Association of Medical Doctors of ASIA, founded in 1984, Consultative Status with UN ECOSOC since 1995








The reason why I am against this war

Publication date:2022-03-09
Dr. Yoneyuki Kobayashi
President, AMDA International Medical Information Center
While the situation in Ukraine has been increasingly worrying, the scenes we see on TV or YouTube seem to be unreal given the fact that they are all happening in 21st century Europe.

I am strongly against this war. Houses are blown away by fierce shelling, children are dying in hospitals, people are running for their safety after losing everything, families are torn apart, parents are killed leaving their children behind…What sins are these civilians accountable for? Even if Russia occupies Ukraine by force, it can never conquer the minds of Ukrainians. Instead, what will be engrained in the hearts of Ukrainians is the lasting hatred against the aggressors.

The biggest fear stemming from this war is the fact that it unleashed all of the problems with which the international community had dealt throughout the 20th century. They are hatred, prejudice, and discrimination. At the same time, we must not forget that a nation and its people should be treated as two different things.

There are a number Russian citizens who are risking themselves to join the protests against this war. Some of them are getting arrested and detained, while some are too frightened to demonstrate their antipathy towards the authorities. Who has the right to condemn the latter for their inactions? Because they are trying to protect their families and daily lives from oppression, they are not able to voice their opposition against the regime.

Nevertheless, there has been a growing number of hate crimes against Russians being reported around the world. In Tokyo, for instance, the signage of Russian restaurants were destroyed. Likewise, negative campaigns against Russian nationals have been carried out, and threatening phone calls and hostile online posts have become rapidly evident.

Who knows? Because the Japanese were less familiar with Ukrainian cuisine, a Ukrainian restaurant owner might have decided to call one’s establishment a Russian restaurant.

As cruel as it seems, war brings out our inner negativity that had been smoldering in ourselves. War can lead the world to a horrific place where people besmirch, discriminate and hate each other. The priority, of course, is to never forgive what Ukraine has been forced into. However, the biggest reason why I protest this war is because it is not just someone else’s problem: it is our problem as well.
33 years ago, I provided medical relief to those who fled Cambodia and Laos to escape from the communist revolution. No matter how many years went by, the media continued to label them as “refugees from Indochina.” But those evacuees would often warn me that their names were not “refugees.” It made me realize for the first time that although they were on the receiving end of assistance, the word “refugee” deeply hurt their dignity.

Once again, the ongoing crisis has forced millions of Ukrainians to be labeled as refugees. I have never felt overcome with this level of grief.
    •  GPSP Multi-National Medical Mission (Peace Building)
    •  Ukraine
    •  2022
    •  ER & Reconstruction