The other day, an election was held. The voter turnout was 55.93%, the third lowest since World War II. This is a country where the value put on the right to vote is declining.
Societies are organized into nations that exist to support our lives.
I have long believed that elections are not merely about choosing a representative to parliament, elections are about deciding our own lives and livelihood.
It doesn’t make a difference who you vote for.
There’s a lot of attention given to why young people don’t vote, but it’s not only young people.
I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that people in this country have entrusted their life support to someone else.
Why are we unable to see this issue simply? When did the weight of our duties as citizens become so unimportant?
Something must have changed.
The reason is that 75 years ago, we were at war with the world. If we stop caring about our duties as citizens, if we don’t care who we entrust our lives to, that terrible history might be repeated.
“There won’t be any more wars, don’t worry.”
Japanese people who are ridiculed as peace-loving hippies cling to this delusion.
But in 2021, there is still war in the world. People being made into heroes by killing each other. This violence – over religion, land, resources, the interests of those in power, cultural and ethnic differences, political differences, discrimination – it leads people’s lives to be hell.
At present, it’s estimated there are more than 250,000 child soldiers in the world. If nothing changes, if we continue to give up our rights, we could easily find ourselves sending children to war.
Even if Japan renounces war, there is no guarantee that other countries will not invade.
In fact, missiles fired at Japan from neighboring countries are a daily occurrence.
And even then, people in this country are beginning to think that they will never reach Japan anyway.
How can you have a real happy life in a country where only half of the so-called voters fulfill their rights?
Is it violent to even think that people who give up their rights are irresponsible?
In the home country of one of my staff, the fight for survival of life is still going on.
When I see this individual employee enduring suffering and shedding tears, I feel that this is not a matter of the past, and I think that is not another person’s affair.
I want to promise children a society without war.
I want to promise children a society where no one dies from suicide.
Therefore, the rights given to us can only be fulfilled if we take responsibility.