Soka Gakkai International
Buddhism in Action for Peace
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In September, various SGI associations around the world organized events commemorating the 56th anniversary of second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda's Declaration Calling for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons (on September 8, 1957).
On September 8, SGI-USA's Chicago Zone organized a forum titled "A Way Out of the Burning House--A World Free From Nuclear Weapons," at the International House theater at the University of Chicago, where, in 1942, the Manhattan project team produced the first self-sustaining nuclear reaction that led to the creation of the atomic bomb. The forum featured a panel of seven speakers, including scholars, activists, and an atomic bomb survivor.
Keynote speaker was Clifton Truman Daniel, the eldest grandson of former U.S. President Harry S. Truman, who ordered the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. Mr. Daniel spoke of starting to take up the cause for nuclear abolition through his friendship with peace activist Masahiro Sasaki, the brother of Hiroshima bomb victim Sadako Sasaki, whose story is widely known through the children’s book Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes.
The event also featured the U.S. premiere of the exhibition "Everything You Treasure--For a World Free From Nuclear Weapons," which was jointly created by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) and SGI.
On September 7, some 250 people gathered at SGI-UK’s Taplow Court center for Hiroshima Peace Day, themed "Towards the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons; The Ultimate Negation of the Dignity of Life." Events included a film showing of an interview with Hiroshima atomic bomb survivor and Soka Gakkai member Pok Soon Kwak, poetry and song performances, paper crane folding, and presentations by SGI-UK youth members.
Also on September 7, at commemorative events held at SGI-Spain centers in Madrid, Barcelona, Tenerife and Las Palmas, youth members led presentations introducing SGI President Daisaku Ikeda's 2013 peace proposal and the three concrete proposals for nuclear abolition it contains. related article Senzatomica--SGI-Italy by Daniele Santi A Senzatomica rally in Milan [© SGI-Italy] In 2009, a group of 10 SGI-Italy youth members met together to study a proposal by SGI President Daisaku Ikeda about building solidarity toward nuclear abolition. Inspired by the proposal, we had the idea of bringing to Italy the SGI nuclear disarmament exhibition "From a Culture of Violence to a Culture of Peace: Toward a World Free From Nuclear Weapo
On September 21, the International Day of Peace, disarmament expert Dr. Vicente Garrido Rebolledo, director of the International Affairs and Foreign Policy Institute (INCIPE), gave a lecture at the SGI-Spain Culture Center in Rivas-Vaciamadrid on the history of nuclear weapons, current trends in non-proliferation and the possibilities of nuclear disarmament.
[Adapted from reports from SGI-Spain and articles in the October 4, 2013 issue of the World Tribune, SGI-USA and September 18, 2013 issue of the SGI-UK online news bulletin; photos courtesy World Tribune and Takaaki Masumoto (UK)]
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