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'More than words': The Japanese men joining Ukraine's fight

74 Comments
By Harumi OZAWA

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74 Comments
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Probably not a wise move.

22 ( +38 / -16 )

had always wanted a way to prove himself to a society he felt looked down on him.

This won't change anything.

-7 ( +23 / -30 )

The 45-year-old is one of a handful of Japanese men who have joined Ukrainians battling the Russian invasion, defying their government's warnings 

Finally there's Japanese that not only saying taihendesune over Ukraine matters, he actually go there and do real help.

While government providing just a snack.

https://soranews24.com/2023/03/25/japan-pms-cheap-corn-puff-box-for-ukrainian-president-has-kind-of-logical-explanation/

-14 ( +19 / -33 )

"I think many people in this country feel frustrated about being bound under the constitution,"

Hmm, everybody knows that only ordinary citizens are bound by the constitution. Government officials recognize no such restraint, bound by a scrap of paper, as unofficial history records the role and participation of the Japanese in the Korea, Vietnam wars and in more recent conflicts. Nuclear weapons on US ships in Japanese waters are as obvious as drinking on the street out of a brown paper bag.

5 ( +20 / -15 )

For better or worse, it's the man's choice. It may not change anything but the people of Ukraine are grateful.

25 ( +37 / -12 )

Some naïve people with death wish. Hey that combat vest, is it the one for "GG gun wargames"?

-19 ( +17 / -36 )

It's good that capable people want to help. My health is not so great, or else I would consider it.

1 ( +22 / -21 )

A man fighting to protect others in a far away land, from death and slavery at the hands of a Russian horde. He may have his own issues, but his actions may just help Ukraine survive.

It would not be happening if Russia had not invaded Ukraine.

15 ( +32 / -17 )

If he's captured by the Russians he's probably not a POW. He would be a terrorist and Ukraine would be unable to help.

4 ( +15 / -11 )

There are ex special force members who have "served" in volunteer battalions in Ukraine who say that guys like this are more of a hindrance than help. They also tend to get wounded or worse much more often.

-2 ( +15 / -17 )

wallaceToday  05:44 pm JST

If he's captured by the Russians he's probably not a POW. He would be a terrorist and Ukraine would be unable to help.

Incorrect. He would be a POW.

"In February 2016, the Georgian Legion was officially integrated into the 25th mechanized infantry battalion "Kyiv Rus" of the Armed Forces of Ukraine."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GeorgianLegion(Ukraine)#Founding

1 ( +13 / -12 )

Full respect. Bless these men.

Whatever others may say or think, these men are doing whatever they can in their own way to help free Ukraine from their invaders and oppressors.

The Ukrainians would be incredibly grateful for these stories, and know they are not alone.

6 ( +21 / -15 )

sayonara you will be not missed.

-26 ( +11 / -37 )

OssanAmerica

   wallaceToday 05:44 pm JST

>    If he's captured by the Russians he's probably not a POW. He would be a terrorist and Ukraine would be unable to help.

> Incorrect. He would be a POW.

> "In February 2016, the Georgian Legion was officially integrated into the 25th mechanized infantry battalion "Kyiv Rus" of the Armed Forces of Ukraine."

> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GeorgianLegion(Ukraine)#Founding

Foreign fighters are not members of an army. They are protected by Ukraine. They could face terrorist charges if captured.

"If states are not sending armed forces to assist Ukraine, they certainly should not encourage their citizens to join the conflict. Once captured by pro-Russian separatists or Russian forces, individuals face an uncertain fate and their capture could be used for propaganda purposes to demonstrate that the West is involved in the conflict in Ukraine. Furthermore, it could be used to create leverage in negotiating their release. Civilian casualties may increase when foreigners are involved in the conflict and may not only complicate but also could prolong the conflict."

Foreign Fighters, Foreign Volunteers and Mercenaries in the Ukrainian Armed Conflict

https://www.icct.nl/publication/foreign-fighters-foreign-volunteers-and-mercenaries-ukrainian-armed-conflict

2 ( +10 / -8 )

Volunteer fighters are not protected by Ukraine if captured.

6 ( +14 / -8 )

Some might think this is a bad decision. But in the end they are making the tough decision to take on the uncertainty and danger that lay ahead. It's their lives to do as they wish. Someone will be grateful somewhere. Who are we to judge!

7 ( +18 / -11 )

initially carrying supplies for refugees and the displaced.

this is good. Killing Russian speaking Ukrainians is not good. But he left school at age 10.

-12 ( +9 / -21 )

Why not use your enthusiasm to engineer positive change within your own country?

