Famed Japanese author Haruki Murakami expressed sorrow in a radio program aired Friday over the loss of young lives in a war started by old people, calling for peace amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
"In a war started by the older generation, it's the younger generation that give up their lives. That's the way it's been for a long time, and it's truly heartbreaking," Murakami said in the special program broadcast by Tokyo FM.
The one-hour radio program, titled "Music To Put An End To War," featured 11 musical pieces, chosen by Murakami from his personal record and CD collection, that call for an end to war and focus on the importance of human life, love and dignity.
"Does music have the power to stop war? Sadly, the answer's no. But it can make listeners believe that war's something we need to stop," the 73-year-old novelist said.
In introducing the pieces, including "Never Die Young" by James Taylor and Stevie Wonder's cover of "Blowin' in the Wind," Murakami explained the lyrics and the social context of the music.
At the end of the program, he cited a remark by Martin Luther King Jr. who said, "Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal."
"When the law has the potential to threaten individual rights, there can be no doubt that individual rights will first be taken legally," Murakami said.
He said quite a few people have become frustrated with representative democracy recently and are drawn to systems of concentrated power much closer to authoritarianism.
"While that might seem efficient, it's important to remember that, if things take a turn in a dark direction, where we end up is truly dangerous," he said. "Nothing good will come from blindly following our leaders," he added.
An internationally recognized writer, Murakami has won multiple overseas and domestic awards. His novels include "Norwegian Wood," "Kafka on the Shore," "1Q84," and "Killing Commendatore."