Vietnamese Agent Orange victims to release music video in Japan

TN News

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Singer Nguyen Phi Hung, Agent Orange activist Nguyen Duc and Japanese teacher Toshiaki Uchimoto (L-R) with children in the video clip Vi mot the gioi dep tuoi (For a beautiful world)

Nguyen Duc, one of Vietnam's most famous Agent Orange victims, will travel to Japan to promote a music video he made to support other victims and their hopes for a world without war.

The video commemorates the 51st anniversary of Agent Orange Day as August 10, the day in 1961 when the toxic chemical was first sprayed over southern Vietnam by American forces.

The video clip Vi mot the gioi dep tuoi (For a beautiful world) was produced by Duc and a group of Vietnamese and Japanese friends, all of whom were touched by his dramatic life story.

Duc was conjoined at the leg from birth to his brother Nguyen Viet, who remained bedridden following their 14-hour separation surgery in 1988 by local and Japanese doctors before he passed away in 2007. Doctors said the birth defect was caused by the dioxin contained in Agent Orange.

The Agent Orange activist, 31, has only one leg and moves around on crutches, but he lives a happy life fighting ceaselessly for the sake of Agent Orange victims. He travels regularly to create awareness of the problem and his courage and resilience in the face of adversity have inspired people around the world.

Duc and his brother are among 2.1 to 4.8 million Vietnamese who were directly exposed to Agent Orange and other chemicals that have been linked to cancers, birth defects, and other chronic diseases during the war that ended in 1975, according to the Vietnam Red Cross.

Between 1961 and 1971, the US Army sprayed some 80 million liters of the defoliant containing 366 kilograms of the highly toxic dioxin over large areas of southern Vietnam.

Inspired by Duc's story as well as being touched by the stories of other victims in Vietnam, Japanese high school teacher Toshiaki Uchimoto visited Vietnam and composed a song about the plight of those suffering from Agent Orange in Japanese.

The song, performed by Japanese singer Yoshie Ruth Linton, was first introduced to Uchimoto students last September.

Touched by the song, Duc approached Vietnamese singer Nguyen Phi Hung, who has known Duc since 2002, and asked him to write Vietnamese lyrics for the song.

Hung then not only wrote the song, but also helped Duc - who considers himself one of the most fortunate victims of the deadly dioxin - make the Vi mot the gioi dep tuoi music video, which features the tune and aims to spread awareness of Agent Orange issues.

The video features Duc, his wife and three-year-old twins (born courtesy IUI intra-uterine insemination), singer Nguyen Phi Hung, Canadian artist Michael Ryan Cafuta, singer Yoshie Ruth Linton, teacher Toshiaki Uchimoto, local youths, and other Agent Orange victims.

"I first heard the song when I was in Japan, I was touched by its message, and I asked Hung to write the Vietnamese lyrics for it, hoping this would popularize it among Vietnamese people," said Duc.

Vi mot the gioi dep tuoi was first introduced in Vietnam last month and has been distributed to media agencies, charity foundations, and care centers for disable children only.

Thanks to the music video, Duc and friends have received donations and support from people all around the world. All donations were handed over to Thien Duyen Center for children suffering from Agent Orange in Cu Chi District in Ho Chi Minh City on August 4.

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