“I Love You, Japan!”

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Cizre, Turkey on June 29, 2016. (Photo by Kuni Takahashi)

Back in Istanbul after spending several days in towns near Syrian border on assignment. Throughout this trip, I was reminded how much respect people still have toward Japanese. People were quite happy and excited to find out that I’m from Japan and I even got “I love you, Japan!” remark at a police check point. Not only in Turkey but also people in Middle East and Africa generally have positive attitude toward Japanese as “hard-working, smart and honest”. For the good reputation, we owe companies like Toyota or Sony, which have been producing high-quality products. But most importantly, it’s because Japan never have sent military troops to the other countries for any offensive missions since WWII ended. I’m afraid that things are moving wrong direction under Mr.Abe’s right-wing resume. If our Constitution is amended and Self Defense Force becomes regular military and Japanese soldiers are sent outside with guns to kill, the trust we have gained in the world over the past 50 years will be crushed quickly. I really hope not to see the day comes that I’m told on the road – “Japanese, Go Home!”



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