19 April, 2006

63 years...

Today there was a news on a former Japanese soldier stepping on the land of his mother country for the first time in 63 years.

Wow, 63 years! sixty-three years! I haven't even lived half of that...
He says he has forgotten most of Japanese language and now all he can say in Japanese are only greetings.

So these things do happen I guess. I don't mean to discuss here about the War at all, but it makes me feel like the war is still going on. Born as a Japanese and fought as a Japanese, but couldn't come back to Japan and being declared among war dead, forgot the language but welcomed back after 63 years... unbelievable.

Recently the Japanese Diet has been having heated discussions over nationalism. The core of the discussion is whether or not to add a single sentence of "nationalism" to the Basic Education Law. So the ruling and the opposition parties have been confronting on this, but come to think of it, is there any other country in the world that actually refuses to teach their people to love their country?

In the end they concluded on the expression: "cultivating an attitude which respects tradition and culture, loves the nation and homeland that have fostered them, while respecting other countries and contributing to international peace and development." (Apr 14, 2006 Japan Times).

The former soldier coming back to Japan after 63 years says, "I'm really happy to be back in Japan. I can't describe in words how much I appreciate the Japanese Government and those who worked to make this come true. I'm excited to see and talk with my brother and my cousins."

Before arguing whether or not to teach nationalism (or patriotism?), I wish the country was one that would be loved by its people before having to be taught, just like this former soldier who had even forgotten is mother tongue didn't forget the love for his country.

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