the huge earthquake and tsunami that hit the northern Japan area caused the worst nuclear disaster in human history since the Chernobyl accident.

The Japanese government declared an end to the world’s worst nuclear crisis in December 2011. However, the fact is, the leakage of radioactive material from the Fukushima-1 Nuclear Power Plant is on going even now, after a year has passed. It is extremely sad and painful to admit that in Japan, we now have land where no one will ever be able to live. At least 100,000 people remain displaced and not able to return their homes.

Today, I would like to share my opinion about nuclear power plants and nukes in general.

Adorno said “Writing poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric.”
I would like to revise it and say, “Keeping silent after Fukushima is barbaric.”

Japan has been irradiated 3 times: Hiroshima, Nagasaki then Fukushima.
Engraved on the memorial cenotaph in Hiroshima is an epitaph:
“Rest in Peace, for we shall not repeat the error,”

However, our country has committed the same error, guised by the hallucinatory proclamation to use nuclear energy peacefully.
No excuse can be made for those tens of thousands of people who were lost to the atomic bombing and the subsequent radiation poisoning.
Now that the worst accident in history has awoken us from our deluded slumber to “use nuclear energy peacefully,” the next step is to prove to the world that people and nukes cannot coexist, whether it is for weapons or electricity.

Ryuichi Sakamoto

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