This blog is originally a place to write about Buddhism in Japanese, not about politics or social issues.
However, I have a few thoughts about the current situation in Ukraine, and I would like to talk about it.
As for the ongoing war itself, I’ve been gathering information and expressing my opinions on social networking sites that are not linked here, but I’m not going to use those accounts because they are too political.
What I want to talk about here today is about Russians and Russia.
First of all, I cannot tolerate this invasion of Ukraine for any reason, and I cannot tolerate Mr. Putin who has become a destroyer of human lives, human rights, and international order. Bombing the city and killing many civilians, and threatening them with nuclear weapons is nothing but madness.
However, if you look at social networking sites, there is quite a bit of slander against Russians. It is also being thrown at Russians living in Japan. There is also a lot of disparaging remarks about the country and culture of Russia.
Is that really justified?
I don’t hate Russia or Russians. In fact, it’s my favorite country and I’ve always admired it, and it’s still one of the top three countries on my list of countries I want to visit someday.
It is not because I like Russia, but I can’t help but feel that it is still wrong to discriminate or denigrate Russians or Russia itself in this situation.
It’s not that Russians are Mr. Putin, and it’s not that Mr. Putin embodies the history, traditions, and spiritual culture of Russia.
Russia is a land of great culture and spirituality, and a land of respectable people. And it is the same for all countries and regions.
Japan is no different.
But there is something wrong with the politics, something wrong with the leaders. There is nothing wrong with Russians or Russia itself.
I saw many Russians in Japan praying with tears in their eyes, and there are many people in Russia who demonstrate and protest without fear of arrest or loss of social status.
Demonstrating in Russia is not something as light as Japanese people think. In a sense, it is risking one’s life.
Russians who support Mr. Putin are also taught differently from us in terms of what they learn and the information they receive. It is a country where information is controlled.
Even so, there were many citizens, intellectuals, and local politicians who stood up.
We should not discriminate against or exclude the Russians, but walk in solidarity with them as friends who can create a better future together.
If we fail to do so, it means that we ourselves will become the destroyers of future peace.
We should denounce the act. Aggression should be countered. There is a need to fight.
But it must be done not for hatred, but for peace, for happiness, for solidarity.