Translated by me from the artical posted at Chinese Choson on his interview done on 14 March.
Lee Byung-hun’s prayers for Japan and calls for Helping Hands
During our interview with Korean star Lee Byung Hun on 14th March, his eyes were glazed and looked as though his soul was lost. He said: “The government, businesses, the general public, actors, singers and other social sectors must work together to help the Japanese. For us who are so near to Japan, it is possible to prevent more people from losing their lives if we devote our hearts to our prayers.”
Lee Byung-hun first gave his greetings to the Japanese who have given him so much love all this while. He said “I know no matter what I say, it is very difficult to comfort the Japanese who have suffered in this huge disaster. I can feel the anxiety and fear of the Japanese, whatever others have to say now, I cannot hear them clearly. From now on, I must pull myself together…. but my heart is soaring with pain and I have a splitting headache. However, I want to tell those Japanese who have experience the earthquake, no matter what happens, please do not lose your hope.”
Lee Byung-hun said that he have been in meetings with his agency’s staff everyday to discuss on how the help the Japanese after the earthquake. “I want to split things up, things that I can help as an individual and things that other actors, acquaintance can help as a group for Japan. At this moment, we have to work together, to gather more strength. I will be working with other artists loved by the Japanese on rescue operations. There is no time for other things now, people and lives are most important.” Among the Hallyu stars, Lee Byung Hun has the most collaboration with the Japanese. He has worked with the Japanese national actor, Takuya Kimura in the movie “Hero” and has also made guest appearances in the Fuji TV’s drama series “Diplomat Kosaku Kuroda” earlier this year.
Lee Byung-hun said: “After learning about the earthquake, I have made telephone calls to dozens of Japanese acquaintances to confirm their safety. On the first day of the earthquake, I was only able to get in touch with one of them, the rest were un-contactable. I had a sleepless night worring but was relieved to know that they were all safe on the next day. But when I think of those victims who were un-contactable in the affected areas, my heart saddens. My heart gets heavier when I have the thought that perhaps there was someone whom I have once met.”
Lee Byung-hun may have considered the anti-Japanese sentiment in Korea, has repeatedly stressed that “People” is the first consideration when thinking about the country “Japan”. “Korea is the country nearest to Japan and Japanese who are Hallyu fans have all along given us their full love. As a person, we ought to understand that they have suffered great pain in this huge misfortune and we have to render our help.” He said “If all Koreans are to pray together for the earthquake to stop, so that the Japanese could return to their normal life, this hope will travel across the sea to the opposite shores. Having such a mindset is more important than anything else. ”
Lee Byung-hun, said “I am surprised by the calmness of the Japanese towards the earthquake. Although in crisis, they were orderly and took care of each other. I felt the Japanese strength. Japanese are men of few words but they were well organised.”
He said: “When working with the Japanese previously, I realised that they will prepare adequately in advance which have given me the thought that it was a waste of time. However, this incident has changed my way of thinking. The high-rise buildings in Tokyo have shaken severely in this earthquake, but thanks to sophisticated anti-vibration design, there was no major damage. There may be more casualties if the Japanese did not have the habit of preparing carefully in advance.”
Lee Byung-hun has expressed greater concerns for Japan after the earthquake. He said: “I do not know if those who were severely hit mentally are able to return to their daily life?”. He said “When the earthquake occurred, our company’s representative Sohn Seok U and actress Han Hyo Joo were in Tokyo. Through them, we got to understand the local situation. We understand that there were a lot of measures taken against the earthquake, there were still a lot of Japanese who have sat on the floor to cry or were panic. Although is important to provide assistance to earthquake victims, but in long run, there is also a need to study how to help the Japanese regain their peaceful mind. I think I can render my modest help in this area.”
source: Chinese Chosun