I feel that the time has come to convey the precious hearts of the Japanese to the world.
As a way to convey the heart of a more familiar Japan,
I want to act firmly.
An article from a little while ago
Tokyo Shimbun actor Ken Watanabe's speech
It's too great, so I'm going to share it.
[Full text of speech by Ken Watanabe at the Davos Conference]
Ken Watanabe makes a speech at the Davos Conference, calling for a shift away from nuclear power
January 26, 2012
Actor Ken Watanabe gave a speech at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting "Davos Conference" held in Switzerland on the 25th. , called for a shift from nuclear power to renewable energy.
Immediately after the earthquake struck, Watanabe set up a site called "kizuna311" to support the victims of the disaster through online messages and other means.
The speech was given on the morning of the 25th local time (afternoon of the same day Japan time). Watanabe said, "I hope that our determination will reach the world."
The full text of the speech is as follows.
Nice to meet you, my name is Ken Watanabe and I am an actor.
First of all, thank you very much for all the support and messages you gave us after last year's earthquake. We will change the power from everyone into our courage and move forward.
I have lived through various eras through the "roles" of various works. Japan's aristocrats from 1000 years ago, warlords from 500 years ago, and many samurai. Furthermore, modern soldiers and ordinary townspeople. Each era has its own values, and people's way of life has changed. I learned many things by studying Japanese history in order to create a role. However, there was also a role called Atahualpa, the last emperor of the Inca Empire.
Among them, the Meiji period is my favorite. Japan at the end of the 19th century. Yes, it's the era of the movie "The Last Samurai". This is the story of when Japan opened its doors after being closed for 260 years and avoiding contact with foreign countries. Japan was poor at that time. Feudalism ruled the people and there was no such thing as democracy. People lived in oppression and poverty. I was taught that in my textbook.
However, the texts written by foreign missionaries who visited Japan at that time read as follows. People are poor, they wear dirty clothes, and their houses are shabby. However, everyone is always smiling, children run around happily, and elderly people live with everyone watching over them. I have never seen a country so full of happiness in the world.
A lot has happened since then in Japan. At the end of the long war, we have moved on to the era of building a new Japan from the desolate scorched earth.
I was born in 1959 in a farming village as the second son of a teacher. Steam locomotives still ran, and after school I spent my days playing in the mountains and rivers. In winter, I was trapped in snow, and I feel that my life was never rich. However, in the 30 years since I started working as an actor, society has changed dramatically. Mobile phones, the Internet, and life like the sci-fi novels of childhood can now be taken for granted. Material abundance has become saturated. Civilization has surpassed even our imagination. And the movie started popping up.
It was during this time that we experienced a major earthquake. The sea, which until then had blessed us with so much beauty, swallowed so many lives and washed away all of them. There was no electricity, no mobile phones, no internet, and people had nowhere to go. what was left there? I was a man with nothing. However, there was an act of people saving, supporting, and snuggling up to people. It didn't need any difference of generation, profession or status. It was the culture of "bonds" that we had.
"Kizuna" is written as "half thread" in kanji. It means that half a thread is connected to someone somewhere. Help if someone is in trouble. Share if anyone is hungry. It's a normal human behavior. There was no history or even national borders. Supporters came from many foreign countries. Kizuna was connected to the world. The “bonds” that connect people with destiny and strength, but casually, are the light left behind in the wilderness where everything has been swept away.
Today, Japan is struggling to heal the wounds of the earthquake and tsunami little by little, and to move forward based on these bonds.
The country should prosper, the economy and civilization should develop, and people should evolve. So we moved forward and forward, looking up. However, excessive growth is unreasonable. In Japan, there is a saying, "Know sufficiency." It means that you know what you need. There shouldn't be so many substances for a human being to live alone. Human beings should be able to live without relying on electricity so much. Now that I have experienced the fear of relying on nuclear power, a substance that humans cannot control until the end, I feel that we will not be able to hand over the future to our children unless we take a major turn towards renewable energy.
We believe that we have the power to create a new, simpler and more humble "happiness". It is precisely because we have seen the wastelands of rubble that we earnestly desire to create a "new Japan" that is different from the past. It takes a lot of pain and courage to let go of what you have and change what you've been doing. But if we don't do it now, we won't be able to see the future. I will do my best to show everyone a Japan where people live while laughing heartily and supporting each other. And I would like to connect this "bond" with everyone in the world.