-2 ( +12 / -14 )

Different countries have different laws about their citizens joining a foreign fighting army.

"What are the conditions for joining the International Defense Legion of Ukraine?

A foreigner between the ages of 18 and 60 who has combat experience and no criminal record can join the ranks of the defenders of Ukraine."

https://visitukraine.today/blog/1797/how-to-join-the-international-legion-of-defense-of-ukraine-detailed-instructions-for-foreigners

The UK does not allow it and America does not allow it within America.

https://www.humanrightspulse.com/mastercontentblog/foreign-fighters-in-ukraine-is-it-legal

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

British citizens who went to fight in Syria cannot return to the country and some had their citizenship cancelled.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

Godspeed - Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius.

It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Oh, the Georgian National Legion.

This unit gained notoriety when videos of a string of war crimes were posted showing "soldiers" of this unit callously executing Russian POWs on a roadway. It's completely nasty stuff and the western media just pretend it didn't happen and then blame it on the Russians.

In fact, they have been abusing the civilians of the Donbass since 2014 - just like the UAF and their "anti-terrorist-operation" did - again most ignore or are indifferent to the actual provoked causes of this conflict.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

@TaiwanIsNotChina, I'm in the same poor-health boat and it doesn't help that I'm in my 60s. But I had a very good friend - a female Ukrainian journalist - who disappeared during the first month of Putin's war, never to be found by anyone. And I even went through basic training with Canada's army when I was young. It piss*s me off that I can't go.

And @piskian, trying to engineer positive change in Japan is like whacking your head with a cast-iron frying pan. You'd know if you spent as much time there as me, making friends and learning about what makes the culture tick.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Don't get me wrong.

I despise dictatorship of all kinds, but these blokes would be better off focusing their ire towards more immediate domestic concerns.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

This gentleman has serious issues, perhaps mental issues and probably not what the Ukraine needs at this time.

0 ( +10 / -10 )

"If I had money and this shop was going well, I wouldn't go," he said as he packed items including camouflage jackets and khaki vests. "I am a worthless person in Japan, but I am hoping to bring back something from Ukraine."

Heavens Above!

Japanese mercenaries are going to kill Russians-unbelievable!

If the Japanese economy still had traditional manufacturing jobs then Motomura might possibly not feel the need to follow after Yakuza!

Still, the Japanese economy is looking worse by the day so 仕方が無いね

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

OssanAmerica

   wallace

   If he's captured by the Russians he's probably not a POW. He would be a terrorist and Ukraine would be unable to help.

> Incorrect. He would be a POW.

What will the Russians call a captured Japanese fighter? A POW, criminal or terrorist?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Wallace, you are wrong. Members of the Georgia Foreign Legion are legally considered members of the Ukranian Armed Forces. As such they are protected by the Geneva Convention. Both Ukraine and Russia are signatories. Treatment of volunteers not recognized as members of a national military and mercenaries are not covered.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

OssanAmerica

Wallace, you are wrong. Members of the Georgia Foreign Legion are legally considered members of the Ukranian Armed Forces. As such they are protected by the Geneva Convention. Both Ukraine and Russia are signatories. Treatment of volunteers not recognized as members of a national military and mercenaries are not covered.

They are not Ukrainian citizens so if captured by the Russians the Ukrainians cannot help them. As I also posted different countries have different laws about their citizens fighting in foreign laws. I don't think the Russians will care much about the Geneva Convention. They have shown that already.

In fact, Putin has been charged with war crimes.

This Japanese person has no combat experience.

The criteria listed for joining included having prior military or medical experience and submitting documents as proof of military service to the Ministry of Defense official at the Ukrainian embassy. People were asked not to bring their own weapons to Ukraine. Most of the volunteers who reached Lviv and applied were accepted.

It has been reported that initial training and selection of volunteers had led to "uneven" performance and that the initial intake had already been dismissed by the Ukrainian authorities, with one anonymous Ukrainian general stating "we should only take experienced combat veterans — that is the lesson that we are learning... the others don't know what they are getting themselves into – and when they find out, they want to go home"

0 ( +3 / -3 )

" always wanted a way to prove himself to a society he felt looked down on him"

This one line explains Japan's past, current, and future based on how they treat their citizens and why the overall situation is in decline.

People need to know they mean something to produce value to the collective.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Motomura is a hero! He slould be celebrated by the world! And more people from more countries will go to Ukraine to help save the country from the brutal Russian invaders!

