Excerpts from Hayao Miyazaki’s essay

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Michael Cucek, a resident of the Tokyo Metropolitan District since 1994, has made what he calls a “personal, stuttering translation of the excerpts from (Miyazaki’s) essay” which was published on page 6 of the morning edition of the Tokyo Shimbun of 19 July 2013. Selecting from these excerpts in his Shisaku blogspot:

Certainly there are countries which are acting in an expansionist manner, just as once upon a time Japan acted in an expansionist manner. However, that does not mean we have to go to war. I honestly believe that right now, rather than [traditional security actions] we have to grapple sincerely and honestly with Japan’s corporate structures. Can a country strewn with nuclear power plants like ours go to war? Absurd! . . .

As for changing the Constitution, it is not even a question that I am against it. If one considers the election [of December 2012], the percentage of votes won and the voter turnout were both low. It is inconceivable to profit from the confusion to go about changing the constitution on the merest whim . . .

Since [altering the Constitution] is something that will determine the future of the nation, it must reflect the opinions of the greatest number of persons possible . . .

Right now, watching the Self Defense Forces getting dispatched on disaster relief here and there, I feel very happy that the SDF exists. The personnel of the SDF are doing good things and doing them properly. Even when they could not avoid being sent to Iraq, they came home having not fired a single shot, without killing a single human being. I think this admirable . . .

What I do know is that if we decide to only defend ourselves that will be enough. Even though this means that our response will be delayed, we will not strike the first blow, and not have to defend overreaction.

If we do not [limit ourselves to self-defense only], I tell you, we in this country, not used to international politics, will simply be led around by the nose. Even in the case of the breakout of war, [the suffering from our slower response] is still preferable to the alternative.

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