Jiji PressLONDON (Jiji Press) — Japanese-born British author Kazuo Ishiguro, the winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Literature, said Wednesday he has been happy to know that people in Japan congratulated him on getting the honor.
“I’ve been very touched ... by the emotion with which people in Japan seem to have received this news,” he said at a press conference in Stockholm. “I hope the Japanese people can feel proud of this victory, just as people in Britain feel proud of this victory.”
Ishiguro said that the Nobel Prize “symbolizes something that people all around the world wish for, which is that human beings strive together, not in competition,” and “try and actually improve our civilization.” An award ceremony is scheduled for Sunday in Stockholm.
Ishiguro, who was born in Nagasaki, said that his mother was a victim of the U.S. atomic bomb that was dropped on the southwestern Japan city on Aug. 9, 1945, in the closing days of World War II.
“So in a way, I’ve grown up under the shadow of” the atomic bombing, he added.
“I hope that somehow we can continue to live in safety although our world is becoming increasingly dangerous,” Ishiguro said.
Ishiguro said that he is “very happy” as the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), a coalition of international nongovernmental organizations, has been named the winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.
This has put the “spotlight” again on the importance of the nuclear issue, he said. “I applaud this new generation of people who have created ICAN.”
Following the end of the Cold War, people seemed to have assumed that nuclear weapons would disappear at the same time.