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

I think every man / boy has at some point had a heroic dream of fighting a glorious war against a savage invader. Veterans will usually tell you that war is neither heroic nor glorious. Apart from my grandad, who seemed to thoroughly enjoy his time fighting fascists in Italy.

It must have taken a lot of courage to make him go and fight in Ukraine. Hope he can find a way to be a hero.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

From the article:

"I've always felt that I'm someone who is more socially conscious than other people realize," 

That’s kind of a smokescreen to his own demons.

I saw it in Vietnam with some guys who thought going to war would prove their manhood, there would be a Hollywood-like glory to it, or worse, some who simply had a primal urge to kill. I guess it’s video games now instead of Hollywood.

They were caught up in their image of what thought it would would be like.

They were neither the smartest, nor the bravest when the shooting started. They were mostly immature. They weren’t there because they were “socially conscious” or because they wanted to fight for the freedom of Vietnamese.

Some lucky ones were killed, some unlucky ones lost limbs or had horrific injuries, but survived - most likely to live in regret the rest of their lives.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Stephen ChinToday  09:01 pm JST

Motomura is a hero! He slould be celebrated by the world! And more people from morecountries will go to Ukraine to help save the country from the brutal Russian invaders!

Get a ticket and go, keyboard warrior.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Ignorant suckers anonymous recruit

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

What will the Russians call a captured Japanese fighter? A POW, criminal or terrorist?

If we are going to be honest...

They will probably call him " a deceased Japanese fighter".

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Looking at the picture, just can't help think about those survival /war games. The man probably doesn't know the reality of war. Finding meaning in life is simply overcoming his own little war not being a jama or an excess bagage in the long run.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Just hubris

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Get a ticket and go, keyboard warrior.

Isn't it possible to empathize without having to fight?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

It's noble of him to want to go and help Ukraine, but in the long run not a wise decision. I wonder how old his 2 children are ...

0 ( +3 / -3 )

"I think many people in this country feel frustrated about being bound under the constitution," he said.

Sniff sniff- something smells…

Pretty sure this is some Looter talk point. I know kickdrum sound when I hear it…

Worst part, bet you your life none of these so called "many" got any sorta Loot stashed away.

More like, NO Loot and Nothin to live for...

Motomura has already helped recruit others to the cause, with Kenjiro Miyamori, a former cook, telling AFP he was inspired by him to join the legion.

...dead men talkin

"I am sure there are many men in Ukraine who don't want to go to the war front but have to for the loved ones," the 44-year-old said, speaking by video from Ukraine. "I want to replace one of them and fight for their country."

replace??? Meantime back on the range, uh .0 percent refugees. Replacement Heroes??

Motomura admits his motivations are tied up in his personal circumstances, including a difficult childhood.

"I stopped going to school in fourth grade

Sad. Broken, hopeless. Gonna call him the "Famous last words" desperado.

Get meds for this guy. Dudes gettin pwnd. Rough life to start with, now talkin buddies into trip to die overseas with a gun cus anshin anzens the worst cus constitusions… C words a doozy.

Playin way above your paygrade motomura.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Pathetic....

Going to fight a war that not belongs to you..

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

Are you sure that on the other hand, on the Russian side, there is not a single Japanese??? Ask the American journalist Patrick Lancaster, who lives in Donetsk. By the way, it was Patrick who took a short interview with Prigozhin when he left Rostov 24 in the evening

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

It's good that capable people want to help. My health is not so great, or else I would consider it.

Pathetic LOOOOOL!!!

Cut the drama..

Fight for yourself, your family, your friends, your OWN country..

(Facepalm)

Pffffffff...

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

Is his life i guess. He can do what he want with it. if he want to go help others and help them defend their land, then is up to him. it takes a lot of courage to do this anyway.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

What a fool.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

But he left school at age 10.

To, according to the article, take care of his mother who developed mental illness after escaping an abusive husband. Sounds like he might have had to man up at an early age under difficult circumstances. His leaving school at 10 probably doesn't deserve your derision.

You mean like being a father and a dad to his children

Maybe he wants to, but his ex-wife may have got sole custody of their son and he's excluded from his son's life.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

this is a google article trying to encourage and send other people with mental disorder, or some issues in real life to other countries. I agree that It helps improve the life in Japan for Japanese people here by letting these type of people leave.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Remember that guy from Kyushu who thought it would be a great adventure to go to Iraq during the last war there? He actually ended up getting his head cut off.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

@KukuToday 12:07 am JST

For better or worse, it's the man's choice. It may not change anything but the people of Ukraine are grateful.

What people of Ukraine? the people of Ukraine is divided into two halves!!!

