Message from Shinji Harada regarding Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine:

First, remembering that this war crisis comes amidst the Coronavirus/Covid pandemic, I would like to thank our healthcare workers throughout the world for their work in batting the virus. I hope as Omiricon continues to spread and the virus continues to mutate, everyone will continue to practice basic mitigation efforts such as masking, a practical measure which is also an act of consideration towards other. Acts of kindness are needed now more than ever. Let us do our best to prevent our families and others from infection by breaking the chain of transmission as much as we can.

Set against this background of steady progress in the battle against the coronavirus, we are now suddenly facing a new major man-made crisis.

Like many across the world, I was shocked by the news of dictator Vladimir Putin’s military attack on his neighbor, the sovereign nation of Ukraine. It is a barbaric attack by a dictator.

Today, people in nations that made so many sacrifices during World War II and experienced sorrow and hardship in conflict then and afterwards as well, are at war again.

This is a major war started by one of the earth’s largest and most powerful nations with tanks and missiles entering populated cities, targeting civilians in the midst of their everyday lives.

This is abnormal, inhumane behavior creating a hell on earth.

Putin implied in some of his remarks that he may use nuclear weapons. Let us remember that Ukraine gave up its share of the former Soviet Union’s nuclear arsenal in exchange for a guarantee of peaceful relations with Russia. Putin’s war is occurring as many other countries in the world push for the Treaty of the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Right now, I feel anger, fear and sorrow. There is no reason or cause to justify this trampling of human life. It is time for humankind to rise up and actualize peace.

Now is the time that I want to send out a message to encourage all to Vote for Peace in our words, deeds and actions. Let us act now!