Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Goto Desert Death

Journalist Kenjo Goto was murdered last week in the Syrian desert by militant captors. Goto was a Japanese freelance video journalist with some twenty years of experience around the world's conflict areas. Remembered in many ways, he had strong concern for others and an active sense of tolerance:

"Closing my eyes and holding still. Anger & yelling halt everything. It's close to a prayer. Hate is not for humans; leave judgment & justice to God. That's what I learned from my Arab brothers & sisters." 

For the past 70 postwar years, Japan has allied strongly with the USA, while being largely pacifist in its global profile. But Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe lusts after change, backed by an extremist right-wing and encouraged by Uncle Yankee (U.S. bases still occupy key areas of Japan, with parallel manipulations in Korea). They've embarked toward a new era of military recklessness, polluting Japan's global goodwill, and destroying the immunity often enjoyed by Japanese citizen-pacifists worldwide.

Mr. Goto graduated from Hosei University (法政大学社会学部 卒業生), which stands strongly for "Freedom & Progress" 「自由と進歩」 (link) built firmly upon Japan's renunciation of war (戦争を放棄した日本国). Pacifism is not passive acceptance of the radical right & the never-ending threats of chauvinistic nationalism & "top secret" government. Japanese people can still maneuver to escape militarism. Prime Minister Abe, now spattered with his countrymen's blood, can still avoid following his Yasukuni-enshrined predecessors to ignoble infamy and militarist waste.

Rest In Peace, Kenji Goto
後藤 健二  1967-2015