Only a third of Ukrainians speak Russian and half of those speak Ukrainian, too. So it is not 50/50. Also international law is the law.

Those who are under drug addiction president?

Better a drug addiction president than a fascist.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Foreign fighters are not members of an army. They are protected by Ukraine. They could face terrorist charges if captured.

If Ukraine claims him as part of their armed forces, he is part of their armed forces. That and basic human decency would require POW treatment, but I agree that is not possible with Russia.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Post the sources or it is wishful thinking.

I won't even think about looking. I know it 100 percent. You may not believe it, it's your business. But try to find an English-Ukrainian translator in your America for some scientific conference. You'll never find it. Only English-Russian. Because Ukrainian is a spoken, rural language. There is no scientific literature in Ukrainian, because no one needs it in Ukrainian.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Like Wallace said “Probably not a wise move”. I remind anyone going on a risky adventure that “It is not the same to call the Devil, than to see him come by”.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

An example of the treatment of foreign fighters -

From "Ukraine war: Azovstal fighters and foreign prisoners freed in high-profile exchange deals" euronews dot com :

Earlier on Wednesday, a group of ten foreign captives -- including five British men, two Americans, a Swede, a Croat, and a Moroccan -- have been released from jail in separatist-controlled east Ukraine in a deal negotiated by Saudi Arabia. 

Several of the men had been sentenced to death by a court in the Donbas region but were given their freedom as part of a prisoner exchange.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Your only hypotheses is he's excluded from his sons life because why ?

I was just replying to your comment which seemed to carry the assumption that he’s allowed to be part of his son’s life. Apologies if I misunderstood. The article just says he’s separated from his children.

And so who's looking after her now ?

No idea. Deceased? In a home?

His whole sob story and reason for wanting to fight is purely to gain attention to himself and therefore not heroic .

You seem quite sure. I myself don’t know since I only have the article to go by and can’t look in his head.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I wish the ridiculous Ukraine war would stop.

You’re not alone there.

Judging by the details in the article his sole reasoning for going to Ukraine is to better himself not unconditionally going to Ukraine for the defense of Ukraine.

It's like an abandonment issue extravaganza - school -parents , wife and his children and now him.

Whatever his reasons, I guess he’ll find out if he made the right decision for him or not. Others may be helped by whatever service he might be able to provide.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@What ol' Jack Burton always saysToday 10:05 am JST

I wish the ridiculous Ukraine war would stop.

Russia can stop it any time.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

John

this is a google article trying to encourage and send other people with mental disorder, or some issues in real life to other countries.

WTH is a "google article"? Google doesn't create news articles. They simply find and list articles created by other organizations.

This article is from AFP, one of the top three international news organizations, which also includes AP and Reuters.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Georgian Legion...Hmmmm. Nasty bunch, just like their ancestors, the Georgian Legion during World War II, which fought for the Wehrmacht.

The truth is that it's always misguided idealists, desperados and misfits who end up doing this kind of fighting. It all reminds me of the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War, and of the many young men who returned home completely disillusioned by the realisation that they had been serving the interests of Stalin and Comintern rather than helping the Spanish people.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

NATO, What are you waiting for? Putin is on his knees. Even Russians do not want this war.

For any Japanese who decided or wants to go help Ukraine in this conflict.

Really think hard about it. You may come home in body bag or be taken prisoner, tortured or worse.

Many of my fellow Americans went to fight. People like former SEAL team members and combat hardened Marines, Army went to fight and have been killed. And they have had some of the best training on the planet.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

wallaceJune 26  08:07 pm JST

OssanAmerica

Wallace, you are wrong. Members of the Georgia Foreign Legion are legally considered members of the Ukranian Armed Forces. As such they are protected by the Geneva Convention. Both Ukraine and Russia are signatories. Treatment of volunteers not recognized as members of a national military and mercenaries are not covered.

They are not Ukrainian citizens so if captured by the Russians the Ukrainians cannot help them. As I also posted different countries have different laws about their citizens fighting in foreign laws. I don't think the Russians will care much about the Geneva Convention. They have shown that already.

Nationality is not a relevant issue. There are volunteers from 33 countries in the Geogia Foreign Legion, which is officially part of the Ukranian miiitary. They are protected by the Gerneva convention as are all official combatants in this war.

Whether Russia abides by the Geneva Convention is a separate matter, and if they choose to disregard it, these volunteers as well as Ukranian Army members are both at risk. Equally.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Volunteers would probably be more useful as hospital workers or ambulance drivers. I guess they don’t read Hemingway.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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