At the End of Summer 2019

This year, Tokyo was hit again by a severe heatwave. The torrential rains caused by the annual typhoon season increased in their intensity and caused enormous damage to the southern regions of Japan.

In addition to natural disasters, a series of manmade catastrophes such as the Kyoto anime arson attack and dangerous driving on the roads added to the annual death toll in Japan.

 Looking beyond Japan’s borders, there were a series of mass shootings in El Paso, Giroy and Dayton in the United States. Thousands of hate crimes happen every year in the United States, which was once a model for democracy; currently, it has imposed a strict policy to exclude immigrants and to impose high tariffs in response to fears about the rise of China as a global competitor. Hate crimes have also increased on the back of resurgent white supremacy.

In Asia, North Korea continues to develop nuclear weapons for missile launches. The protest demonstrations in Hong Kong seem to have no end. South Korea made a fuss with their anti-Japanese sentiments. In any case, the human ego seems to be causing a multitude of unnecessary problems. Enough is enough!

In Japan, we have Bon, an annual Buddhist event from July 13 to 16. During this period, the spirits of our ancestors are believed to return, and we welcome and console them. Summer is also a time when the victims of WWII and the atomic bombs as well as the JAL airplane crash in 1985 are commemorated. Japan has consistently pursued peace after the end of WWII and has built a safe and peaceful society, but there is no end to human disasters.

We want politicians to regain their humble hearts and consider human happiness and security as paramount. Is a sense of superiority in terms of comparison with other countries meaningful? The world faces a number of issues that should be addressed urgently, each of which requires a global effort for effective resolution.