After being invaded by the neighboring Soviet Union during World War II, Finland sided with Nazi Germany to protect its independence, after signing a security assurance at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki on May 11 AP Photo, Pool
During that turbulent period, Tove Jansson was a young woman.
The author of Moomin books for children expressed her hatred for war, saying that war is going on everywhere. The agony borne by the entire nation is crushing me, tearing me into pieces, assaulting me with terror as if I am being blown up. She wove fantasy tales in search of her own salvation.
In Tove Jansson Life, Art, Words, author Boel Westin cites themes in her early works, such as family breakups and loss of hope, inspired by the war.
Just as Jansson's stories were born from her tragic experiences, Finland adopted a new style of diplomacy neutrality post-war.
Finland remained amicable to the Soviet Union while establishing relations with the West, despite the fact that it was outside the conflicts between major powers.
After the end of the Cold War, Finland joined the European Union but not the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. But now Finland says it is ending this balance diplomacy.
Finnish President Sauli Niinisto announced on May 12 that his nation will file an application for NATO membership. Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a growing popular chorus has emerged for joining the alliance rather than maintaining neutrality.
Instead of shaking up the West, Russia's action has produced the opposite result.
Russia's border with NATO nations will stretch twice as long if Finland's NATO membership is approved.
There is no serenity of the Moomin Valley in the European situation that keeps getting more worrisome.
Vox Populi, Vox Dei is a popular daily column that covers a wide range of topics, including culture, arts and social trends and developments. The column was written by veteran Asahi Shimbun writers and provides useful insights into contemporary Japan and its culture.