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Hayao Miyazaki Criticizes Prime Minister Abe at Press Conference

posted on by Carlos Cadorniga
Former Ghibli director comments on Constitution changes, U.S. base, China relations

Hayao Miyazaki is making his voice heard on political matters in his home country.

The former-and-renowned Studio Ghibli director recently held a press conference in Tokyo on Monday concerning his opposition to the reinterpretation of Japan's Constitution and the relocation of U.S. Marine Corp Air Station Futenma to the Henoko area of Okinawa. As the joint leader of the Henoko Fund opposition group, Miyazaki openly criticized Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in his public statement.

"He may want to make his mark on history by re-interpreting the (Peace) Constitution," he said regarding Abe. "But he's being rather stupid about it."

He also remarked on the changes as a response to China's expansion.

"I'm of the opposite way of thinking [compared to Abe]. I think it's impossible to stop China's expansion with military force, and Japan has a pacifist constitution in order to think of other solutions."

Relations between China and Japan are increasingly strained as of late, with escalating tensions arising from long-time territorial disputes over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands and increased military presence in the East China Sea, and condemnations of actions by the Abe administration that have been seen as insensitive by the Chinese.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Barack Obama reaffirmed in a statement in Washington D.C. on April 28 that they would move forward with the relocation of the base to Henoko. Abe said in the statement, "The dangers arising from the Futenma Air Station being surrounded by housing and schools should be eliminated by relocation to Henoko as soon as possible. We will move forward with mitigating the impact of the base in Okinawa, founded on a strong relationship of trust between Japan and the United States." Henoko is less densely populated than Futenma. Futenma is located 5.8 miles from Okinawa prefecture's capital city of Naha, which is on the southern part of the island.

Miyazaki retorted with the importance of alternative solutions in order to uphold Japan's peace constitution. A reporter at the conference asked why this Consitution was so important to the Japanese people.

"15 years of war was a miserable experience for the Japanese people," Miyazaki stated. The pacifist constitution was like a ray of light." He then added, "The peace constitution inherited the spirit of the anti-war treaty [Kellogg–Briand Pact post-World War I], so we can't say it's entirely something that's in the tradition of isolationism, or forced on us by an occupying army."

The Japanese constitution is a topic of fierce debate currently, since the government of Shinzō Abe has reinterpreted it to allow Japan to come to the aid of other countries under attack. Rapper Shing02 released a historical track going over the history of the Japanese Constitution and announcing his own opinion on the change.

Meanwhile, Abe's party, the Liberal Democrats, has produced a manga explaining the constitutional revisions it seeks in a gentle tone.

[Via Niconico News]

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