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Nobel Prize Winner Kenzaburo Oe Visits Korea

Posted May. 24, 2005 06:05,   


On the 23rd, Japanese writer Kenzaburo Oe (70), the winner of the Nobel Prize for literature, warned, “The Japanese government, the ruling party, and the business sector are trying to amend the part of the constitution that stipulates the prohibition of war. If this happens, there will be no turning back.”

Mr. Oe is in Korea to participate in the Seoul International Literature Forum. During the press conference and special interview arranged by this newspaper at the Sejong Cultural Center on that day, he said, “If the Constitution is amended, Japan will be allowed to go to war and increase its armaments.”

Mr. Oe, who won the Nobel Prize in 1994, said, “At this point, it looks highly probable that Japan will move to prepare for war.” He also added, “There will be a gathering of 10,000 people in July to protest against the amendment of the Constitution.”

He stated, “’Article 9 Group’ is a civil group in Japan which opposes the amendment of the Constitution. There have been 25,000 participants in the nationwide tour, and there are 1,500 smaller groups all over the country.”

He added, “President Roh said during his March First Commemoration speech that if Japanese intellectuals do not repent their past actions and look to the future, they will not be able to get away from the past. I agree with his statement completely, and as a Japanese intellectual, I will try my best to meet those requests.”

Ki-Tae Kwon kkt@donga.com