Haruki Murakami and Naoki Hyakuta are two of Japan’s most popular writers. Murakami is the author of such international bestsellers as Norwegian Wood and 1Q84 and is currently a prolific and outspoken blogger on a range of topics from the meaning of life to nuclear power. Hyakuta, on the other hand, is the writer of domestic hits such as Eien no Zero (The Eternal Zero) and Monsuta (Monster) and currently a passionate Twitter user putting out 140-character quips on everything from masturbation to Asian international relations.

Hyakuta also had some sour tweets aimed at Murakami following an interview which at one point dealt with the issue of Japan acknowledging and apologizing for its actions during World War II.

During the interview with Kyodo News, Murakami said that, in light of China and South Korea’s steadily growing economies and power, Japan should unequivocally apologize for its past wrongs.

“The historical awareness problem is really important. I think it’s important to apologize properly. Perhaps we should apologize until the other countries say ‘it wasn’t clear, but although you apologized so much we understand and it’s enough.’ It’s not a shameful thing to apologize. Put aside the details of what happened and just acknowledge the fact that we invaded.”

The full interview was republished by other news agencies over the past week and eventually made its way to the desk of Hyakuta. As a writer who tends to wear his national pride on his sleeve, Hyakuta took issue with Murakami’s idea.

“Shouldn’t a novelist be able to see into someone’s character and know whether they would say ‘that’s enough’ to their rival or not? Maybe ‘apologize for 1,000 years’ was what he really wanted to say?”

“Japan currently faces its biggest crisis in the 70 years since the war. China and its tremendous military build-up threatens Japanese territory. At the same time South Korea is hitting us with fabricated history. And even though Japan must face these things united, among the Japanese are spies and traitors buzzing like parasites on a lion.”

“Haruki Murakami said in a Kyodo News interview: ‘Japan should apologize to other countries until they say it’s enough.’ Even with remarks like that I still don’t think he’ll get the Nobel Prize.”

The final tweet was a reference to expectations Japanese people have every year of Murakami being selected for the Nobel Prize in Literature. It’s also an implicit accusation that Murakami is pandering to his global audience rather than having Japan’s best interests at heart.

They’re some biting remarks, but if Naoki Hyakuta is one thing it’s unapologetic, something you’ve probably figured out by now.

“If you write something negative about Murakami’s ‘apologize to South Koreans until they say enough’ comment, then your followers will plummet.
This must be what going on a diet is like. (^^)
Anyway, if Haruki Murakami has gone this far, he should apologize to South Korea himself.”

Meanwhile, Murakami’s interview had also made it to one of Japan’s “rivals” South Korea where someone with JoongAng Daily News had this to say about the apology comment.

“This shows that more than a few people have the correct awareness about historical issues.
There are more than a few Japanese people who sympathize with what Murakami said. Following this remark I hope the idea of an apology spreads inside Japan. It’s the biggest force in normalizing the country, but only if the apology is straightforward and sincere. People should be clear about the past mistakes that were made.”

It’s unclear what JoongAng Daily News had to say about Naoki Hyakuta’s counterpoints as they likely weren’t translated into Korean…and he’s probably just fine with that.

Source: J Cast News via Hachima Kikou (Japanese)
Top Image: Amazon 1, 2 (Edited by RocketNews24)