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Nobel Literature Prize winner Ishiguro opens up before award ceremony

Kazuo Ishiguro, winner of the 2017 Nobel Literature Prize, is seen at a press conference at the Swedish Academy in Stockholm, on Dec. 6, 2017. (Mainichi)

STOCKHOLM -- Japan-born British novelist Kazuo Ishiguro opened up at a press conference here on Dec. 6 as he spoke about his 2017 Nobel Literature Prize ahead of the official award ceremony on Dec. 10.

"We're living in a time when everybody is fracturing into rival groups even within countries that have held together for some time," Ishiguro said, adding that he would be content if his work could somehow help reverse this current negative mood across the globe.

Speaking on his life since being told about the award, the author revealed, "Everybody wants you to sign a petition or go on their television program to contribute opinions to this subject, that subject. I have to actually remember what I do know about and many many things that I know nothing about."

Ishiguro, who was born in Nagasaki and moved to Britain with his parents at the age of 5, also touched on his Japanese roots. "My mother was indeed a victim of the second atomic bombing (in Nagasaki)," he said, adding that he felt honored by Japanese people's positive response to his award.

He was also asked about the decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). "Since the end of the cold war, people seem to have assumed that nuclear weapons disappeared at the same time. And of course they haven't... I'm very happy about ICAN and that the Nobel Prize has put a spotlight again on the importance of the nuclear issue," he said.

Meanwhile, with regard to themes that interest him, Ishiguro stated that, "For some time I have been interested in things like artificial intelligence and what the breakthroughs in science and technology might do to our society in the future." This is something that relates to the topic of human cloning, which was famously covered in his 2005 novel, "Never Let Me Go."

Furthermore, on the subject of his future plans, the Nobel Prize winner revealed, "I was quite a long way towards finishing my novel when I was approached by one of the big American comic companies and asked if I was interested in working for them" -- implying that an "Ishiguro manga" might be on the cards.

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