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Japan Cartoonists Association Issues Statement on Russia's Invasion of Ukraine

posted on by Kim Morrissy
Association wishes for swift end to the armed conflict, affirms manga's anti-war roots

The Japan Cartoonists Association issued a formal statement on its website regarding Russia's invasion of Ukraine, stating that it wishes for a swift end to the armed conflict.

The Association affirmed its anti-war stance, explaining that the rise of Japanese manga took place after the end of World War II, and that many of the artform's pioneers were survivors of the war. Therefore, manga is built on "the prayers for a world for the children where war will never happen again."

The Association extended its gratitude to Ukraine for the outpouring of support in the wake of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami and the nuclear accident at Fukushima. Ukranian artists participated in the "Okiagari-koboshi" charity project by Japanese designer Kenzo Takada. The Association sent a "Manga-koboshi" to Ukraine in thanks, which sparked a cultural exchange that continues to this day.

"It is a great joy to us that Japanese manga is loved in Ukraine, Russia, and around the world. All of its readers are also inheritors of a prayer for peace," the Association wrote.

Notable members of the Association include Hajime no Ippo creator Jyoji Morikawa and Ashita no Joe creator Tetsuya Chiba. Its current chairman is Lady Ann creator Machiko Satonaka.

Other key figures in Japanese popular culture have responded to the ongoing humanitarian situation. X Japan member YOSHIKI donated 10 million yen (approximately US$87,000) to the Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Emergency Assistance Fund. The musician commented: “I have amazing fans and friends in both Ukraine and Russia and was heartbroken to hear about this situation. The least I can do is contribute something to help those displaced or injured. I'm praying for everyone's safety.”

Art director Nizo Yamamoto (Castle in the Sky, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Magnetic Rose) announced on Twitter on Monday that he opposes Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The artist, who was born in postwar Nagasaki in 1953, is planning to make a personal donation to UNICEF or sell artwork for charity. He will announce details at a later date.

Voice actress Megumi Ogata commented on Twitter on Monday, saying that the last country she visited before COVID-19 was Russia. She described it as a country filled with warm-hearted people with an appreciation for the arts, and wrote: "I deeply respect everyone who is taking action in a country where it is difficult to speak up. I dearly hope you are safe."

Sources: Japan Cartoonists Association, Press Release, Nikkan Sports via Otakomu, SoraNews24

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